Narrative connections

Mamba Mentality

Mamba Mentality

Note: I wrote this several months ago after Kobe Bryant’s death. The pandemic has taken a great many things away from us, including my ability to share these thoughts with you, but it cannot take away our independent will.

To be great at anything, it takes a remarkable amount of sacrifice and indescribable determination. In turn, the one unique gift that we all have is our independent will. We are not our emotions and we have the ability to choose our response in any situation. In fact, we have the ability to choose how we spend our time each and every day.

Being great truly does emanate from willpower. You can’t simply wish for success. As my father used to say, “Wish in one hand and s*#@ in the other and see which one gets filled first.” He clearly had a way with words but his point was fairly obvious: success comes from your willingness to work for it. Oftentimes, willpower is a choice that runs counter to everything you feel. You can make the choice not to lash out when someone has slighted you or not overreact when something goes amiss. We choose the way that we respond and how we utilize our time and skills.

I grew up playing basketball and I became a fan of the L.A. Lakers while living in Southern California. Back then, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were dominating the NBA and winning championships. Along with millions of others, I was saddened when Kobe, his daughter and seven others died a few months ago.

We all have flaws and we all have made mistakes. I don’t want to make a commentary on a man who had both. However, a portion of his life offers us an analogy to the success we all covet. You see, Kobe Bryant was maniacal in his endeavors. He competed in every aspect of his life by listening, learning and practicing. They called him the Black Mamba because of the way he could strike at any moment. But, it was what he did when nobody was watching that made him a great basketball player.

Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” was about using your unique gift of independent willpower to make choices each and every moment. His death, along with that of his beautiful young daughter, reminded us all that life is precious and can be over in the blink of an eye. So, why not leave a legacy, positively impact the world and will the best version of yourself?

Regardless of the situation we face or outside influences, our willingness to choose our reactions may be the most powerful force we have. So, take my father’s advice and “use it or lose it.”

Check us out at We are helping some amazing people—who are using their willpower in these odd times—to connect with their communities. In essence, we are supporting their endeavor to fill the emotional gap that has widened over the past several months. Feel free to reach out to us at

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Mark Potter

Founder / Consultant

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