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How to Be Successful: Like Michael Jordan, Take the Shot

THE MOST DIFFICULT THING

If you Google ‘How to Be Successful’, you’ll see that a lot of people are searching for the answer to this question.

It seems like a question that could have a lot of answers.

But I’m convinced there’s really only one that counts. You take the shot. Keep trying. When one path doesn’t work, take another one.

The people who succeed the most in life are also the ones who fail the most. Failure – trying things over and over again – until one works, is what leads to success.

The hurdle is in the first step. Gathering up the courage to make a change, take a stance, tackle a goal.

I wonder if most of the difficulty comes from not believing in ourselves. Doubting our ability to follow through.

But deciding to try is exactly what we need to do.

Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. . .I’ve failed over and over again and that is why I succeed.”

Think of that. 9000 shots. People were watching, from the stands, on TV, for every one of those 9000 shots that he missed. Those had to be painful moments.

But if he hadn’t taken those shots, he would never have made the successful ones.

I think of this quote often. Any time I’m afraid of what people might say if I end up being wrong or don’t reach my goal, whether it involves writing or working out.

John D. Rockefeller is said to have applied for a job in accounting 300 times until he finally got a yes. Think of that. 299 rejections. 299 Nos before he got a yes.

For me, writing has required my willingness to make my 9000 shots. I’ve been writing all of my adult life, and the landscape of publishing has changed dramatically during this time. I’ve had peaks and valleys, highs and lows. And I’ve had to reevaluate along the way, decide if I wanted to embrace the change or stay in a place where I felt stuck.

Ultimately, we need to act on the things we care about and want in our lives. I remind myself regularly to take the shot. Some I’ll make. Some I won’t. Tenacity is what will keep me going for the next one.

Is there something you’re debating acting on in your life? Starting an exercise routine? Adding juicing to your nutrition plan? Mending fences with a loved one? Leaving a job you don’t love anymore?

Take the shot. That’s how to be successful.

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