Use Michael Jordan’s “First & Only” Rule for Stratospheric Success

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Lately my wife and I have been watching The Last Dance.

It’s a documentary miniseries about the career of Michael Jordan, with particular focus on the 1997–98 Chicago Bulls season.

And though it’s surprising to see how different Michael was in contrast to my perceived image of him — the series itself is a treasure trove of timeless wisdom and kickass advice.

One nugget of wisdom that has been especially valuable for me is the way Michael looked at each and every one of his performances.

I believe if you can adopt the same perspective, you’ll have no problem excelling at what you do — especially if you’ve had trouble in the past “showing up” and consistently doing your best.

I like to call this timeless piece of wisdom…

The “First & Only” Rule

Now let’s get this straight…

Michael Jordan knew he was a badass — there’s no denying that.

He was confident in his abilities. He was an all-around All-Star. And he knew without a shadow of a doubt he was the best player to ever play the game.

And being so sure of himself and his own influence, he also felt an overwhelming responsibility to always show up and do his best.

Every night he played, he knew there was someone in the audience that was there just to see him and the great “Michael Jordan” show — and he also knew it might the first and only time they ever got to see him play.

That motivated the hell out of him.

“If this is the first and only time someone gets to see me play — and they paid their hard-earned money to be here — then it’s my duty and my obligation to give them the best performance I possibly can.”

Which he did, time and time again — rightfully earning his place at the Greatest Basketball Player of All Time.

And that’s a perspective I think we could all benefit from right now…

…. especially when it comes to our relationships, our jobs, and any of our obligations toward others.

That project you’re doing?

That person you’re meeting?

That cause you’re supporting?

Whatever the case, present your best. Always.

This might be the first and only time someone gets to see your work… or the first and only time someone gets to meet you… or the first and only time someone gets to see what you’re actually capable of.

If that’s the case, don’t they deserve to get the best of you? And don’t you deserve to give your best to them?

Too many people half-ass what they do.

They half-ass their work.

They half-ass their relationships.

They half-ass their commitments to others.

And they do as little as they can to get by and keep the status quo.

But that doesn’t make you stand out. That doesn’t make you an All-Star. And that sure as heck doesn’t make you one of the best to ever do it.

Don’t cheat yourself of your potential.

Instead, employ the “First & Only” rule in everything you do.

This might be the first and only chance someone has to see you shine.

So be like Mike and make the most of it.

Halt right there!

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