PEOPLE die every day from senseless deaths but why does Kobe Bryant’s death have so much impact on so many, myself included, and I’m not even a fan? He was not perfect and sinless, his failures were even broadcasted for the world to see and criticize. He left behind a legacy of a successful career built on hard work and tenacity—what they call the mamba mentality. That mentality has extended off the court, inspiring millions since then. After his retirement he made sure to be productive. He continued to mentor, to teach, to share and contribute to the community. His legacy transcended sports.
He was peerless in his pursuit for personal excellence and mastery. An acquaintance said it best when he said “I was a bigger fan of Kobe’s exploits outside the basketball court.” To me, Kobe Bryant stood for an athlete should and could be. A hard worker who also worked smart, relentless in many ways, someone who took care of his body as well as he did his family, whose pursuit for education and learning was unmatched; he would call up experts in their respective fields to get an opinion or get educated on a specific topic.
His 4 a.m. workouts are the stuff of legend but it only shows how dedicated he was to perfecting his craft. These are all things we can learn from in our own personal pursuits and lives. His passing is a reminder that we must treasure every moment we have and serve as much as we can as we never know when we can be taken away by our maker. The outpouring of grief and sadness all over the world is only a reflection of his impact on billions of lives.
In his fitness and health regimens, Kobe was also peerless. He sought out the best doctors, trainers, masseuses, nutritionists and even supplements. Everything he had to do had to be excellent. Here are the three lessons I’ve learned from Kobe when it comes to our health:
Pursue personal mastery. Our health is a huge chunk of our ability to be productive in our lives. Think about it, how many people can you serve when you are ailing from ailments compared to being in optimum physical condition? Our health is something we can work on and is the cumulative effect of good or bad decisions made over time.
Work hard but work smart. Kobe Bryant didn’t just shoot jump shots. He tried to understand every detail of his craft, every angle and every possible scenario. His attention to detail is legendary. He was a hard worker, yet a very smart worker. We always remember that smart work beats hard work when hard work doesn’t work smart.
Surround yourself with the best people. While Kobe was extremely self-motivated, he recognized greatness in other fields and did his best to learn from those people who were equally as successful as him. He would watch Manny Pacquiao, Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters and so many other athletes train and learn from them. This can be applied in our own lives and in our own health as we can always learn from other people. We can be what we can see.
Kobe was a perfect example of an athlete doing the simple things savagely well. While many think the basics may be boring, he understood that the fundamentals are the foundation of greatness.
R.I.P Kobe Bryant.