Kobe Bryant’s most underrated success secret

Still processing this news.

My main reaction is shock.

Kobe was one of those larger-than-life entities that seemed to be almost omni-present.  At least to me.  It’s surreal to think that he won’t be around anymore.  Then there’s sadness.  We’re the same age.  I have a daughter.  That his is gone – so young – is heartbreaking.  I feel for his family, and the families of the other victims that have been devastated by this tragedy.

Honestly, I don’t know where to file this one.

It’s like the circuitry in my brain is missing the connections to make sense of something like this.

At the same time it’s so fascinating to hear all the stories about him.

Many reflect his kindness, his sense of humor, his curiosity, his intelligence.  Most exalt his work ethic.  And this is just my observation, but few reflect what I think was perhaps his most important quality that we all can learn from: his confidence.

In some of the stories this was even a knock on him when he first came in the league, because he kept saying what he was going to do, and people around him didn’t like that.

Our culture praises humility.

Until you do what you say you’re going to do, you’re cocky.

Once you’ve done it…well, now you’re confident.

But here’s the thing:

From everything I’ve heard, he just had this enduring faith in the process.  Without it, those 4:30am workouts of legend wouldn’t have been possible.  Trusting the process is the root of confidence.  It’s in the process that we develop skill and mastery.

It would do us all well to remember that.

(This is a “note to self” for me as much as I offer it to you.)

Harv Ecker once said:

If a hundred-foot oak tree had the mind of a human, it would only grow to be ten feet tall!

Small thinking is a disease.

Kobe was one of the lucky ones born without it.  That, together with his intuitive understanding that time and encouraging the natural process of GROWTH to work its magic can win championships (and do many other great things) led him to have an unshakeable belief in what’s possible.

What an example to follow.

R.I.P.

Remember, great athletes don’t have a lock on this.

There’s no reason you can’t use this “secret” too.

I’ll leave you with what Kobe said to a young female sports reporter when she interviewed him at the outset of his career.  No one knew him yet.  And she wasn’t well known either and struggling for respect in an industry dominated by men.

He said to her:

“We’re gonna be ok.  And they have no idea what’s coming.”

To Your Greatness,

Conor Kelly

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