February 18, 2020
January 26 started like most days in my home. I was working on new content and about to post it on LinkedIn, when I saw a trending headline that stopped me in my tracks...
“Kobe Bryant confirmed dead in a helicopter crash.”
A wave of emotions hit. I feel numb and sad and confused all at once. I take a moment to tell my partner. I silently hope that taking a few minutes to talk about it will take the wave of sadness away.
But it doesn’t. This was different.
We hear of tragedies all the time in the news, and it’s fair to say that oftentimes we take a moment to process what happened, then move on with our day.
It’s human. We do this to compartmentalize ourselves and our emotions, so we can continue to move forward and not be overcome with grief.
We have our own lives to live. We do this to survive.
Unlike when I was an obsessed Chicago Bulls fan during the glory days of Michael Jordan, I haven’t followed the NBA much in recent years. I couldn’t recite all of Kobe’s accolades or his top moments or even the number of championships he has won.
But what I do know is that Kobe Bryant is a legend. I remember seeing the news when this up and coming basketball star decided to not go to college and aim right for the NBA, being the youngest player to do so.
I remember countless headlines over two decades of sport highlights showcasing his achievements.
I remember his unstoppable presence on the court. The fiery spirit he had for his love of the game and the game of life.
I remember his ups and downs. You know, the things that make us real.
I remember learning about how he embraced “Black Mamba” as his new identity and how that name symbolized a transformation for him, both on and off the court.
I remember hearing of a family man, who deeply loved his wife and daughters, and the pride he had in Gianna carrying out his legacy.
But what I remember most of all is his tenacity. He never doubted himself. He knew he would be the greatest because in his mind, he always was.
His confidence was unwavering.
Witnessing Kobe’s life was like watching a bulletproof mindset in artful form. Few things shook up, and the few things that did, he purely used as fuel to have more grit.
Even when he stepped away from the game of basketball, he had a vision bigger than himself to help young athletes pursue their greatness, just like he did.
"If you see me in a fight with a bear, prey for the bear". That’s the Mamba Mentality behind the legend of Kobe.
This quote, right here, is why his passing and the passing of his daughter and fellow helicopter companions who all died in that crash on January 26 hit me and so many of us so hard.
Because Kobe was a legend. At the age of 41, he had lived a life more full than what most of us give ourselves the chance to dream of.
I thought legends like his were impenetrable.
I thought that people like him were destined to live long lives because their determination would keep them on this planet.
I believed he was unbreakable.
I believed in him because I needed to, I still do.
I believed that we are on this earth until we have lived out our purposes.
So when that fateful day happened and Kobe left us, all of my beliefs were shattered.
I thought about what I have done in my life, but most importantly, what I haven’t.
What have I left on the table?
What are we all leaving on the table?
The lesson here is simple. It’s so simple we forget it as we get lost in our own head trash, our insecurities, and our fears.
It’s so simple that if we forget it, we’ll regret it.
But if we become, we truly live.
You are leaving something on the table.
Maybe you keep putting off something important.
Maybe you keep questioning yourself.
Maybe you have the success on paper, but you feel empty.
Maybe you feel restless.
This is happening because you are leaving something on the table.
You forgot your grit. You forgot what makes you feel alive. You forgot what you were on this planet.
If Kobe can fall, any of us can, and we’ll never know when our time is coming.
But here’s what I do know…
When you live into your legend, you find your greatness. You don’t play it safe. You don’t let headtrash or procrastination stop you.
You have that fire. You own it, and you show up.
“We don’t quit, we don’t cover, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.”
That mentality is nothing but a choice. Write out the words “live into your legend.” Write them big and put them somewhere so they stare you in the face every day.
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive, and same conviction as ever...Mamba Out.”
Rest in peace, Kobe, Gianna, and all of the victims of that tragedy. May we all remember that we have a legacy to life and there is no better time to live it than now.
Sending massive love and light on your journey,
P.S. Need a hand in creating your dream life? Or maybe you feel stuck and just want a game plan to create change? Check out my book “The 90 Day Life: How to Live More in 3 Months than You Have in 3 Years" where you’ll learn the 9 steps to create a life of freedom, adventure, and finding your truth.