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Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth just broke the record a week ago Sunday for the youngest player to ever win the Masters, second only to Tiger Woods. He would have also had the record for the best score at 19 under par, but bogeyed on the last hole after missing the fairway. It can be instructive to study the attributes that have made successful people successful—and Jordan is no different. Here are some lessons we learn from this exceptional athlete.

Goals

At a young age, Jordan’s dad told him “you’ve got to start setting goals.” That’s been his philosophy since; set goals, stay focused, work hard, and reach them as soon as possible. Jordan constantly re-evaluated his goals and refused to become complacent. Since the age of 14, Jordan had made it very clear, he was going to take the Master’s title one day.

We can all learn valuable lessons from Jordan’s determination. In my experience, those who set the highest goals and actually believe in them accomplish the most. The key is to truly believe in the goals. Anyone can write down a list of goals and put them up on the fridge. I have seen small companies here in Utah accomplish outstanding things because they set high goals and truly believed in them.

Character

Perhaps more impressive than his win is Jordan’s character. He handles himself with great humility, crediting his recent win to things like a ball that landed in the fairway after hitting a tree branch by chance, shrugging off a series of birdies, and hiring a former sixth grade teacher as his caddy. Spieth attributes his down-to-earth nature to his 14-year-old autistic sister, Ellie. His sister helps him to be grateful for things we take for granted everyday and is humbled by the struggles she goes through. In addition, before the Masters, his dad reminded him that it’s just a game.

View Failures as Opportunities

As with any professional, Spieth has had his share of failures. From his years in Amateur Championships to his second-place tie in last year’s Masters, Jordan has learned from his mistakes and used them to propel forward. After his loss to Bubba Watson last year, he said it would sting until he got himself back in the same position, viewing the loss as an opportunity.

Michael Jordan, whom Jordan was named after, had a similar perspective on failure. He has been quoting as saying “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” The difference in those who finally succeed is that they kept getting back up, no matter how many times they fell.

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