Being honest, it’s a somber start to my week with the news of the late Kobe Bryant’s passing yesterday (with his 13 year old daughter and other fatalities); and you might feel the same way. What a sad shock.
For me, moving to Los Angeles in my early 20’s, I cannot claim I am a true or die hard Lakers fan. Although, I do like to see them win.
But much more than that, I can tell you with absolute certainty, I was a Kobe Bryant fan.
There was a lot to love about him; as he was a true winner in every sense of the word. Nick named the “Black Mamba” because he had heart, passion, drive and intensity. Those things are amazing qualities and gifts he possessed.
Ultimately though, he never relied on his skill as his life philosophy (although he had plenty); rather he was known for his colossal work ethic which I believe to be a true reason for his 5 World Championships. And in my humble opinion, there is no bigger compliment you can give a person than to compliment them on their work ethic, being that this is a factor that all of us can control (which most other things in life, we cannot).
So while a very sad time for sports and humanity due to the positive influence he brought to the world; Kobe lived an incredible life (even being cut short) and we must not lose sight of that. As the true tragedy is if we do not learn a lesson from this all.
And the lesson is that nor fame or fortune provides any promise. The reality is (whether rich or poor, famous or not) we all live a finite life, you and me both. Our time will come, sooner than later, and the truth is that much of the things that happen within our time frame are outside our control.
And the problem is that many of us (myself included); can focus far too much on the things we cannot control, versus the things we can. In that situation, it leads to a life of frustration, sadness, anxiety and suffering.
So my call to action today is not to focus on the things outside of our control, as that is wasted energy and what unhappy people do…
Rather focus and spend 100% of your energy on what you can control.
As you can control the relationships you invest in, what time you go to bed and wake up, what sort of effort you will give today, what passion you bring to your work, what type of food you will put in your mouth, whether or not you will move your body or if you will be consistently kind to others.
My friend, you and me both are not promised anymore than today. That’s the bad news.
But the good news is that if you focus entirely on what you can control and what truly counts in life (Heath, Fitness, Family and Relationships); then you will live a life well lived just like Kobe did. And I know he would want that for you too.
So I beg of you to learn the lesson and to live with fire, passion, intensity and urgency towards a mission that you believe in.
And if you do that, whether you live to 41 or 141, that’s a life well lived.
RIP Kobe Bryant