I was saddened by Kobe Bryant's death earlier this year, along with his daughter Gianna, the pilot and the other 6 people on the helicopter. They were all gone too soon and too suddenly. My deepest condolences to their families, friends and loved ones.
I wasn't a LA Lakers fan and didn't watch basketball during the time Kobe played. He was a guest on a podcast I love and that's where I learned about him. He loved his family, his sport and put 110% into everything he did. Through the quarantine I had an opportunity to read his book - The Mamba Mentality where he discusses his dedication to basketball and how he played.
The Mamba Mentality is a mindset that focuses on the process and journey of getting a result, but it doesn't end once you achieve the result. It's a lifestyle that requires that mentality in all aspects of life. #mambamentality#kobebryant#restinpeace
His book is a beautiful coffee table fixture, with glossy pages, short paragraphs and great pictures. I spent a week looking through the photos and reading the text. There were so many great tidbits of information and I needed time to digest the content. It's not quite chronological and jumps around a lot. The first nugget that caught my attention was that Kobe had no fear when it came to basketball. "I wasn't scared of missing, looking bad, or being embarrassed." He was focused on his end goal and what he needed to do to get there, even if he didn't look good doing it when he started. He knew he had to try something new if he wanted to add skills to his toolkit.
"A lot of people say they want to be great, but they're not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out. That's totally fine. After all, greatness is not for everyone."
I love this quote so much. I think people discount the amount of time, effort and sacrifice it takes to reach success in any area of life - career, relationship, hobbies, family, health etc. The media glamourizes "overnight success", but really there is no such thing. Those who achieve greatness have been working for years, if not decades to get to that level. A key thing he mentions is the sacrifice his family and friends had to make to help him get to where he is. That it also took a team of people to help him achieve his greatness.
"Playing with other great players was fun". Kobe talks about playing on the national team and how he could focus on whatever he wanted to because he knew that his teammates would focus on their areas of expertise. This is so key. My favourite workplaces and teams have always been the ones where I worked with people who were exceptional at their jobs. I learned so much for them and was able to do my job better and without worry because everyone on my team was working just as hard.
"I liked challenging people and making them uncomfortable. That's what leads to introspection and that's what leads to improvement. You could say I dared people to be their best selves". This is so bold. It's easy to get comfortable with life and what you have achieved and lose the drive to continue to work hard and achieve more, but Kobe never did and encouraged others as well.
"The OG greats, though won't hang around you if you don't display the same passion as they do. They won't share their time and memories with you if you don't display the same effort and drive for excellence that they did." This couldn't be more true. We might not all be OG greats but we are all good at something. In our areas of greatness we look for others with a similar mindset, interest and drive. Those are the people we want to spend time with.
Kobe's keys to Success
Genuine curiosity: He asked a lot of questions to learn more about the game and how to be a better player.
Studious: He studied the game and his opponents regularly through watching tapes of play. He looked at pictures of his game play and found ways to improve his posture, position and approach.
Preparation: He prepared for every game. Walking through the arena, the warm up and what he would do on the bus. He had a routine to set himself up for success.
Mamba mentality: He had a "killer" mindset where he challenged himself and his teammates.
Grounded: He was humble and always worked hard, even when he already achieved great success.
Although The Mamba Mentality has a strong focus on the technical aspects of basketball. I did find it to be an interesting and worthwhile read. I enjoyed learning more about Kobe's approach to the game and the tips he shares with all of us on implementing the #mambamentality in our own lives.