Michael Jordan is the GOAT of basketball. Not many can argue against the combination of individual and team success that MJ enjoyed. He came into the league and developed into a ridiculous scorer, averaging over 37 points per game in his 3rd season. This continued throughout the years, and he eventually managed to translate his dominance to team success in the 1990s.
The crux of what made Jordan who he was is something many have debated. There have been books written about his life and shows made about it, all trying to understand what exactly made him the phenomenon that he was. And the answer the man himself has always given is his mentality. Jordan used to give defenders nightmares, just ask Vernon Maxwell, and it was because of his obsessive need to win.
In an interview with GQ as early as 1989, when MJ still hadn't won his first championship, he spoke about his mentality. He explained how he approaches battles on the court, and his own words provide more insight into the man he was than anything else can.
"When I'm on my game, I don't think there's anybody that can stop me. It's a strong feeling, and it has strong implications: Once I get the ball, you're at my mercy. There's nothing you can say or do about it. I own the ball, I own the game, I own the guy guarding me: I can actually play him like a puppet. I don't do that in life, I don't do that in society. But in a game—when I'm on—yes."
The desire to make your opponent submit is the sort of instinct that most people and players just don't have. It's not surprising coming from Michael Jordan, though, there aren't many people in history that have been as competitive as him. Ultimately, this same attitude is the one that made him so ridiculously successful, though, so perhaps it's something that most people can try to incorporate a little in their lives.