This week the world saw a tragedy unfold in Southern California that affected us all. As parents, we could not fathom the feeling of losing a child. As children, we could not fathom the loss of a parent or both parents. As human beings, many could not fathom the tremendous loss of life. As a society, many could not fathom the loss of a legend.
Kobe Bryant was a legend on the basketball court. Kobe Bryant is a household name. He also was trying to make the world a better place. Between his Make-a Wish grants that he gave, his philanthropy, his focus on improving women’s sports and the family man he was, it was hard to comprehend someone bigger than life gone in a second. Although I knew his greatness on the court, and his issues off, I really didn’t follow him or know much about him.
During all of the coverage, I kept hearing Mamba. The basketball academy he had was Mamba Sports Academy. Many of the tributes used Mamba and Mamba Mentality in them. High school ball players talked about Mamba Mentality. I had no idea what that really meant. What was the significance of using Mamba. I don’t even know if it should be capitalized or not! So I went searching, I wanted to see what this was all about!
Mamba Mentality means to be the best version of yourself.
Bam! That really spoke to me. Let go of the doubts, let go of the expectations and focus on being better each moment, and be the best you. Work hard, show up in your best form. Imagine when you are totally in the flow, things are easy. How well to you perform then? Which version of you is showing up at that point? This is when most of us are at our best. If each day we can all work to be the best version of ourselves, we wouldn’t judge others or ourselves as harshly. We would be more open to opportunities and possibilities. We would be growing not contracting.
I totally love this, the word and the concept. A simple message that has inspired so many. It’s a work ethic, it’s an attitude. It covers the waterfront and focuses you at the same time. React in your best version, behave in your best version, show compassion in your best version, be your best.
I have talked about the fact that i wake up each day and try to be better than I was the day before. Sometimes that is easy as the Suzy that showed up yesterday was not her best. She was judgmental, harsh, lacked confidence and doubted herself. Sometimes it is hard to out do a great day where Suzy was open, loving, compassionate, non-judgmental and filled with love for all, including herself. I have a practice that I do each morning to focus myself on how I want to be, I learned this from Gabrielle Bernstein, one of my mentors and gurus that I follow. I ask myself each morning the following: How do I want to feel today? Which Suzy do I need to be today? What do I want to give today? What do I want to receive today? As I thought about Mamba Mentality and this practice I have now changed it a bit. I still ask how do I want to feel, but I have replaced which Suzy do I need to be? I now ask myself, “How can I be a better Suzy today?” Doing that this week allowed me to gently and non-judgmentally think about what I could have done differently the day before and how I can be even better today. It has already helped me stop beating myself up and has increased my confidence.
Now I have word to refer to, a language. Now I have a new practice to help me start each day with the best intentions. I’m so sad that it took a tragedy and 9 lives lost for me to really understand Kobe Bryant. I am sad that I had to learn about 8 people who were getting a ride to basketball.
I am glad I learned about Mamba Mentality. Be the best version of yourself. Life will be even more beautiful for us all.
Rest in Peace to the 9 lives lost and sending healing love to all those personally impacted.