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“Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.” [Magic Johnson]

Cory To’o works hard. In dance and rehearsal studios. At music festivals. Airport terminals and shopping centres… 

If there’s enough space around him to do a freaky jump, flip, kick or turn, he’ll do it.

It’s what you do when your goal is to be awesome.

cory too

[Cory To'o. Photo by Sean Higgins]

Cory is awesome and I definitely want to do what Cory can. Granted, there’s a chance that I’ll never be able to do an upside down six o’clock split, but it doesn’t matter. My own goal is to be better than I was yesterday. It’s a bloody good goal, because there’s no way to fail. If you have an off day, there’s always tomorrow.

And it’s the same goal as Michael Jordan’s. He did pretty well.

“I approach everything step by step....I had always set short-term goals. As I look back, each one of the steps or successes led to the next one. When I got cut from the varsity team as a sophomore in high school, I learned something. I knew I never wanted to feel that bad again....So I set a goal of becoming a starter on the varsity. That’s what I focused on all summer.  When I worked on my game, that’s what I thought about.  When it happened, I set another goal, a reasonable, manageable goal that I could realistically achieve if I worked hard enough....I guess I approached it with the end in mind.  I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there. As I reached those goals, they built on one another. I gained a little confidence every time I came through. 

“Take those small steps. Otherwise you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of frustration. Where would your confidence come from if the only measure of success was becoming a doctor? If you tried as hard as you could and didn’t become a doctor, would that mean your whole life was a failure? Of course not. 

“All those steps are like pieces of a puzzle. They all come together to form a picture....Not everyone is going to be the greatest....But you can still be considered a success....Step by step, I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.”


From I Can’t Accept Not Trying:  Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence, published by HarperSanFrancisco.

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” [Babe Ruth]