#106 - What Kobe Bryant Can Teach You About Fluency in English

September 8, 2021

In this episode, I'm gonna explain how your journey to fluency is no different from Kobe Bryant's journey to becoming a champion.

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[00:00:00] In this episode, I'm going to tell you what Kobe Bryant can teach you about becoming fluent in English.

[00:00:06] A lot of people know Kobe Bryant holds a lot of professional records, and he has a lot of accomplishments in the NBA. In my humble opinion, he's the best basketball player to ever participate in the National Basketball Association. Now, obviously, that's up for debate. I know not everybody is a Kobe fan. Some people are insane. But even still, I can respect any difference of opinion when it comes to the best player of all time. And that's not the point of this episode, right?

[00:00:39] Now, even if you don't know a single thing about Kobe Bryant, you've probably heard his name and you probably know that he was an extremely talented player. I mean, a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, 5 NBA Championship titles, multiple MVP awards, multiple 50-point games, multiple 60-point games. This man scored more points than any other Lakers player in the history of the team. Let me say that again in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers from the time they became a team until today, no man has ever scored more points for the Lakers than Kobe Bryant.

[00:01:19] But you know what people don't talk about? Kobe Bryant has also missed more shots than any other man in the history of the National Basketball Association. Fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty-one shots to be exact.

[00:01:35] Let me say that again. Kobe Bryant, during his career, missed fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty-one shots. That's a lot of missed shots. And yet Kobe is still known as one of the best players of all time. How's that possible?

[00:02:01] If you didn't know who Kobe was and somebody told you that a player had missed 14,000 shots during his career, you'd probably call that guy a loser. Right? You probably say that guy sucks. Even if you don't know anything about basketball, 14,000 just sounds like a huge number, doesn't it?

[00:02:20] So how is it the guy who was known as the best actually has one of the worst records in the history of the sport? I think it's because even though he missed so many shots during his career, he never stopped shooting the ball. In other words, he never stopped trying. And at the end of it all, that's what people remember him for.

[00:02:44] Now, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard Kobe Bryant publicly apologizing for trying? Have you ever heard anybody publicly apologize for trying? Imagine if Kobe apologized to all his fans and his teammates and his coaches and the team owner every time he missed a shot. That'd be ridiculous, wouldn't it? So why are you apologizing every time you make a mistake when you're speaking English?

[00:03:17] You weren't born speaking English. In fact, nobody was. We all had to learn our native languages. The difference here is that you are learning a second or maybe a third or maybe even a fourth language. Right? So it's obvious to me that you're not going to understand every single thing that an English speaker says to you in a conversation. And it's also obvious to me that you're not going to be able to express yourself exactly the way you would like in every moment of every conversation.

[00:03:46] But the fact of the matter is you're trying. Right? You're trying to learn something new, you're trying to do something that many people will never do in their lifetime. And what reason do you have to apologize for that?

[00:04:01] Think about when a foreigner is trying to speak your native language and they make some grammatical mistake or they say something strange that doesn't make much sense. Do you sit there waiting for them to apologize? Do you get mad that they don't speak your native language as well as you do? Most likely not. I hope not.

[00:04:21] Instead, you probably have an idea of what they're trying to say, and then you ask them to explain themselves a little bit better or explain themselves in a different way. No big deal, right? Well, I'm here to tell you it's the same thing when you're speaking English.

[00:04:37] Of course, you're going to find people that would try to make you feel bad for not speaking perfect English. And of course, you might find yourself in some stressful situations because you can't express yourself the way you need to. But who cares? Adversity and challenges are a part of life, and it's what you do in the moment of adversity that defines you, not the moment of adversity itself. In other words, you are not what happens to you. You are how you react to what happens to you.

[00:05:08] Nobody missed more shots or made more mistakes than Kobe Bryant. Nobody. And yet still, he retired a champion and a legend. That was not an accident. That was not a coincidence. That was a choice that he made consciously... every day. He didn't wake up on Monday and say, "I'm going to be great, I'm going to be the best." And that was the end of it. He woke up again on Tuesday and said, "I'm going to be great. I'm going to be the best." And then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For over 20 years, well over 20 years, because he started playing basketball and got on the path to greatness well before he joined the NBA. Right? It was a conscious choice to be great every single day.

