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Mamba Mentality: Time to Refocus

Honoring the life of Kobe Bryant, and chasing after your goals in 2021

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


I’ve had a lot of incredible experiences as a student at USC, but one of my favorite had to be meeting the one and only, Kobe Bryant. I had no idea that picking up an extra shift at the work-study job that I absolutely hated would bring me in contact with such greatness.

Side note: accidentally meeting freaking Kobe Bryant is the most USC-story if I’ve ever heard one. My roommate met him the week before when he was at a USC Women’s Basketball game with Gi-Gi. Shameless USC flex, I’ve also met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but that’s a USC-flex story for another day. ;)

Experiencing Kobe Bryant

Anyways, in Kobe’s speech, he stressed the importance of legacy, and how failure should be embraced and serve as a fuel to attack your dreams. He even said one of his famous quotes:

“Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”

We often talk only about Kobe Bryant as, the first guard drafted out of high school in NBA history, the Lakers die-hard, the 5-time NBA championship winner, but he was only able to accomplish so much because of his work ethic and determination to win. To be in his presence was awe-inspiring and unreal. We talked about GiGi hoping to play basketball at USC, he signed my phone case with a silver Sharpie that I happened to find in the lighting closet, and even took a picture with ya girl. ;)

I will never forget that day. I would have never thought that in less than 2 years, he would be gone. The day that Kobe died, the world wept. Murals and candlelight vigils for him and GiGi sprouted all across Los Angeles. To lose the Black Mamba and Mambacita was devastating, and the desire to honor their legacy was at an all-time high. Now, a year since their tragic death, I think it’s only right to find ways to honor their life, and lock into our own Mamba Mentality.

Honoring Kobe's Legacy by Chasing Our Own Dreams

In the first few weeks of 2021, what have you changed about your daily routine to help you reach the greatness that lives within you? Reflecting on the year anniversary of Kobe’s tragic end, I feel that I owe it to myself to lock into gear and make the conscious effort every day to be great and to take a step towards my dreams and aspirations. This morning, I found my list of resolutions that I wrote on New Year’s Eve and taped it on my bathroom mirror. I did 30 minutes of cardio, a 20-minute guided anxiety meditation, made an Herbalife smoothie, and wrote this post. Am I winning the NBA championship MVP Award? No, but I am living intentionally and working towards my physical, mental, and creative goals--and in the game of my life, I am THEE MVP.

Even when we get derailed, we are so capable of getting back on track. If you change your mindset, you can change your reality. Where are your resolutions? Hang them up somewhere you will see them every day. If you didn’t get to that list, please, give yourself 5-15 min to write down your goals, it makes them even more tangible.

5 Tips for Success

Here are a few tips that I’ve researched and will be implementing from here on out:

1. Practice self - compassion

Write a letter to yourself: This may sound ridiculous, but sometimes we give so much more compassion to others than we do to ourselves, so it's nice to take a step out of your body and talk to yourself as if you were a supportive friend or family member. Encourage yourself to keep going!

2. Protect your energies

Studies show that multitasking for the purpose of saving time actually drains us of our energy. Take time to invest in caring for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies.

3. Adjust your habits and try something new

Rather than living mundanely and going with the flow, actively create tasks or objectives for yourself every day. This could be adding a walk, trying a new recipe, or maybe even getting dressed from more than the waist up for class and work.

4. Compartmentalize your goals and create a plan of attack

Try to think of a step you could take to get closer to your goals. One of my resolutions is to be more organized, so I started keeping a planner out throughout the day so that as assignments or meetings were added to my week, I could add them to my calendar.

5. Pat yourself on the back, and acknowledge all of your successes.

This is something I’ve been trying to start doing more, but it feels like the most difficult to remember. In my morning walks, I try to think about all the opportunities I’ve been blessed with and recognize the hardships that I’ve overcome and that I’m working to find peace with. I also try to stop in the mirror now and then to say “I’m proud of you”, because I think that believing that statement alone is something many of us struggle with.

Let’s allow Kobe’s legacy to live through us every day in the best way that we can. To be great, you have to work, so let’s work and hold ourselves accountable.

“Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.” -- Kobe Bryant

~ Rest in Paradise ~



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