Tim Grover (@TimGrover) is the preeminent authority on the science and art of achieving physical and mental dominance relied upon by legendary athletes like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant at the top of their game. He’s also an author, and his latest book is Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness.
What We Discuss with Tim Grover:
- Putting aside inspirational Internet meme bromides, what does it really mean to be relentless?
- Why you can’t even access the upper limits of the physical without putting the mental blocks in place first.
- Why the intangibles — like commitment and resilience — are more important than the measurable — like strength and speed.
- The paradigm-shifting thought patterns that go into becoming a world-class champion.
- Why top performers aren’t looking for motivation — they’re looking for elevation.
- And much more…
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Even if you’re lucky enough to possess the extraordinary genetics of a professional athlete, you can’t reach the elite level of your physical game if you don’t first put in place the mental building blocks — the mindset — that will get you there.
Tim Grover, author (with Shari Wenk) of Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness, knows this better than most. He’s the legendary trainer who the world’s top-performing athletes — like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant — called upon when they knew their best could be better. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness by Tim S. Grover and Shari Wenk | Amazon
- Jump Attack: The Formula for Explosive Athletic Performance, Jumping Higher, and Training Like the Pros by Tim S. Grover | Amazon
- Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover and Shari Wenk | Amazon
- Tim Grover | Website
- Tim Grover | Instagram
- Tim Grover | Twitter
- Tim Grover | Facebook
- Strategies for Success You Can Learn From Amazon’s Jeff Bezos | Yahoo
- 8 Powerful Lessons You Can Learn From the Career of Elon Musk | Inc.
- 10 Lessons I Learned from Sara Blakely That You Won’t Hear in Business School | Forbes
- Kobe Bryant | Dissecting the Mamba Mentality | Jordan Harbinger
- Here’s Where It All Began for Michael Jordan and Tim Grover | Basketball Network
- Michael Jordan Sinks ‘The Last Shot’ Over Bryon Russell to Seal Bulls’ 6th Title, 1998 NBA Finals | ESPN
- Scott Galloway | From Crisis to Opportunity Post Corona
Tim Grover | The Unforgiving Race to Greatness (Episode 506)
Jordan Harbinger: Microsoft Teams is helping Priority Bicycles transform the way they work. After closing their New York City showroom, they started doing virtual visits on Teams. Now, people from all over the world can come into their showroom. Learn more at microsoft.com/teams.
[00:00:15] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:18] Tim Grover: It's funny. Motivation to me is entry level. It's entry level. If you need motivation, you're just beginning the race. That means somebody else is making you do something that you don't want to do, all right, where you constantly need motivation. You constantly need to motivate. These athletes and these business people, they're not looking for motivation. They're looking for elevation. That's what they're looking for. They're looking to elevate their game. They're looking to elevate their business. They're looking to elevate their lives.
[00:00:55] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts, entrepreneurs, spies, and psychologists, even the occasional mafia enforcer, former cult member, or national security advisor. Each episode turns our guests. It's wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:23] If you're new to the show, or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about it, we've got those starter packs. You've heard me mention them. These are collections of your favorite episodes organized by popular topics. It's a great way to get people introduced to the show instead of just throwing them the whole feed. And they don't know which of the 500-plus to listen to go to jordanharbinger.com/start to get started or to help somebody else get started. I always appreciate it when you do that, of course.
[00:01:47] Today, on the show, we've all heard the common cliche, "Oh, it's all mental and not physical, that gives us an edge at elite levels," right? It's all mental. It's very little physical. When you are at the top of your game in, let's say a sport, you're competing with folks with lots of athletic talent already, and most people at that level train with a similar intensity. That's why they're pros in the first place. But today's guest will tell us that you can't even access the upper limits of the physical without putting the mental blocks in place first. Our guest, Tim Grover is known as a trainer of champions, and I mean that from Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant. Tim's kind of like the A-Team and that he's the guy they call when no other trainer, no other coach can get them to break through to their next level and then stay at the top of their game.
[00:02:35] And I can only imagine working out with him is horrible and something that I would never want to do, but that's why I'm not a professional athlete. Tim will tell us the things that are not measurable, so commitment, resilience. Those are more important than the measurable strength, speed, et cetera. So it really is 20 percent physical, 80 percent mental, but it's about unlocking those top levels. And you don't need athletic skills to have the mindset that elite athletes use to achieve results. And of course, you know me, I am not into sports or athletics. If you've been a long time fan of the show, you are well aware that that is not my usual beat. But this show, this episode, it's more about how to think, especially how to think about winning. Today, we get a glimpse of the type of thinking that goes into being a world-class champion. These sorts of pattern breaking paradigm shifts are what the best of the best use to stay at the very top.
