I finished Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover last week and I can’t stop thinking about the book. So much of what Tim talks about resonated with me – the hunger, the drive, the desire to accomplish more, better, faster.
This quote really stuck out to me: “Being the best means engineering your life so you never stop until you get what you want, and then you keep going until you get what’s next. And then you go for even more.” That’s being relentless.
Some people hear the word relentless and it sparks a fire in their belly and lights them up! Others, hear relentless and immediately conjure up images of destruction and mayhem and ruthless Spartan warlords. Good or bad, being relentless is a core part of my being. And it’s a double-edge sword. Or maybe, it’s just one coin with two sides… Relentless means never giving up until you get what you want, but it also means you may disregard the consequences and hurt some people along the way. Results first. Always.
The author of the book, Grover, worked with professional athletes – mostly NBA players like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Those guys were relentless. They showed up and did the work and listened. Those were Grover’s only requirements. And that’s exactly what Kobe and Jordan did over and over again. They were not satisfied with one practice a day, they hit the gym three times. They were not content with one championship ring, but kept pushing until their hand was covered with them. Hours after hours of practice at one thing. They did not slack off. They did not back down when it got too hard. They put in the time, withstood the grind, and became unstoppable.
Being relentless means getting results and not settling for good or great, instead spending the time on mastering your craft and becoming the best – becoming unstoppable. The really cool thing is that anyone can be relentless, but very few people ultimately have what it takes to get there. Because it takes time! It’s about who can stay in the game long enough – who can finish the job. Anyone can start something when it’s new and shiny and exciting, but very few can stomach the grind and keep going in order to finish.
Do you have what it takes to be unstoppable? Here are 3 ways you can become relentless in pursuit of your goals:
- DO THE WORK —> You don’t have to love the work, you’ve just got to do it and love the results. Believe me, I don’t love getting up at zero dark thirty to train for four hours, but I do it because I love being able to beat my last race time (okay, I also love landing in the top spots in my age group). It sounds so simple, right? Do the work. Put in the time and effort. You’ll get there. Sometimes, you’ve just got to do shit you don’t want to do in order to get what you ultimately want. But it’s the hardest thing to do. The real challenge is being able to combat your voice that tells you to go for the short term reward, instead of pushing through, doing the tough stuff, and going for the long term win. It’s not about winning one championship or building one business. That’s great. Being relentless means doing that six more times. And that requires a hell of a lot of work.
- BE OBSESSIVE —> I think the question is, “What are you willing to be the best at and give your all to?” You can’t give your all or be extraordinary at everything. What are you choosing to be the best at? Do you want to be the best father, the best golfer, the best leader, the best guitarist, the best dog rescuer? In brief moments you can be the best at more than one thing – like when you’re speaking to an audience or riding a bike with your kids. But to truly master something, to be the very BEST, you have to get obsessive. One area in your life, one skill, is going to overshadow all the others because that is where you are going to be spending the most time – practicing, studying, analyzing those that have come before you and modeling after them. You will become addicted to learning about that one thing, you become obsessed, and that’s how you become the best.
- GET COMFORTABLE BEING ALONE —> You know that old saying, it’s lonely at the top? Yup. When you’re relentless, you don’t make a whole lot of friends. You’ll have a small inner circle of people you trust and that’s it. You won’t go to office parties and after work drinks with the team or even linger too long in the break room. And you won’t hang out for too long at kid’s birthday parties or family gatherings. You have shit to do. You want to be the best and that takes deliberate time and attention. People are going to thing you’re an asshole or that you think you’re too good for them. It’s not the case. You just have your eye on the prize and you’re not going to let anyone get in the way. You’re running your race – fast – and if people want in, they’ve got to get in the race with you and run along side you. There will be very few people at the finish line with you. And that’s okay.
So are you relentless? Do you want to be? If the answer is yes, then all you have to do is put in the time and do the work, get obsessive about the one thing you want to be the best at, and get comfortable being alone. Everyone has the potential to be relentless, but only a few will actually get to the level of being unstoppable.