The Kaizen Newsletter - #31 (28-01-2020): Mamba Forever

Right after I heard about the news, I receive a text from Cheetah saying that he was actually shaking.

I looked at my hands and realize that they were shaking as well.

And I think what surprised me the most was how impacted I was by Kobe’s death.

I find it weird because I actually didn’t grow up looking up to Kobe. I mean, I’ve always heard of him. I knew OF Kobe, but I never really followed him except when I saw his highlights on Sportscenter, but that’s it really.

To be completely honest, Kobe only started to have a huge impact on me when I started to discover self-improvement. But for some reason, Kobe's death has definitely been the most impactful celebrity death of my lifetime.

His impact really started from Totem Academy. To me, Totem was a community of like-minded people that were driven and wanted to do more than just a 9-5. And Alex, the founder of Totem, actually grew up a huge Kobe fan and definitely looked up to him. Like Kobe, he also wanted to go directly from high school to the NBA in his own way. And when he decided to build Totem, he made sure that everyone from the community was instilled with a mentality to never give up, to work hard, to follow your passion, to be consistent, to have fun, to be analytical and to take action every single day. And that mentality is definitely something that he learned from Kobe. And to this day, even if Totem is not physically there anymore, what stook with us is definitely that “Totem Mentality”. So in a way, Kobe definitely shaped the way I think today.

But I think the main reason why his death has impacted me as much is that a few months ago, I really felt that I was lacking work ethic and grit and wanted to do something about it. There are tons of self-help books out there that talk about this, but as a sports lover, I really wanted to read about someone who had a really good work ethic. And it was my turn to gravitate towards Kobe. I chose Kobe to be my spiritual mentor of some sort by trying to adopt his Mamba Mentality and make it my own.

To me, Kobe wasn't the Kobe who won five NBA championships with the Lakers.

To me, Kobe Bryant represents the person who I've always wanted to be. Someone who found his passion and is working non-stop to be the best at it.

Although I might not have found my "basketball", one thing I know I can do is to wake up every morning and give my best every damn day.

I may not have grown up looking up to Kobe, but I definitely look up to him now 👆.

RIP Kobe. Mamba Forever.

Weekly Favourites

📃 Article

The first time I began to understand why he was the best was in the pre-season. In a game against the Wizards, Kobe broke the wrist on his shooting hand. He was always the first person to practice every day, arriving at least an hour and a half early. This would infuriate me because I wanted to be the first person to practice, just as I had always been at Villanova and Piscataway High in New Jersey. To add insult to injury, I lived only 10 minutes from the practice facility -- while Kobe was at least 35 minutes away. I am ashamed to say that I was excited the day after his injury because I knew that there was no way that No. 8 (as former Laker point guard Tyronn Lue called him) would be the first to practice, if he would even be there at all. As I walked through the training room, I became stricken with fear when I heard a ball bouncing. No, no, it couldn’t be! Yes it could. Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left.

  • Improvising for Productivity by Daniel Gross - Very interesting article from Daniel Gross. His conclusion is to try and make the actual work novel and appear as interesting as possible by trying the least as possible to think about the idea. Only when you have time should you work on it and finish it. I agree with his views on To-Dos. "The longer you think about a task without doing it, the less novel it becomes to do." **So you'll have less desire to go ahead and actually do it. So when opening emails, it makes a lot more sense to reply to it right away rather than trying to postpone it. But what about posts? It usually takes me a lot more than just one sit-down to completely write a post. So I disagree that it works (for me) regarding that.

  • Take a Look Inside 100 Thieves' New LA Headquarters - 100 Thieves is an e-sport company that also have their own merch and are co-owned by Scooter Braun and Drake. This really isn't an article per se, but I will be keeping this to serve as a reminder to myself that this is literally GOALS for me. Imagine having a sick office and working with your close friends? That's the dream.

🎙 Podcast

🐦 Tweets

  • Here is a compilation of my favourite tweets that I found on Kobe from the past two days.

🎧 Music


🙏 Shoutouts

  • Shoutout to Alex, Cheetah and Topa. Was craving pho 🍜 and also felt really good to go back in the podcasting booth 🎙 afterwards to shoot the shit.

👋 End Note

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