“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” - Abraham Lincoln
The 1982 NCAA Division 1 Championship game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Georgetown Hoyas was one of the
best championship games ever. It was high speed, high energy and vigorously contested. No team was able to get the upper hand
for very long. North Carolina was the number one seed in the East Region. Likewise, Georgetown was the number one seed in the
West Region. These were two storied college basketball programs, with two veteran and enigmatic coaches. The Hoyas’ John
Thompson and the Tar Heels’ Dean Smith were legends in their own time. Each team had their share of superstars. Georgetown had
young Jamaican born powerhouse Patrick Ewing at center and Eric “Sleepy” Floyd at guard. North Carolina had the future National
Championship Most Valuable Player James Worthy and a young Michael Jordan. There were fifteen lead changes during the game.
With one minute left, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd hit a jumper to put the Hoyas up by one. North Carolina called a time out. The Tar Heels drove
down the court. After several passes, they worked the ball to Michael Jordan on the left side of the court. With seventeen seconds left,
Michael Jordan took and made the jumper. The Tar Heels would go on to win by one point. This shot would be the first of many to
come. Michael Jordan would come to epitomize success. Not only would he personify success in moments like this, he would
represent excellence and success on a level never seen before. It would not stop there. Michael Jordan would continue to rise to the
occasion, taking and making multiple game winning shots from that point on. His individual success in the playoffs is unparalleled.
His scoring prowess aside, his ability to perform when it counted was unprecedented.
In basketball history, Michael Jordan is as successful as they come. To this day, he is an icon. His basketball prowess astounds us
and his success peaks our curiosity. We want to know what made him so successful. We are interested in what made him so
different, and what made him take and make so many game winning shots? This curiosity does not only apply to Michael Jordan and
his success pursuit, it also applies to us. We want to know if we can be successful. We want to uncover the attributes and
characteristics that enable success. If we can uncover these characteristics, we can gain insight into our own success pursuit. This is
the fundamental premise that compelled me to write this book. I wanted to determine if there truly is a blueprint for success. It has
been a passion of mine to understand what makes some people more successful than others. As human beings, we are always
struggling to find out what makes us tick. Better yet, we want to discern what makes us tick well. What made Michael Jordan the best
basketball player in history? How did Jerry Rice become one of the greatest football players of all time? Why was Barry Sanders so
great? What made Reggie Miller such a clutch shooter? Why were these people and people like them able to perform at such a high
At first, the answer to this question seems too difficult to answer. There are so many variables to consider. Is success a result of a
specific mix of genes, nurturing and environment? Is it a combination of luck, timing and circumstance? Society teaches us that each
successful person is unique. They are anomalies, prodigies and outliers. We assume they are from a particular pedigree and are
rarely reproducible. We say to one another. “There will never be another Michael Jordan.” We consider them one in a million. There
will always be certain people who have the ability to outperform others. Some companies thrive, while others fail. Some athletes
always outclass their competition. Most of us believe that outperformers are successful, primarily because of talent. It must be pure
unadulterated talent. Successful people must have more talent than unsuccessful counterparts. They must be smarter. They must be
faster. They must jump higher. They must sing better. They must have better business sense. They must make better decisions.
They must be luckier. They must have had the right parents and gone to the right schools. They must have had the right coaches and
teachers. They must have been in the right place at the right time. We assume that under the right conditions, success finds them.
It is common to assume that successful people have had a specific set of circumstances that miraculously resulted in their success.
You have heard it a million times. If I were in that situation, I would be successful too. Extraordinary and ordinary people feel locked in
static gridlock, never having the ability to change their caste. It must be fate, which anoints the successful. Does circumstance leave
the rest of us to wallow in mediocrity? At times, the search for the success formula seems so nebulous and ill defined. We are always
looking for a blueprint, a roadmap or a plan that we can follow. As I thought about it more and more, it hit me. Successful people do
have consistent qualities and characteristics. They actually follow a specific process. They pursue excellence in a unique and
consistent way. It is not about who they are. It is about what they do and how they do it. It is not about where they are from. It is about
where they are going. It is not just about their consistent characteristics. It is about their consistent methods. Their ability to navigate
the road of success depends on a unique approach. That is not to say there is only one way to succeed. I would be naïve to think that
there is only one approach, but I wrote this book to give you a little more insight into a specific method of success acquisition.
