Relentless — A Brief Review

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover is a book that will either piss you off in the first few pages or completely resonate with you. It’s one of those books. For me, it not only resonated but I found myself compiling a list of others I know who needed to read it too. I even sent one as a gift to a friend only half way though. I knew they would see themselves in there like I did.

Tim Grover is a personal training coach to many top athletes — especially in the NBA. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and many other of the game’s greatest players credit him with a large part of their success. His mission, taking players way past their perceived limits to be the very best. Not just the best in the game or the best playing today but the best of all time. He teaches them how to get into the zone and tap into the relentless and unstoppable potential that is inside us all. He’s the best at what he does and he has the clients and results to back it up. He also makes no bones about that and gives zero fucks about what you think. He is arrogant, cocky, confident, and tells it like he believes it is. Which may be off putting to many readers.

In this book, he gets into the mindset and anecdotes of what it takes to play and live a life at such a high level of excellence, who has that (very few), who doesn’t (the vast majority), and what mindset one needs. This is not a book that will teach you how to get there. This is not a how too guide. It will not teach you how to get into "the zone" and stay there. And, as he makes clear, if that’s what you want then you already don’t have what it takes so he can’t help you anyway. What it is is a litmus test. You will either recognize the qualities it takes to meet this kind of success inside of you already or you will not. It’s very inspirational to the right person or worthless hyperbole to those who don’t get it. But, at the least, you will finally be able to understand what makes a Jordan, Bryant, or Wade tick.

But, there’s also some very interesting and entertaining anecdotes for the long time basketball fan. He talks about specific moments in specific memorable games and provides insight and background to the action that only he and the player involved would know. So, even if you are not a fan of the message the author is delivering it’ll be a fun read for the NBA fan.

Almost Always Bull

The Stock Market, playing the long game, and the importance of setting long term goals.

The past couple of weeks have been a wild ride for those following news of the stock markets. Wild swings, low dips and sell offs not seen in recent years, and speculations about uncertainty in foriegn markets. To many outsiders and armchair analysts, there were fears of bubbles and overvaluations. Allusions were made to the crash of 2008 despite this being nothing like 2008. But, there are many who make profit from such FUD, so here was an opportunity to spread it.

But, those in the know pay little attention to the daily ups and downs of the market. They know that, while the Day Traders might make some fast cash to spend on hookers and blow that way, it has little to do with true wealth. Those who know the market know those folks play the short game.

The smart players, at best, see such low dips as a buying opportunity — like a retail Labor Day sale. Most just ignore it because 3% off is hardly a bargain to tell your friends about. Nay, the truly market savvy are looking far out into the future. The trends they look for are not measured in days or weeks, but years. "Let’s look at where this stock was at 5, 10, and 20 years ago" they’ll say. Because that’s how true wealth is built and measured. They play the long game.

To put it in a concrete example, if you bought $1000.00 of Apple stock in 1998 and still had it today, would you really worry if it took a 5% hit tomorrow? The correct answer is "No". Why? Because you would not only be so far ahead today in 2015 it would be silly but you know that in almost 20 more years it could easily be worth 10, 20, or even 100 times more. Why, because it is worth a hundred times more now than when you bought it less than 20 years ago. The long game is almost always "bull".

This is why it is important to think about, name, set, plan, and work towards multi-year goals. What goals do you want to achieve in 5 years? How about 10 years and 20 years? What does your life look like? What seemingly daunting yet massive, slightly scary, but oh-so awesome things are there? Have you thought about that? Have you put a name on them? Are they on your calendar? Have you mapped out how to get there and achieve them? Do you have a rough idea of the steps you need to take?

If not, you are basically playing the short game with your life. And, frankly, like a Day Trader your success and failure is at the whims of your daily to-do list. Get a lot done today and your life is a bull market. Get little done and it’s a bear market. And, like the Day Trader, your life will feel rich one day and bankrupt the next, more than partially due to forces beyond your control. A boss who dumps a project in your lap or a colleague who interupts you or the person that pulls you into a last minute meeting or the kid who gets sick or the car that breaks down. All of these can sweep in and kill the action of those without goals. Just like China screwing with their currency can send the whole world of short players into a tizzy, so can just about anything wreak havoc on the short player’s task list.

But, those with meaningful, long term goals, know to mostly ignore the fluctuations in their daily grind. That all of this is towards a larger and more meaningful goal. That success is measured in years and not days. You know that the value of that item on your list is a pittance because it will pay off one hundred fold when you finally reach that lofty goal. And if you don’t make any movement on it at all today, hey you’ve got 5,10, or 20 years, and with that much time just about anything is possible.

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