Updated: Aug 21, 2019
To be great, you must have deep elements of resiliency. As a human performer each and every day, regardless of who you are and how great you are at what you do, you will never attain perfection. That means that along the path of attaining and achieving, there is always going to be mistakes, failures, and losses. Resiliency is the piece in your value system that makes you want to keep going, get back up, view everything as a lesson, not a loss, and try again. The great John Wooden said it this way…
“If you are not making Mistakes, then you are NOT doing anything!”
We are never going to make every shot (on the course or court)! We are never going to win every game! We are never going to close every deal! We are never going to execute flawlessly! But resiliency keeps you believing, it keeps you coming back, it allows you to fight!
I love how Michael Jordan frames resiliency:
“I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Think about that…the Greatest Basketball Player to have arguably ever played on this planet gave credit to making mistakes, losing, and failure as a reason to why he was driven to succeed. When we think of Michael Jordan, we think about the shot in Cleveland, the six 3-pointers in the First Half in NBA Finals, the take off and slam dunk from the Free-throw line in Chicago, or the walk-off shot in Utah, giving the Chicago Bulls their 6th championship! You may also think about the shot, in the Superdome in New Orleans, over a stretched hand of a Georgetown defender as a freshman, giving legendary Head Coach Dean Smith and the North Carolina Tar Heels their first National Championship. When we think of Michael Jordan, you think of SUCCESS. You think of GREATNESS. You think I WANT TO BE LIKE MIKE (Remember that old Gatorade commercial!)
Yet, when Michael Jordan was asked about success, he pointed to life’s best learning moments of making mistakes, losing games, missing shots, and experiencing failure as the reason he was able to achieve. He learned at an early age when he was a freshman at Laney High School in Wilmington, NC that being cut from the varsity team was not the point-the point was about response and not allowing that moment to define you. Your ability to respond to what just happened is directly tied to your level of resiliency!