I love Kobe, for one he is a fellow Virgo. The few, the proud. But he’s an example of being unapologetically great. He has been misunderstood for so long, criticized heavily as of late but he went out with a bang. He went out the way that every champion hopes to. Thriving and in the zone. I don’t understand why people are surprised. He did what he always does. Because excellence is not a habit but an act, and he ended his final act in spectacular fashion. Watching him leave the game, the same day I became a CEO, left me in a thinking zone. Trying to process the ins and outs of a dominant 20 year career. Seeing how one can be so beloved for the effort that he put into his mission. I realized that, you don’t step your personal greatness down to someone else’s level. You extend a hand and pull them up with you. What is unapologetic greatness and what describes the unapologetically great.
They have an unwavering belief in their mission and purpose. A mental acuity that translates into faith. They have a growth mindset. They believe that their success is based on factors that include their personal efforts. Knowing this concept, they push themselves further. Sweat is the blood of work for them. The unapologetically great understand that, the reward for hard work is the opportunity to do more. They understand that smooth seas don’t make skilled sailors. They believe in self mastery. They see the world as infinitely open to possibility. They’re open to the universe, free to receive the blessings. They’re often misunderstood. They’re often put on pedestals. Their influence often times very powerful. They’ve achieved.
In my mind, a few names hold the highest regard, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and Lao Tzu, Confucius, Socrates, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Magic Johnson, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Oprah, Phil Knight, Kanye West, Jimi Hendrix, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Richard Branson. What do they all have in common, choice. The choice to keep going when the flesh told them to quit. The choice to keep going without needing to see the shore. The choice to take the initial step on their journey. Often we seek their recipe for success. But we have all the tools within ourselves.
There’s so many ways people have tried to explain success. Many times there is a life altering experience that causes one to look beyond onesself. To see that they’re but a single being among many. They see life as interconnected. They become detached from the self and attached to their spirit. They find strength in pain, they have a vision. They realize the gifts that they have and how they can be shared with the world. They’re filled with passion. They found the narrow path that leads to infinity. There is no secret.
There is no difference between them and us. They are us. They are an example of what we can be if we seek to become unapologetically great. By turning inwards and mastering self, the unapologetically great walk fearless amongst the world, seeking to fulfill their mission. You can always point them out, because they’re making a difference. Big or small. You don’t have to become a billionaire to be unapologetically great. Depending on your passion, financial security is usually the result. But the strange thing is that, to the unapologetically great, profit isn’t the end goal. It’s a byproduct of the process. A process so rigid that over 99% of people stay away. But it is a process that is passed down through ancient wisdom. A practice that if you don’t cheat, will lead you to a deep place of joy and happiness. Something everlasting. Something meaningful.
This is the path that I choose to walk, trusting the formula that life has given us. If you’re moved by passion, willing to do the hard work and have an open mind free from destructive ego, the door opens for you. I hope to walk through that door. I hope you choose the same. Good luck and may the odds forever be in your favor.