“If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear.”
This was a quote favorited by the late Kobe Bryant as it encapsulated his Mamba Mentality.
If you’ve never picked up Kobe’s Book, The Mamba Mentality, How I Play - I highly recommend it. Michael Jordan’s Rare Air, was a peek inside Michael’s world; Kobe’s book is a peek inside of his mind.
Watching an interview following Kobe’s passing, Andrew D. Bernstein, the photographer for the book highlighted three core principles to the Mamba Mentality. Curious, Relentless, Fearless. Here’s more on these three principles, how Kobe lived them and what we can take away.
Your curiosity must exceed your ego to become all you want to become. You must learn to ask questions, then learn to ask the right questions. Both of others and yourself. Kobe’s curiosity lead him to answer others didn’t know where to look for; right in front of them.
One way to tap into this curiosity is the acronym W.A.G. Watch, Ask & Get Coached. Watch those who have skills you wish to obtain. Approach them and ask them how they learned that skill. Get coached up by that person or someone else who knows the skill better than yourself. This is essentially what Kobe did throughout his career.
“I want you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, that I’m willing to work harder than you.” Kobe told Jay Williams, in his story recounted with Tom Bilyeu. It’s this type of attitude and language that fuels GRIT, that allows a relentless nature. You can perhaps relate better to what Kobe enjoyed about the quote about fighting a Bear. It doesn’t matter the opponent, because ultimately you are your greatest opponent.
There is no way around the work. Be Relentless, because somewhere the ball is still bouncing and someone else is still getting in the work required to be great.
To be fearless is not to act without fear, but to act knowing that the action will conquer the fear. Your courage gives you the capability to conquer. Consistent courage builds greatness.
You can step into the Mamba Mentality, but more importantly what is your mentality? What is the mentality you can create and call upon? How quickly can you shift to this mentality when required of you?
Build your courage by building your belief in yourself. Remind yourself daily of your capabilities and you’ll more clearly see all of your possibilities.