“I was blessed to have talent, but I worked as if I had none.” Kobe Bryant
In a past interview, many years before his untimely passing, Kobe Bryant mentioned that since he was 15 years old, he had wanted to be remembered as a talented overachiever. There is no question about his talent on the basketball court. He goes down as one of the best in his sport. He is in the category of the best of the best.
When we look at professional sports figures like Kobe, we may wish that we had been born with the kind of talent they exude on the playing field. It seems that they have been gifted with something that few of us have. So, it seems. What do you think?
We often watch them on the basketball court, the golf course, or the football field in the middle of a battle. Or, perhaps, it is a playoff game or the final day of a golf tournament. We watch them at their finest doing what they do best. Television networks broadcast these contests because this is when the advertisers want their products to be in front of the viewing audience. What we do not see are the long hours of practice by the best of the professionals or programs on their rehab efforts after an injury. We do not see those hours of excruciating practice and injury rehabilitation because it does not make for great TV viewing. No advertiser would sponsor those activities.
The truth is, sports professionals do have a rare talent. In many cases, it is also true that the professionals who are successful are also those who do not take their talent for granted.
I believe that all of us have a special talent. It might not be as glamourous as well-known sports professionals or as financially lucrative. But we all have talent. Something in our wheelhouse that allows us to be very good in some area.
What is that talent? How do we discover it? The first place to look is likely where our greatest passion lies. What do you love doing? And yes, hobbies count in your answer. Many individuals have adopted a hobby and developed it into their life’s work.
The intersection of passion and strength is what I call success in life. The professionals we enjoy watching may have found that connecting zone. Doing what they love to do and that which they do very well. But just as importantly, they have added a third ingredient—Effort. Taking what they love and are good at doing, they have dedicated much effort. Kobe is right.
Talented passionate overachievement. It is the only way to live life. Find what you are good at doing and love, then dedicate an abundance of time and energy in extreme effort.
Take your combined talent and passion and give it everything you have. Leave everything on the field. Do not hold back. Play all of your chips.
S = (T + P) times E
Success equals Talent and Passion multiplied by Effort.