If you only talk about Kobe Bryant’s impact on the basketball court, you are doing a disservice to his legacy. If you hear him speak, you are simply in awe of his mindset and brilliance. Sure, he is one of the best basketball players of all time, but that is a byproduct of his winner mindset. If you want to change your life, you need to transform the way you see and interact with the world.
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Winner mindset is a family affair
Kobe attributes his winner mindset to his parents. He refers to them as his backbone and shares stories about lessons his dad taught him. It reminded me of the Conference of African American Financial Planners (CAAFP) I attended where Walter Bond spoke about the character of an organization. He talked about how the most celebrated sports organizations are no different than your family. There is a message that you share through your words and actions that your children pick up on. Walter said his was to “go get it” and to “be sweet”. His mom always told him to be sweet and his dad always told him to go get it.
When I was growing up, my mom always told me “if they can do it, you can do it” and my dad told me “everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time”. These are the marching orders I still adhere to and that I teach to my children. The Bryant household taught Kobe to put in the work, be confident in yourself, and to never settle. When you put these lessons together, you are able to capture the winner mindset that Kobe posses. His dad told him when if he was on the court and needed a drink, that he could drink the sweat from his jersey.
How badly do you want to win?
That statement by itself stands alone. There is no further explanation or exhortation needed. Do you want to win badly enough to drink your own sweat to keep going? Many of you are willing to put in the work, but only up to a point. After that point, you have a good story to explain why it didn’t work. Kobe was not looking for vindication or acceptance, he was looking to win.
There are people who are willing to do a lot to achieve their dream, but are they willing to do what it takes? If you do not want to win to the point that you will drink your own sweat, then success is not guaranteed. You would like to win, but you do not want to win. The winner mindset is going to adapt to the situation and find a way to rise to the challenge. Along your achojah journey, you are going to face times when others will question whether it is worth the effort you are putting in. But winners’ know if they can figure out a way to make it happen, they will be among the select few.
What is reasonable vs. what is necessary
Most people are willing to do what is reasonable, but they are not willing to do what is necessary. I often quote a line I’ve heard from Les Brown. He would say – “If you do what is easy, your life will be hard and if you do what is hard, your life will be easy”. You will notice there are challenges no matter what you choose. The question is do you want to keep losing to the same challenge or do you want to grow stronger and rise to the challenge? As you continue to improve, you will grow stronger and be better equipped to handle the future challenges life is going to throw your way.
Accountability is essential to the winner mindset
It is clear the Bryant household taught Kobe how to be confident in himself and his abilities. The winner mindset is always asking the question, why not me? If someone is going to do it, then why can’t I be the one who does it?
You knew if Kobe saw something wrong with his organization, he was going to take responsiblity for the solution. He knew if things could be better, he was going to be the person that fixes it.
Being intentional with your time
Kobe talked about how he worked on his ability to write throughout his basketball career. As a result, when he retired, he stated writing books that would encourage kids to chase their dreams and put in the work to make them a reality. You need both the belief that you can catch your dreams and a willingness to put in the work to make it happen.
Kobe and other professional athletes have put in the work to get the platform and they have the right to use it. Many black athletes are discouraged from speaking out against polarizing issues. You may remember hearing some people telling Lebron James to shut up and play basketball. However, if you are one of the top thousand in your craft, you have earned your stage to say what is on your mind. That is why it is so important to remember Kobe as more than an athlete. Kobe himself would say his athletic abilities do not define him. Yes, he earned the right to play professional basketball. And yes, he has earned the ability to provide for his family and create generational wealth, but that does not confine an athlete from speaking about things they are passionate about.
Don’t waste your time with the ignorant
One of the funniest quotes from Kobe was when he said he wasn’t concerned when fans said he only won championships because of Shaq. He said it bothered him when Shaq started saying it. Kobe was not concerned about the ignorance found among people who do not know any better. The winner mindset is not going to waste time attempting to convert the ignorant. However, if you already know the truth, then he felt you knew enough to know what is right and you are ignoring the truth.
If you are chasing happiness and rising to the challenge, are you willing to do what is necessary? Will you drink your own sweat because you cannot take a break? Are you willing to go a night without sleep, travel across the country, and risk everything you have to create your dream life? Those who possess a winner mindset understand they are going to be faced with difficult choices, but if they are committed, they will accomplish their goal. You cannot demand more of others than you are willing to put in yourself. That was one of the key reasons Kobe felt comfortable demanding so much of his teammates. He knew he wasn’t asking anything of them that he didn’t expect from himself. Raise your standards and get things done my fellow achojah warrior.
More articles you may enjoy:
- Chasing Happiness by Rising to the Challenge
- Kobe Bryant’s Mindset: How to Overcome Fear and Self Doubt
- How Chasing Happiness Will Help You Catch Greatness
- Kobe Bryant’s Mindset: Expet More To Get More
Until next time,
Dre ” Better Self, Better Wealth” Griggs