Kobe Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association.
There are many success lessons we can learn from Kobe Bryant and his sickening work ethic. And I’m not just talking about basketball, but about life itself. Here are five of Kobe Bryant’s success lessons.
1. Reach out to people in different areas.
Besides the obvious ritual of reaching out and connecting with people in the same industry as you, something we can learn from Kobe Bryant is reaching out to those in different areas. It would be foolish to narrow down the people you listen to and learn from to just those on the same career path as you. Whether you’re an athlete, an entrepreneur, etc.
Since Kobe’s NBA career may be coming to an end within the next couple of years, he’s been reaching out to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington. In order to find out more about what they do, why they do it, and how they became successful in their fields,.
Kobe Bryant’s continuing his learning process and planning his future after the NBA by reaching out to others for great inspiration. Which brings me onto my next point, after his official quotes on the subject.
“I cold call people and pick their brains about stuff. Some of the questions I ask seem really simple, and some of them seem stupid, quite honestly, for them. But if I don’t know, I don’t know. I have to ask. I’ll just do that and ask questions. I want to learn more about how they build their businesses, how they run their companies, and how they see the world.” Kobe Bryant
2. You can always learn more.
It doesn’t matter how good you become at your chosen skill or craft; there is always potential for more learning and development. Many successful people might let their achievements go to their heads, making them think there’s nothing they can improve upon.
This really isn’t true; there’s always room for people to improve and learn more, which is exactly why Kobe Bryant and many other people have continued to grow year by year. It’s all about being hungry to learn more, always.
“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.” Kobe Bryant
3. Respect people close to you.
Earlier on in Kobe’s career, he was very aggressive towards his teammates and would often give them plenty of orders that they didn’t seem to be happy about because he knew the game and knew what had to be done.
However, as he progressed through his career and got older, he realised it was more about respecting his teammates and communicating better. Not only to produce better results but also to have happy relationships with everyone else.
“Oh, God. I was barking orders left and right. And these grown men are looking at me, like, “Who the hell are you?” But I had studied the game so much. As I got older, I started to understand that it’s not just about the game. People carry emotions with them. They have lives off the court. That helped me communicate better.” Kobe Bryant
4. Where there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity.
A challenge is your opportunity to show the world what you can do and that you can overcome any obstacles in your way. Where there’s a challenge, there’s a chance to prove people wrong.
Not only that, but it means you are constantly bettering yourself and giving yourself more opportunities in the future. When you overcome challenges, you grow stronger as a person, and that can only be a good thing.
In Kobe’s case, the strongest example of this was when he came back from his Achilles tendon injury, proving everybody wrong. Kobe had the confidence and belief that he could come back from the injury, and he did just that.
The fact that the chances of coming back after such an injury were low made the challenge even more exciting, said Kobe.
“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 realised this was a great opportunity to come out and show everybody that this is how you bounce back. This is how you respond to a challenge.” Kobe Bryant
5. Break your problems down into smaller pieces.
If you have an incredibly big problem that looks too large to be solved, chop it down into smaller pieces. This way, it allows you to focus on specific issues individually, which gives you a better chance of fixing them.
As Kobe explains below, this is what he did back in 2003: after all the endorsements, he dropped him and told him the situation couldn’t be fixed. And this problem also relates back to the “where there’s challenge, there’s opportunity” success lesson.
This was a big challenge for Kobe to overcome, but he did it and proved people wrong.
“In 2003, I was going through the Colorado situation, and it was very tough. I had to ask myself what I wanted to accomplish. I want to keep my family together. I have to focus on that. I’m a good basketball player. I want more championships. Focus on that. Every endorsement I had, they dropped me. Every marketing person said, “You can’t be fixed.” So I start chopping the problem into smaller pieces, and I focus on them. What else are you going to do?” Kobe Bryant
Here’s a quick recap of Kobe Bryant’s success lessons:
- Reach out to people in different areas.
- You can always learn more.
- Respect people who are close to you.
- Where there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity.
- Break your problems down into smaller pieces.