“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.”
We live in a world where we say failure should not be stigmatised. We are doing away with old attitudes and opinions on failure. But are we doing enough?
The most popular stories in modern society perpetuate an aura of invincibility. Narratives coupled with star power set the precedent for an impractical and outlandish perspective on life.
The power in Michael Jordan’s 1997 Nike commercial is that his vulnerability (depicted statistically in the story) only strengthens his aura as the great basketball player who ever lived.
Michael’s ability to say that he has“failed over and over and over again in my life.” gives hope to many who believe that all of us are one screw-up away from a personal apocalypse is true, refreshing, and real. And when he ends with “And that is why I succeed.”, it gives us hope and the courage to be vulnerable.
Doing the work matters. But combining your ability to accept failure as a natural part of the path to greatness and still be unabashedly optimistic about your own will to succeed does something greater than what you can do for yourself- it inspires others.