What Do Alexander the Great, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan Hav
by, Jan 13th, 2011 at 12:14 AM (934 Views)
I often think about the common thread between great achievers. For example, Alexander the Great, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan; what qualities did they share? They were certainly all focused on a goal and driven to succeed. All three had larger-than-life personalities. Each possessed a very strong work ethic. In addition, all three men had great mentors in their life: Alexander learned from Aristotle, Ali had Angelo Dundee in his corner, and Jordan was coached by the great Phil Jackson.
So, are these the qualities that unite all great men and women? No doubt those attributes were important to their success, but there is more to it. Many others had this same formula without achieving greatness. Many generals have won great battles, but Alexander won seven major battles and conquered two million square miles of the globe. Many NBA players have won a championship, but Jordan won a NCAA Championship, six NBA championships, and was a five time Most Valuable Player. Many boxers have won a title, but Ali won his first title in 1964 against Sunny Liston, did it again in 1974 against George Foreman, and, finally, again in 1975 against Joe Frazier.
Perhaps the most important quality found in all three men was that none of them stopped at one moment of success. The names that history remembers are the ones that were never content to rest on their laurels, but instead pushed forward to achieve the improbable again and again. These three men did not live a single moment of greatness and spend the rest of their lives recounting their moment in the spotlight. For them, greatness was a state of being; an intensity and hunger that isnít satisfied with one great victory.
This kind of endurance comes from staying energized. Napoleon once said, ďSometimes death only comes from a lack of energy.Ē Lack of energy comes from lack of inspiration. If you are taking on more than you ever thought possible in pursuit of a dream, you will find more energy than you ever knew you had. Sometimes people lament the loss of the looks they had in their youth, but what they should seek to hold onto is the energy of their youth. That energy can be maintained with a passion for greatness.
The great achievers throughout history maintained an intensity and enthusiasm that made each victory a stepping stone to the next. Equally important, they made each defeat a learning experience for the next victory. A loss or even a knockout reinvigorated them as much or more as a great victory. Then, like all champions, they got back in the ring.