• Brettney Douglas-Al Hindi

Kobe Had the Mamba Mentality, What is Your Word, Concept, or Life Motto?

After the recent tragedy of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other beautiful souls who lost their lives in the helicopter crash; many of us were overcome with shock, heart-wrenching sadness, and deep thought.

Even if you weren’t into sports, you were affected in some way, we all were.

My mother, who doesn’t even watch basketball, but who knew of the famous player, said that she cried hysterically as if he were a son or nephew, and couldn’t even manage to eat as she was overcome with grief.

We were stopped in our tracks, the whole world stood still for a moment, as we faced the reality of our mortality and what our legacy would look like.

As a wife and mother, I was sick to my stomach.

I still am, to be honest, just thinking of how sudden life can change so drastically, in an instant.

I couldn’t imagine the pain that Vanessa Bryant is going through, and will continue to go through as the weeks, months, and years go by.

As someone who suffers from debilitating anxiety and occasional panic attacks, I had to take time to unplug from social media so I wouldn’t be tempted to read the news and see the images of all those affected by the horrible, and unfortunate incident.

I started thinking about all the things I have and haven’t accomplished, and come to the conclusion that there was just so much more that I wanted and needed to do.

I had a big ol’ pity party, the size of Texas!

They ain't lying when they say, we’re our own worse criticsour biggest enemies too.

I did allow myself to wallow in my pain, and to feel, something we all should permit ourselves to do from time to time, but I knew that I couldn’t stay there.

The key to keeping yourself alive, sane, and motivated in life; is finding something or someone to live for, and Kobe did that, he lived that through and through with what he called the "Mamba Mentality."

It was more than just a nickname, it was a mindset and a lifestyle.

His untimely passing serves as a reminder of living for something bigger than ourselves.

When I think of a concept that I live by, what comes to mind, is the one that I adopted while attending Clark Atlanta University, and that is the school's motto: "Find a way, or make one!"

I apply this way of thinking to every area of my life because it helps to keep me focused, and reinforces the notion that no matter what it looks like or how you may feel; you are never stuck, and you could overcome anything.

At the top of the year, I chose two words that I wanted to connect with for this new decade and they were, impact and breathe.

The word impact resonates with me because I want my influence or the impression that I give to others to be one of sincerity, passion, and love.

I want people to feel something, whether through my writing, or over the phone, or a simple face-to-face interaction.

I want to give people a pedagogy of hope, and the tenacity to keep going in spite of circumstance.

That's the type of legacy I want to leave.

I chose the word breathe because I want to be intentional about being present, and remembering to literally breathe and to stop allowing small stuff to get under my skin.

I encourage you all to do the same, to think long and hard about what your word, concept, or life motto is, and to work at it every day.

I believe in you, now it's time for you to believe in you.

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