Earl Manigault was a street basketballer from the 1950’s and 60’s who was given the nickname “the Goat.”  The Goat stands for “Greatest of All-Time” and is a description of his extraordinary talents.

Standing only 6’1″, the Goat’s legendary accomplishments include:

  • The ability to touch the top of a basketball backboard to remove dollar bills with his 52 inch vertical leap.
  • The ability to “double-dunk,” meaning that he could dunk a ball, catch it with his left hand, switch it to his right and dunk it again in the same jump, all without hanging on the rim.
  • When all-time NBA leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired and was asked who the best player he had played against, he replied, “That would have to be the Goat.”

Despite his remarkable talents, Manigault struggled in high school, never went to college, became addicted to heroin, spent time in prison and never went on to play professional basketball at any level.  He died age 52, from a heart that was severely weakened by years of drug abuse.

The so-called greatest of all time became the greatest that never was.

It’s a tragic tale that reminds us that talent is never enough to become successful.

It takes discipline, hard work and a focus on long-term gratification to maximise our natural abilities.

Our graveyards are full of people like the goat.  Individuals who had remarkable talents that were never fulfilled.

Don’t let that be you.

Don’t be tempted to live a lesser life than one you are capable of.

Don’t get distracted by short-term options that will hold you back.

Don’t listen to those who are afraid of greatness.

Whatever you do, don’t be a goat.

Be the best version of yourself.

Keep learning and growing.

Set ambitious goals and put the work in to achieve them.

Don’t become a reminder of what might have been.  Be a reminder of what’s possible.

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