So I am always interested in studying and analyzing what makes people great and supposedly Kobe Bryant is as well! I was reading this amazing article in the Boston Globe about an interview with Arianna Huffington and Kobe Bryant. It is filled with gems so if you have time I would definitely go check it out. However, the line below really resonated with me as I have been a tad nervous this morning as I have a track meet later today.
Interviewer: So being great in the clutch means knowing there’s a moment after the clutch?
Kobe Bryant: There’s an infinite groove. Whether you make the shot or miss it is inconsequential.
Wow! I would have never expected the Black Mamba to say whether you miss a shot or not is inconsequential. However, that is exactly the reason he is able to play with such fearless abandon.
He obviously has a huge desire to win, but he has NOT become personally attached or identified with his on-court performance. He understands the super important lesson that what he does is NOT who he is.
Until you are able to do so you will never reach your full potential because your distorted sense of the true importance of any one particular event will cause you to hesitate or have fears and anxieties fester which will strip you of your focus.
It is obviously easier said than done to not personally identify with what you do, but it is something that must be cultivated. This again is a soft skill that can not be easily acquired. However, some specific ways I like to strengthen this skill are:
- Change the language you use to describe what you do –The phrase, “I am an athlete” implicitly mistakes what you do for who you are. A better way is to say, “I compete in athletics.” It is something you do but NOT something you are.
- Reflect on your past – It is always easy to lose perspective in the heat of the moment. A great way to combat this is to think of something that you thought may have had a huge impact on your life in the distant past, and realize how inconsequential the result of that event was. For example, in the moment when I gut cut from BU’s basketball team I felt like the world was crumbling. However, it is something that in the big picture has been inconsequential.
- Cultivate an enjoyment of the process – Do NOT measure your progress based on the results but whether or not you are taking action that is moving you towards your dream.
- Meditate – This is something I have been harping on over and over again, but there is such an overwhelming amount of evidence and it is a constant theme behind excellence performance that you can NOT afford to not meditate.
Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,
PS Here are a few ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.