[00:05:57] So you know what you’ve gotta do when you make a mistake and things don't go the way you planned? Be like Kobe, just grab the ball and take another shot.

[END OF PODCAST]

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[00:00:00] In this episode, I'm going to tell you what Kobe Bryant can teach you about becoming fluent in English.

[00:00:06] A lot of people know Kobe Bryant holds a lot of professional records, and he has a lot of accomplishments in the NBA. In my humble opinion, he's the best basketball player to ever participate in the National Basketball Association. Now, obviously, that's up for debate. I know not everybody is a Kobe fan. Some people are insane. But even still, I can respect any difference of opinion when it comes to the best player of all time. And that's not the point of this episode, right?

[00:00:39] Now, even if you don't know a single thing about Kobe Bryant, you've probably heard his name and you probably know that he was an extremely talented player. I mean, a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, 5 NBA Championship titles, multiple MVP awards, multiple 50-point games, multiple 60-point games. This man scored more points than any other Lakers player in the history of the team. Let me say that again in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers from the time they became a team until today, no man has ever scored more points for the Lakers than Kobe Bryant.

[00:01:19] But you know what people don't talk about? Kobe Bryant has also missed more shots than any other man in the history of the National Basketball Association. Fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty-one shots to be exact.

[00:01:35] Let me say that again. Kobe Bryant, during his career, missed fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty-one shots. That's a lot of missed shots. And yet Kobe is still known as one of the best players of all time. How's that possible?

[00:02:01] If you didn't know who Kobe was and somebody told you that a player had missed 14,000 shots during his career, you'd probably call that guy a loser. Right? You probably say that guy sucks. Even if you don't know anything about basketball, 14,000 just sounds like a huge number, doesn't it?

[00:02:20] So how is it the guy who was known as the best actually has one of the worst records in the history of the sport? I think it's because even though he missed so many shots during his career, he never stopped shooting the ball. In other words, he never stopped trying. And at the end of it all, that's what people remember him for.

[00:02:44] Now, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard Kobe Bryant publicly apologizing for trying? Have you ever heard anybody publicly apologize for trying? Imagine if Kobe apologized to all his fans and his teammates and his coaches and the team owner every time he missed a shot. That'd be ridiculous, wouldn't it? So why are you apologizing every time you make a mistake when you're speaking English?

[00:03:17] You weren't born speaking English. In fact, nobody was. We all had to learn our native languages. The difference here is that you are learning a second or maybe a third or maybe even a fourth language. Right? So it's obvious to me that you're not going to understand every single thing that an English speaker says to you in a conversation. And it's also obvious to me that you're not going to be able to express yourself exactly the way you would like in every moment of every conversation.

[00:03:46] But the fact of the matter is you're trying. Right? You're trying to learn something new, you're trying to do something that many people will never do in their lifetime. And what reason do you have to apologize for that?

[00:04:01] Think about when a foreigner is trying to speak your native language and they make some grammatical mistake or they say something strange that doesn't make much sense. Do you sit there waiting for them to apologize? Do you get mad that they don't speak your native language as well as you do? Most likely not. I hope not.

[00:04:21] Instead, you probably have an idea of what they're trying to say, and then you ask them to explain themselves a little bit better or explain themselves in a different way. No big deal, right? Well, I'm here to tell you it's the same thing when you're speaking English.

[00:04:37] Of course, you're going to find people that would try to make you feel bad for not speaking perfect English. And of course, you might find yourself in some stressful situations because you can't express yourself the way you need to. But who cares? Adversity and challenges are a part of life, and it's what you do in the moment of adversity that defines you, not the moment of adversity itself. In other words, you are not what happens to you. You are how you react to what happens to you.

[00:05:08] Nobody missed more shots or made more mistakes than Kobe Bryant. Nobody. And yet still, he retired a champion and a legend. That was not an accident. That was not a coincidence. That was a choice that he made consciously... every day. He didn't wake up on Monday and say, "I'm going to be great, I'm going to be the best." And that was the end of it. He woke up again on Tuesday and said, "I'm going to be great. I'm going to be the best." And then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For over 20 years, well over 20 years, because he started playing basketball and got on the path to greatness well before he joined the NBA. Right? It was a conscious choice to be great every single day.

[00:05:57] So you know what you’ve gotta do when you make a mistake and things don't go the way you planned? Be like Kobe, just grab the ball and take another shot.

