Thinking like Michael Jordan isn’t a matter of being able to dunk or shoot. It is about being able to see the game in ways he does. It is about knowing how to think about every opportunity to win. You can’t be a champion without having the mindset of a champion.
In this article, we will table 10 learnings that will help you to think like Michael Jordan. Prepare to get educated.
1. Make Decisions Based on the Long Term, Not the Short Term.
Michael’s ability to make the right decision no matter the circumstances is unparalleled. He knows that making the right decision in a split second can mean the difference between winning or losing a championship and that can be determined by whether he takes time to think things through. That is why he prefers to talk things over with his teammates and coaches. He knows that those who see the game in black and white are more likely to make the right decision.
“The way I measure myself is how many shots I miss, how many rebounds I don’t get, how many jumpers I throw offline, how many times I get blocked in the lane, etc. I never consider the outcome, but instead, I focus on the process of how I performed.” – Michael Jordan,
2. Be Willing to Sacrifice Your Game for the Game.
Michael Jordan is a great example of a player who sacrificed his game to become one of the greatest players in NBA history. One of his most famous quotes is: “It’s not about me; it’s about us as a team.” He learned early on never to be selfish and from this, he has been able to see the game as a collective rather than an individual. That is why he knows that one person can’t win the game; it takes a team to win.
“I will not let myself fail. I will not let my team down. I will not let my fans down. I will finish” – Michael Jordan,
3. Don’t Give Up.
This is one of the most important lessons that Michael Jordan has to offer. In his own words: “I have missed 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” He knows that failure and losses are an inevitability but he chose not to let them define him. That is why he makes certain that he never stops trying, even when things don’t go his way.
“One of the best feelings in the world is to know that you have touched, in some small way, someone’s life.” – Michael Jordan
4. Take Responsibility For Yourself.
Michael Jordan has never shied away from his responsibilities as a player. He chooses to take full responsibility for every aspect of his game and he knows that every moment counts. He is able to keep this promise to himself by understanding the things he needs to work on. That is why he doesn’t wait for someone else to tell him what needs improving; he does it himself.
“If you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. If you work on it, it’s real.” – Michael Jordan
5. Don’t let people get in your head and not care about what others think.
Michael Jordan knows that there will always be people who don’t like him and that is fine. He knows that what motivates him are the opinions of his coaches and teammates. That is why he has had a successful career and has remained one of the greatest players in NBA history.
“If you hang around the basket long enough, someone is going to miss you.” – Michael Jordan,
6. Leave Your Ego at the Door.
Jordan understood that his greatness as a player was not about him as an individual but about the team. He knew that if he left his ego in the locker room, he would be able to focus on the things that needed improving and wouldn’t get sidetracked by the people who were trying to divide him from his team. That is why he knows that to be great, you have to focus on what is best for your teammates.
“I was always an individual in my mind. And I would tell myself, ‘Look, don’t take me for granted. Don’t get too wrapped up in your own success, because you can only do so much by yourself. The rest is up to the rest of the guys.’” – Michael Jordan
7. Knowing Your Role is Essential.
Jordan knew that the better he played his role, the more successful the team would be. That is why he worked hard to win that role and keep it. He understood that if he were to win the role of leading scorer for the team, he had to put in twice as much work as everyone else on and off the court. His role was to make his team better, no matter what it took.
“I know when I feel like I can’t go on, I just say to myself, ‘I’ve been through war and peace. I can make it through two more hours of this.’” – Michael Jordan
8. Make Sure You Play the Right Way.
Jordan didn’t want to be the best at doing things the wrong way; he wanted to be the best at doing things right. He knew that he needed to understand how to play the right way if he wanted to become a champion. He understands that there is room for every type of player in the league but not all types are champions.
“I want to play basketball the right way, and I know a lot of fans appreciate that.” – Michael Jordan
9. Don’t Let Your Temper Get the Best of You.
A great example of Michael Jordan not letting his temper get the best of him is in his interview with Oprah Winfrey. The interview was conducted after Jordan had just returned from a rough loss to the Chicago Bulls and Jordan let her know that he hadn’t been himself and that he should have never lost his cool. He admitted that he didn’t have “it” that night and he had let her down. He told her, “When I lose it, I lose it for myself, not for the team.”
10. Get Rid of Distractions That Can Cause You to Lose Focus and Stay Focused on the Game.
For Michael Jordan, distractions caused him to lose focus on the game and focus on other things that would cause him to lose focus. He knew that his greatest weakness was himself. That is why he made a promise to himself to avoid those distractions and stay focused on the game, like always.
“I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
11. Make Sure You Don’t Let Your Personal Life Become a Distraction.
If Jordan is playing basketball, he wants to be as focused as possible on the game. He knows that if his personal life gets in the way of his winning, then he is losing. He keeps his personal life separate from his business life and doesn’t let it distract him from the game.
