"Babe, Kobe Bryant was just killed in a helicopter accident", my wife stammered on the phone, as I was walking towards my front door.
I was just getting home and was about to take a nap because I had been up late the night before watching Kevonstage's Masterclass. But in an instant, my overwhelming feeling of sleepiness was replaced with an overwhelming feeling of shock.
The news was just something that caught me off guard to where I just stopped and stared at the ground for a while. I have experienced the lost of loved ones in my personal life, as well as famous and highly influential people in my lifetime.
Honestly, I wasn't the biggest Kobe Bryant fan and basketball isn't my favorite sport. But I always had a lot of respect for Kobe Bryant. When he finally won a championship without Shaq, he sealed his spot as one of the greatest players of all time.
When we loose such a high profile person like this, it's much bigger than basketball, money, and fame. For the African American Community and Millennials, we lost a hero and a source of inspiration.
Kobe Bryant was a man that you could look at and have hope. For many, including myself, he was relatable; a superstar, but still human. He was a husband and a father.
After he retired from playing the game of basketball, I've seen him gracefully transition and embrace the next season of his life; focusing on his children and being an inspiration to others.
As we all reflect on the life of Kobe Bean Bryant, here's what I suggest that we can learn from his life and death:
Hard work pays off. One of the biggest things Kobe Bryant was known for was being a hard worker. His practice, study, and perseverance was legendary. We have to put in the work.
Take the shot. Many times we are hesitant to take the shot or hesitant of taking too many shots. Well, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. Whether it's a goal, a dream, or business idea, take the shot. As we see, in this life, we never know how much time we have on "the clock". Here's a quote from Kobe on taking shots: "I’ve shot too much from the time I was 8 years old. But ‘too much’ is a matter of perspective. Some people thought Mozart had too many notes in his compositions. Let me put it this way: I entertain people who say I shoot too much. I find it very interesting. Going back to Mozart, he responded to critics by saying there were neither too many notes or too few. There were as many as necessary."
Do what you love, and love what you do. Kobe loved the game of basketball. He dedicated his life to his love for the game and what he was gifted to do. No matter if it's a hobby, side hustle, or business, do what you love and brings you joy.
Enjoy and embrace every season of life. In some areas in our lives, it's the season to be in player mode. But in other areas, it's time to play the role of coach or advisor. Kobe embraced retirement and spent the last of his days building up, coaching, and inspiring others.
"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do". Kobe Bryant
And lastly, focus on what you control. The best way for us to live and learn from the life of Kobe Bryant, is to focus on what you have control of. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly. Kobe Bryant