Throughout the 17 seasons of his NBA career, Kobe Bryant has established himself as one of the most fascinating athletes ever to grace the sports world. He's won five championships, cemented himself as a first-ballot hall-of-famer, scored more clutch three-pointers than can be counted and probably landed even more dunks. But for as a great a skill set that he has displayed on the court, the Lakers' living legend has always been noted for the mentality that he has as a person, beyond the court.
Simply put, Kobe Bryant hasn't always impressed with just pure talent, but he's always been able to amaze people with his sheer will to win and the ability to play beyond himself.
And when the 15-NBA All-Star was put before a crowd while on tour in China as they quizzed him on all things basketball, Bryant was always likely to speak about one his best attributes, his mentality, as well as the strategies that he has used to motivate himself that can be used by any person in any walk of life. So, here they are, the five success lessons that we can all take away from Kobe Bryant:
Find Your Personality In And Out Of The Business Setting.
One of the traits that Kobe Bryant is most noted for on the court is his killer instinct. He is, quite simply, a freakishly competitive player. It's part of the reason that he's earned the nicknamed the Black Mamba, a moniker which he explained in more detail during his time overseas.
"Black Mamba is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. The reason why I got the name is because when I step on the basketball court, that's what I become," Bryant said. "So, off the court, I'm laughing, joking, having fun. But once I get on the court, that's when I become this other person, this other thing. It helps me focus."
Whether it's on the court, in the classroom, the boardroom or on any playing field that life puts us on, it's important that we find a persona to channel when it comes time for business, a mode that takes us to another level and, as Bryant says, helps us focus and become deadly at our craft.
Great Challenge = Great Opportunity To Shine
While it may be tempting to use a great challenge or a great task as an excuse to be intimidated, wary or timid, Kobe Bryant argues that there's nothing like a big test to prove yourself as a big time performer. Not only is the Black Mamba speaking from past experience, he is speaking from current experience as he battles back from a torn Achilles tendon injury that some suggested could have ended his career.
And while he says he could never know for certain whether he could come back, the basketball great says that it's that seed of doubt that makes the challenge that much more enticing and that much more inviting.
"I have moments and I have days where I doubt myself. But to me, that's the exciting part of the challenge.That's when I realize this is a great opportunity to come out and show everybody this is how you bounce back. This is how you respond to a challenge."
Your Critics Shouldn't Only Motivate You, But Motivate You To Distinguish Yourself From Them
We've all heard it before. Haters can always provide that extra bit of fuel that one needs to push oneself to success. But Kobe takes it even further. According to the Bryant, when others try to place limitations on you, it's just a sign of their own limitations. Their efforts to deter you are a sign that they can't do what you're aiming at, which shouldn't just motivate you to prove them wrong, but should motivate you to distinguish yourself from such small time thinking.
"The people who say, 'you will never come back from this injury,' to me, that means that if they had this injury, if they had this injury, they would quit," Bryant said. "That's what that means to me. Because if they sit there and look at me and say I can't do it, that means that if this happened to you, you wouldn't do it. So, I have to show them just as much as I show the people who are supporting me that this can be done and I can come back from this."
Inspiration Can Come From Many Places And Many Fields
The Lower Marion High School product says that when he was young, he didn't just draw inspiration from the basketball great likes Jordan and Magic, but also some of the world's greats like Beethoven and Michael Jackson, like Da Vinci and Bruce Lee. His message, motivation can come from any great, because all greats are bound to have a similarities to their methods for success.
"No matter what you do, if you want to be a basketball player, if you want to be a writer if you want to be a TV host, or whatever it is that you want to do. It's making sure that you focus with laser-like precision on that goal and you learn from other people who have been great," said Bryant. "Because no matter what they're doing there's always a common thread, there's always a common denominator between what has made people great and what has separated good from great."
You Are Never Too Good To Gain Experience
No matter what point you get to, no matter how skilled or accomplished you become, you should never feel established enough to stop learning. The hunger to gain new knowledge is part of what Kobe calls the Mamba mentality.
"It's really about wanting to learn and feeling like your cup is always empty, because there's always more that you can fill it with. That's really the important thing and just continuing to learn, learn, learn."
If you're skeptical, just look at it like this: If the player that has mastered almost every move and landed practically every accolade there is to land on the basketball court still feels that he has the need to learn, there is no way we can come to a point when we don't feel the same.