All Great People Were Once Mislabeled Selfish
You only think about yourself. Why do your dreams come first and not mine? You are uncompromising, stubborn, and unyielding. You are always right. You are being selfish right now.
There is no “I” in Team. But there is an I in WIN.” ~Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan was a center stage person. During 1984 to 1993 the idolization of Michael Jordan was unquestioned. Nike gave Michael Jordan $250,000 at a time when the most paid superstars at converse were receiving $100,000.
The moments of Michael’s play were breath taking, skill defying and shocking. Once Michael won his first championship in the 1990–1991 season, Jordan transcended from showman who could not win a championship to the ranks of legends. Officially Jordan was now part of the Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, and other legend conversations.
It was immediately preceding Jordan’s first championship many sought to solicit opportunities for Michael to speak on political issues. Much as Muhammad Ali did speaking out against Vietnam or our modern-day Colin Kaepernick did when taking a knee, some wanted Jordan to sacrifice his achievements to promote social change.
Michael refused to polarize his platform. Instead Michael said, “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
When Harvey Gantt lost his 1990 Senate bid to unseat longtime incumbent Jesse Helms the branding of selfishness took hold. Jesse Helms opposed Martin Luther King Jr Day becoming a national holiday. Once Jesse Helms tried to rationalize school of choice for North Carolina to support segregation (Yes this happened). It is not to hard to understand this man’s position on African Americans. I will skip calling him “racist” because my articles are not geared to speculate. What I can say is, “That’s not the type of person African Americans need representing them.”
When asked why Michael Jordan said the sneaker quote on the Netflix documentary called “The Last Dance” Michael said, “Was that selfish? Probably but that’s where my energy was.”
While its true disappointment existed amongst Michael Jordan admirers there is something more significant in this story.
UNYIELDING COMMITMENT ALWAYS TRANSLATES TO SELFISH
The thing we admire most about great figures is their commitment to their cause. Whether it is an athlete, a fighter, a businessperson, or a man such as Nelson Mandela (beloved by all the world) all share something in common.
Each person, at the expense of others unwilling to join or support them, chose a path which only promoted the cause in which they strove. Nelson Mandela was chastised by his family for choosing prison time over a lifetime of peace with his family. Many called Nelson Mandela “selfish”. All Nelson had to do was denounce his actions against the government for equality. Nelson Mandela obviously chose prison time over time with his family (we’ve all seen the movies and read the stories).
Greatness has many characteristics. To achieve greatness people must have unyielding devotion to their cause. When these people encounter people who 1. Have less drive, 2. Have less commitment, 3. Have contentment, or 4. Have reached the point they are satisfied with criticism can be very harsh toward anyone who has “unperceived” or “unrecognized” greatness.
EVERYONE IS NO ONE UNTIL THEY ARE SOMEONE
When Michael Jordan first strolled onto the court his sophomore year of high school, no one cared about him. When Michael was cut from the team and went home to shed tears to his mother; she told him to work hard. Solid support from Michael’s parents helped him tremendously.
No great person is great by themselves.
Until Michael Jordan won a NBA championship he was known as the 7 year showman who couldn’t win a championship. No one would mention Michael in the ranks of magic Johnson, Larry Byrd or Isaiah Thomas.
Michael Jordan, despite all his achievements, was looked down upon.
In the 1992 USA Olympics Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen made a point to decimate Tony Kuok. These actions were taken to slight Jerry Krause for looking elsewhere for talent. Even after one NBA championship the Chicago Bulls Organization still felt there was something greater than Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen.
Similar, a personal favorite of mine Gary Vaynerchuk, sold wine for 7 years and many discounted him when he said people should pay attention to: 1. Twitter, 2. Facebook, 3. Instagram and 4. Social Media in general. Now Gary is a media icon with a reported net worth in excess of 160mm.
Many people who are not “perceived” or “recognized” as great are ridiculed, discounted, selfish and told they are no one.
YOU’RE ALWAYS SELFISH UNTIL YOU’RE NOT
Has anyone ever tried to really ask the question, “Why is wanting what’s best for me always described as selfish?”
How many people do you know right now, who would sacrifice everything to make sure you are successful? Really, count right now…I am guessing if you have a great mom, you are at like one person.
Regardless of how many people you came up with the point is no one is thinking night and day about how to make what you want a possibility. There is no one out there giving it their all to raise you to the ranks of legend.
There are people who will help you and maybe even support you…but no one will absolutely devote themselves to your desire to be great except you.
AFTER YOU’RE GREAT
When you have become great everyone wants to associate. Once greatness is achieved those marveling at wealth, status, respect turn selfish decisions into smart decisions. Stubborn is changed to certainty. The Ego to say you were always right is now Wisdom. Only thinking about yourself is admiration for commitment to “True North”.
Let’s face it.
Criticism to is the product of those not great describing an activity that does not benefit those making the comments.
True selfishness is a great person’s mistake (or desire) to involve ordinary people in a great cause. Unyielding commitment is a great person’s desire to involve other great people who willingly accept the cause.
Leaving an ordinary person behind to pursue great things is considerate not selfish.
There is nothing worse than dragging along a person, spouse or partner against their will. There is nothing worse than dragging along a person, spouse or partner who is always uncomfortable. This creates animosity, insecurity, lack of confidence and other emotional issues.
When you finally recognize the fact, you carried this person the entire way, and try to redefine the relationship it will always be met with “You only think about yourself. Why do your dreams come first and not mine? You are uncompromising, stubborn, and unyielding. You are always right. You are being selfish right now.”
Not being great is not bad. Being ordinary is nothing to look down on. Ordinary lives can be very fulfilled lives. Above average lives can be great too. Being Great does not mean as a human being you are better than everyone else. Being Great is a lifestyle choice for a certain kind of person. Being Great could be Hell on Earth for an Ordinary Person. The converse applies to Great people being Ordinary. Everyone’s hell and heaven on Earth are different. That’s the point.
Sometimes to be great it means letting go of everything that isn’t that great. Sometimes you must let go of loved ones, a childhood friend, or even a spouse. Being great means making great decisions. Great decisions always look risky until it’s in hindsight. Do not be afraid to be great.
When Michael Jordan announced his last season, the NBA could not sell enough tickets for last chance games. In fact, Michael received standing ovations at every away game he went to. Being great is sometimes mislabeled as being selfish by those who are ordinary. Do not confuse the two and do not fall under the influence of the ordinary. If you are great know it. Don’t let the plentiful ordinary wear down the few great. There’s no right or wrong here. There’s only perception. Which one is yours? Great or Ordinary?
To your knowledge success my great reader!
About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM), Master Financial Planner (MFP) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license examination. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 8.0mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com.
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