Case Report: Success is a state of mind NOT a destination

The recent news about Steve Nash suffering form a season ending injury that will most likely end his career was heart breaking. Steve Nash was and still is my idol and holds a special place in my heart as he would for any hooper who grows up in British Columbia. Steve Nash is the epitomy of hard-work and dedication and beating the odds. Steve Nash is renowned for his strict diet regiment and how well he treats his body. However, his discipline and unmatched work ethic was not enough to overcome the recent slew of serious injuries that plagued him as soon as he donned the purple and gold.

However a recent article by Arash Markazi made me contemplate and change my view on this scenario. When I first heard the news I thought what an awful way to end such a lackluster run during his time with the lakers. As a society we are so obsessed with results, and we have this sink or swim mentality. I have been working very hard to rid myself of this mentality but it is still something that I still struggle with. It does NOT only increase your stress levels but it will reduce your success in BOTH athletics and life. Success in ANY field is required by entering and staying in a flow state which can not occur if you are neurotic and obsessive about achieving a specific result.

In the article I mentioned above Kobe is quoted as saying:

“Steve Nash did EVERYTHING.” 

Bryant also said that if he was in Nash’s position, “he would accept his fate as well.You can control what you can control. He did everything to get back and play at a high level. From that standpoint he should be able to sleep at night. I know I would. I can only think about that in my situation; I just tried to do everything possible to be ready, and if it wasn’t in the cards, if I couldn’t get back to being at that level, you just have to accept it and when you lay your head down you know that you did absolutely everything possible.”

Hearing this from Kobe Bean Bryant was absolutely shocking. He is renowned for his stubbornness and his competitive fire. However, many people, myself included, mis-interpret this as success at any costs, and if you don’t win a championship you are a failure. Obviously Kobe and Steve Nash are both insanely competitive and they want to win more than anything else. However, they are so successful NOT because of this but because they can transcend their desire to win during the game. They realize that to perform their best they must get rid of any attachment to the final result and live in the moment and trust their preparation.

They realize that success is NOT winning the next game, championship or MVP trophy. Success is a state of mind in which you are taking highly focused action that will give you the best possible chance of achieving your goals. Note I mention the best possible chance.  Success is never guaranteed. The only thing you are guaranteed is the action.  Success is irrespective of whether you end up accomplishing your end goal or not. It is whether you should be able to sleep at night. If Kobe does not win 6 championships like Michael Jordan will he view his career as a failure? If Steve Nash does not win that NBA championship that has eluded him will he view his career as a failure? Absolutely Not! Steve Nash and Kobe have done everything in their power to maximize their careers and the results speak for themselves.

I hope this article gave you some inspiration and help you shift your mindset from chasing specific goals to embody what you hope to represent. Blogs such as these are much more fun and helpful if there is interaction. So please always feel free to reach out to me on facebook or linkedIn (Pavan Mehat) or shoot me an email at


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