One thing is for sure, no one would be getting participation trophies if it were up to Tim Grover.
The man is fierce. He's unapologetic. He's intelligent. I like him, a lot.
He wrote a book called Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable. My friend Matt from Colorado sent me a copy as a "thank you" for contributing to a recent article. Matt, who reads and listens to over 70 books a year, said that Relentless was on his list of Top 10 books of all time and that I'd love it, too. Well, it's easy to see why Matt is such a big fan and yeah, I thought the book was awesome.
Not only was Grover one of the reasons why some of the best NBA players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant won championship rings, he's one of the main reasons why they were able to win championship rings multiple times. He's one of the main reasons why many elite athletes either stayed injury free or recovered from a serious injury faster that anyone thought possible.
Don't call him a "trainer." That's an insult. However, if you want to call him "THE" Trainer, it's all good. Because the man produces results and deserves the title. Semantics aside, he's a specialist when it come to kinesiology, the science of exercise, the psychology of winning, and the art of domination. Just ask his clients. Grover is the real deal.
Pick up a copy of Relentless for yourself or buy one for someone you know who either strives to be the best at what they do, or for someone who currently is the best and wants to get better.
Below are a just a few parts of the book that stood out to me...
"You don't have to love the hard work; you just have to crave the end results."
"People refuse to work out or control their diets because it's not comfortable for them. But how comfortable can it be to drag around all that extra weight and all the physical problems that go along with it? Back pain, joint issues, shortness of breath, diabetes, heart problems. I'd estimate that 85% of all physical discomfort comes from being overweight. Explain this to me: If you can choose between being uncomfortable because you're overweight and sick, or uncomfortable because you're sweating at the gym three times a week, why do so many people choose the discomfort that leads to complete physical failure?"
"For all the time we spend working on our careers and talents- going to school, building a business, making money, training the body- it’s ultimately your mental focus and concentration, your ability to control your environment and the heartbeats of others, that determines whether you succeed or fail.”
"Emotions pull your focus and reveal that you've lost control, and ultimately they destroy your performance. They make you think about how you feel, and you're not supposed to think, you're supposed to be so well prepared that you slide into the Zone and perform with grace and purpose. Not possible if your mind is on other things."
"Most people are the lion in the cage. Safe, tame, predictable, waiting for something to happen. But for humans, the cage isn't made of glass and steel bars; it's made of bad advice and low self-esteem and bull**** rules and tortured thinking about what you can't do or what you're supposed to do. It's molded around you by a lifetime of over-thinking, over-analyzing, and worrying about what could go wrong. Stay in the cage long enough, you forget those basic instincts.
"A 'Cleaner' earns his alter ego, his Mr. Hyde. It doesn't blindside him, he goes out and gets it. At some point in his life, something challenged him and made him survive, and the result was his total confidence that whatever happened to him, his instincts would cover his a** and he'd be okay. And somehow he always is. The desire to control anything and everything is so powerful, and his belief in his instincts is so strong, he knows he can't lose."
Preparation + opportunity. That's it. If you're a true competitor, you always feel that pressure to attack and conquer, you thrive on it. You intentionally create a situation to jack up the pressure even higher, challenging yourself to prove what you're capable of. You're not waiting for a critical moment to dust off some mythic "gene" to showcase your greatness. You show it in everything you do, every chance you get."
"Of course, you have to be able to recognize the difference between stress that can bring great results, and stress you create yourself that just causes chaos. Showing up unprepared, not putting in the work, blowing off commitments and obligations... that's the stuff that creates pointless stress. You had the option to manage those things before they turned into negative situations. But when you're faced with the stress of great challenges set before you- making the team, working for a raise, finishing a job, winning a championship- undeniable gifts are buried under all that pressure. Not everyone gets the opportunity to be stressed out by the potential to achieve exceptional things.
"Not everything works the first time, sometimes it doesn't work at all. But there's a difference between confidence and cockiness: confidence means recognizing something that isn't working and having the flexibility to and knowledge to make adjustments; cockiness is the inability to admit when something isn't working and repeating the same mistakes over and over because you stubbornly can't admit when you're wrong."
"At some point, whether you are in the boardroom or the locker room or anywhere else you want to excel, someone is going to point to you and say, "You." It may be an opportunity that lasts a minute, maybe ten minutes, maybe a week or a month. But what you do in that time is going to determine what you do for a long time after. Someone is going to do something the coach or the boss doesn't like, maybe a guy isn't playing well or working hard enough, and you're going to get the chance to take his spot. Will you be ready? Will you have done the work that allows you to step in, fully prepared, and show you should have had the job all along? Have you been finding ways to stay sharp and focused? Because if you do well and impress someone, you're in the system. Now the head guys knows he can go to you, and you've added a weapon to his arsenal going forward. But if you don't do well, you're done. The next guy will get the opportunity you didn't grab. You got your chance, you won't get another."