[00:03:27] If you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers and creators every single week, it's because of my network. And I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course. They contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong. Now, here's Tim Grover.
[00:03:49] I've actually heard a lot of interviews with you and a lot of these guys who do like sports interviews, not you, but a lot of people who do sports shows, they have platitudes. They have a lot of bromides like, "Never quit," you know, "Chase down your dreams." And so I want to get past all that stuff because I know you don't just tell your athletes, "All right, go out there and be relentless." Right? You have to teach them how to do that. So I want to start there.
[00:04:13] Tim Grover: That's perfect.
[00:04:14] Jordan Harbinger: I also assume you're not the first trainer that athletes call. You're maybe the last trainer, not like you're the least qualified, but you're definitely not — no one flies somebody across the country to get taped, right?
[00:04:25] Tim Grover: Yeah, exactly. When nothing else is going right. Things at the end of that, people are like, "All right. Something isn't gone right here. My career is not where it should be. Let's call Grover.
[00:04:37] Jordan Harbinger: I think this is an interesting niche if you can even call it that because — and you mentioned this in the book, the new book Winning and in the old book, Relentless, the original book, it's crucial for a champion or for any high performer to know who to trust and when to trust them, because highly successful people rarely get to hear the truth. So it almost seems like they bring you in because you're the one who goes, "Yeah. All that stuff about your coach is telling you this or that, or that they just don't want you to get mad. And then it affects their career negatively. But since you're paying me, I'm going to tell you that all these things you're doing are wrong or your attitude sucks, or you're giving up too early," you know, that kind of thing. And that's got to be kind of a special position to be in because they're calling you in like the A-Team, but also they can fire you. It's their problem, right? That's their problem at that point.
[00:05:22] Tim Grover: You know, it's interesting. I've never worked directly for an organization. I've always worked for the individual and I always tell them, "Listen, you can fire me at any time. What am I going to do? All right. You sign a two-year deal. What am I going to do? Sue you?" No. If we feel like this isn't a good match. We're going to end up leaving. But you bring me in to clean things up. You bring me into organize things. You bring me inside to take out the unessentials. Everybody else comes in and they want to add, add, add. I'm the individual that comes in, say, "You don't need this. You don't need this. You don't need this. What's the role of this person here? What does this person do? Why are you doing this? What the habits are?" And you have to justify to me how it's going to benefit your career. And then if we agree that it is, then we put it in the right places for it to maximize and excel. In any relationship, what's the first thing a person asks for? They said, "Be honest with me." But when you're honest with the person—
[00:06:18] Jordan Harbinger: "How dare you? Nobody talks to me like that."
[00:06:21] Tim Grover: Right. So I said, "Well, if you want me to be honest, you want the truth." The truth should lead to more action and better results. Most of the time, the truth leads to more emotion and less results. So I always tell these people, "Listen, I'm not here to judge you. I'm here to increase your performance so you can perform at the highest level. I don't judge. I'm not here to judge. Let's figure out what we need to do and what we don't need to do in order to get to those things." And individuals come up to me and they say, "I'll do anything," until I tell them what anything really means.
[00:06:58] Jordan Harbinger: I can imagine that to be the case. I don't know. It seems hard for me to imagine just as somebody who has never been in a professional athletic situation, those guys are always there, the guys and gals for that matter, they're always there because of their immense work ethic, talent. Is it that some people coast on their talent and they're just not used to working through that limitation? Is that part of it?
[00:07:18] Tim Grover: You know what's funny? You can get by at the high school level, you can even maybe get by at the collegiate level. But once you hit that professional level, everyone is extremely talented. So the gifts that you had that separated you early, they may not separate you as much anymore. Every professional individual I've known you're going to hit some adversity. And a lot of athletes, they are so good at such a young age that everybody's handled all their adversity for them. So now they're at a level where they actually have to do it for themselves and they've never had to deal with it. They've never had to deal with it. So now, they have to deal with them, they don't know what to do. Whether it could be an injury, whether it could be a family situation, a relationship situation, they've always had somebody else cleaning their stuff up for them. Or when they have an injury, they've never had to work that hard, or they had something taken away from them that they were so gifted at for such a long time. So the earlier you can develop that work ethic, along with that talent, the more successful you will be.
