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By Cynthia Chebet

Kobe Bryant’s death came as devastating news worldwide. The NBA legend and his daughter Giana were among the people who, last weekend, died in a helicopter crash.

Bryant, a devoted father of four and husband to Vanessa, was a devoted player who strategically and often obsessively figured how to win over time.

In his death, he remains an inspiration to not only to the younger generation, but to everyone. Here are some success lessons you can pick from him:

1. You Have to Work For Your Success

Growing up, Bryant wasn’t the most athletic kid. Because he couldn’t compete with the bigger kids as he described in one of the podcasts he did, he decided to take the longer route. He saw to it that each year he set a goal to achieve, which he did, and so on until eventually, he caught up to them.

One does not bump into success; you have to envision it and work for it.

2. Growth requires a frequent review of your performance

Through self-critique, awareness emerges. Bryant was one to obsessively critique himself and look where it got him; an NBA legend!

Bryant was known to retreat into the training room at games during halftime to watch the first half on a laptop. He understood that knowing how the first game went would help him play better moving forward and avoid making the same mistakes.

In whatever you do, you need to constantly check and review your performance. Just like Kobe, know your strengths, build on them and your weaknesses that you should do away with or use it to your advantage.

3. Be open-minded; Solutions emerge from anywhere

There is a time Bryant suffered the worst sprained ankle of his career. While he was able to get through the games, he realized that this was a recurring injury and that he needed to be proactive about prevention. So that summer, he took up tap dancing.

Dancing would not be an idea that would first pop into mind but for someone open-minded, it would. When you understand the philosophy of solutions being everywhere, you will find yourself always finding a way out of problems. It will give you’re the wisdom of the art of problem-solving. Be open-minded!

4. Practice Makes Perfect.

As cliché as it sounds, Kobe couldn’t prove this any better.  He scored 81 points in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors, whose total points were the second-highest in NBA history.

He explained this win by saying that, during the summer that led up to the game, he had been making 1000 specific shots a day and by the time he played the game, his body already knew what to do.

Bryant teaches us that perfection in whatever we do comes from not only constant practice but also intended practice. Know the result you want and strategize your practice to lead you there.

5. Work smart.

Sometimes, working hard isn’t enough; you ought to be smart about it.

At some point in his life as a basketball player, Kobe realized that what he was doing wasn’t working. He therefore resorted to studying how Allen Iverson, the NBA legend, played his games. He read all the articles and books he could find about him and searched for any of his weakness he could find. This led to his discovery of how sharks hunt seals off the South African coast. Patience, timing and angles were what he learned from them.

The same applies to your problems or challenges. If you have been working on something unsuccessfully, try looking at it from a different angle; you might just find a new plan that is going to be a game-changer for you!