Kobe Bryant is often considered one of the greatest athletes of all time—not just because of his skill, but also his incredible work ethic and mindset.
Back in 2016 when accepting an award, he addressed his fellow athletes:
- We're not on this stage just because of talent or ability.
- We're up here because of 4 a.m. We're up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days.
- We're up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger. —Kobe Bryant, Icon Award at the ESPYs, 2016.
Though many athletes had more talent than he did, Kobe worked harder. Many athletes are just as strong, just as fast, just as skilled, and had the same ambitions. Talent alone didn't make Kobe rise to the top. It was because of 4 a.m. His two-a-days and five-a-days pushed him to the top. He worked harder than everyone else. And when he felt like stopping for the day, he kept going.
If you want to excel in your career, you're going to have put in more effort than anyone else. Who's going to rise to the top? The people who practice their presentations 10x more than anyone else. The people who make 100s of sales calls. The people who do dozens of mock interviews when applying for jobs. The people who won't take no for an answer. The people who turn obstacles into opportunities to become stronger.
What's Your 4 a.m.?
Kobe doesn't necessarily mean you need to wake up at 4 a.m. every day. It's a metaphor, and not all professions or careers require that. However, you will need to figure out what a 4 a.m. means for you. You have to get comfortable doing the things no one else wants to do so you can accomplish what others can't.
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