Notes & Quotes: Relentless by Tim S. Grover

The following are my favorite quotes from Tim S. Grover's Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable.

  1. I'm rarely the first guy players reach out to when they want to train; I'm the last. In case of emergency, break glass. There are plenty of trainers who will just give you a workout. That is not me--we train for one thing and one thing only: a championship. Lots of guys say they'll do anything for that ring, but there's a difference between saying it and actually doing it. So when a guy commits to train with me, it means he's really serious.
  2. You don't have to love the hard work; you just have to crave the end result.
  3. Why should anyone want to be told what to do? The whole point of this book is that in order to be successful, to truly have what you want in your life, you must stop waiting to be told what to do and how to do it. Your goals, your decisions, your commitment. If you can't see the end result, how can anyone else see it for you?
  4. Success is about dealing with reality, facing your demons and addictions, and not putting a smiley face on everything you do.
  5. 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.
  6. It's not about talent or brains or wealth. 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.
  7. Why do I call them Cleaners? Because they take responsibility for everything. When something goes wrong, they don't blame others because they never really count on anyone else to get the job done in the first place. They just clean up the mess and move on.
  8. Cleaners understand they don't have to love the work to be successful; they just have to be relentless about achieving it, and everything else in between is a diversion and a distraction from the ultimate prize.
  9. When you're a Cleaner:
    • You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough.
    • You get into the Zone, you shut out everything else, and control the uncontrollable.
    • You know exactly who you are.
    • You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good.
    • You're not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it.
    • When everyone is hitting the "In Case of Emergency" button, they're all looking for you.
    • You don't compete with anyone, you find your opponent's weakness and you attack.
    • You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions.
    • You don't have to love the work, but you're addicted to the results.
    • You'd rather be feared than liked.
    • You trust very few people, and those you trust better never let you down.
    • You don't recognize failure; you know there's more than one way to get what you want.
    • You don't celebrate your achievements because you always want more.
  10. Those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk.
  11. 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. Otherwise, the next day you're going to have two things you don't want to do, then three and four and five, and pretty soon, you can't even get back to the first thing. And then all you can do is beat yourself up for the mess you've created, and now you've got a mental barrier to go along with the physical barriers.
  12. Do the work before you need it, so you know what you're capable of doing when everyone else hits that panic button and looks at you.
  13. Make no mistake about this: emotions make you weak. Again: emotions make you weak. The fastest way to tumble out of the Zone is to allow emotions to drive your actions.
  14. We're all born bad. Sorry, but that's the truth. Born bad, taught to be good. Or if you prefer: born relentless, taught to relent.
  15. Stop waiting to be taught something you already know. How many millions of diet and exercise books are sold every year? I promise you, every single person who picks up one of those books already knows the answer: eat healthier and move your body. You can eat these calories or those calories, you can move this way or that way, but the result is the same, and you already know that. You bought that book already knowing what you had to do, you were just waiting for someone to tell you. Again. And instead of just making the decision to eat healthier and move more--for a lifetime, not just for twenty-one days or five hours a month or whatever the trend prescribes--you sat down with a book to analyze the situation. Trust me: no one ever lost weight sitting on the couch with a book.
  16. Cleaner Law: control your dark side, don't let it control you. Do you want to smoke or do you have to smoke? All that nightlife--do you know when it's time to head home, or is it crushing your game? Do you drink because you like it or because you need it to cope with the pressure you feel? Can you be decent at what you do with an alcohol problem? Probably. But you can't be great. Cleaners never perform under the influence of anything; they place too much value on their mental state to allow anything to affect their minds and instincts and reflexes. Who's in charge, you or your dark side?
  17. There's a difference between confidence and cockiness: confidence means recognizing something isn't working and having the flexibility 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 you're wrong.
  18. When a Cleaner gives you an opportunity, be ready, because he won't ask you again if you blow it. It's easier for him to just do the job himself, and if he's going down with the ship, he's going to make sure he's the captain.
  19. 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. He doesn't have to be the most skilled or gifted guy on the team, but he establishes an example that everyone else can follow.
  20. Figure out what you do, then do it. And do it better than anyone else. And then let everything else you do build around that; stay with what you know.
  21. Interesting how the guy with the most talent and success spent more time working out than anyone else.
  22. Each of Kobe's [Bryant] workouts takes around ninety minutes, and a half hour of that is spent just working on his wrists, fingers, ankles...all the details. That's how the best get better--they sweat the details.
  23. Trust me: privilege is a poison unless you know how to manage it.
  24. That's how you earn respect. Excellence in everything.
  25. A Cleaner views people as if they're tools, each with unique, indispensable qualities. A hammer can destroy or it can build; a knife in the wrong hands can kill you, but in a doctor's hands it can heal you. A wrench doesn't do the job of a drill, it only does what a wrench is supposed to do. You're only as good as the tools you've chosen, and your ability to use them to their maximum potential.
  26. When you're an A+ person, you want A+ people around you, and everyone has to be accountable for doing A+ work.
  27. Fuck "try." Trying is an open invitation to failure, just another way of saying, "If I fail, it's not my fault, I tried."
  28. If you aim at excellence, you have to be willing to sacrifice. That is the price of success. You never know how bad you want it until you get that first bitter taste of not getting it, but once you taste it, you're going to fight like hell to get that bitterness out of your mouth.