Kobe Bryant penned a letter to his 17-year-old self titled, “Letter to My Younger Self.” In it he wrote about lessons he has learned along the way about family, friends, and money.
He told himself to invest in family and friends, not just give them things. He explained that he actually hurt them, when he thought he was helping them. He wrote, “You will come to understand that you were taking care of them because it made YOU feel good, it made YOU happy to see them smiling and without a care in the world — and that was extremely selfish of you. While you were feeling satisfied with yourself, you were slowly eating away at their own dreams and ambitions. You were adding material things to their lives, but subtracting the most precious gifts of all: independence and growth.”
Bryant also briefly wrote about his parents, which he no longer has a good relationship with. Lawyers got involved after his parents tried to profit off selling memorabilia without his permission, tarnishing their relationship. He wrote, “The next time I write to you, I may touch on the challenges of mixing blood with business. The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure your parents remain PARENTS and not managers.”
“Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache, some of which remains to this day,” Bryant wrote. In other words, you live and you learn. Read his full letter here.