How to Achieve a Life of Excellence

More About

Author, The 2% Way, (Zondervan, 2022)

Former NFL safety for the Tennessee Titans; Rhodes Scholar recipient

Neurosurgery resident and Global Neurosurgery Fellow at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital

Founder and Chairman of the Myron L. Rolle Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the support of global health, wellness, and education; Serves as the Knight Commission on Athletics

Married to Latoya (a dentist); Four children (two sets of twins, latest set born April 21st)


Myron’s parents grew up in Nassau, Bahama. When he was three, they moved to America. His parents often told him, “Myron, your life is not your own.” His parents had scarified the familiarity of home to give him and his siblings opportunity. As a result, Myron felt he needed to excel at everything.

As a kid Myron quickly realized he was more athletically gifted than his peers. His parents and siblings believed that the idea of him playing in the NFL was more than a pipe dream. Although Myron was a gifted athlete he struggled with his identity throughout his youth. He says, “Fights were not uncommon.”

One afternoon on the bus, a white boy said a racial slur to him. The fight that followed ended with Myron in court. He was only ten years old when the judge lectured him about violence and told him to apologize to the boy and his family and he would be free to go. His dad understood why he hit the boy but pointed out that he should not let others dictate his future. Myron determined to leave his temper behind. A few weeks later, Myron gave his life to Christ. His attitude changed and he received no more suspensions for fighting in the schoolyard. 

At fourteen, Myron received a scholarship to Peddie School, a boarding academy in Highstown, New Jersey for his scholastic ability and athleticism. Many of the students at the school were wealthy and felt entitled. He had to be careful of his behavior so he did not get kicked out of school. He transferred to Hun School of Princeton after his sophomore year.

At this school he felt constantly monitored (room inspections, internet search history, etc.) when he had no behavior issues. He was also fed up with white students saying the N-word to him. So, he doubled down on his academics and football. By his senior year, he was a high school All-American. ESPN ranked him the number one high school recruit for 2006 and he received eighty-three scholarship offers (football) from Division One programs.

He chose Florida State University (FSU). “They believed in me as a Christian man of faith. They also saw me as a future Rhodes Scholar foremost and as a football player second.” It was Coach Andrews from FSU who taught Myron about the 2% Way. He helped the team see that daily, minor improvements are a tangible way to realize their full potential in football and in life. After he adopted this mentality he learned that life is not about making giant leaps which can often lead to stress and making wrong short-term decisions. 


From the age of 12, Myron was inspired by Dr. Ben Carson’s book, Gifted Hands. After he read the book, Myron kept a journal of his goals: (1) Play football in the NFL and (2) Become a neurosurgeon. He knew, “These dreams could become realities if I honored the talent God had given me.”  

In 2009, he was named a Rhodes Scholar which would allow him to study in Oxford England for eighteen months. Only thirty-two students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars each year. However, many thought he should forgo this opportunity and go on to the NFL. Some NFL teams and scouts were worried he wasn’t serious about football if he accepted the Rhodes Scholar invitation. Myron felt he could do both. “The opportunity to attend Oxford next year as a Rhodes Scholar was one that I couldn’t pass up,” shares Myron. 


Myron says, “Taking the Rhodes was the best decision I ever made.” However, it came with consequences when he came back to America. Getting back to the NFL proved to be more challenging than he realized. Some teams questioned his commitment to the game and others thought he abandoned his teammates in college when he became a Rhodes Scholar. He had to prove himself all over again on the field which he did.

Finally, in the 2010 NFL draft Myron was selected by the Tennessee Titans as the 207th pick. He played in the NFL for 5 years and retired at twenty-six so he could pursue his other dream – to become a neurosurgeon. Myron entered medical school in 2013 at Florida State. “The lessons I learned on the football field prepared me mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for the long hours and challenges that lay ahead,” reveals Myron. After graduation he was accepted into a residency program at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital.

His third year at Harvard, Myron was faced with a defining moment. A man in need of a lesionectomy (a surgical procedure to remove a lesion, or abnormality, in the brain). Myron would lead the surgical team. Doing this procedure also brought the risk of infections, stroke, coma, and death.

He spoke with the patient’s brother in the room about the risk involved. One of the men in the corner made a racial slur. He was one of only three neurosurgeons in the hospital that day. For a moment he could feel anger that he thought he’d left years ago itching to take hold of his body. Instead, Myron took a moment, regained control of his emotions, and then was faced with a decision. Myron would be completely understood by his colleagues if he chose not to be relieved of this patient and it was within his rights.

After talking over the situation with another doctor Myron decided to go ahead and perform the surgery. He wanted this man to see that it was a Black man who helped save his brother’s life. The surgery was a success. “I got 2% better at compartmentalizing my emotions when on the job, a vital bit of emotional control that surgery necessitates. I was 2 % better at understanding the pathological nature of racism.”

In 2009, Myron started the Myron L. Rolle foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the support of global health, wellness, and education, with the thought of, “What can I do to help those who are the most vulnerable. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.” The foundation focuses on the health and wellness of people. 


Myron has applied the 2% Way to his life in many areas to help him reach his goals. Some ways that Myron put the 2% Way into practice in his own life include:
•    Became a better football player by focusing on the deficit of his game. For example, he would work on improving his back pedal 2% at practice. It was an attainable goal. Over time applying the 2% Way helped him get 2% closer to the player he wanted to be, 2% closer to becoming a starter at FSU, and 2% closer to playing on Sundays in the NFL. 
•    Learned to connect with his teammates (previously regarded as the Smart Boy) by learning freestyle – searched the YouTube for popular freestyle beats and put together rhymes. Soon he had nine or ten raps ready. 
•    Selected as a Rhodes Scholar and used the 2% mentality to get through the rigorous selection process. He created a journal of goals. For example, the first item on his list was to find mentors who could aid him in the process. Another way he prepared was to practice answering interview questions each day with one of his mentors.
•    Improved each day as a Neurosurgeon resident at Harvard Mass General Hospital. For example, he improved his suturing ability and became more proficient for surgeries by practicing with a mentor, stitching together different materials, and becoming ambidextrous. 

He offers the following tips to others as they adopt this mentality: (1) Get an accountability partner; (2) Communicate your goals; (3) Set reminders on your phone in order to see your progress; (4) Write it down (where you are and where you want to be); and (4) Set check points for the 6-month mark, one-year mark, etc.


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