Michael Jordan

Perhaps you have heard this statement from others. It isn’t a new concept but I love the possibilities that it forces me to think of. I, like many others, has desires to do various things that I may find interesting. Most of the time I push through any inhibitions if I am truly determined that it would be in my best interest, but this concept makes me think even further. Think of it. If failure wasn’t even a passing option. If I would always succeed what would I want to do. I can think of lots of things. Here’s a short list:

1. Write a book.
2. Retire from the police department.
3. Follow my passion and earn a living at my own business(s).
4. Sky dive.
5. Drive a race car.

The list can go on and on. I have many thoughts that at times hold me back. Do you? Is there something that you do that you hold yourself back from because you are afraid to fail. Why is it that we are afraid to fail in the first place? Now that is the real question. Think about it. In our lives, we have many times, that we succeed and many times that we fail. Which have I learned the most from. By far it’s the failures. The failures leave an indelible impression that most of the time I don’t soon forget. I once heard a great passage about failure from Melvin Van Peebles. It was spoken by his son Mario, but he said that his father said the words, and I paraphrase. He said that, it is important for our children to see us fail. Did you hear that? It is important for our children to see us fail. If they watch us fail and see that we handle it with courage and character and continue to strive and move forward, they in turn learn how to handle adversity as well. No amount of success comes as a straight ladder to the top without setbacks. I must master my failures if I have any desire to achieve the successes.

I once heard a story about Michael Jordan and how he has had more failures in basketball than most average players have successes. Now you are probably thinking that I’ve gone and fallen off the rocker or something. Michael Jordan is probably the greatest player to have graced the court in recent memory. To achieve that level of success, he had to practice beyond his failures. He was one of the best all around players and that is for a primary reason. He practiced like no other. He went to practice early and left late and shot more free throws and jump shots than most players. He increased his level of proficiency far past that of your mediocre player. He pushed himself to strive for the best.

Let’s take another game: baseball. An exemplary hitter in the Major Leagues may have a .300 batting average. That is getting a run 3 out of 10 times at bat. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering that every pitcher is sending this above average player, every curve ball and change up and 95mph fastball and isn’t telling them what they are doing, it is easier to see how difficult a feat this is.

All of this comes down to one thing and I can only truly speak on my own life. Fear has it’s place. It can protect us and guide us. It can also paralyze me and keep me from reaching my full potential. I choose to push past fear and embrace it. To push past the fear of change and look forward to it coming into my life like a good friend that I don’t see that often. If I can embrace change and take fear and failure along for the ride, just think of the possibilities.

Always Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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