Most people know who Kobe Bryant is. If you happen to not know, he is a 5 time NBA Champion, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist, and an 18 time All Star. However, if you believe that Kobe Bryant was just destined to be a champion you need to think again.
Kobe Bryant grew up learning that all things were possible, but you had to put in the work. Interestingly enough, he spent most of his early childhood living with his family in Italy, while his father pursued a basketball career. When he was 11 years old, he was playing for a basketball league and scored 0 points. This experience taught him he wouldn’t automatically become a champion but rather that he had to start focusing on the fundamentals and details of the game instead of just any natural ability. This mentality is what helped him become a champion and think of the long term.
This mindset is important whether it be your athletic or academic career. There may be events or experiences that feel like a struggle or a failure but instead are rather skill development and growth. There is typically no “overnight success.” There is a Japanese concept called the Kaizen Approach. “Kaizen” is Japanese for continuous improvement. The idea is that if you even improve just 1% every day for one year, you will end up 37 times better by the end of the year.
So it is important to be patient with yourself and understand that you not only have to do the work, but that you have to be deliberate when you are doing it. Focus on the fundamentals and details, like Kobe Bryant, and all of a sudden the dots will begin to connect. Whether it be in the classroom or on the court, take the same approach to your goals and dreams. Understand that improvement will require discipline. Focus on being consistent and practice deliberately. What may look like failure may actually be the foundation to your success.
This week’s #MakeItHappen Monday challenge is to take on challenges as opportunities for breakthrough’s. Remind yourself that Amazon launched in 1994 but was not profitable for the first seven years. Rovio, the mobile games developer that created Angry Birds, is now a huge success but the company had developed 50 other mobile games and almost went bankrupt before that success. Each day is a new opportunity to create a better version of yourself, so go get better. Let us know how you are getting better by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Matias & the YTeach Team
“Those times when you don’t feel like working. You’re too tired. You don’t push yourself but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.”
– Kobe Bryant