These Michael Jordan Quotes Are Hella Inspiring

“To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve.”

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Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Michael Jordan is one of the best basketball players to ever do it. The six-time NBA Champion is seen as the G.O.A.T, and he didn’t get there without a ton of hard work, dedication, focus, sleepless nights and practice. 

Who better to get some gems of success from than MJ? We decided to find some of his most impactful quotes and share them to help you reach further and achieve your own goals. 

Remember that success is only as far away as you put it. Take it from MJ: “If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!” 

Here are five quotes from the greatest:

“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.”

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Focus on Sport/Getty Images

From this quote, you can pretty much surmise that Michael Jordan isn’t nearly as perfect as the media would have you believe. Along with his tremendous success has also come a lot of failures that have helped to propel him further. A key takeaway from this quote is that failure isn’t the end of you, everyone experiences it, but when you channel it into constructive ways, you’ll always be a winner.

“To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate.”

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NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

On the way to success, you have to focus on yourself. You’re the one putting in the work to reap the rewards and getting caught up with other people and their issues will derail you on your path to success. This doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole or unhelpful to those around you.

Instead, it means that if you’re working in an area similar to Jordan’s you’re the one who has to put in the work to get what you want. Once you’ve gotten to the top though, that’s when you can begin to help others tap into their full potential. When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. You’ve got to remain laser focused.

“I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me. Failure always made me try harder the next time.”

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Fear is perhaps one of the most crippling things that we face on our path to success. It gets into our brains and often makes us believe that things that typically aren’t true are the realist things we’ve ever experienced. The key is first acknowledging the fear then breaking it down and turning it into small bite-sized pieces. Sort of like building a roadmap to overcoming obstacles. Fear is usually the most intense when we aren’t organized or don’t have a plan of action. Once you can break the illusion you’ll be free from the fear. And for some, I get it, failure is a huge fear, but sometimes when you experience the fear of failure you realize that it wasn’t as bad as you originally thought and now the next time you attempt something you’re equipped with the lessons and tools to not repeat the same mistakes.

“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”

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TIM CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Other people are always going to be around you projecting their own expectations and insecurities on you. Sometimes people will project positivity onto you and that can be fine (within reason) but other times people will project negative expectations on you. These feelings can easily be absorbed and turned into negative thoughts cutting you off at the knees and distracting you from your true goals and purpose. It’s important to be aware of other people’s expectations and while you can hear them, maybe don’t internalize the ones that you disagree with. Remember that your expectations for yourself are the ones that are the most important and use those as fuel to achieve the things that you want to.

“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”

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Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Fundamentals exist for a reason. Before you can move into more complicated things you have to make sure that you’ve got the basics mastered. In this quote, Jordan is stressing the importance of remembering basic principles and foundations that have strengthened you as you move forward in building your skill set or career. Think about it as if you’re building a house; if you forget about the foundation, the more likely it is to topple over. 

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