[00:08:26] Jordan Harbinger: It reminds me of like the smart — for those of us who can't imagine being that talented athletically, which is definitely me, I'm in that camp. But this is like the smart kids that can just walk into a test in high school. And they're like, "Eh, it's geometry, calculus, whatever," and they do it. Guys like me who study are just like, "I hate this guy." He walks in, forgot we had a test. I've been studying for three weeks. And he's like, "Oh, the super hard problem at the end," does it in his head. He doesn't need his calculator, you know, forgot his calculator and gets an A minus or an A, and I'm getting a C plus. And I'm like, "Yes, I'm going to pass this class." Then those guys get to, let's say Wall Street. You know, they go to law school, they crush it. They're the top 10 percent. Then they get to Wall Street and it's like, "Oh, this is everybody who's smart and worked really hard." And your dad's not the guy who owns the law firm anymore. And he can't smooth the fact that you fail the first couple of assignments. Or like, you can't show up late anymore because you like to go to bed at 3:00 a.m. We need you at eight and you're not functioning at eight. And you've never had to like, pay the piper of that lack of sleep.
[00:09:29] Tim Grover: Yeah. There's no longer a huge endowment. That's been going to the school through your family. Now, you got to actually go out and earn the stuff. Well, that has a lot to do with the ability to — and I talk about this in the book, Winning, when you go to school and you go through an education process, everyone tells you what to think. "Here's the book, here's the lessons, here's history. Here's the philosophy. Here's how you solve a calculus problem. Here's geometry. Here it is. Everything is what to think." When you get out of school and you get in that workforce and you get in that competitive environment. You have to learn how to think.
[00:10:05] And a lot of people don't have that ability. They only know what to think, what to think, what to think, but having the ability to know what to think and how to think. How to think, it's individual to you, it's your ability to understand problems. It's your ability to figure things out. It's your ability to see things in a way that nobody we'll see it. And the greatest athletes, the greatest business persons have the ability to know what to think and how to think.
[00:10:32] I mean, you look at Jeff Bezos. What he did, it didn't exist.
[00:10:37] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:10:37] Tim Grover: You don't find it in a book. You know, Elon Musk, these individuals, all these people that are Sara Blakely, all these individuals. They have the ability, not only to what to think, but how to think and your best athletes also have that ability.
[00:10:52] Jordan Harbinger: What do you think about these guys who write books? Like, "All right. 10 steps to this or 15 rules for ABC, right? They're just telling you what to think a lot of the time.
[00:11:02] Tim Grover: Don't you wish it was that easy.
[00:11:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course. I mean a lot — yeah.
[00:11:06] Tim Grover: Five steps or 10 steps. Listen, neither one of us are professional athletes, but we work out. It doesn't matter how much you work out. You can literally train for three months straight at a high intensity level. If I told you, go climb 10 sets of stairs, 10 flights of stairs. You're going to be out of breath.
[00:11:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:24] Tim Grover: All right. So people always make it seem like when they give you a step, like it's an easy thing. No, it's a way to simplify things. It's a way to simplify, winning where to make it look like it's so easy. You only need five steps or you only need these 10 things to be successful. Listen, the steps are infinite. And not only are they infinite, they're constantly changing. You don't know if the step is underneath you. You don't know if it's your left. You don't even know if it's right. You don't even know if it's there. Sometimes you just have to believe that there is another step and that's how you get to winning. There's nothing about, that's that simple.
[00:12:04]I get this question all the time. What's the one thing? There is no one thing. If there is, but everybody, they want to cut out the infinite things and just get to the one thing. The only one thing is winning, but in order to get to winning, there's infinite things that you have to do to get to that area.
[00:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: I can then sort of extrapolate what you might think about motivational folks on social media or even podcasts where they're like, "All right, you've got to just do this. And here's a photo of me meditating in the snow." Or like doing a handstand with one arm, which is impressive. I can't do that. But I wonder, you know, what real athletes think about that because that's the stuff they use to sell like sports watches or socks. But I don't think real athletes, I don't think Kobe Bryant saw an Instagram photo of somebody doing a headstand on one arm and was like, "Man, that's awesome." I don't think that ever happened.
