From juvenile court to neurosurgeon, NFL player reveals the critical turning point in his life

By | January 24, 2023

Myron Rolle is relatively young, yet he has worn—and wears—multiple hats. This accomplished man is an elite athlete, a Rhodes scholar, a humanitarian, and a neurosurgery resident at Harvard.

The 35-year-old former NFL has had to face many difficulties, tackle insecurities, and deal with self-worth issues in his life. But one thing that helped him succeed was taking everything 2% at a time.

Taking small steps allows Myron to break down seemingly daunting tasks, making them more achievable.

Myron has shared his journey of self-improvement in his upcoming book, “The 2% Way: How a Philosophy of Small Improvements Took Me to Oxford, the NFL, and Neurosurgery.”

In the book set to be released on May 17, Myron opened up about his life philosophy and the secret behind his incredible success.

“You have small wins every single day, and then a month from now, two months from now, a year from now, you say, look how much better I’ve gotten, and look how much more I’ve improved,” he explained to People.

Myron was born in Texas and raised in southern New Jersey by his immigrant parents, who originally hail from Nassau, Bahamas. He is the youngest of three boys.

When he was 11 years old, Myron got into a physical altercation that would become the turning point in his life.

“I had a huge temper, and I beat up a kid because he called me the N-word,” he recalled. “The pivot point for me was standing in that courtroom in front of that judge and having him admonish me for beating up this kid so badly that he had to get medical treatment for his injury.”

Myron feared that his family would be deported back to the Bahamas because of his misbehavior. At the time, he was almost put into juvenile detention, and that experience gave him an important lesson he would carry forever.

Myron went on to earn scholarships to two prep schools in New Jersey and became a top-rated recruit at Florida State University. In his senior year, he studied at Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar.

The 2% strategy isn’t Myron’s idea—he learned it from his football coach at FSU, Mickey Andrews.

“He wanted us to make these small tangible, practical goals of improvement every single day and would challenge us to get 2 percent better — for example, in our back peddling, our ability to tackle, our ability to catch the ball,” he explained.

“And then when we got off the field, he’d actually go into the locker room and write on the board: Myron Rolle. “Did he get 2 percent better?” he continued. “It helped keep me accountable, and I extrapolated that ideology for life.”

In 2010, Myron was drafted by the NFL to play for the Tennessee Titans and then the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he was cut off from the Steelers after three years.

Myron felt he could have played football for another eight to 10 years and struggled with coming to terms with his career suddenly ending.

But he remembered his 2 percent way of life, which helped him overcome this adversity and transition from sports to medical school.

Following his life philosophy, Myron took things one step at a time. He took the Medical College Admission Test, spoke to neurosurgeons, visited his pastor, and prayed. These small steps helped him get accepted to medical school.

Today, Myron is a fifth-year neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School.

His success has also inspired him to give back to the community. In 2021, Myron founded the Caribbean Neurosurgery Foundation to help provide private funding for neurological surgery research and training in Caribbean nations.

Myron’s wife, Latoya, is a pediatric dentist. The couple shares two sets of twins: Zora, Zayed, Zanzi, and Zafar.

Myron said it was Latoya who encouraged him to write his new book.

“I think we wanted to make this book one where you can find yourself in my story, in my journey, and then take from it the 2 percent way process of improving yourself, edifying yourself daily, and mitigating some of those challenges we all face,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat.

The book provides an intimate look into Myron’s mental inner workings during his most challenging moments, including his self-doubt, insecurities, family issues, workplace challenges, and spiritual dilemmas.

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