The Last Dance: Life lessons

It has been more than a week since the last 2 episodes of the 10-part series ‘The Last Dance’ aired, chronicling the Chicago Bulls multiple championships won in the 1990s with primary focus on Michael Jordan’s journey to greatness. Now that the dust has settled down a bit here are some thoughts. I had watched the last 2 championships won by the Bulls against worthy opponents, the Utah Jazz, which were very well fought and absolutely riveting to watch. After watching those triumphs it appeared that Mr Jordan was capable of rising from deathbed to win against the strongest teams, so strong was his will to win. Watching ‘The Last Dance’ just reinforced that feeling. While I love sports I don’t look at sporting greats as anything more than human beings with highly developed skill in their trade/profession. Beyond that if there is anything positive it’s a bonus. Fascinating as it was to watch how it started and unfolded, for me the most significant part were life lessons learned watching the episodes. Below are some of them, a mix of positive and negative, not in any specific order of importance

1) Being blessed with transcendent talent means nothing if it’s not allied with burning desire to excel and work hard
2) Succeeding in team sport requires understanding role and importance of teammates and reposing trust in them
3) Many of us are Scottie Pippens in a way: underappreciated, undervalued and have to be prepared for the possibility of employers letting us go
4) Caring parents willing to offer sincere and sensible counsel helps in keeping one grounded and focused on the task at hand. MJ’s parents came across as decent, cultured, classy folks with a big role in his success. His mom forced a reluctant MJ to listen to Nike’s pitch which has resulted in MJ laughing all his way to bank ever since and Jordan Sr was a regular presence at Bulls’ practice sessions staying back afterwards to offer kind words of encouragement and support to the team after practice
5) One can get away with bad behavior if it’s perceived as coming from a winner with ultimate intent to improve and win
6) Success in one area of life is no guarantee for success everywhere else
7) Success extracts its own price like broken relationships, personal tragedies
8) If having a chip on the shoulder helps provide motivation to succeed in some aspect of life carrying it forever makes one come across as a small person
9) Living in the moment, unaffected by past failures and worries about future, is key to success
10) Some exceptional talents need to be given more freedom and do things their own way for them to give their best and succeed
11) Persons considered winners get to write/rewrite history from their own perspective which may not reflect full reality. Unvarnished truth is not always attractive and more difficult to sell 🙏

Author: Rajaram 'Raj' Gopalan

Hi All, Welcome to my home in cyberspace! You can call me Raj. Feel free to explore, discuss, comment and most importantly have a good time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s