Staying motivated can be a fickle state of mind, but not for LeBron James.
Four MVP awards and two championships into his career, the Miami Heat superstar is at the center of all things NBA. He's the greatest player in the world, and it's not even close. No one in the universe with four limbs and a pulse can rival his on-court acumen.
Having already incurred so much success over the last decade—before even turning 30—it's easy to see how LeBron could become disinterested or even complacent.
It's lonely at the top, after all. What motivation could he have at this point of his career, already far removed from his "peers"?
Asked what continues to drive him these days, LeBron spoke of his desire to be remembered as the greatest player to ever play the game, per B/R's Ethan J. Skolnick.
LeBron: "I want to be the greatest of all time. And that's my motivation.... It's not simple, but for me it is. That's my mindframe."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) September 30, 2013
Spectacular answer. No smokescreens or deflections; only the raw, unabashed truth.
Michael Jordan comparisons frequent the Internet these days like championships for the Boston Celtics during the 1960s. Everything LeBron does is measured against the great ones, against the widely accepted greatest one.
His awareness of those comparisons has never been more evident. He appears conscious of them now more than ever, as he chooses to look ahead, never harping on the past or present.
Case in point: LeBron discussed other aspects of his greatness, per the Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman, expanding upon his already extravagant "not one, not two..." prediction.
LeBron, on if he's satisfied, " . . . not 11, not 12, not 13, not 14 . . . " with a huge smile, joking how he just guaranteed a title at 50.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) September 30, 2013
Looking ahead; he's always looking ahead. Two titles aren't enough. He wants more; he needs more.
Championships and individual accolades fulfill a greater purpose for King James. They're aesthetically pleasing, no doubt, but each one is also a stepping stone to something more.
Strung together, they open the gate to a path few have traveled. And the further he goes, the closer he comes to achieving immortality, to towering over those he has yet to surpass.
Some would posit that he's chasing a ghost. That it can't be done. Still, standards remain higher for LeBron, and as such, so does the personal bar he holds himself to.
Does LeBron James have what it takes to go down as the G.O.A.T.?
Satisfaction will only be achieved if, and only if, he's deemed better than Jordan. Better than Magic Johnson. Better than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Better than everyone else. Ever.