Now that we’re in the midst of our March Madness competition again here at Liberty National, it seems college basketball is a major topic of conversation for many of us. We can learn important life lessons from what we see on the basketball court, whether it’s high school, college, WNBA, or NBA.

One of the most outstanding moments (and greatest life lessons) that has gone down in the annals of professional basketball history is game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals between the Bulls and the Jazz. Michael Jordan was suffering from severe stomach flu but played through it to score an amazing 38 points and garner a much-needed victory for his team. By the end of the game, Jordan was near collapse and helped off the court by teammate, Scottie Pippin.

The Power Within at Liberty National That was a defining moment for Michael Jordan. It showed sports fans around the world that no matter how difficult the situation, Michael Jordan would never give in and never give up. He was driven to win, and would accept nothing less. Do you have that same spark? Do you have that same drive to win?

March Madness at Liberty National

Without a doubt, Michael Jordan had a power within that lit up the basketball court. But Michael didn’t win all the time. He says, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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.”

Failure is why he succeeds? It’s an interesting theory, and makes sense when you really think about it. If you’ve never failed, you can’t fully appreciate winning. If you’ve never failed, you have nothing more for which to strive. If you’ve never failed, you have no reasons to improve. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Failure provides a measuring stick and a catalyst for improvement, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or financially. Some degree of failure is ultimately essential for a greater degree of success.

Success for the Future

Many, if not all of you, have failed at something in your lives or not lived up to your personal expectations or the expectations of others. I know I have. But what went on in the past was a major step toward success for me in the future. It brought me into this great industry and now to Liberty National and my Opportunity of a Lifetime. I found my power within, and my desire for each of you is that you find yours. There is not a doubt in my mind you already have, or you soon will. I see and feel that power at every Liberty National Leadership Academy, at every Agency Owner meeting, at every Council of Champions meeting. The excitement, enthusiasm … the power is almost palpable. It’s obvious to me you all have that power within to reach whatever heights of success you desire. Your pride, passion, and perseverance will make it happen.

I’m encouraged every day by the progress I see in our Agencies. Without a doubt, this month’s March Madness competition has helped reignite the enthusiastic and competitive spirit that is so essential to creating the success we all desire. Remember, progress, not perfection, is what will get your Agency and our Company to GREATNESS. Keep moving forward and getting better every day, just the way Michael Jordan did in his pursuit of greatness. He made it with hard work and dedication, and those same principles can work for you. You’ll get there, and I’ll be right beside you, coaching you all the way!