Michael Jordan lost many backyard basketball games to his older brother Larry. Over and over again young Michael tried to "play up" to his older brother. And although he often lost, Michael played better against his brother than against his peers.
Then, as a Freshman at the University of North Carolina, he tried to "play up" as a starter with four older players. He "played up" so well that he hit the game winning shot for the National Championship against Georgetown.
MJ kept getting better as he played against people better than him through 20 years of his life.
I know a little how he felt. I grew up with foster brothers who liked to play me for an easy win in a basketball game.
Later on my much older brother-in-laws and uncle would pound on me relentlessly in the hot New York sun.
I don't remember beating any male relatives in basketball until I was about 13. By then I had "played up" so often that I was considered the best player in my grade.
We become better (play up) with better competition and associations. Likewise we become worse (play down) with weaker associations and competition.
In order to improve our lives we need to surround ourselves with people who cause us to play up. Playing up or down depends on who we associate with. Go find some people much better than you and spend time with them.
- Name one person in your life who is economically stable
- How can you spend more time with her/ him?
Thankfully I have often played up in life because of people like Melissa D., Travis M., Mike A., Craig P., Bob I., Mrs. Sharp, my parents, sisters, and many others in NY, Utah and Florida. Thanks to those who have helped me play up!
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)