By Tim Grover
Tim Grover is the famous personal trainer of champions like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade. Grover describes the mental aspect of attacking your goals. He has seen, firsthand, the difference between the naturally gifted athlete and the work horse that fights every day for success. He breaks mental toughness into three levels and the ones who are truly relentless are called Cleaners.
Cooler: the one who worries
Closer: the one who gets the job done and is satisfied with the results
Cleaner: the one who is unstoppable and is never satisfied
Most people are satisfied with remaining good, above average, and then settle there. But the Cleaners are people like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, or Walt Disney. Men and women that are always hungry for success and who are working while the rest of us are sleeping or celebrating. They are the ones who offend us because they get mad if we fail to reach their standard of excellence.
Thinking causes hesitation. But Grover says, “Decide, commit, act, succeed, repeat.” Thinking allows you to place limits on yourself.
What separates us from greatness is limiting thinking. What we think is realistic thinking is simply limiting ourselves. But the great ones, the cleaners, place NO limits on themselves. And it starts by raising your standard for excellence.
Physical dominance is what makes you good. Mental dominance makes you great. But your mind, your fears, and your ego will make you weak. But if you want to be successful you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Doing the thing you dread is the way to kill your fear, don’t from it.
In other words, be OK with failure. Fearing failure kills dreams. But if you make failure your friend you will not fear it. Besides, being extremely prepared makes it easier to focus on the task at hand you cannot focus on the fear.
Get Into Your Zone
The zone is the place that place where your killer instinct lives. It’s a form of meditation where nothing exists except a pure focus on the task at hand.
Michael Jordan entered his zone whenever someone challenged him. His dark side said “Kill this Motherfucker” and went into attack mode, straight into the Zone. Result: Unstoppable.
Cleaners ignore the drama because they are too focused. Kobe Bryant said, “You know you’re in the Zone, but you can’t think about it because thinking is a distraction.” Become detached from everything on the outside.
You Make Decisions Not Suggestions
Push hesitation and indecisiveness aside. Never waste time by overthinking an infinite number of possibilities. Thinking doesn’t achieve outcomes, only action does. Prepare yourself with everything you’ll need to succeed, then act.
Some people try to look like they are successful by having multiple activities but never accomplish a damn thing. When you are truly relentless, you beat on your craft constantly and become excellent at it. Find out what you do, then do it. And do it better than anyone else.
You’d Rather Be Feared than Liked
This is a tough one for me because I have a need to be liked. However, a real cleaner doesn’t care about being liked. A cleaner tells you straight to your face what he thinks whether you like it or not.
Let your actions speak louder than your words. Grover uses Don Corleone, the Godfather, as the perfect cleaner example. He’s the quietest guy in the room and everyone is wondering what he is going to do or say. His actions speak louder than words.
“Let them hate you; it only shows their weakness and emotion and makes you more powerful.”
Don’t Recognize Failure
You don’t fail, you adjust and adapt. When everyone is talking about how you “failed” you show up like a professional, remap you course, and get back to work.
That’s what it means to be OK with failure. You see it as a temporary setback and learn from it. If you find me wrestling with a bear in the woods, pray for the bear. Being relentless doesn’t mean success 100% of the time; it means you come back stronger after failure.
When it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for you. You keep going when everyone else quits. That’s what mental toughness is. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you look like. Your strength is not in your likeability, compliments, or fake friends. Your strength comes from within. You have zero limitation. Take the unpopular path and keep grinding; that’s the relentless mentality.