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Create, Don’t Compete Lessons in Excellence From Kobe Bryant
Before I get started, I need to give you a peek behind the scenes. I write these letters pretty far in advance, which gives me time to put together each newsletter. At the time of writing, it’s late January. I’m telling you this so you’ll understand why I “waited” until April to talk about Kobe Bryant. If you somehow never heard the name Kobe Bryant, he was a famous basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe led the Lakers to many championship wins, earning the nickname “Black Mamba” and becoming one of the greatest NBA players of all time. That’s why so many people were devastated on Jan. 26, 2020, when Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. I’m 47 years old, and over the course of my life, a lot of famous people have passed away. These deaths were sad, like the loss of human life always is, but they never really impacted me until now. Kobe’s loss is the first celebrity death that resonated with me. That said, I’ve never been a big sports guy, so I didn’t follow Kobe’s career with the Lakers. I wasn’t a fan of him because he was excellent at basketball. I became a fan of Kobe Bryant because he stood for a strong work ethic and excellence. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you have to appreciate how much work someone like Kobe Bryant had to put into basketball in order to become a great athlete. That kind of focus is off the charts! This was a man who put his all into everything he did, who was willing to do the hard work because that’s how you get results. Part of Kobe’s lasting legacy is his “Mamba mentality.”
“I became a fan of Kobe Bryant
“Mamba mentality is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most,” Kobe said in an interview with Amazon Book Review. “It’s the ultimate mantra for the competitive spirit. Hard work outweighs talent — every time.” Hearing about how Kobe strove for excellence really spoke to me. I’ve always prided myself on being the most hardworking person in the room. Throughout my career, I’ve used a mental trick to stay hungry and never become complacent. Law and business can be a lot like sports. It’s a competition, and we’re always keeping score. The trick is recognizing who your competition really is. If you’re running a personal injury (PI) firm in Atlanta, it can feel like there’s an overwhelming amount of competition. Personal injury attorneys are on every other radio spot, TV ad, and billboard. When I first started my firm, I got freaked out by the sheer number of PI attorneys in the area. How could I compete with that? This pressure threw me for a loop, and I struggled to focus for a while. Finally, the because he stood for a strong work ethic and excellence.”
switch went off in my head. I told myself, “David, don’t worry about those other attorneys. They’re not your competition. You are your only competition.” At that point, I came up with the phrase, “Create, don’t compete.” It doesn’t matter how good anyone else is. If you are constantly worried about what everyone else is doing, you’re not focusing on being better. You’re just reacting, playing defense. You can’t score if you’re always on defense. What ultimately matters is how good you are, and that’s something you have complete control over. You can create your business, your personality, and your own success. Who cares if you are better than the guy next door? The valuable question is this: Are you better than you were yesterday? If not, take a page from Kobe Bryant’s legacy and adopt a Mamba mentality. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, an attorney, or if you’re still trying to find your path — hard work and focus always pays off. -David Brauns
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Holistic Methods for Taming Seasonal Allergies LEARN TO BREATHE BETTER
The season of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, but you don’t have to let your allergies stop you from enjoying gorgeous April blooms and fresh spring breezes. Try these natural solutions to help combat your allergies and breathe a little easier this spring — though if your allergies are persistent, seek professional medical help. Eat Them Away Food is often overlooked as a method to fight your allergies, but make no mistake: The nutrients in some foods can do wonders for your body! Use this to your advantage by choosing ingredients proven to fight the sniffles. Raw, local honey has the ability to soothe scratchy throats, which protects the airway passage from further damage. (Warning: Children under the age of 1 should never consume honey.) Also on the sweeter side, the naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, has been shown to ease inflammation and swelling, while quercetin, found in tea, red wine, and apples, can act as a natural antihistamine. If you’re looking for something more savory, spicy foods can
Drain Them Away Have you ever just wanted to open your nose and flush out all of your congestion? With a neti pot, you can! Simply create your own saltwater solution with filtered water — do not try this with unfiltered water, as deadly organisms can enter your body this way — and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some experts even suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to the mixture to soothe the bite of the salt. Next, pour the solution into the pot. Tilt your head to one side over a sink, pour the mixture from the pot into one of your nostrils, and let it drain out the other side. Repeat on the opposite nostril and feel the relief!
light a fire under your mucus, break it up, and clear your nasal passages.
Poke Them Away Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method that pinpoints specific pathways crucial to the flow of energy throughout the body and reopens them through strategic needle placements. While studies have yet to prove that acupuncture can serve as a stand- alone treatment for allergies, it has been shown to aid in symptom management. Acupuncture can also decrease pain and release built-up pressure caused by congestion.
