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Episode 71 — Tim Grover — Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness

"Most people are afraid of success because success is going to create distance. It's going to create distance from all the individuals around you. It is going to create distance between you and your family at times. And if you're not willing to pay the price, then you're not going to have what others may consider those ultimate wins." - Tim Grover

  • Why do elite performers describe winning differently than most people?
  • How did Tim bring the best out of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and other elite athletes?
  • Why isn’t being selfish a bad thing?
  • How can you find balance by eliminating the unnecessary?

The Mind of a Champion

When you think of winners, of fighters, of the consummate champion, you might think of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Those people think of Tim Grover.

Tim has made it his business to understand winning. As a trainer to MJ, Kobe, Dwyane Wade, and countless other professional athletes, Tim has seen firsthand the work ethic necessary to become the best. But in those top performers, he also noticed something more than just talent and hard work — he saw a different mindset. Now he uses that knowledge to help people of all stripes achieve sustained excellence, from NFL players to entrepreneurs.

With his new book “W1NNING: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness,” he explains what it takes to make it to the top: constant improvement, difficult sacrifices, and relentless drive.

Stand Up Differently

To become a winner, you're going to lose. But Tim says it's how you deal with those losses that determines if you've got what it takes to be great. "Everybody says when you get knocked down, you need to dust yourself up again and jump right back up. I totally disagree with that. When you get knocked down, stay down there for a little bit. Understand why you got knocked down. And then when you stand up, you have to stand up differently."

This constant cycle of self-reflection and self-improvement separates the good from the great. The best are always learning, adjusting, and evolving.

Winner Take All

Tim is not shy about what it takes to win. He says you have to make decisions that will be unpopular, to have priorities that go against societal norms. You might have to miss your child's soccer game or cut friends and family out of your life. As Tim points out, the best NBA players have games on Christmas, sometimes for their whole careers. If greatness is separating yourself from what's normal, you've got to be prepared to do things that normal people won't do.

But the reward is a feeling that few people ever really get. Yes, it's the reward of being the best, of carving out your place in history. But it's also being able to know your true self: the one who has no regrets, who has left everything on the table in pursuit of their dream. And that's winning no matter the result.

Key takeaways:

  • Elevation is better than motivation. Motivation is external. Elevation is internal, and nobody can take away what's inside you.
  • When someone invests in you and sacrifices for you, you've got to work extra hard, because your win is their win.
  • We're born relentless. We don't learn to walk by giving up. Somewhere along the line, we start to look for other people's approval when the answer is looking at us in the mirror.

Links and Resources