"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? If those two lists don’t match up, you don’t want it badly enough."
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable takes us on a journey deep into the mindset and mental make-up of what makes elite performers the very best at what they do. The author, Tim Grover, is the legendary, brash trainer of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade (among many other professional athletes).
Let me warn you, this book is very in your face and direct. In fact, you might even feel like you’re back in high school, getting yelled at by your former coach as you’re reading it! And while Grover’s delivery is a bit intense, the book provides thought-provoking insights into what makes the elite talent in any field so unstoppable. Throughout the book the author will examine and discuss three personality types that can be found in any group of people. He classifies them as: Coolers, Closers and Cleaners. In short, Coolers are good, Closers are great and Cleaners are unstoppable.
Already wondering if you’re a Cleaner? Only you know the answer to that. But I would venture to guess if you’re reading this you have some Cleaner in you…
The Big Idea
You Don’t Compete with Others. You Compete Only with Yourself.
"From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level, you’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They’re going to have to compete with you. From now on, the end result is all that matters."
I absolutely love this takeaway. So often in today’s ultra-competitive landscape, we compare our success and self-worth against what others are doing. In the book, one of the characteristics of a Cleaner is getting into the zone, shutting out everything else and controlling the uncontrollable.
You can’t control what others do, nor can you control the lucky breaks or good fortunes that they might receive. You can, however, focus on our own circle of influence and control what you do and how you do it. Greatness stems from focusing your time, attention and energy on being the best possible version of yourself and striving to be better than the person you were yesterday.
It doesn’t matter what others are doing. If you’re working to be the best you can possibly be, the results you’re seeking will come to fruition. Focus on you and focus on producing results.
All that matters are the results you produce!
Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
"Ask yourself where you are now, and where you want to be instead. Ask yourself what you’re willing to do to get there. Then make a plan to get there. Act on it."
The road success will most certainly require us to perform various tasks that are either difficult to perform or that we are afraid to do. Whether it’s making cold calls, asking for the business, or presenting to a group of people, these necessary, yet uncomfortable jobs to be done can result in hesitation, inaction or keeping with your status quo. As Grover says in the book, “you can’t stay in your comfort zone and expect results”.
The more you consciously put yourself in uncomfortable situations and discipline yourself to follow through on what needs done, the more your muscle memory strengthens in these areas. Once you become comfortable in naturally uncomfortable situations, your instincts will instantly step-in, takeover and complete the job at hand. Athletics are a perfect example of this. A basketball player will practice dribbling, shooting in passing for hours upon hours so that in an actual game they just react to what the other team is doing and perform without thinking.
How can you implement this mindset into your routine?
I would challenge you to examine the tasks that are needed to be successful in your professional/personal life. Which of those tasks and skills needed are uncomfortable for you to perform? Got that list? Great! Now put yourself in situations that will force you to work on, practice and ultimately perfect the skills needed to be a Cleaner!
“Cleaners do the hardest thing first,” Grover writes. “They might not be happy about it, they don’t ever love it, but they’re always thinking about the destination, no the bumpy road that takes them there”.
The Concept of Failure
"If you don’t succeed at everything you do on your first attempt, does that mean you 'failed'? Isn’t it a good thing that you keep coming back and working at it until you succeed? How can that be failure?"
As a Cleaner, always try to learn and adapt from your missteps. If you first attempt doesn’t work, what’s another way you can attack the problem? Failure can be and is a great teacher depending on our mindset towards the situation. And how you ultimately respond to adversity will be a defining factor in the person you become later on in your journey.
So, if you are pursuing a goal that you truly want to achieve, never stop attacking until you’ve exhausted all possible routes to get there! After all, “The Cleaner strategizes for a different outcome. A Cleaner can’t ever accept that it’s over. But he does recognize when it’s time to change direction”.
I found Grover’s insights into the mindset and mental make-up of some of basketball’s greatest players inspiring, humbling and motivating and would recommend it to any entrepreneur, sales professional or business leader trying to get the edge they need to be the best in their space!
“Be relentless. Done. Next.”