Testimonials DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT
“Brauns Law gave me the best legal experience I have ever had. The entire law firm was very professional and courteous. They were very thorough throughout my entire experience. I felt like everyone really cared about me personally.” –Kym Whitehead
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Get Serious About Suicide Prevention ‘It’s Going to Be Okay’
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
VA Mental Health Services 404-321-6111, ext. 7620
Content warning: Teen suicide subject matter
Alex Blackwell’s last words were, “It’s going to be okay.” The 16-year-old made the claim over a video call with her boyfriend in September 2017 before becoming unresponsive. Her boyfriend called 911, but by the time Alex was rushed to the emergency room, it was too late. Following the Georgia teen’s suicide, her father, Richard Blackwell, penned an essay titled, “Is Your Daughter OK? Check Again.” Blackwell’s essay, with its haunting, personal warning to parents everywhere, went viral. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Georgia among people aged 15–17 and 25–34. But despite being a huge issue, suicide is often called the “silent epidemic.” The silence comes from the fact that we often avoid talking about this sad, unpleasant topic. But the taboo nature of suicide makes it even harder for those who need help to find it. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please use these resources.
This toll-free hotline connects callers with local crisis centers to provide free and confidential emotional support.
For veterans in need of help, Atlanta VA Medical Center’s mental health help line is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “In my heart I think Alex made one bad decision on one bad day,” Blackwell wrote in his essay. “One impulsive decision that couldn’t be taken back.” It
Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741-741
If you don’t want to call someone, you can get 24/7 support via text through Crisis Text Line. This nonprofit provides free, confidential crisis intervention by connecting people to a trained crisis counselor in less than five minutes. A Friend Asks App Created by The Jason Foundation, A Friend Asks is a free smartphone app filled with tools and resources you can use to help a friend (or yourself) who is struggling with thoughts of suicide.
only takes one bad decision for a loved one to be taken from us forever. Have an open conversation with your friends and family about suicide. Know the warning signs and get the resources to help others and yourself.
WORD SEARCH April
EASY DEVILED EGGS While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving.
Directions 1. In a large bowl, combine Ingredients • 1/2 cup mayonnaise • 2 tbsp milk • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes • 1/2 tsp dill weed • 1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced
• 1/2 tsp ground mustard • Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste • 12 large eggs, hard-boiled • Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish
3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.
mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
BUNNY DAISY EARTH EASTER
EGGS FOOL GARDEN PASSOVER
POLLEN PRANK RAMADAN TAXES
2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites.
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Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
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404-418-8244 | WWW.BRAUNSLAW.COM 3175 SATELLITE BOULEVARD, SUITE 330 DULUTH, GEORGIA 30096
Remembering the Mamba Mentality
Fight the Sneeze With These Holistic Remedies
What Some of Our Clients Are Saying
Georgia’s Suicide Prevention Resources
Easy Deviled Eggs
Top Mental Strategies for Your Fitness Routine
Finding Motivation on Those Tough Days Top Mental Strategies for Your Fitness Routine
Whether your New Year’s workout routine is finally embedded in your schedule or you’re still trying to make it happen, always remember that your mind is just as important as your body. On some days, you may feel like anything is possible, and on others, it may feel impossible to even get out of bed. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal! There’s no reason to feel ashamed if you’re struggling with gaining steam and motivation for your workout. Here are some mental strategies to help you get firmly into your routine this year and the years to come. Getting to the Gym What’s the hardest part of working out? For most people, it’s not the heavy weights or the long cardio sessions — it’s actually stepping into the gym. Sometimes, people will wake up and think that the gym isn’t possible that day as they lay in bed. Some people will psych themselves out of
working out because their time is limited, or they worry about how tired they’ll be after the workout (especially after or before a busy day). Instead of thinking of reasons you can’t or don’t want to go, focus your mind only on the task of getting there. Stepping into the gym will often give you the mental push to actually work out. It’s also best to leave the all-or-nothing mindset behind — a 45- or 55-minute workout isn’t required every single gym session. Life happens, and even if it’s a short exercise, your workout will actually energize you for the rest of your day. Pushing Yourself to the Limit Studies have found that the most successful people share grit: the ability to work hard and endure even the most difficult times. Workouts will burn, and the motions may feel uncomfortable or even
painful, so it’s crucial to have the grit to push yourself to the limit. Rather than give up, you should embrace the pain and see it as a sign you’re growing stronger. Adjust your inner vocabulary. Anything that seems “uncomfortable” should be reconsidered as “intense” but something you can work through. Of course, be careful of injury pains!
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