The Kobe Code
Kobe Bean Bryant nicknamed the black mamba is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA (National Basketball Association). He entered the NBA directly from the high school and played for the Lakers his entire career, winning five NBA championships. Bryant is a 15-time All-Star, 15-time All Defensive team. He is currently ranked third on the league’s all-time post season scoring and fourth in the all-time regular season scoring lists. How did he achieve what he achieved?
Cracking the code of Bryant’s huge success, Pat Mixon wrote a wonderful little book, The Kobe Code: Eight Principles for Success, that is at once inspiring and practical. Inspiring because it shows how one of the most extraordinary athletes of our time has pushed the seemingly impossible limits to make them possible. Practical because you can learn these valuable principles, which are eight in number and make an uncommon effort to put them into practice to achieve uncommon success in whatever field you are passionately in love with.
Why eight principles? The number eight is significant in Kobe’s life. It was his jersey number when he entered the NBA. What is more, the number eight represents infinity in eastern philosophies. Later he changed his jersey number from 8 to 24 and explained the reason for this switch. He said at this stage of his basketball career, it really is all about taking each day as it comes and enjoying each moment. It is symbolic to him to take each day as it comes and take one day at a time.
The eight principles in Kobe’s own words for achieving uncommon success are:
1. Have a Gladiator Mentality and Welcome all Changes: A challenge was issued to me by everyone who said I would never succeed again, that I would never win or enjoy another parade. I accepted their challenge. I accepted the doubt of everyone who spoke of my downfall and used their words as fuel. I have a franchise to resurrect, a city of fans to uplift.
2. Know What Fuels You, What Drives You: I have always had a purpose, a need to succeed. People who try to discourage me only add fuel to a fire that has always burned. Every phase of my life has brought me new risks and new rewards; in may ways I have always been the underdog. And through it all, through every struggle, the game has always been there. It has never left me alone.
3. Fear is a Great Motivator: My biggest fear is not winning another title. Fear is a great motivator.
4. Be A Talented Overachiever: When I saw the movie Rudy I remember thinking, “what if I worked that hard? God has blessed me both physically and intellectually to play this game, so what would happen if I push as hard as the character in this film? I would love for people to think of me as a talented overachiever.”
5. Accept Your Nature: It’s Ok to be different than others. It’s Ok to want to be the best. It’s Ok to feel like a loser if you don’t win it all, and it’s Ok to bounce back with a stronger will, a deeper sense of determination, and a desire to destroy your opposition. I have learned that it is Ok for me to be me, and what being me entails.
6. Honor the Game: Because the game has given me so much I know that I must give it the respect it deserves. I must work hard to master it, to show it my appreciation for all it has done for me as a person, as a man.
7. Master Your Craft: What thrills me most about the game is the purity of it and the choice to master it. The process, the work, the beauty of it has always inspired me.
8. Live With Passion: What I have come to learn is that my desire to win, the will to pursue my goals with the highest level of intensity and passion defines me.
Apply these principles in your life and whatever career your passion leads you into, and you are sure to achieve uncommon success!