Mike waited and waited. Was it going to be good news or bad news? Who would be in, and who would be out? Would he make the team or not? Finally, the coach put two lists on the door of the school gym. Mike looked at the list for the top team. But he couldn’t find his name.
Mike looked again. No name.
Then he looked at the list for the junior team. And there was his name. For some reason, the news cut him like a knife. More than anything, Mike wanted to be on the top basketball team at his school. But he didn’t make it.
Mike looked down at the shoes on his feet. He shook his head and took a deep breath. In a state of shock, he went home and shut the door to his bedroom. And there inside, he cried.
Mike’s mother saw her boy. At age 15, he was still smaller than many of the others on the team. But he had a fire of passion in his heart. She said to him, “Go back and discipline yourself.”
He did. Mike started leaving the house at six in the morning so he could practice before school. Practice. Practice. Practice. He grew in size and ability. The next year, he made the team. And eventually, Mike became one of the best high school players in the nation.
In college, at the University of North Carolina, he always tried to improve. When he found a weakness, he worked on it. When he made a mistake, it taught him how to change. When he lost a game, he practiced more.
Mike worked harder than all the other players. One year, his college team lost the last game of the season. Mike was not happy about it, so after that last game, he practiced for hours. He wanted to get better for the next season.
The practice paid off. In 1982, Mike’s team was in the college national championship. With 18 seconds left, his team was losing by one point. Then Mike got the ball. 17 seconds. Mike took the shot. 16 seconds. Score! It was the game winner!
This is the story of Michael Jordan. He became one of the greatest basketball players of all time. In the Olympics, he won two gold medals. As a professional, he won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. And he won the NBA’s most valuable player (MVP) five times.
Not many people can play like Michael Jordan. He may be the best basketball player of all time. But all people can learn from him. He can teach us how to learn from failures and mistakes. In a word, he can teach us the power of a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset? It is a powerful idea from . . .