Growing up in Iowa, we adopted the nearby big city pro teams so I was a fan of the Chicago Bulls.  Primarily due to the proximity to Chicago but also because the great basketball player of all time played there, Michael Jordan.  His style and mastery of the game almost made you feel bad for the other teams that had to play him.  I will stop and get to my point before the Kobe emails begin. 

In 1993, Michael stunned all of us and retired.  He has acheived great success in basketball and felt the need to go conquer another mountain.  While that is a nice sentiment and great for a motivational poster, it left many fans depressed and sad, to say the very least.  Well, except for the non-Chicago Bulls fans, they were pretty giddy that Michael was hanging up his high tops. 

Several months later, Michael apparently running out of ways to spend all of his money, announced that he was returning to professional sports, this time as a baseball player. 

Huh? 

Yes, his greatness was stepping off the court and onto the diamond.  In an effort to fulfill the dream of his late father, Michael joined the Chicago White Sox farm team and was  batting .202 with three home runs, 51 runs batted in, 30 stolen bases, and 11 errors.  Not awful, but not nearly at the level of success that he enjoyed on the hardwood. 

A year later, Michael came to his senses and rejoined the Bulls and collected a bunch more Championships before finally calling it a career in 2003. 

Ok, so what can we all learn from Michael?  It wasn’t so much his style of play, rather, it was his willingness to do something different.  Stepping outside of our comfort zone is when we really learn and grow.  The sad truth is that we typically learn the most from our failures and where does that often happen?  Thats right kids, outside of that comfort zone.  See, while we can all try to emulate his awesome free throws or his mastery of the three point shot, its likely that we won’t come even close to being as good as he was.  So instead of focusing on his technique, take a look at his approach to challenges. 

Success isn’t always measured in the winnings, sometimes its the fact that we tried in the first place.

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