As I write this, but nine hours have passed since NBA icon, Kobe Bryant, tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles. This news shook the world, transcended sport, and left us with an indelible reminder of the fragility of life - RIP Kobe Bryant.
It also got me thinking, pondering about what it all means - how our life should be defined. Unquestionably, the life of Kobe Bryant will be remembered fondly - a relentless competitor, a loving father, a mentor to millions.
You can't help but think...What will they say about me?
We talk and think about the word legacy to a great extent in our culture. We work our entire lives in effort to create value, leave behind something cherished, and to make the world a little bit better, in any way we can. Yet, from moment to moment, this ultimate goal - to create a lasting, strong, and positive legacy - is often forgotten amidst our daily routine.
Unfortunately, happenings such as those experienced on Sunday, January 26, with the passing of Kobe Bryant serve as our reminder. Our reminder to live each day with purpose, love each other deeply, and focus on what truly matters. We take a step back from the minutiae on which we focus too much energy, electing instead to reflect on the bigger picture - the person we want to be, the things we wish to accomplish, the impact we seek to make.
In the face of such sudden, incomprehensible loss there are incredibly powerful and useful messages. As the late, great Steve Jobs once stated, "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." Life is so brief. It can be taken in an instant. Why spend it in the shadows? Why live it cautiously? What do you really have to lose?
Now, I understand, we cannot simply throw practicality to the wind. We have responsibilities and the seemingly risky behavior often associated with "living life to the fullest" can at times seem quite immature and reckless. Yet, I can think of nothing more immature and reckless than cowering to your dreams. Shying away from the life you know you are meant to live.
As far as we all know, this life we've been blessed with only comes around once. It's like if someone imposed a rule stating that you could only have pizza one time in your entire life, would you not make sure that pizza is the best damn pizza you could get your hands on? Are you making sure your life is the best damn life you can live?
When it is all said and done, what will your legacy be? Whatever it is, go leave it. Craft your story, day in, day out. Be the person you want to be remembered as. Get started on the ambitious goals that will define your journey. Though the world lost a remarkable man, I certainly hope we all find perspective. Life must be lived!
Be known as the person that is always in the game, never retreating to the sidelines.