Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Grover, Tim S.

relentless tim grover summaryDate Finished: June 2018
Did I Like It? 8/10

The books Amazon Page

This book is not for the faint-hearted. I’ve established I am not a cleaner, that means I’ll never be the Michael Jordan of (insert anything here) and that’s okay! Tim has trained some of the greatest basketballers in the world and they keep coming back to him as they see what he does works. This is more of an inspirational book than a step by step book, but if you’re at a crossroads this is a timely book to unleash some motivation.

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What I Highlighted:

You don’t wait to be told, you don’t waver from your goal. When it’s time to act, you act, instinctively and without hesitation. As you will read in these pages: Done. Next.

In real life, being relentless is a state of mind that can give you the strength to achieve, to survive, to overcome, to be strong when others are not.

It means craving the end result so intensely that the work becomes irrelevant.

To be clear: one great performance—or even a great season—doesn’t make you a Cleaner; you’re supposed to play well, that’s your responsibility. It’s the ability to repeat that result over and over, season after season, never satisfied, never letting up, that makes someone truly relentless.

That is a Cleaner. You don’t have to love the hard work; you just have to crave the end result.

I’m going to come back a better player. Still not satisfied. That is a Cleaner.

The only difference between “feedback” and “criticism” is the way you hear it, and I heard it all.

You don’t have to play basketball like Michael Jordan to have his mind-set and mental toughness, and apply it to whatever you do. You just need to share their relentless drive for the end result. And let nothing stand in your way of achieving it.

Being the best means engineering your life so you never stop until you get what you want, and then you keep going until you get what’s next. And then you go for even more.

Believe this: Everything you need to be great is already inside you.

Let them judge you by your results, and nothing else; it’s none of their business how you get where you’re going.

Decide. Commit. Act. Succeed. Repeat.

Being relentless means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you, knowing that every time you stop, you can still do more. You must do more.

Can you improve your chances of success by learning about others who succeeded, and those who didn’t? Of course.

I’m not going to tell you how to change. People don’t change. I want you to trust who you already are, and get to that Zone where you can shut out all the noise, all the negativity and fear and distractions and lies, and achieve whatever you want, in whatever you do. To get you there, I’m going

Success is about dealing with reality, facing your demons and addictions, and not putting a smiley face on everything you do.

We never saw obstacles or problems, we only saw situations in need of solutions.

We learned, we made mistakes, we learned from our mistakes. We kept learning.

Relentless is about never being satisfied, always driving to be the best, and then getting even better.

The Cleaner You Are, the Dirtier You Get

I don’t believe in long, windy pep talks or speeches; anything that requires a long explanation probably isn’t the truth.

Being relentless means never being satisfied. It means creating new goals every time you reach your personal best. If you’re good, it means you don’t stop until you’re great. If you’re great, it means you fight until you’re unstoppable. It means becoming a Cleaner.

Michael never cared about achieving mere greatness. He cared about being the best. Ever. Greatness makes you a legend; being the best makes you an icon. If you want to be great, deliver the unexpected. If you want to be the best, deliver a miracle.

Never satisfied, never content, always pushing higher and higher. That’s a Cleaner.

There are a handful in the game today, not too many, and probably not whom you’d suspect—stardom doesn’t automatically make you a Cleaner, winning does, and not just winning once; you have to be able to do it again and again.

It’s about the relentless instinctive drive to do whatever it takes—anything—to get to the top of where you want to be, and to stay there.

A Cleaner’s attitude can be summed up in three words: I own this.

Being a Cleaner has almost nothing to do with talent.

Cleaners don’t do it for show, they don’t go through the motions. A true Cleaner never tells you what he’s doing or what he’s planning. You find out after the job is complete.

Why do I call them Cleaners? Because they take responsibility for everything.

Cleaners are rule-breakers when they have to be; they only care about the end result. When Cleaners have a dark side, and a zone you can’t enter.

Excellence is lonely. They never stop working, physically or mentally, because it gives them too much time to think about what they’ve had to endure and sacrifice to get to the top.

The idea of “loving” what he does would mean he was content, and a Cleaner is never, ever, content.

Eventually, though, all Cleaners have to walk away from their addiction before it completely consumes and destroys them.

Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners. Good, Great, and Unstoppable.

A Cooler is careful; he waits to be told what to do, watches to see what everyone else is doing, and then follows the leader.

A Closer can handle a lot of pressure; he’ll get the job done if you put him in the right situation and tell him exactly what you need him to do.

Coolers can have an amazing game. • Closers can have an amazing season. • Cleaners have amazing careers.

