To succeed, you must learn from failure.

By Doug Wright

“I’ve missed more than 9000 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.” – Michael Jordan.

This famous quote was made by one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Michael Jordan’s career spanned fifteen seasons in the NBA, playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards during the 1980’s and 90’s. An exceptional athlete, he quickly became a crowd favourite, earning the nickname Air Jordan, which was later to become the name of a bestselling line of Nike shoes. In 2015, Michael Jordan became the first billionaire NBA player and the second richest African American in the world.

Reading the above quote, you would never think Michael Jordan could succeed at all. How can someone who has admittedly failed so many times, become an incredibly successful athlete, businessman and hero to so many? Someone who initially wasn’t even accepted into his Varsity team because he was deemed “too short”


The key is in that second to last sentence – “I’ve failed over and over and over again…”

For many people the sting of that first failure is enough to put them off for life. “It wasn’t meant to be,” we tell ourselves or “I gave it a go, that’s enough,” and then we go and look for something else to try, hoping that we will be good at it, and therefore be able to continue.

“Failure was a learning lesson.”

For many of us, success is our only motivator. For Michael Jordan, the motivator was failure. Failure was a learning lesson,  a chance to do better next time. For him, failure was a stepping stone on the ladder to achievement.

What can we learn from Michael Jordan’s success?

  1. You can’t do it alone.
    Michael Jordan surrounded himself with inspirational people to guide him. They included fellow teammates, skilled coaches, David Falks, his agent who managed multimillion dollar endorsement deals, and his family. It’s easier to succeed when there are people helping you along the way.

  2. Widen your focus.
    Michael Jordan was an exceptional player, but he is also an astute businessman. He didn’t just focus on the game, he created an industry around the game, becoming one of the most marketed figures in the world, and a spokesperson for huge companies like Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Don’t be so caught up in your goal that you miss out on related opportunities. Spread your net a little wider. Learn about associated industries and activities to help broaden your experience and knowledge.
  3. Use Failure – don’t let it use you.
    Failure is a chance to get it right the next time. Use it as an accelerator – not as the brake. Successful people do not let failure stop them. They use it to drive them on. To reach your goal, think of failure as just another stepping stone on the way. Deal with it and move on.

Michael Jordan is an inspiring figure. He is the very epitome of what it means to “never give up”.

What does it mean to you?

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Doug Wright, is a transformed survivor of a head-on near death vehicle collision.

Passionate about helping people overcome their inner most fears, especially when recovering from trauma, Doug has survived to share his courageous story … his motto is “never give up”.

Away from his everyday activities, Doug invests his spare time playing his electric guitar, knocking out an eclectic mix of Eagles hits and fishing for coral trout in Airlee Beach, Northern Queensland.