You don’t have to be a fan of basketball to watch ‘The Last Dance’, a Netflix series about the rise and rise of the Chicago Bulls, which was released in April.
For while the show beautifully depicts the exploits of one of the most successful sports teams in history (as well as providing a compelling portrait of Michael Jordan), its true and universal value lies in documenting the mindset required to rise to incredible heights, as well as the magic that results when like-minded people come together and work towards something they all truly believe in.
Under the direction of Jordan (as well some exceptional individuals within the team’s management), the Bulls became the most revered (and feared) basketball team of the ‘90s. They won the NBA championship six times by way of two ‘three-peats’—1991, 1992, 1993, then 1996, 1997, 1998. ‘The Last Dance’ is an incredible saga of how talent, great leadership and an uncompromising drive for success led a group of people to achieve unprecedented triumph and do things most people believed were impossible.
One of the people featured in the documentary is Tim Grover. He was Jordan’s trainer for 15 years and continues to work with a number of high-profile athletes as well as business leaders. Grover is also the author of several books, including ‘Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable’.
First published in 2013, ‘Relentless’ is enjoying another surge of interest following the Netflix documentary. In the book, Grover gives fascinating insight into the mindset of high-performing people and how to encompass the same principles of discipline, dedication and self-belief in all areas of your life.
As an entrepreneur and business leader, you’re fully aware of the courage, sacrifice and intense single-mindedness required to succeed; Grover expands on these principles and articulates them in such a way that you cannot help be inspired to raise yourself even higher and to never accept second-best.
Grover’s philosophy of greatness goes beyond success on the court or the boardroom—for him, true success is about applying a measure of excellence and diligence to everything you do, whether it’s cycling that extra ten miles or simply doing household chores. He calls people with this approach ‘Cleaners’. Being a Cleaner is all about good habits and a healthy (if at times intense!) mindset—things we love to talk about at Evolve.
Here are some excerpts from the book that we believe you will not only identify with, but that will add value to and reaffirm your pursuit of meaningful success.
- Most people are willing to settle for “good enough.” But if you want to be unstoppable, those words means nothing to you. Being the best means engineering your life so you never stop until you get what you want, and then keep going until you get what’s next. And then you go for even more.
- Wanting something won’t get you anywhere. Trying to be someone you’re not won’t get you anywhere. Waiting for someone or something to light your fire won’t get you anywhere. So how are you going to get there? Believe this: Everything you need to be great is already inside you. All your ambitions and secrets, your darkest dreams … they’re waiting for you to just let go.
- Being relentless means never being satisfied. It means creating new goals every time you reach your personal best. If you’re good, it means you don’t stop until you’re great. If you’re great, it means you fight until you’re unstoppable.
- [Be] completely focused on taking responsibility and taking charge, whether [you’re] competing in sports or managing a family or running a business or driving a bus; [you] decide how to get the job done, and then do whatever is necessary to make it happen.
- True Cleaners don’t care about the bling and the showy lifestyle; they look at the bottom line. All that matters is the end result, not the instant gratification along the way.
- 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 … Bottom line if you want success of any kind: you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Every time you think you can’t, you have to do it anyway.
- Can you be reasonably successful by just following directions and staying within the lines? Sure. That’s what most people do. But if we’re talking about being elite, if you want to be unstoppable, you have to learn to put aside everything you’ve been taught, all the restrictions and limitations, the negativity and doubt.
- Put [a Cleaner] in a situation where he’s supposed to be relaxed—such as a vacation he didn’t really want to take, or a day he doesn’t have to work out—and he’ll actually become more stressed thinking about what he should have been doing. He’d rather deal with a challenge than put effort into “unwinding.” He likes being wound.
- Not everyone gets the opportunity to be stressed by the potential to achieve exceptional things.
- Create your own pressure to succeed, don’t allow others to create it for you.
- A great leader knows the best way to get people to raise their performance is to put them where they can truly excel, not just where you want them to excel.
- You can’t rely on others to jump up and make your dreams happen. They have their own dreams, they’re not worrying about yours. People might be willing to help if they can, but ultimately it’s on you. Get the best people around you, know your strengths and weaknesses, and trust others to do what they do best. But in the end, it’s still your responsibility. Make a plan, and execute.
- Figure out what you do, then do it. And do it better than anyone else.
- The way you conduct yourself in all areas of your life, your ability to show intelligence and class and control and self-control … those are the things that separate you from the rest of the pack.
- It takes a special person to say enough is enough and know when it’s time to start redirecting your effort into something that can succeed. Maybe your dream isn’t going to play out the way you originally envisioned it, but with some creativity and vision you can redirect your goals toward something that keeps you connected to what you always wanted.
- It all comes back to this, no matter what you do in life: Are you willing to make the decision to succeed? Are you going to stand by that decision or quit when it gets hard? Will you choose to keep working when everyone else tells you to quit? Pain comes in all sorts of disguises—physical, mental, emotional. Do you need to be pain-free? Or can you push past it and stand by your commitment and decision to go further? It’s your choice. The outcome is on you.
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