When it comes to being successful the person on the outside typically just sees the finished result.

When most people see a famous athlete or actor they typically think “that person just got lucky.”

There is a select minority of people who actually hit the jackpot.  But the other 99.9 percent had to put in a consistent, quality effort in order to elevate to the next level.

What most people do not see is the years of hard work that comes with success.

Most people do not see the epic failures.

They do not see the missed opportunities.

And they do not see the person being repeatedly rebuffed.


It is a well-known story in the sports world that Michael Jordan was cut from the Laney High School varsity basketball team.

That year Jordan had to play on the JV team.  Can you believe that the greatest basketball player of all-time was actually told he was not good enough to play varsity basketball?

At this juncture in his career he had two options.  Jordan could either:

• Work hard, become a better player, and prove his coach wrong.

• Sulk, blame others for his lack of success, make excuses, and become a never-was.  I do not think I’m alone in saying that I’m glad he chose option 1.

Jordan dominated JV.

He eventually dominated at the varsity level before earning a scholarship at the University of North Carolina.  Motivation can get you going in the right direction.

Jordan became the first freshman to ever start for the late and very distinguished Coach Dean Smith.

Jordan also hit the game winning shot to win the 1982 NCAA Championship as a freshman.

MJ was eventually selected 3rd in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.

His hard work had paid off but Mother Adversity was not finished with him.

When Jordan got to the NBA he immediately showed how great he could be.  He could score and he could dazzle but the Bulls were not winners.

As great as Jordan was individually, the Bulls were not a top flight contender for the championship.

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were the alpha dogs who were in the NBA Finals each year, not Jordan.

This scenario set-up another career altering juncture for Jordan.

Would he continue to only individually dazzle and still keep losing?

Or would he take the route where he would have to work harder and change his game a bit so that the team could compete for the championship?

Unfortunately for many players they would rather be the “man” than to compete for titles.  They would rather get buckets and maybe a few all-star game appearances than to be a champion.

By the time they prioritize winning it is too late into their career and they are far past their prime.

80’s Baby

Let’s fast forward to the late 1980’s.

Jordan and the Bulls were beginning to become a top contender as he matured in his ability to play basketball at a high level.

Individually he was still unstoppable but the Bulls were now able to play better team basketball.  But they were about to walk into another storm.

Jordan now had a massive hurdle that his team could not clear:  The Detroit Pistons aka “The Bad Boys.”

The Pistons defeated and humbled the Bulls in the playoffs for 3 straight seasons.

In sports and in life it is pure agony to get very close to achieving your goal and then ultimately fail.

But it is only failure if you stay down on the mat and do not try to get up.

So here we are at another career juncture for Mike Jordan.

Would he accept that the Bulls could not defeat the Pistons or would he work even harder to get better and finally defeat his nemesis?

In 1991, Jordan and Scottie Pippen finally led the Bulls past the Pistons in dominating fashion and won the first of their 6 NBA championships.

They soundly defeated Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.

What was Jordan’s secret to success?

How was he able to overcome this adversity?

The Secret To Success

What is the secret to success?  It is working hard and smart.

Hard work is what separates an average player from a champion.

If you truly have the drive to be great then you will need to outwork all of your competition.

You cannot control how tall you are.

You also cannot control the natural genetic structure of your physique.

When it comes to choosing your parents you have no say in the matter.

As a young child you do not have control over your economic situation.

And you absolutely cannot control how others think of you.

But you can always control how hard you work.  When you do not work hard the only person to blame is the man or woman in the mirror.

If you truly want to change your body then inconsistently winging it at the gym through a couple of lame workouts each week will not do it.

You are going to have to get comfortable with uncomfortable in order to earn yourself a stronger and leaner body.

If you truly want to start your business, you cannot just talk about it.  I once fell into this trap and it got me nowhere.

You have to do all of the heavy lifting to get the train moving.

You will have to do all of the things that nobody including you wants to do as no one else is going to make your business a success except you.

If you truly want to become a better athlete then you cannot quit if you get cut or get smoked at a track meet.

You have to use your failures as motivation to work harder and to come back and dominate your competition.

The secret to success is not really a secret.   If you choose to consistently put in the work, then you will eventually reach your goals.

Leave a comment below on a situation in the gym, in sports, or even in life that you have faced and overcome it with consistent, hard work.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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Well written!

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