[END OF PODCAST]

Writing prompts

Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
Download the VIP
Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

[00:00:00] In this episode, I'm going to tell you what Kobe Bryant can teach you about becoming fluent in English.

[00:00:06] A lot of people know Kobe Bryant holds a lot of professional records, and he has a lot of accomplishments in the NBA. In my humble opinion, he's the best basketball player to ever participate in the National Basketball Association. Now, obviously, that's up for debate. I know not everybody is a Kobe fan. Some people are insane. But even still, I can respect any difference of opinion when it comes to the best player of all time. And that's not the point of this episode, right?

[00:00:39] Now, even if you don't know a single thing about Kobe Bryant, you've probably heard his name and you probably know that he was an extremely talented player. I mean, a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, 5 NBA Championship titles, multiple MVP awards, multiple 50-point games, multiple 60-point games. This man scored more points than any other Lakers player in the history of the team. Let me say that again in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers from the time they became a team until today, no man has ever scored more points for the Lakers than Kobe Bryant.

[00:01:19] But you know what people don't talk about? Kobe Bryant has also missed more shots than any other man in the history of the National Basketball Association. Fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty-one shots to be exact.

[00:01:35] Let me say that again. Kobe Bryant, during his career, missed fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty-one shots. That's a lot of missed shots. And yet Kobe is still known as one of the best players of all time. How's that possible?

[00:02:01] If you didn't know who Kobe was and somebody told you that a player had missed 14,000 shots during his career, you'd probably call that guy a loser. Right? You probably say that guy sucks. Even if you don't know anything about basketball, 14,000 just sounds like a huge number, doesn't it?

[00:02:20] So how is it the guy who was known as the best actually has one of the worst records in the history of the sport? I think it's because even though he missed so many shots during his career, he never stopped shooting the ball. In other words, he never stopped trying. And at the end of it all, that's what people remember him for.

[00:02:44] Now, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard Kobe Bryant publicly apologizing for trying? Have you ever heard anybody publicly apologize for trying? Imagine if Kobe apologized to all his fans and his teammates and his coaches and the team owner every time he missed a shot. That'd be ridiculous, wouldn't it? So why are you apologizing every time you make a mistake when you're speaking English?

[00:03:17] You weren't born speaking English. In fact, nobody was. We all had to learn our native languages. The difference here is that you are learning a second or maybe a third or maybe even a fourth language. Right? So it's obvious to me that you're not going to understand every single thing that an English speaker says to you in a conversation. And it's also obvious to me that you're not going to be able to express yourself exactly the way you would like in every moment of every conversation.

[00:03:46] But the fact of the matter is you're trying. Right? You're trying to learn something new, you're trying to do something that many people will never do in their lifetime. And what reason do you have to apologize for that?

[00:04:01] Think about when a foreigner is trying to speak your native language and they make some grammatical mistake or they say something strange that doesn't make much sense. Do you sit there waiting for them to apologize? Do you get mad that they don't speak your native language as well as you do? Most likely not. I hope not.

[00:04:21] Instead, you probably have an idea of what they're trying to say, and then you ask them to explain themselves a little bit better or explain themselves in a different way. No big deal, right? Well, I'm here to tell you it's the same thing when you're speaking English.

[00:04:37] Of course, you're going to find people that would try to make you feel bad for not speaking perfect English. And of course, you might find yourself in some stressful situations because you can't express yourself the way you need to. But who cares? Adversity and challenges are a part of life, and it's what you do in the moment of adversity that defines you, not the moment of adversity itself. In other words, you are not what happens to you. You are how you react to what happens to you.

[00:05:08] Nobody missed more shots or made more mistakes than Kobe Bryant. Nobody. And yet still, he retired a champion and a legend. That was not an accident. That was not a coincidence. That was a choice that he made consciously... every day. He didn't wake up on Monday and say, "I'm going to be great, I'm going to be the best." And that was the end of it. He woke up again on Tuesday and said, "I'm going to be great. I'm going to be the best." And then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For over 20 years, well over 20 years, because he started playing basketball and got on the path to greatness well before he joined the NBA. Right? It was a conscious choice to be great every single day.

[00:05:57] So you know what you’ve gotta do when you make a mistake and things don't go the way you planned? Be like Kobe, just grab the ball and take another shot.

[END OF PODCAST]

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