60 Michael Jordan Quotes to Inspire You and Lift You Up

This post may contain affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.


michael jordan quotes

Michael Jordan isn’t only one of the best basketball players ever to play the game, but was also one of the world’s top athletes. All that experience on the basketball court and as a successful business person has inspired some pretty inspirational quotes.

The purpose of these quotes is to inspire you, motivate you, and help you see that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Sometimes, we all need a little inspiration, and these Michael Jordan quotes are the perfect pick-me-up.

60 Michael Jordan Quotes

  1. “I realized that if I was going to achieve anything in life, I had to be aggressive. I had to get out go there and for it.”
  2. “I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me. Failure always made me try harder the next time.”
  3. “The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”
  4. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
  5. “If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Never quit!”
  6. “Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.”
  7. “Failure is acceptable, but not trying is a whole different ballpark.”
  8. “It’s heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody. My job was to go out there and play the game of basketball as best I can. People may not agree with that. I can’t live with what everyone’s impression of what I should or what I shouldn’t do.”
  9. “Heart is what separates the good from the great.”
  10. “There is no such thing as a perfect basketball player, & I don’t believe there is only one greatest player either.”
  11. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
  12. “I believe greatness is an evolutionary process that changes and evolves era to era.”
  13. “When I will lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player, it’s time for me to move away from the game.”
  14. “My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.”
  15. “I built my talents on the shoulders of someone else’s talent.”
  16. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  17. “Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”
  18. “Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
  19. “I’ve never lost a game, I just ran out of time.”
  20. “Be true to the game because the game will be true to you. If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. That’s truly about the game, and in some ways, that’s about life too.”
  21. “You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.”
  22. “Being Michael Jordan means acting the same as I always have.”
  23. “I hope the millions of people I’ve touched have the optimism and desire to share their goals and hard work and perseverance with a positive attitude.”
  24. “In college, I never realized the opportunities available to a pro athlete. I’ve been given the chance to meet all kinds of people, to travel and expand my financial capabilities, to get ideas and learn about life, to create a world apart from basketball.”
  25. “Even when I’m old and gray, I won’t be able to play it, but I’ll still love the game.”
  26. “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
  27. “Don’t let them drag you down by rumors; just go with what you believe in.”
  28. “Every time I feel tired while I am exercising and training, I close my eyes to see that picture, to see that list with my name. This usually motivates me to work again.”
  29. “If it turns out that my best wasn’t good enough, at least I won’t look back and say I was afraid to try.”
  30. “The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals, and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.”
  31. “Best evaluation I can make of a player is to look in his eyes and see how scared they are.”
  32. “My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said you never know what you can accomplish until you try.”
  33. “For a competitive junkie like me, golf is a great solution because it smacks you in the face every time you think you’ve accomplished something. That, to me, has taken over a lot of the energy and competitiveness for basketball.”
  34. “It’s absolutely wrong that I don’t want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren’t in the room.”
  35. “To be successful, you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate.”
  36. “If you do the work you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.”
  37. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
  38. “The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.”
  39. “I would tell players to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus.”
  40. “Sometimes you need to get hit in the head to realize that you’re in a fight.”
  41. “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”
  42. “My challenge when I came back was to face the young talent, to dissect their games, and show them maybe that they needed to learn more about the game than just the money aspect.”
  43. “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”
  44. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
  45. “I play to win, whether during practice or a real game.”
  46. “I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”
  47. “You can practice shooting 8 hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down, and the level of everything you do will rise.”
  48. “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”
  49. “If I had been playing for money I would have complained a long time ago that I was underpaid.”
  50. “Do I need my number retired throughout the course of the league to acknowledge what I’ve done? No.”
  51. “I want to be perceived as a guy who played his best in all facets, not just scoring. A guy who love challenges.”
  52. “I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
  53. “The key to success is failure.”
  54. “I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot… When you think about the consequences, you will always think of the negative result.”
  55. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”
  56. “Winning isn’t always championships.”
  57. “Learning’s a gift, even when pain is your teacher.”
  58. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
  59. “There is no “I” in team, but there is in win.”
  60. “I want to wake up every day and do whatever comes in my mind, and not feel pressure or obligations to do anything else in my life.”

What can we learn from these Michael Jordan quotes?

You can learn so much from these Michael Jordan quotes! First, you can see that Michael Jordan was very driven and motivated. He always strived to be the best at whatever he did, and this is something that we can all learn from. Secondly, you can see that Jordan was also a very humble person. He always gave credit to his teammates and opponents, and this is something that we can all learn from as well. Finally, you can see that Jordan was always looking to improve and learn from his failures. We can all learn from this, and it is a great reminder that failure is not the end but rather a stepping stone to success.

How to put these quotes to use in your life

There are many ways that you can put these Michael Jordan quotes to use in your life. The main thing is to take away the lessons Jordan is trying to teach and apply them to our lives. If you are feeling down or discouraged, read through these quotes and let them inspire you to keep going. If you face a challenge, use these quotes to motivate you to overcome it.

Michael Jordan learned quite a bit as he became the champion we all know him to be. So, what will you do with the knowledge you can glean from his words of wisdom? The sky is the limit, so start reaching for the stars today!

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Website | + posts

Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.