I’ve never been big on self-help books. I’ve never felt the need to drop fifty or a hundred bucks to have Tony Robbins or Deepak Chopra tell me how to be properly motivated. Fortunately, I’ve always found it within myself to be the best writer, bartender, person, partner, son and lover I can be.
Tim S. Grover’s Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable, however, promised something different than the rest. The fact that he has Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Riley, Dwayne Wade and Charles Barkley praising his work should tell you Grover has some pretty impressive street cred. So I gave Relentless a shot just to see what it could do for me.
The core of Grover’s work differentiates between three types of personalities: coolers, closers and cleaners. You can probably figure out the difference between the three but in case you can’t, “Coolers let others decide whether they’re successful, they do the job and wait to see if you approve. Closers feel successful when they get the job done. Cleaners never feel as if they’ve achieved success because there’s always more to do.”
To be a true cleaner and anyone can if they are determined enough, one must master, according to Grover, mental dominance. One must be comfortable being uncomfortable, know exactly who they are, not be afraid to fail, embrace their inner dark side and trust in their instincts and ability to handle any situation. No matter how successful you are in your field, Grover opens your mind to the possibilities of being even greater. That’s what I enjoyed most about Relentless.
As a sports fan, hearing Grover tell of the time Michael Jordan flipped over Scott Burrell’s training table for being late to practice or the afternoon Kobe hung up on Dwight Howard after hearing his back was only 85% were among the most enjoyable parts of the book but Relentless is not entirely basketball-centric. Grover translates his philosophy to any line of work. I couldn’t help but think about how to apply everything he preaches to me and my own life.
“You don’t become unstoppable by following the crowd, you get there by doing something better than anyone else can do it, and proving every day why you’re the best at what you do.” Preach on, Tim!
Being a Cleaner is all about focus, leadership and determination. Grover challenges you to find that within yourself just as he does the athletes he trains. “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.”
Grover’s analysis of the cleaner is cutthroat and demanding but that’s what it takes one to become the best one can be.
To be honest, there are some moments within Relentless when Grover goes a little John Kreese. “Fear… does not exist… in this dojo! NO SENSEI!!!” But that’s exactly his point. To become a cleaner, one must sacrifice. “If you aim at excellence, you have to be willing to sacrifice. That is the price of success. You take what everyone else sees as a negative and turn it to your advantage. And you tell anyone who doubts you, ‘I got this.’“
If you’re a sports fan and you’re struggling personally, professionally or in any way, shape or form to find that edge, I recommend giving Relentless a try, but be fully committed to the cause otherwise, as Grover would say, you’re just wasting time.
“The greatest battles you will ever fight are with yourself, and you must always be your toughest opponent.”