Learn to Carry the Tray

Are You Willing to Look Weird to Be Great?

Several years ago, I read an article from Business Insider titled “17 Examples Of Kobe Bryant’s Insane Work Ethic.

The entire piece provides an enlightening look at the kind of discipline and dedication that often comprises what appears on the surface to be sheer athletic giftedness.

My favorite example from the article is #3:

He used to practice by himself without a ball, says Shaq.

Shaq wrote in his book:

“You’d walk in there and he’d be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting — except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I’m pretty sure it helped him.”

Could anything be weirder and seemingly more pointless than practicing the game of basketball without an actual ball?

Stories like this compel me to ask myself the following question:

In what way is it possible for me to work towards my goals even when certain elements that appear to be essential are missing?

It’s easy to imagine how much further along we’d be if we had more time, more money, more support, more energy, more information, more experience, etc.

People with practice routines like Kobe Bryant remind us that there is always something we can do to get better if we’re willing to work hard, think outside the box, and risk looking weird for the sake of being great.

For Kobe Bryant, it was a basketball. For others, it may be friends, connections, or money.

What’s the thing that seems to be missing from your life?

What’s one thing you can do to work towards your goals without it?