"I know countless athletes who are blessed with incredible physical gifts: height, skill, strength, speed ... but no work ethic. or no support system, no way to use or develop or take advantage of those skills. Successful people compensate for what they don't have unsuccessful people make excuses, blame everyone else, and never get past the deficiencies. A true leader can look past those deficiencies, identify the abilities, and get the most out of that individual."
"The only way you can light other people on fire is to be lit yourself, from the inside." Professional, cool, focused. If you had a bad night and you can't shop up the next day ready to go, or you can't show up at all, that doesn't affect just you, it affects everyone around you. A professional doesn't let other people down because of personal issues. If you need to show up, you show up. You might detest every individual in the room, but if your presence makes them all feel better, if it pulls the team together, if it results in better performances, then you've helped yourself to get one step closer to you own goal. That's how you get others to come up to your level; show them where it is, and set the example that allows them to get there."
"One of the hardest decisions for an athlete is to determine how much fatigue and pain he can endure, and how far he can push himself. Everyone plays with pain, there's always something going on physically. The question is, how do you keep that from affecting you mentally? If you know you're going to have constant pain, can you get comfortable being uncomfortable?"
"You cannot understand what it means to be relentless until you struggled to possess something that's just out of your reach. Over and over, as soon as you touch it, it moves further away. But something inside you- that killer instinct- makes you keep going, reaching, until you finally grab it and fight with all your might to keep holding on. Anyone can take what's right in front of him. Only when you're truly relentless can you understand the determination to keep pursuing a target that never stops moving."
"Do the work. There is no privilege greater than the pressure to excel, and no greater reward than earning the respect and fear of others who can only stand in awe of your results."
"The loudest guy in the room is the one with most to prove, and no way to prove it. A 'Cleaner' has no need to announce his presence; you'll know he'd there by the way he carries himself. always cool and confident. He's never the blowhard telling you how great he is; he's the quiet guy focused on results, because results are all that matter. "
"One year I was working with a player going to the Finals, and I was waiting for him in the lobby of the team hotel so we could head to the arena. I'm watching all these players walk onto the bus, and one looked sloppier than the next. I couldn't believe it. Is this the NBA Finals or are we headed to rob a liquor store? If Michael had been on that team, he would have pulled every guy off the bus and told them not to come back without a suit and tie. You don't need a $3,000 suit, go to Walmart and buy three for a $100 but come back looking like a man, not a kid who got kicked out of school."
"How can you fail when your worst day is better than most people's best?"
"A 'Cleaner' never sees failure because to him it's never over. If something doesn't go as planned, he instinctively looks for options to make things work a different way. He doesn't feel embarrassed or ashamed, he doesn't blame anyone else, and he doesn't care what anyone else says about his situation. It's never the end, it's never over. And he knows, without a doubt, that whatever happens, he'll find a way to come out on top. If you ever find me and a bear wrestling in the woods, help the bear."
"It takes a special person to say enough is enough and know when it's time to start redirecting your effort into something that can succeed. Maybe your dream isn't going to play out the way you originally envisioned it, but with some creativity and vision you can redirect your goals toward something that keeps you connected to what you always wanted."
"Today I teach the best of the best to take care of their bodies because when I hit initial road blocks, I refused to see my situation as a failure. You take what everyone else sees as a negative and turn it to your advantage. You don't sulk, you don't crawl up and die, you glare up at it and think, if it's not going to happen this way, it's sure as hell going to happen that way. And you tell anyone who doubts you, "I got this.""
"A 'Cleaner' knows when to walk away, and which direction to walk. Never running, always walking; leaves smoothly and on his own terms. He can lose a battle because he's still planning to win the war. Lose a game, but win the season. Lose a season, come back and win the next three. Lose a job, start a new business. No one else is getting the last word on whether he succeeded."
"Every dream you imagine, everything you see and hear in your sleep, that's not a fantasy, that's your deep instinct telling you it can all be real. Follow those visions and dreams and desires, and believe what you know. Only you can turn those dreams into reality. Never stop until you do."
Marcello Pedalino, CFT, is the author of the new inspirational book on personal growth and development, Celebrate Life. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, lifestyle expert, and fitness trainer. He delivers dynamic keynote presentations to corporations and organizations across the country who need help making Energy Management and Work-Life balance a priority.