Successful people are different, because of the reproducible behaviors that they exhibit. They are not born with success. They go out
and get it. Reading this book may not transform you into Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan or Barry Sanders. However, reading it will help you
understand a slightly different way to pursue success. It will help you apply these successful behaviors to all aspects of your life. It will
help you begin to develop your road map for success. It will help you understand the relationship between success and failure.
Although success can mean different things to different people, the road to get there is eerily similar. Successful people may be from
different places and have different experiences, but they pursue success in the same consistent way. If you were to examine one
hundred babies, would you know which ones would be successful? Could you anticipate their future behaviors? Based on their
genetics, socioeconomic status and family dynamics, could you forecast their success?
We can learn so much about success pursuit by observing successful people. By paying close attention to their behavior, we can
determine the consistent values and characteristics they exhibit. More importantly, we can determine what they do. The more I
observed, the more I learned that they all employ the same consistent process. Phenomenal talent and extraordinary work ethic did
not explain it all. It is not that simple. It is not simply one skill, attribute or characteristic. It is much more than that. Do not get me
wrong, most successful people do have talent. Most of them do have a particularly strong work ethic. However, talent and work ethic
are not always enough. There are people with tremendous talent who are far from successful. Some talent is necessary, but it may
not be as important as you would expect. Similarly, good work ethic does not always guarantee success either.
I often tell this story about hard work. We hired a general contractor to build our second house. We did not have as much money as
we needed to make it our dream home, but we wanted to make it as nice as possible. As my mother always says, “we were building a
home with champagne taste on a beer budget.” We built the house on a lot with views of a lake. As they were framing the house, I
noticed that the view was not quite right. Instead of looking at the lake head on, the house was at an angle. I had to fix that. I wanted to
have a perfect view of the lake. I could not afford to have the house ripped down and rebuilt from scratch. What did I do? I tried to push
it. Yes, you read correctly. I tried to push it! I braced myself, knees slightly bent, muscles rippling and I pushed. For ten minutes in the
hot sun, I pushed. I pushed and pushed and pushed. In spite of all that fanatical effort, the house did not move. Ok, I am exaggerating
a bit, but you get my point. I was unhappy with the position of the house and no amount of pushing on my part would change that. I
could spend all day and night pushing, with absolutely no results and absolutely no success. All that fanatical effort resulted in no
tangible result. This happens to a lot of us. We can work frenetically, but that work may not always yield tangible results. The Antarctic
explorer Ernest Shackleton probably said it best. “Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.”
In this book, you will explore a theory developed after observing, analyzing and researching some of the most successful people of our
time. I will share this theory of success with you, so you can maximize your talents and hard work. This theory will provide a road map
that we can all follow. After reading this book, you will have a better understanding of how and why successful people are able to
achieve at such a high level. You will find out what they think, what they do and how they do it. You will gain a new perspective on how
they view the world. Ultimately, we all want to know if ordinary people can perform at an extraordinary level. You want to know how you
can be more successful. This theory has applications that are broad, extensive and can improve our everyday lives. You will gain a
better understanding of what is necessary for you to pursue excellence and achieve your success. As you learn the theory outlined in
this book, you should begin thinking about how it applies to all aspects of your life. You should be asking yourself these questions.
“How can I apply it to my business, my family or my team? How can I become a better parent, a better athlete, a better executive, a
better employee, a better coach or a better spouse?” This is not your standard, run of the mill, infomercial structured treatise on
success. Maniacal Fanaticism is an entirely new theory that will begin to change the way you perceive your ability to succeed. Be
prepared to think in an entirely new and unprecedented way. Instead of waiting for success to find you, use this theory to go out and
find it. That some achieve great success, should be proof that you can achieve it as well.