I give a player a list of things he must do to stay strong and healthy, and he skips any step, none of it works. So I don’t number anything #1, #2, #3, #4 . . . I number everything #1.

When You’re a Cleaner . . . #1. You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough. #1. You get into the Zone, you shut out everything else, and control the uncontrollable. #1. You know exactly who you are. #1. You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good. #1. You’re not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it. #1. When everyone is hitting the “In Case of Emergency” button, they’re all looking for you. #1. You don’t compete with anyone, you find your opponent’s weakness and you attack. #1. You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions. #1. You don’t have to love the work, but you’re addicted to the results. #1. You’d rather be feared than liked. #1. You trust very few people, and those you trust better never let you down. #1. You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want. #1. You don’t celebrate your achievements because you always want more.

When You’re a Cleaner . . .

But you can take an elite athlete’s mentality and use it to succeed at whatever you do.

Physical dominance can make you great. Mental dominance is what ultimately makes you unstoppable.

Anyone can measure weight, height, physical strength, speed . . . but you can’t measure commitment, persistence, or the instinctive power of the muscle in your chest, your heart. That’s where your true works begins: understanding what you want to achieve and knowing what you’re willing to endure to get it.

When I train my athletes, it’s a dictatorship with three rules: show up, work hard, and listen.

Do. The. Work. Every day, you have to do something you don’t want to do. Every day. Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable, push past the apathy and laziness and fear.

Yes, I know it’s uncomfortable. I’m not telling you to love it. I’m telling you to crave the result so intensely that the work is irrelevant.

Bottom line if you want success of any kind: you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Few people know what they’re truly able to accomplish, and even fewer want to find out.

One thing I know for sure is that we all have a trigger that puts us in the Zone, something that ignites our competitive intensity, laser focus, and a relentless craving to attack and conquer.

The Zone belongs to you alone, and only you can decide how and when that fire gets lit.

Now you’re in the Zone, and you may never recall how you got there and what happened once you arrived.

Most people can’t do that, nor do they want to; at some point, it wipes you out to stay so intense and constantly charged, always a loner, always in a place no one can go but you. Eventually, you end up having to exhale, relax, let down that wall of intensity, fall out of the Zone.

When you’re a Cleaner in the Zone, you operate with no wasted motion, no chaos, no warning.

I’ll know it’s the right song when you smile . . . when we get it right, there’s always a smile.

But once a Cleaner steps into the Zone, he’s detached from everything on the outside. Whatever else is going on—personal, business, anything—it can’t affect him until he’s ready to return. That, by definition, is the Zone.

The only exception to the emotions rule is anger: controlled anger is a deadly weapon, in the right hands.
All Cleaners have that slow-burning, blue-hot internal anger, and it works if they can control and maintain it.

Born relentless, taught to relent.

It’s molded around you by a lifetime of overthinking and overanalyzing and worrying about what could go wrong. Stay in the cage long enough, you forget those basic instincts.

Anytime you take natural instinct and try to change it, you’re going to have a problem. You can build on it, add to it, improve it, but you cannot tame it. There’s a difference between training and taming.

No thought, no hesitation. Instant response, based on experience and preparation. If you think, you die. When you just know, you can act.

Instinct is raw clay that can be shaped into a masterpiece, if you develop skills that match your talent. That can only come from learning everything there is to know about what you do.

Anyone can have a great idea . . . it’s what you do with the thought that defines you.

You can try, you can make promises, you can seek help and read books and learn ways to suppress your basic nature, but the real person inside you stays the same. It has to. That’s who you are.

You get there by taking huge risks that others won’t take, because you rely on your instincts to know which risks aren’t risks at all.

The darkness is simply the part of you that doesn’t see the light of day, it’s all internal until you act on it, and you only act on it in private or with others you trust to keep your secret.

As soon as a Cleaner achieves success, and the adrenaline rush recedes, he needs more and he gets it.

Cleaners go home to detach from the dark side; it’s the built-in safety valve. That’s why so many men fight to stay in their marriages even after they’ve been caught doing something they shouldn’t have been doing: home is the only safe place they know.

Cleaner Law: control your dark side, don’t let it control you.

Clutch is about the last minute. Relentless is about every minute.

Most people run from stress. I run to it. Stress keeps you sharp, it challenges you in ways you never imagined and forces you to solve issues and manage situations that send weaker people running for cover. You can’t succeed without it. Your level of success is defined by how well you embrace it and manage it.

Everyone can handle pressure. Most people choose not to because it’s easier to stay safe in the comfort zone. But if you want to be successful, to have that place in the sun, then you have to leave the shade.

