Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

The Theme of Be the Best You Can Be in Michael Jordan’s Autobiography Driven from Within

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In Michael Jordan's auto-biography "Driven from Within", he tells his life story throughout his basketball career and the journey he went through to get there. Jordan provides detail and advice that he lived by and what carried him to his success. The main theme in the book is simply "be the best you can be". Almost all the advice he gave throughout the book seems to lead back to this and it isn't a surprise since Michael Jordan ended up being the best at what he did. Picture this, you are running a marathon and you're just only a 1⁄4 mile away from finishing but that voice in your head is telling you to give up and just accept failure.

This is what Jordan referred to as "mind tricks" and thoughts like this will ultimately stop you from achieving anything. "The mind will play tricks on you. The mind was telling you that you couldn't go any further. The mind was telling you how much it hurts. The mind was telling you these things to keep you from reaching your goal. But you have to see past that, turn it all off if you are going to get where you want to be" (Jordan 178). This is simply Jordan's way of basically saying to have positive thoughts and if anything just motivate you when things get harder.

All of this leads back to "be the best you can be" because when you motivate yourself, it will lead to improvement and improvement will lead to being the best. When we think of the professional athletes, no matter the sport, we may picture them being this flawless, perfect person who probably doesn't even know what the word failure means. However, Michael "Air" Jordan himself admitted to failure, "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" (Jordan 203).

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When it comes to failures, this is what makes up success. When it comes from an athlete like Michael Jordan, you know that this is true. In the long run, failure is what makes you better; in fact it makes you "be the best you can be". I'm sure we are all used to looking up to that one person that we want to be whether, it is an athlete, a celebrity or some guy off the street. Yes sure, it could be used as motivation and a starting point on what you want to be. However, sometimes you have to step away from that person and focus on being the best you, "It's a lot harder to become the best you can be when you're focused on trying to be the best version of someone else.

There's nothing authentic in that, and if it's not authentic, then it's not going to last" (Jordan 42). I like how Jordan used the word "authentic", it's something that is genuine, not some old copy. Sure there tons of people looking up to Michael Jordan but who wants another copy when we can have another original. Why would you want to be called "The new Michael Jordan" when you can just be known as something new.

This all adds up to theme, “be the best you can be❞ and when you want to be the best you can be, most importantly be yourself. In the end, "Driven from Within" was more of a book of wisdom and advice than it was a biography. Michael Jordan's advice stressed on improvement and dedication, he stressed on being the best throughout his whole life. Jordan ended up with several championships, awards and fame all because he kept to his own advice to "be the best you can be". Jordan started from the bottom and rose to the top with the steps he created to become the best. The best Michael Jordan became ended up being one of the best in the NBA and this is why he is considered a legend on the courts, not only for his performance in the sport but also his intelligence and attitude towards the game.

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