#1433 MJ + Stuart Smalley

How to Forge Antifragile Confidence

In our recent series of +1s, we made it through some wisdom from the first TWO fables in Darrin Donnelly’s Sports for the Soul series: Think Like a Warrior and Old School Grit.

We’ll keep the momentum going with a quick look at some wisdom from this THIRD book in the series. It’s called Relentless Optimism.


How great of a title is that?!


Got goosebumps typing that.

The first, important thing to note here is that relentless OPTIMISM is very different than just repeating positive platitudes Stuart Smiley style.

On that note…

I just Googled “Stuart Smiley” to make sure I spelled it right and, well, I didn’t.

It’s not Stuart “Smiley.” It’s Stuart “Smalley.” 😂 🤦‍♂️

Gosh darnit. I hope you still like me! (Hah.)

The first result in my search happened to be a YouTube video of Michael Jordan doing a skit on SNL with Stuart Smalley.


At the risk of sending you down a rabbit hole of distraction but trusting you’ll find it as amusing as I did and enjoy it as a quick 6-minute dose of entertainment while flexing your Conquering Digital Addiction 101 and Digital Minimalism 101 muscles, here’s the link. 🤓


We’re going to save our discussion on the science of Relentless Optimism for tomorrow’s +1.

Today we’re going to focus on the TRUE CONFIDENCE Michael Jordan EARNED such that he didn’t need to whisper platitudes to himself that he didn’t really believe.

The best way to make THAT point is to point your attention to ANOTHER Michael Jordan video.

This one is a Nike commercial in which he tells us how many times he FAILED.

The video is so powerful that the Godmother of the Growth Mindset herself, Carol Dweck, references it in her great book Mindset. (We talked about it years ago in this +1 on The Growth Mindset: Jordan, Picasso and You.)

If you haven’t watched THAT 30-second video yet, I (goosebumps) HIGHLY RECOMMEND you join the 7 million people who have and watch it—ideally with your kids if they’re into sports.

Here it is.

And here’s what Carol Dweck says about it: “Michael Jordan embraced his failures. In fact, in one of his favorite ads for Nike, he says: I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot, and missed. You can be sure that each time, he went back and practiced the shot a hundred times.”

That’s Today’s +1.

Want to Forge Antifragile Confidence?

Pay attention to how you respond to “failures.”

Do you work harder or do you give up?


It’s time to move from Theory to Practice to Mastery.

Not some day.


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