You don't often come across a larger than life personality but when you do, its more than apparent. A natural born leader and achiever who is, and makes others feel like, they're capable of achieving their greatest dreams. Perhaps the best example of a person like this from our times is none other than the Goat him self, the Mamba, Kobe Bryant. Kobe was an inspiration to many and a keystone of hard work and dedication. He worked his way to the top of the league, going head to head with greats like Jordan despite his younger age. Despite his unfortunate passing, his legacy lives on through the examples he set for us regarding principles of hard work, courage and strength. In this article, we honour his legacy and carry forward these examples by looking at some of the great lessons he's left us with to help us win at life and live to our own fullest potentials.
1. Get Better Every Single Day
The name of the game is consistency, not intensity. Although Kobe was known for his insane intensity when it came to the game both on and off court, poeple often overlook the role consistency plays in his success and the success of many other greats. The concept of getting slightly better every day which is used by somany top performers can be called compounding and is essentially when a 1% increases which is made daily compounds into a lot over time. Just a single percent improvement made every single day turns into exponential growth and if done consistently for long enough will yield some serious gains, whether that's in the gym, in a sport, learning a language or even playing an instrument.
2. Work on You Weakness
Working on your weaknesses sucks, just ask anyone with small calves. Its so easy to fall into the loop of hyper focusing on our strengths and using them as easy gratification but this can lead us to completely overlooking and under training our weaknesses. Our weaknesses can be seen as limiting factors in achieving our goals and if extra effort isn't put into improving them, they can very quickly stop you from achieving your goal. Its an important and key practice to regularly assess what factors you need to achieve your goals and which of those factors are already on par and which ones need to be further improved.
An example of this can be looked at in the context of weight loss. If your goal is to loose a few pounds, the factors required to achieve this goal are nutrition, training and recovery. For some people, nutrition and training may come relatively easy. They'll have no problem sticking to their diet and getting to the gym. But once it comes to recovery, they just cant seem to get it right. Lets say their specific problem is falling asleep. Although they can make some progress through just training and good nutrition and ignoring their poor sleep, their lack of sleep will eventually mess with their results and can even derail their nutrition and training. In this case it would make sense to invest extra time into learning and practicing principles of good sleep hygiene. If you do happen to have this problem, we suggest reading our blog on sleep called: Optimizing Sleep for a Long Healthy Life.
3. Learn From Greatness
This is ironic coming from someone we consider greatness himself, but Kobe was not one to shy away from learning from his competition and people in the position he wanted to be in. All effective action start with correct knowledge and what better source of knowledge from than someone who has accomplished what we want to accomplish to the highest degree. Learning from experts is a great way to accelerate your progress. Often times, a lot of people who have accomplished and excelled at a hard goal have gone through an a lot of trial and error. They've been met with hurdles and had to figure out how to overcome those hurdles. Learning directly from them, whether in the form of a conversation, a book or a youtube video, can help you see and overcome those same hurdles before they even slow you down.
If we look at this in the context of our weight loss example from the previous point, you may look up to someone who has undergone a serious weight loss transformation and maintained that for a long time. Maybe someone like David Goggins. David Goggins has actually released a book on mental toughness called "Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds" which covers a lot of the mental hurdles and mindset shifts he had to make to change who he was and to change his body. Incase you haven't read the book, we highly recommend you do, no matter what your goals are!
4. Practice Mindfulness
As driven and focused on the ball as Kobe may have seemed, he also understood the importance of slowing down and calming the mind. Having a calm mind is something he often prioritized and practiced through meditation. Having a calm balanced mind is the first step to analyzing any situation and making sound decisions and this is especially important when it comes making progress towards a goal. A good mindfulness practice can help avoid distractions like sugary food while on a diet, it can increase will power in moments where you feel too tired to make it to the gym and can even help you analyze what about your game plan is and inst working and how it needs to be changed.
5. Don't be Afraid to Fail
Last but definitely not least of Kobe's wisdoms is shifting your perspective on failure. This is possibly the most important lesson, not only in this article, but in life in general. The willingness to try and to fail is the prerequisite to doing anything great. Kobe embodied this mindset seen by his willingness to challenge anyone in the league, no matter how intimidating their reputation. Although failing sucks, as Kobe often did early in his career, failure is the only way to learn and grow as a person and as someone trying to accomplish a goal. Whether it be fitness, business or an intellectual pursuit, failure is the number one creator of success.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the number 1 thing that led to Kobe's success was his dedication. His willingness to play to the end and do whatever it took to make it to the top was truly admirable. Although most of us wont go on to become one of the best players in the history of the NBA, we can all use the principles and keys he left us to unlock our full potentials and achieve all our greatest goals!