“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” — Kobe Bryant
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I watched with great interest a collection of interviews with Kobe Bryant on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday night. Jimmy was honoring his legacy by sharing some of the most memorable, poignant, and humorous moments on the show featuring the celebrated basketball player.
There was one clip in particular that stuck out most for me because it revealed the depth that Kobe went in his commitment to excellence, and there are two main points I'd like to share with you:
These two details of his life strike a chord with me because it's easy to take the easy way out and resign ourselves to living the "good enough is good enough" mentality. And sure, for most things in our lives that is probably true. Not everything has to be "perfect," otherwise we'd spend all our days striving for mastery in things that we're just not meant to master. But where it matters most—in the things that touch our strength zone—it is those things that we'd do well to take a closer look at and be more than simply "good enough."
Kobe performed at his best because he didn't settle for average. He did more than the average ball player.He did more than what was expected. He did more than just learn how to throw a ball. Kobe did his homework, and that's the kind of commitment to excellence that I'm after and that's the kind of commitment to excellence that I want for you, Jonas, in whatever your chosen craft is.
I prepare the videos for these lessons weeks in advance, and the Magic Word I planned for this week is Perseverance. I believe this word speaks to the commitment to excellence that we explored today, giving us the perseverance we need to carry on with our lives, no matter the challenges, disappointments, setbacks, and tragedies. After all, in the words of Kobe Bryant, "Dedication sees dreams come true.”
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Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.