The world lost an iconic sports legend in Kobe Bryant. One of the all-time NBA greats. A 5x NBA Champion, a 2x gold medalist, 8x NBA All Star, and even an Academy Award winner. A legendary Los Angeles Laker who transcended the game of basketball. Transcended the world of sports.

As a basketball fan, I appreciated his career achievements and accolades and enjoyed watch his performances during the playoffs and nationally televised games. As a lifelong Philly sports fan, an indelible memory for me was watching the video of his reaction to the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl.

Beyond the stats, titles, and other memorable moments, Bryant leaves the world an important lesson that we should all take from his life. A lesson that should inspire us all in our everyday lives. While Bryant exemplified greatness, Kobe also worked for that greatness.

On the floor, Bryant made great plays look so easy. Tough shots looked guaranteed to go in. A result of his hard work, dedication, focus, and competitiveness. Bryant was the perfect example of what can happen when natural talent is blended with complete investment into one’s craft.

From all accounts, if Kobe was going to do something, he was going to be great at it. Not just average, but great. Not simply leveraging natural talent, but from the willingness to invest time and effort to the pursuit of greatness. The willingness to do the work and not skip the hard part for instant gratification.

Kobe Bryant dreamt big dreams and set his standards for himself. He also possessed the humility to realize and invest the effort needed to achieve those dreams. Bryant never shortchanged his fans, teammates, or anyone around him by pursuing shortcuts.

As the sports world prepares say goodbye way too soon, society embody the lessons his life taught us and carry on his legacy. Dream big. Find out what it will take to achieve that dream. Put in the work and take no shortcuts. Play it forward to those around you.

Condolences to all impacted. RIP Kobe Bryant #8 #24.