During my schooling days, my friends and I were obsessed with basketball. We would play under the scorching sun, before and after school sessions, during break time, whenever we can. We even got into trouble with the teachers for it, sometimes.
It was a big part of our schooling life. And we were always talking about basketball moves, NBA games and its players. One of the players we idolise was Kobe Bryant. He was the Michael Jordan of our era. During that time, it was all about his championships, his dunks, game winning shots and skills. But as I grew, I noticed that it wasn’t basketball or any other sport isn’t all about winning or points scored. Basketball to me is life, itself.
Kobe Bryant. An inspiration and motivation.
What made the players who they are or were, their road to success, their behind the scene stories. Such elements are what made the NBA finals, game wins, championships and basketball so meaningful. So, the few things that I have learnt from witnessing Kobe Bryant and his basketball career since I was 15 years old (which I find useful in my life outside of basketball).
Identifying our ultimate passion
Kobe Bryant was extremely passionate about basketball at the age of six. I believe, we need to love what we do to be and it will lead to greatness. Yes, it is a very popular belief and it is very true. Passion is the seed of success and happiness.
Some of us sacrifice our true passion for a typical 9 to 5 job to earn ourselves a living. Some of us don’t even know what our true passion is. And then, there are some that, despite the circumstances and naysayers, follow their heart and go the unconventional way in search of their own success. There will be risks, doubts and failures but we have a choice.
Regardless of the result of following our passion, we can decide to try or leave it as it is, without knowing at all how things would turn out. It all starts with a little spark called passion.
Having an ultimate dream/goal
Kobe Bryant dreamt of winning multiple NBA championships. At 18, he skipped college and went straight to the NBA. We need to have goals to be achieved in our life. We want to do things that holds certain meaning to ourselves.
Be it working for charity, starting a business, teaching or travelling the world. Anything that we hold value. If not, life would seem directionless. There would be close to no point in living. All goals are not necessarily meant to be reached. We will end up where we are supposed to and never forget the journey.
Dedication to make things work
Kobe Bryant dedicated 20 years of his life to basketball. Long hour practices, playing with multiple injuries, carrying his team to victory by himself. Having a passion and a dream is not enough. There needs to be an enormous amount of dedication to make it work. As mentioned, following our true passion can be extremely challenging. Hence, we need to be strong-willed and be prepared to go through hardships to realise our goals.
Kobe Bryant sacrificed his teenage life to be the best at basketball. While everyone his age (at that time) was going to college, completing assignments and hanging out, Kobe Bryant was already facing Michael Jordan. To stick with what we have decided and believe, we are required to make sacrifices.
In general, we make sacrifices in our daily lives. We ponder on what’s best for us and then we decide. It is a matter of if we believe that it is a worthy sacrifice or not.
Developing the right mentality
Kobe Bryant is known for his ruthless mentality on the court and insane work ethic. In 2013, he encountered a career-ending Achilles injury but fought his way back. One of the driving force that determines our success is our very own mentality. The time will come when our inner voice is challenged due to the extreme struggles we face. When it comes, we need to be careful of how we think. This is because, as we think, we will become. And it is why elements such as self-confidence, motivation and faith is vital. Our mental state will either break us or keep us going.
Practicing beneficial habit
Kobe Bryant wanted to learn from the best as soon as he went into the NBA. His habits of constantly asking for advice and mimicking Michael Jordan’s play is part of what made him who he is. A basketball legend. Hence, habits are the building blocks to reach our goal, to become who we want to be.
We need to pinpoint in detail, what needs to be done that can enable us to be great. Good habits are often hard to follow and we tend to easily give up on in. Bad habits on the other hand, take no time for us to settle in. However, if you think of it, adapting to habits take time and once we are accustomed to it, it will be second nature. There is also a requirement of discipline.
All in all, until now, Kobe Bryant remains an inspiration and motivation to me. He is greatness personified and my reminder to keep fighting when I have my back on the wall in life.
Kobe Bryant’s Respectable Achievements among many:
20 seasons in the NBA with the LA Lakers
5-time NBA champion
18-time NBA All-Star
2-time Olympic Gold Medalist
33643 Points Scored (3rd in the All-time NBA Scoring List)
Thank you, Kobe.