Kobe Bryant at USC

The trick is finding what you love to do. We talk about hard work all the time. If you gotta get up every morning and remind yourself how hard you have to work you probably need to choose a different profession. That shouldn’t be there. I wake up in the morning excited to get to it. If I am not training I am missing it. There is no place I’d rather be. If you have that feeling then you are doing what you were put on this earth to do. [7:45] 

The best way to prove your value is to work. To learn. To absorb. To be a sponge. You always want to outwork your potential. As hard as you believe you can work? You can work harder than that. [8:54] 

I had a competitive nature, work ethic, and curiosity. I asked a lot of questions. I would always sit down with all of the Lakers’ greats and ask them questions about certain games I had studied growing up. [9:52]

Dreams should be pure. We are born into this world and we wind up going backward. The more we mature the more responsible our dreams become. The more governors we put on ourselves and our ability to dream. Make sure your dreams always stay pure. If you protect your dreams and your imagination the world seems limitless. [11:34] 

What was your articulated competitive philosophy? My philosophy was very simple. Rudy was one of my favorite films growing up. After watching that film I came to understand that if I could work that hard every day –what would my career be? I made a promise to myself that I was going to work that hard every single day so when I do retire I had no regrets. Leave no stone unturned. Get better every single day. If I lived that way then over time I would have something beautiful. If you live your life to get better every single day and you do that for 20 years–– what do you have? [17:36] 

As a leader of a team, it is your responsibility to elevate the rest of the team. The way to make them better is to get them emotionally to want to be better. To get them to an emotional space where they wake up every morning driven to be the best version of themselves. [21:35]

How did you deal with teammates who weren’t as dedicated as you were? My response may sound a little tough but I’d kill them. I’d bury them. That mentality is not tolerated. If you show up and lallygag through this scrimmage or this drill, I am going to beat you. I am going to let you know I beat you. And I am going to want you to reconsider your professional life choice. [24:31]

If you are lazy I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to deal with you. You are going to make me feel dumber. You are going to lower my level. I don’t think so. [25:42] 

How you create something that lasts forever: Pay everything that you have learned forward, to the next generation to come. Inspire one, who inspires the next, who inspires the next, and on and on you go. [39:54] 

Full video here.