[00:12:58] Tim Grover: No, you know what? It's funny motivation to me is entry level. It's entry level if you need motivation, you're just beginning the race. That means somebody else is making you do something that you don't want to do, all right, where you constantly need motivation. You constantly need to motivate. These athletes and these business people, they're not looking for motivation. They're looking for elevation. That's what they're looking for. They're looking to elevate. Their game. They're looking to elevate their business. They're looking to elevate their lives. I've never one time I had to raise my voice to my athletes because their motivation was at such a high level. It was internal. It wasn't external. You know, it's kind of like that sugar high. You go to these different conferences and everybody gets you all fired up and everybody's clapping hands and giving you high fives and everybody's jumping up and they all tell you, "Let's go," and then once the event's over with you're like, "Where are we going?"
[00:13:58] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:13:59] Tim Grover: There's no direction. There is no direction. And it's just like, if you eat a lot of candy, you're buzzing around all over the place. It's the same thing with that motivation. You go on this extreme high, and then there's this extreme letdown. Once you figure out what the work that is going to take and the time and the effort that you're going to have to put in. Not somebody else, that's going to be constantly pushing you and telling you and so forth. You have to figure this out a lot of it on your own.
[00:14:28] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's why the stuff that you mentioned is so popular, right? They're getting psyched up and getting motivated. One, it's fun. And two, like, if you tell me, I just have to go to this, get psych seminar and they'll lay out the roadmap and they'll hold my hand all the way through it. That's really tempting for somebody who doesn't know anything about business. And that's what you see a lot with like multilevel marketing companies. They're like, "Oh yeah, just buy this and then follow your upline. And they'll tell you what to do. And it's all mentorship." And you're like, "Great, a mentor. They're going to pull me up with them. Oh, it's only $10,000," or whatever it is. But that none of that is real because the people that are really successful are the ones that are just doing all of this sort of like black box stuff, where, like you said, the steps not only are vague or possibly something you don't even know about. They're not necessarily even there.
[00:15:15] Tim Grover: Yeah. I always ask all my athletes, my businesses that I speak to, the CEO or clients, I always ask them, "Describe winning in one word. One word." And you know, when you go to these motivational things, you'll have people come in and say, "It's fun, it's happiness, it's exciting, exhilarating, and all this other stuff." When you talk to the individuals that win over and over again, these were some of the answers that they gave me. We put this in a book. "Uncivilized, it's hard, it's nasty, it's dirty. It's unpolished, it's rough, it's unapologetic, it's unforgiving." And then Kobe Bryant, his answer was, "Winning is everything, but you have to do everything for winning to be everything."
[00:16:07] That's how these individuals describe winning because they're not thinking about the celebration at the end, which is small and short. They're thinking about the race. That they had to go through in order to get to winning. And in that race, that's where all the things are. That's where you spend more time in the uncivilized, in the nasty, in the unpolished than you do, actually in the winning.
[00:16:37] Jordan Harbinger: It's kind of like a graduation from high school. That's two days of fun or a day of fun or whatever. But the rest of it is high school. Most of us remember the four years more than we remember the graduation ceremony. It's people's parents that remember those ceremonies that I didn't even go to.
[00:16:55] Tim Grover: That makes two of us.
[00:16:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I never went to my high school graduation, college graduation, law school graduation. Once the hard part was over. I was kind of like onto the next thing. I don't need to sit here and pat myself on the back. My parents are proud of me. They already told me that, well, I don't give a crap about the strangers who are here.
[00:17:11] Tim Grover: And most people that are clapping for you, they don't even know why they're clapping.
[00:17:15]Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:17:15] Tim Grover: And most of the ones that are clapping are actually not clapping for you because they're happy. They're not.
[00:17:21] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:17:21] Tim Grover: Yeah. They're waiting for you to fall because there's more to talk about and there's more excitement in a person's life because they can deal with failure more than they can deal with success.
[00:17:34] Jordan Harbinger: That's an interesting point. Do you think that people are waiting for you to fall because it makes themselves feel better or just because it's—? Does it humanize it in some way? Why do you think that is? Because I know that like there's petty people that want other people to fail because they've never tried there's that. But is there something more to it?
[00:17:50] Tim Grover: I say most people are afraid of success because once you become successful, now, everybody sees that version of you. And in order to get success again, you've got to become a better version. You got to become a stronger version. You got to become a smarter version. You gotta become more of a winning version. So people like to stay in the middle. And that's where majority of the people are because that's where the comfort is. You're not super successful. You're not at the bottom. You're kind of in the middle, you have a lot of conversations. You have a lot of stuff to get along with individuals with. And then once that individual starts to separate from that group, a stead of that group uplifting that individual. Most of them are trying to pull them back because they couldn't get to that next level of success and they don't want to be left behind.
