Michael Jordan Quotes Show What it Takes to Be the Greatest

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Michael Jordan and Army General Martin Dempsey

These Michael Jordan quotes will help inspire you!

If you ask anyone in the world to name a famous athlete, there’s a good chance Michael Jordan will be the first name out of their mouth.

He was a dominant force in the NBA for 15 years and still holds some of the most prestigious records in the sport.

More than being a 5x NBA MVP, Michael Jordan (MJ) was and is a leader.

Nothing illustrates this more than the many inspirational Michael Jordan quotes out there.

They paint a picture of his dominance and authority, but more importantly, they show his work ethic, perseverance, and dedication.

Take a look at these powerful Michael Jordan quotes

1. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 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.” — Michael Jordan

There are so many Michael Jordan quotes about winning, but this one about losing is even more important.

For as successful as Michael was, he had his fair share of failures.

It reminds us (and him) that he’s still human and capable of flaws and failure.

This isn’t a bad thing—it’s what keeps us humble and grounded, and what spurs us to do better always.

If it wasn’t for Micheal’s commitment to excellence and desire to be the best, he wouldn’t have pushed himself harder to do better and actually be better.

MJ quotes on teamwork

2. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” — Michael Jordan

People put Michael Jordan up on a pedestal as an iconic basketball player—and rightfully so.

But it’s important to remember that he was also part of a team.

For all the points he scored and game-winning shots he took, it was always a team effort.

Michael Jordan teamwork quotes show us that he was always cognizant of his fellow teammates and understanding of their role in his own success.

It’s the same for everyone, no matter who you are or what you do.

Overcoming obstacles

3. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” — Michael Jordan

There are many inspirational Michael Jordan quotes about perseverance, because that was one of his core traits.

Not being stopped by obstacles was a hallmark of Jordan’s play style.

Watch the video from his infamous “Flu Game” or read up on the time when he joined the MLB for a season.

Jordan saw obstacles as opportunities and because of it, he was successful in all his endeavors.

Making it happen

4. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

These short, motivational words from Michael Jordan show the power of action.

You can talk all day and spend time wishing, but until you get up and get out there to do something for yourself, it’ll never happen.

Be the master of your own destiny and take charge of your future.

When you decide to go out there are get something, you’ll automatically be one step closer than someone who’s still wishing and hoping for it.

Keep trying

5. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

Another inspirational pick-me-up quote from Jordan, this one embraces failure.

But only if it’s the product of effort.

He’s saying that so long as you try, failure is nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of.

It’s when you don’t try or stop working hard that failure becomes something shameful.

Always do your best and give 100%, and even if you fail, you’ll have succeeded in at least one way.

It’s never to late

6. “My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, ‘You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’” — Michael Jordan

One of the best Michael Jordan quotes, this one reminds us that age and position are nothing to someone who is motivated.

You can still run a marathon if you’re 65, so long as you put in the effort to train for one.

You can go back to school and change your profession or do something radical and change your life—the only prerequisite is effort and motivation.

Put in the work

7. “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.” — Michael Jordan

There are an abundance of Michael Jordan quotes about effort, because Jordan was well-known for his work ethic.

These wise words illustrate this better than any other.

If you put in the effort and work hard, you’ll have something to show for it.

Nothing comes without hard work and those who are willing to put in the time, effort and sacrifice to get what they want will find success where others don’t.

Team and winning

8. “There is no ‘i’ in team but there is in win.” — Michael Jordan

One of the prime Michael Jordan quotes, this one shows both sides of the coin when it comes to sports.

You can play as part of a team, but you’re also an individual within that team.

Your success is the team’s success, but it’s also your own personal triumph.

When you strive to win, you do so at a personal level, but everyone around you also benefits.

Believe to achieve

9. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” — Michael Jordan

This motivational quote encourages us to look within as we strive for something bigger than ourselves.

Believing in who you are, what you’re capable of and what your mission is unlocks the potential to achieve these things.

Having high expectations for yourself means pushing yourself to reach those expectations, and when you do, you’ll accomplish great things.

Believe to achieve!

Be selfish to achieve then be unselfish once you do

10. “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.” — Michael Jordan

Because he was one of the most successful athletes ever, there are many Michael Jordan quotes about success.

This is one of the most important, because it shows the juxtaposition between striving for success and attaining it.

Selfishness is necessary as you struggle to break through, but once you do, be there for others.

It’s the circle of life within the world of success.

Keep up the effort

11. “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.” — Michael Jordan

You can’t win in every situation, but you have to keep trying.

Michael Jordan quotes about effort remind us that even in situations where we can’t win we should still try.

Effort is what defines us.

Without effort, we deserve to fail and we will; but, even when we don’t succeed, if there’s effort behind what we do, it’s still a moral victory.

Never stop trying, even if you’re not winning.

Jordan on shortcuts

12. “If you do the work, you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.” — Michael Jordan

There are many motivational quotes about shortcuts and this one is chief among them.

It’s simple and to-the-point: When you work hard, you’ll be rewarded.

If you cheat or take shortcuts, you’re bound to fall short of the success you want to attain.

Shortcuts may tempt you, but remember . . .

Success is so much more satisfying when you have the sweat equity behind it.

Putting your heart into everything you do

13. “Heart is what separates the good from the great.” — Michael Jordan

Giving it your all is an inspirational feeling.

No one who ever achieved success like Michael Jordan ever got there without heart.

Heart is the passion behind what you’re doing and the motivating factor that leads you to continue trying at all times.

If you have heart, no obstacles can stop you and no failure is too great to overcome.

Don’t quit

14. “If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Never quit!” — Michael Jordan

If there’s one jewel among Michael Jordan quotes, it’s this one.

Jordan was notorious for never quitting—even when there was no possible way to win.

His constant effort, even in the face of adversity, is what led him to be one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Never quitting set a precedent that he followed throughout his entire career.

Of all the athletes to ever play a sport, Michael Jordan was one of the best of all time. Today, he continues to inspire many with his words of wisdom about success and effort.

We hope you were inspired by the above Michael Jordan quotes, which are part of our inspirational entrepreneur quotes series.

What are the best Michael Jordan quotes you know? Share them with us in the comments below to inspire others to find the same positivity you’re working toward!

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