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Kobe Bryant: ‘If Basketball Is The Best Thing I’ve Done In My Life, Then I’ve Failed’

He’s got big plans for the future.

During former Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant’s wildly successful 20-year NBA career, he was a five-time champion and an 18-time all-star. Many attribute Bryant’s accomplishments to his unbelievable work ethic: He was always the first guy in the gym in the morning, worked out four-plus hours a day, and often cold-called other successful people for advice. It’d be ridiculous to think this drive just disappeared after he hung two of his jerseys in the rafters of the Staples Center.

Now, Bryant has put his past success behind him and is looking forward to the second half of his career with the same intensity. “Fast-forward 20 years from now. If basketball is the best thing I’ve done in my life, then I’ve failed,” Bryant told Complex News. “It’s a very simple mission, very simple quest, very simple goal. These next 20 years need to be better than the previous 20. It’s as simple as that, and that is what drives me.”

Photo by Keith Allison/Flickr.

In 2014, he became a major investor in BodyArmor SuperDrink. He is also part of a venture capital firm with $100 million in funding focused on different businesses including media, data, gaming, and technology. Bryant is also stretching out creatively through Kobe Studios to bring stories alive through multiple media channels. “What my passion is now is creating the story,” Bryant told the Orange County Register. “Creating the story and finding the best possible way, the medium which that story can live.”

While some may find Bryant’s drive a bit excessive, he actually provides a great example for anyone looking to overcome their past: Many of us define ourselves by our past failures, achievements, and identities, while Bryant is all about evolving.

“Focus on what is ahead, and it takes a lot of bravery to be able to do that, because what if that falls flat, then what?” Bryant said. “It is always easier to go with what is. But that ain’t what we do. We push forward, and that is the biggest challenge ahead.”

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