I was very, and I still am, deeply shocked by the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant. He was undoubtedly a giant whose legacy goes beyond basketball and sport in general.
His uncompromising dedication to his craft, playing basketball, has always been a trademark of his career. There are so many stories about his commitment and relentless pursuit of excellence.
Yesterday, I was reading this one particular story, and I was trying to understand what can motivate someone to put so much work into something. It can’t be just the discipline or willpower.
I believe I found the answer in the letter he wrote in 2015, to say goodbye to basketball.
“I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.”
It was love, then.
A deep, fulfilling love for the sport. A love so mighty to give meaning to all the hustle, the struggle, the pain, the sweat.
My friend Mark once told me that when you infuse love into your work, it becomes your craft.
That’s the recipe we can learn from Kobe. Love plus discipline.
Because discipline without love is sterile and hollow. Love without discipline is anaemic and fragile. But it’s when love meets discipline that the magic happens.
Photo: Kobe Bryant, Lakers shooting guard, stands ready to shoot a free throw, source