Building a Legacy | A Perspective on the Life of Kobe Bryant

Small Business Coaching Real Estate Coaching Jeremy Wiliams Red Hawk Coaching


I waited a few days before I made the decision to write this blog post knowing there are so many opinions on the life of Kobe Bryant. However you feel about Kobe, undeniably, he had an impact on the game of basketball and the world. He was not the only tragic loss that day, several legacies were cut short including: Gianna Bryant (daughter of Kobe Bryant), John and Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan. 

The lesson that I took from this tragedy was how our lives can be turned upside down in an instant. The number of lives these individuals touched is unimaginable. Legacies in the process of being built brought to a sudden halt. Not knowing when your number is to be called, have you asked yourself what legacy are you working to build? 

Obviously Kobe had a big platform, yet I don't want you to necessarily think in terms of having his platform. You may never know the impact you have on this world, and it doesn't need to be millions of people (though it could be), and it may only be one. What if that one is the next Mother Teresa or Kobe Bryant or Billy Graham? Your legacy may be lived out by your children and grand children. Your legacy may be built on a platform to reach millions. Great questions to ask yourself include: What am I doing to leave a legacy? What am I doing that is bigger than me? Who have I impacted? It may be millions, and it could be one, and either is significant. 

Focusing on your legacy may seem like it can wait until a later date. Can it really wait? What if tomorrow is not available to you? What does it cost you?  What does it cost those that could be impacted by your legacy? Will you only plant the seed of legacy, and it not be watered? People are counting on you. What you do matters. You matter. The legacy you leave behind matters.

I've thought a lot about the 9 individuals on the helicopter that day. They all were expecting to be somewhere, their loved ones sent them off that day not knowing the event to occur, people at the destination were counting on their arrival, their loved ones were expecting them to return, and all things changed in a matter of seconds. What you do today matters, and whether you know it or not, everyday when you take action in your life and business, you are building a legacy. You are changing the lives of those around you. Some impacts may be unnoticeable while others can change the course of the world. It is the Chaos Theory:  "It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world."

If you've not thought about your legacy. It begins with taking action. You may be unaware of the impact you've had on this world already. Be kind. Raise other people up around you. Tell someone you love them. Encourage children to do great things. Impact people through your business. Be a person of integrity. Don't compromise your values and beliefs. People are always watching, and the way you live out your life contributes to your legacy. 

What legacy will you leave?

Kobe Bryant Quotes

"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do."

"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do."

"I'm reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose."

"I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I'm like, 'My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don't have it. I just want to chill.' We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also don't capitulate to it. You embrace it."

"The important thing is that your teammates have to know you're pulling for them and you really want them to be successful."

"The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don't have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven't had that fear."

"Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they've taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences."

"These young guys are playing checkers. I'm out there playing chess."

"These young guys are playing checkers. I'm out there playing chess."

"I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant."

"I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot."

"I'm more than comfortable just sitting back and scoring 21, 22 points or whatever and getting 10, 11 assists whatever the case might be. More than comfortable with that. It's just a matter of the pieces that you have around you and what you can do to elevate everybody else."

"I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you."

"I focus on one thing and one thing only - that's trying to win as many championships as I can."

"I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. No matter what the injury - unless it's completely debilitating - I'm going to be the same player I've always been. I'll figure it out. I'll make some tweaks, some changes, but I'm still coming."

"Can I jump over two or three guys like I used to? No. Am I as fast as I used to be? No, but I still have the fundamentals and smarts. That's what enables me to still be a dominant player. As a kid growing up, I never skipped steps. I always worked on fundamentals because I know athleticism is fleeting."

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

“I had to organize things. So I created the ‘Black Mamba’. So Kobe has to deal with these issues, all the personal challenges. The Black Mamba steps on the court and does what he does. I’m destroying everybody that steps on the court.” 

“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.”

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