Kobe Bryant is considered by many as one of the top 5 basketball players of all time. Having played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 19 years, he managed to rack up 9 NBA records while winning 5 championships. Kobe was talented, there is no questioning that, but so are all NBA players. What set him apart from most of the others that have played the game is a rare character trait that positive psychologists call grit.
When Kobe entered the league at the young age of 18, he would show up three or four hours early to put in the practice he needed to become a champion. After practice was over, he was the last one to leave playing one-on-one against anyone who would stay late with him. He also refused to leave until he had made 400 practice shots.
Olympian teammate Chris Bosh recounts that during the 2008 Olympics, when the rest of the team was just getting breakfast at 8 a.m., Kobe would walk past his teammates drenching with sweat from having already put in a three-hour workout. His day was just beginning.
Once when Kobe broke his right wrist, (his shooting wrist), a teammate reported that he was still in the gym three hours early, dribbling and shooting with his left hand. Nothing would keep Kobe from putting in the practice he knew he needed to be the best player he could become.
Grit is defined as the passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Without grit, people lose their drive and fall short of their goals. With it, they can accomplish incredible success. The good news is that you can teach yourself to have more grit and in turn, achieve more of your goals.
5 Ways to Acquire More Grit and Become a Person of Influence
Have a mission.
People with grit have a mission or a purpose in life. They know what is most important to them and why it is important.
To determine your mission, begin by asking yourself the following two questions.
- How do I want to be remembered?
- What do I want to be remembered for?
Once when Kobe was asked how he wanted to be remembered, he said, “To think of me as a person who’s overachieved, that would mean a lot to me. That means I put a lot of work in and squeezed every ounce of juice out of this orange as I could.”
Be committed to your mission.
If you have grit, then you know that accomplishing your goals and dreams will take time. You understand the axiom, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Truth be told, most things worth achieving can take years to accomplish.
Are you familiar with the law of the harvest? The law of the harvest states that you reap what you sow. Just like it takes years for the mighty oak tree to transform from a seed to a magnificent example of the magic of mother nature, turning your mission into a reality can also take years to complete.
If you want to start a successful business, for example, it would be foolish to think you will be successful and turn a large profit overnight. Instead, you must begin the process with the understanding and the expectations that much goes into its creation.
Be willing to sacrifice.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was twelve years old. The problem was, I wasn’t willing to put in the time and effort required to do the work. Sitting down to hash out words into meaningful sentences and paragraphs is not easy. In fact, some days it can be quite challenging.
Once I consented to the fact that if I were to become a writer, I would have to commit to the long-haul of writing and editing, writing started to become easier for me.
I also decided I would have to sacrifice a couple of hours of sleep in the morning as well as a couple of hours of recreation in the evenings. At first, this was a little challenging, but now it is just part of my routine.
Accept short-term but not long-term failure.
If you are going to become a champion, you must accept that short-term failure is part of the game. You are going to take and miss plenty of shots. Champions realize that if they are to experience long-term success, they must learn from their past failures, make adjustments to their game and keep shooting.
Kobe was known during games to watch a video of the first half at half-time. This allowed him to learn and adjust his strategy for the second half. This often led to him picking apart his competition and finishing the game stronger than he started it.
As long as you continue to learn from your past and persevere short-term failure just becomes part of the process.
Make and keep small promises.
Willpower is like a muscle. Without it, you will achieve very little, with it, you can move mountains. The good news is just like you can strengthen a muscle by exercising, you can develop your willpower as well.
Think of willpower as the habit of keeping promises. If you consistently make and break promises, you as well as your friends start to doubt everything you say you will do. On the other hand, if you are consistent in following through on your word, you know when you give your word, it is as good as done.
To increase your willpower, start by committing to small promises. Decide you will read for at least ten minutes in the evening. Make your bed in the morning. Always rinse your plate off after dinner. Perform 20 sit-ups before getting into bed.
By learning to make and keep small promises, you are strengthening your ability to follow through on the big things as well. Don’t attempt to start a large project if you know in the back of your mind you have a history of never following through.
While there are many ingredients to success, grit is one you can’t be without. Start implanting these 5 strategies into your life today and see how quickly you become a goal achieving machine.
Question: Do you give up quickly or do you have grit? What advice would you give someone who is prone to quitting? You can leave a comment by clicking here.