Ask just about anyone and they'll say they go the extra mile. They'll say they're willing to pay the price for achievement. They'll say they understand and embrace the brutal truths about success.

And then there's Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard.

Take his official recruiting visit to San Diego State University. Most high school athletes see visiting college campuses as their time to be recognized, to be treated like a star, to be, well, maybe not wined, but at least dined... they see recruiting visits as a reward.

Not Kawhi. When he visited SDSU, the school he eventually attended, all he wanted to do was work out. Go to the gym. Shoot. Rebound. Play pickup games. Kawhi didn't want to see the sights. He wanted to hoop.

Once at SDSU, he would break into the gym to shoot. Because he couldn't always turn on the lights, he brought a lamp. When the college installed new locks, he got a key to a nearby Mormon church with a full court. 

And when he wasn't practicing, he was on his phone: Watching Michael Jordan highlight videos. 

According to teammate LaBradford Franklin, "Kawhi would say, 'I'm Mike (Jordan). I want to be the best, the greatest.' And from how he carried himself, we knew he was serious. We knew that's what he really wanted."

That's the thing about success: A few people want to do a huge amount of work, but most of us want to be the kind of person who wants to do a huge amount of work. 

The next time you think you've done all you can, you've put in enough time, you've given it your all... remember: You can always find a little more in you. As one SEAL says, when your mind is telling you you're done, you're really only 40 percent done.

You are always capable of more than you think.

As Franklin says about Leonard, "To this day, I apply everything I learned from him. He was the hardest worker. While we were going to class, he would hold his couple papers for the class in his hand and in his backpack he had his sports gear: his shoes, the ball. He was always in the gym. At night, in the day. You could definitely learn from him. That work ethic can be applied to anything."

Of course you may never be an NBA All-Star. You may never be the difference-maker behind Toronto's playoff run.

But you can use Kawhi as the perfect reminder that almost all of your limits are self-imposed.

Which means they can be ratcheted higher.

As can what you achieve.

Published on: Jun 6, 2019
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