#1602 Areté +1° #419: How to Be Like Mike

Go All In

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, micro-chapter from my new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

Let's get to work.


In our last +1°, we talked about the fact that Jerry Rice scored a touchdown every single time he caught the ball in practice.

I smile and get fired up every time I think of that story. It makes me work just a little harder. (In fact, I might have just banged out an extra set of burpees in Jerry’s honor!)

Picture our hero Jerry Rice at his first practice as a rookie for the defending Super Bowl champions, the San Francisco 49ers. He ran a simple route, caught the pass. Then he went FULL SPEED for the touchdown.

He’d actually started doing that in college, a long time before he arrived in San Francisco.

I think Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice must have telepathically traded notes when they were young because they DEFINITELY played like one another.

Side note: I just Googled to see how old Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice are relative to one another. As it turns out, at the time I’m writing this they are both sixty years old—born within four months of one another.

In this +1°, we’re going to look at Jordan in his early days.

More specifically, let’s rewind the clock to the year Jordan infamously got cut from his varsity team. We’ve all heard the story at this point.

Jordan didn’t even make his varsity team in high school?!


It’s a true story. Jordan didn’t make his varsity team as a sophomore in high school for a variety reasons—including the fact that there were a ton of returning varsity players, including a bunch of players at his position.

In any case, he didn’t make the team—which DEVASTATED him. He cried. A lot.

And then…

He got to work.

In the great biography Jordan: The Life, Roland Lazenby shares a story about the day a varsity coach cruised into the gym while the junior varsity game was wrapping up.

Nine players were coasting. One guy (named Michael Jordan) was going OFF with extreme intensity.

The coach assumed his team must have been down by one point with a couple minutes to play. He looked at the scoreboard. Jordan’s team was down by TWENTY points with a minute to go.

But Jordan? He was ALL IN.

Even at fifteen years old, Jordan was ALWAYS ALL IN.

That’s what made him Michael Jordan.

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