“My family is my world. I don’t want anybody to be able to say that basketball took priority over my family or vice versa.” – Michael Jordan
12. Know When to Say No.
Jordan was once asked how much he liked playing during the off-season. He replied, “I don’t like it at all.” He understood that if he played basketball for any length of time during the off-season, then he would lose focus on his workouts and his game because he had nothing to motivate him, but once he was back on the court, none of that mattered. There was only one thing that mattered, and that was winning.
“I love to play in the summer. I can’t stand the regular season. It’s long, it’s boring and you never know what you’re going to get from one day to the next.” – Michael Jordan
13. Don’t Waste Time.
Michael Jordan knew that if he was going to be successful, he would have to make sure he didn’t waste time. He knew that if he wasted any time off the court, then he would be in danger of losing his focus on the court and his team. That is why Michael Jordan understood that you can’t wait for good things to happen. Only you can control how your life will turn out and you must do everything you can to make it happen for yourself.
14. Know When to Change Tactics.
One of the things that made Michael Jordan one of the greatest players in NBA history was his ability to change tactics when needed. He would take what worked and tried to make it better, even if it meant changing things that were working for him. He knew that you could never get complacent with your game and it really paid off for him because he was soon playing as he had never played before.
“I learned the value of a dollar during my days in the NBA, which is more than I could have ever learned in college.” – Michael Jordan
15. Never Stop Learning.
Michael Jordan knows that if you never stop learning, then you will never stop growing and eventually reach your full potential as he has. He wants to add knowledge to his toolbox every day so that he can use it in his job and it has really helped him become better and stay ahead of his competition.
“Nobody knows you’re a great player until your head is cut off. I don’t determine my greatness with my life, but I base it on my ability in the game.” – Michael Jordan
16. Never Stop Being Yourself and Being Yourself Isn’t Always Easy.
Michael Jordan understands that if you want to be yourself, then you need to make sure that people know who that person is and they are going to be able to tell it right away because no two people are alike. He understands that he may get a lot of flak from people, who tell him to keep playing the same way rather than trying something new, but he is going to go out his way to make sure that his game is always ahead of everyone else’s. He doesn’t ever want to be considered a follower or a copycat.
“I am not doing this for selfish reasons. I’m doing it for the good of my team and the good of my team will determine how I do individually.” – Michael Jordan
17. Set Your Goals High and Don’t Let Anyone or Anything Stand in Your Way.
Michael Jordan knows that if he sets his goals high, he is going to be able to reach them and it gives him something to strive for. He isn’t looking for easy ways out or taking the easy way out because he wants to win the game and win it big. He wants to win the finals and make sure that everyone knows who he is and that he can play.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
18. Never Forget Where You Came From.
Even though Michael Jordan was one of the best basketball players, he still had a humble start to his life. He came from a small town in North Carolina and got his start by going to school, playing sports and working hard so that he could achieve his goals. He is successful because of everything he has accomplished in life and he knows that it is because of all that hard work that has led him to where he is today.
19. Never Take Yourself Too Seriously.
Even though Michael Jordan takes his game very seriously, he understands that there is still a time to laugh. He knows that if you take yourself too seriously, then you are going to have a very stressful life and he would much rather laugh and have fun with his friends. He doesn’t want to look at the world in a negative light and take it all too seriously. That would just be one more distraction that could keep him from reaching his full potential as a player.
“I always do things to the best of my ability and I try to be a believer in the saying, ‘Work smarter, not harder.’” – Michael Jordan
20. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People.
One of the things that have helped Michael Jordan stay healthy and keep his body right by working out is that he understands that he can’t compare himself to anyone else or be compared to anyone else. He knows that is something that is never going to be fair and it’s also not going to help him get where he wants. He sees people like him versus others and knows that they are different. That is why he strives to do things his own way and do it the best that he can because there is no one else in the world who can do what he does.
“I think of myself as a good, but not a great player. I’m not even close to being the best who ever played but I’ve reached a point where I can have confidence in myself.” – Michael Jordan
21. Success Doesn’t Come Easy.
If you want to be successful and you want to achieve your goals, then you need to realize that it isn’t going to happen overnight and that you must work for it every single day of your life. You can’t just show up expecting success because it doesn’t work like that. Michael Jordan didn’t expect to be great and he didn’t expect to win all of those championships, but as he kept practising and playing, he was able to get there.
You see, that’s the thing about Michael Jordan. He never expected to be great and he wouldn’t have ever imagined himself as one of the greatest players in NBA history. He would never have believed it back when he was just a kid and only dreamed of playing in the NBA when he grew up. He would not have thought that all those years later, he would be one of the greatest players who ever played. It’s not like he just showed up and was great right away. He worked hard to get there.
The lessons that you can learn from Michael Jordan are ones that you should always keep in mind. He has been a great businessman, athlete and a positive role model for the entire world, because of how hard he has worked to stay ahead of his competition and how much work he has put in to always stay on top. When you set goals and work hard, you too can be considered a legend in your sport.