Pressure can bust pipes, but it can also make diamonds. If you take the negative view, it will crush you; now you’re in an “I can’t do this” frame of mind. But the positive view that will define you; it gives you the opportunity to see how much you can take, how hard you can go.

Of course, it’s not possible to be 100 percent accurate and successful all the time; instinct doesn’t recognize nuance and detail, it just flashes at you and allows your skill to take over, so it’s entirely possible to rely on instinct and still make the wrong decision.

As soon as you start giving me reasons and rationalizations, I know you have something to hide, and you’re not ready to take ownership. Save us both the time. You fucked up. Say it. There is not a faster way to alleviate pressure. “Man, I fucked up.” Okay.

Create your own pressure to succeed, don’t allow others to create it for you

When you can laugh at yourself and not take every setback seriously, that’s confidence.

Two things you can’t let anyone take from you: you can’t let them take away your reputation, and you can’t let them take away your balls.

The most successful people are those with the instincts to respond quickly to anything, without having to go back to the drawing board, watch more film, schedule a meeting, schedule a meeting to discuss what will be discussed at the meeting, or do any of the other countless things people do to put off making a decision.

A lot of gifted people will lower their skills to close the gap between themselves and those around them, so others can feel more confident, involved, and relatively competitive.

That’s a Cleaner, deciding what the Closer will do. A Closer can never be put into the Cleaner’s role unless the Cleaner decides that’s the best way to go.

A great leader knows the best way to get people to raise their performance is to put them where they can truly excel, not just where you want them to excel.

You have to look at your teammates, your employees, and see what they can do, not what they can’t.

Okay, what can he do? He got this far for a reason, how did he get here? We’ve established what he can’t do, so let’s stop waiting for him to do it. Let’s find out what he can do and put him in the system where he can succeed.

The good ones understand the dynamic: let your Cleaners do their thing. Those who can’t give up that control eventually coach themselves out of a job. A Cleaner player needs a Cleaner. Cleaners never sell each other out, they just let the other guy take care of business.

But regardless of how you build that team—any team, in sports or business or any endeavor—no matter how you snap the pieces into place, you need that one guy who never needs a fire lit under him, who commands respect and fear and attention and demands that others bring the same excellence to their performance that he demands of himself.

I love hearing motivational speakers tell people to “follow your passion.” Follow it? How about work at it. Excel at it. Demand to be the best at it. Follow it? Eh.

Trust yourself. Decide. Every minute, every hour, every day that you sit around trying to figure out what to do, someone else is already doing it.

While you’re paralyzed from overthinking and overanalyzing your next move, someone else went with his gut and beat you to it. Make a choice, or a choice will be made for you.

Well, visualizing anything doesn’t make it a reality, and overthinking imaginary problems just generates fear and anxiety. I want you armed with reflexes and instinct, not Xanax.

Figure out what you do, then do it. And do it better than anyone else.

If you know you’re going to have constant pain, can you get comfortable being uncomfortable?

Cleaners have a high tolerance for physical and mental pain; it’s another great challenge to see how much they can take, what they can endure, how well they can play when they’re not healthy.

Sickness, physical or mental, is one of the best ways to put a person in the Zone: his survival instincts kick in and give him an extra gear for fighting back from a weakened state.

Interesting how the guy with the most talent and success spent more time working out than anyone else.

Making it to the top is not the same as making it at the top.

Cleaner Law: when you reduce your competition to whining that you “got lucky,” you know you’re doing something right.

Luck becomes a convenient excuse when things don’t go your way, and a rationale for staying comfortable while you wait for luck to determine your fate.

People who start at the top never understand what they missed at the bottom.

Ask yourself honestly, what would you have to sacrifice to have what you really want? Your social life? Relationships? Credit cards? Free time? Sleep? Now answer this question: What are you willing to sacrifice?

Don’t be jealous of someone if you had the same opportunity and you let it slip away.

In anything you do, it takes no talent to work hard. You just have to want to do it.

Trust me: privilege is a poison unless you know how to manage it.

Cleaner Law: When you’re going through a world of pain, you never hide. You show up to work ready to go, you face adversity and your critics and those who judge you, you step into the Zone and perform at that top level when everyone is expecting you to falter. That’s being a professional.

Athletes spend so much time working on their physical excellence they sometimes forget that respect isn’t just about what you can do physically; you have to be able to perform intellectually and mentally as well.

That’s how you earn respect. Excellence in everything. Now you’re not just another high-paid athlete, you’re a class act.

When you’re the guy at the top, you show others how to act, you don’t drop down to their level.

The greatest compliment to me is “He’s an asshole but he’s the best at what he does.”

Our relationship has to be based on trust, or we can’t get anywhere.