All of us have dreams. I believe it’s something we’re born with – an innate desire to excel in life – to make something of ourselves. However, somewhere along the road of life, we give up. We believe the lie that says you aren’t good enough, you’ll never make it, that’s impossible, it’s too much work, you can’t do it.
Michael Jordan, in my opinion and the opinion of the NBA, is the greatest basketball player of all time. I remember growing up watching him play for the Chicago Bulls. It was truly astounding seeing him work so well at his craft. The moves he would make and the shots he would take – they blew my mind. I watched as many games as I possibly could when the Chicago Bulls played.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell
His path to success didn’t come easy. During Michael’s sophomore year at Emsley A. Laney High School, he tried out for the varsity basketball team. Due to Michael’s height, or lack thereof, he didn’t make the team. He checked, double-checked, triple-checked the finalized roster, just sure his coach had made a mistake. But he didn’t.
Michael went home that day feeling disappointed and ashamed. So much so that all he could do was cry. Michael recalls his mother telling him “the best thing I could do is prove to the coach that he had made a mistake…and leaving my disappointment behind, I started to improve my performance.”
Over the course of the next year, Michael grew four inches and would later join the varsity basketball team. During his senior year, he averaged 29.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.1 assists per game. His numbers were unbelievable.
Michael experienced great success at North Carolina and ended up leaving college one year early to enter the 1984 NBA Draft, eventually drafted third overall to the Chicago Bulls.
It wasn’t until 1991 that Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their first ever NBA Finals Championship with Michael on their team. The previous seven years Michael experienced injuries and defeat, at the hands of the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics. But 1991 became his year.
After all the hard times, long hours, grueling workouts, defeats, setbacks, and failures, Michael Jordan had finally made it.
The Chicago Bulls went on to win five more NBA Finals Championships in the 1990s, with two three-peats, from 1991-1993 and 1995-1998. Jordan became the first player in NBA history to win three straight Finals MVP awards during their impressive run from 1991 to 1993.
Michael Jordan’s basketball legacy would take pages to describe. He led the league in scoring 10 seasons (NBA record), won six NBA Finals Championships, six Finals MVP awards, five-time regular-season MVP, and many, many more.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas
Michael’s story of success shows us just what he said in the above quote; if you want something bad enough, go for it. Don’t give up. Don’t settle. Don’t be stopped by fear of failure. Dream big. Achieve big.
Most importantly, never let someone else or yourself tell you that you aren’t good enough. Believe in yourself and make your dreams a reality.
“Only a fool would risk failure. Be that fool.” – Ed Helms
I have a thing for watching commencement speeches late at night on YouTube. I have no idea why… just don’t ask. It’s just something I find inspiring. I don’t criticize you for watching silly cat and dog videos. I also don’t criticize you for watching videos on how to make your nails faaaabulous.
I love being inspired and hearing other people’s success stories.
Wednesday night, I ran across this convocation speech at Cornell University by Ed Helms. Many of you know Ed as Andy Bernard, the hilarious paper-salesman-turned-manager in The Office and one of the leading stars of Hangover 1, 2, and 3.
But Ed wasn’t always successful. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. It took him going to literally thousands of auditions. He was turned away over 99% of the time.
In this video, Ed talks about one of the many things he tried and failed at miserably. But watch what he says at the end…
“Had I exercised good sense and good judgment - had I not been foolish, I never would have done it and then all I’d have is a vague sense of regret and wonder, which is at best useless and at worst paralyzing.” – Ed Helms
One of my biggest fears is living a life without purpose or meaning. For me, that means if I have a dream or an idea I feel passionate about, then I have to try it. No exceptions. I’ll never know if I don’t try.
So today, don’t let fear paralyze you from doing whatever it is you’re passionate about. Don’t let failures in life keep you from going after your dreams and goals.
“Outcomes, whether good or bad, allow us to move forward.” – Ed Helms
What’s your biggest fear in life? What’s one dream that’s a must-have for you? Share with me in the comments below.
“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss… they aim too low and hit. They didn’t believe in themselves.” – Les Brown
If someone tells you something is impossible, go out and do it. These are the words in which Arnold Schwarzenegger modeled his life by. At the age of 18, his father wanted him to join the Austrian military, marry a young Austrian girl, and live happily ever after. Arnold knew that wasn’t the life he wanted to live. He knew he was destined for something much greater.
Towards the latter part of his 18th year, a bodybuilding competition was coming up in Germany. Arnold was in a predicament. Leaving his post in the military would land him in some serious trouble. Not pursuing his dream would land him in a world of regret. The competition didn’t allow for participants to be over the age of 18. Arnold knew he had only one shot.
Even with all the naysayers in his battalion and family telling him he was crazy for bodybuilding, Arnold determined he would go for it, despite the consequences. This chain of events led to the continued success he’s been fortunate to achieve in his lifetime. Arnold ended up winning that competition. Below are six rules for success, according to The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ignore the naysayers.
When you have a dream or vision far different from the norm, people will always cut it down saying you won’t be able to accomplish it. Ignore them. They are either very jealous that you’re stepping out and trying something or they are extremely skeptical and you shouldn’t involve yourself with them anyway.
Visualize your goal.
What is your goal? Why do you have this goal? Who will it benefit? What is the end result? Whatever the answers are to these questions, visualize them and keep your focus on that.
Work like hell.
Excuse the French, but Arnold said it, not me. To achieve success, you have to work your butt off.
“You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." – Arnold
You have to be willing to put in some long hours, sweat, blood (hopefully not a lot of this one), and tears. Hard work pays off.
Trust that the goal you have for yourself is possible. Trust that only you can make it happen. Trust that you have the ability to make it happen.
Break some rules.
Society places a standard on what success looks like. Sometimes, you have to break the societal norm and do what you feel is best to achieve your vision of success.
(This should go without saying, but don’t be an idiot and break the law…)
Don’t be afraid to fail.
“Be willing to fail. You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions.” – Arnold
Step out in faith. Take that next step that could ultimately lead to success. Be okay with knowing you may fail at some point.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. How many times have we heard that? Yet, it's so very true.
“You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and your vision. You know that it is the right thing today and success will come.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
What are some other rules you have for success? Share with me in the comments below!
Jim Carrey gave a humorous, touching, and unbelievably inspirational commencement speech to the Maharishi University of Management's graduating class of 2014 about two weeks ago. There’s a one minute video clip of the speech that’s gone viral. And there’s a good reason why. Watch and listen.
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.” – Jim Carrey
Too often in my short time on this planet, I’ve seen many people get a safe job or a job that seems practical to them, their family, and friends because they’re afraid of reaching for their dreams. They’re afraid people might call them crazy for dreaming for what the world may call “unattainable”. They fear their dream is far-fetched, impractical, or unsafe.
What if your dream isn’t far-fetched? What if it is practical? So what if you fail at it? All that means is you should try again. If your dream is extremely important to you, don’t give up. People fail. It’s the reality of life. But the most successful people are those who pick themselves back up and try again.
“You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love." – Jim Carrey
Would you rather live a life working for someone else’s dreams (the ‘ole 9-5) or would you rather work towards your own dreams and goals? Wouldn’t you rather live a fulfilling life doing what you love?
I challenge you, today, to search in your heart what is truly most important to you. Then pursue that with all you have.
What are some fears you have concerning your dreams? What successes have you experienced in reaching your dreams? Share with me in the comments below!
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