[00:18:39] One of the chapters in the book is, winning makes you different and different scares people. So success makes you different. People are scared by different. What they don't understand, they're automatically turned off by it. The example is perfect of what you just said. You could sit in a conversation with 30 individuals and you tell them you never went to your high school graduation. You never went to college graduation. You never went to your law school graduates. People are like, "What do you mean? How could you not do that?" Because majority of the people do those things and you're like, this is done. This is complete. I don't need validation from anybody else. What's next for me? Your wins were I graduated high school. I graduated college. I graduated law school. Those wins are done. What's my next win? What's my next win?
[00:19:35] Jordan Harbinger: To me, it always seemed like, look, when you're young, all you know is school, but it's really clear for the jump that that's just preparing you for life. So there was a part of me that's like, "Wait, I haven't achieved anything. All I've done is gotten out of like the part where now people aren't afraid I'm going to like accidentally kill myself by falling," you know? Or like, "Now, I have the basic skills enough where I can walk into an office and at least be somewhat trainable." You're kind of like a blank slate before that you're just like pieces of wood on the floor. So it didn't seem not that it was entirely unworth celebrating, but you're right. It was like no validation from the outside was required. And certainly not the kind of validation that you get from — well, it was also expensive to go to those things. I don't know if you remember. It's like a thousand bucks to rent those things or whatever.
[00:20:19] Tim Grover: Yeah. And also think about it. What's the question after the celebration that somebody always asks you, what's next now?
[00:20:25] Jordan Harbinger: What are you going to do now? Yeah.
[00:20:27]Tim Grover: What are you going to do now? So you talk about going for those individuals that are on an extreme high from that motivation of, "I just finished," when they get asked that question, you talk about a crash coming down because most individuals don't know. They don't know what their next win is.
[00:20:43] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point. I don't remember thinking this, but I'm pretty sure that part of me not going was one, I want to be on a plane going somewhere else because I only have a month off or whatever before my job starts. But the other thing was, I don't want somebody to ask like, "Oh, where are you working now?" I mean that we spend three years planning how to get jobs in law school. I don't want to talk about that anymore.
[00:21:04] Tim Grover: Yes.
[00:21:05] Jordan Harbinger: I don't want to be competing — measuring with all the other people who are working at these different firms, like that's our whole careers going to be like that probably.
[00:21:12] Tim Grover: Yeah.
[00:21:12] Jordan Harbinger: So you wrote in the book, "You don't have to love the work. You just have to want the end result." And I think that's a real difference from what we see in our sort of social media landscape, where even companies that are advertising things, it's like, "Oh, you got to want the journey." And it's like, well, maybe a guy like me has to want the journey if I'm trying to lose those last 10 pounds or like hire a trainer and show up every morning. But a real world-class athlete doesn't really need that. Right? That's not on the docket.
[00:21:40] Tim Grover: There's a lot of these cliches out there that instead of helping you, they actually hurt you. You know, they said you got to love the process. All right, the process, you have to do the process. The process is not an option. In anything you're trying to become successful at, you have to do the process. The end result is not guaranteed. You know, you can go through a year of process and get closer and closer and still not get to the end result and the process starts all over. So you have to do the process. You have to do it. It's a non-negotiable. The end result is not always going to be there. I don't know a single individual that loves 100 percent of what they do, 100 percent. That's not there, but if you crave that end result — you think my athletes enjoyed practicing. You think they enjoyed the 90 minutes or two hours of workouts that they had to do with me every single day, sometimes, twice a day, they didn't enjoy those things, but they crave the end result so much that the work was irrelevant. They knew they had to do the work in order to get that end result.
[00:22:48] And you know, this other one is about, "It's the journey, not the destination." Well, here's my problem with that. Why are you taking the journey if there's no destination? So what are you doing? Just aimlessly walking around or flying around or so forth. Most people take a journey. They take a journey with a destination. Winning requires that destination. You just can't be aimlessly walking around, but that's just another way of saying, "Take your time. You got time to do this. You got that." I always say this while you're going on three, one, two, three, somebody has already left on one. They've already left on one and they got a headstart in their journey, your journey, but they also have a destination of where they're going to.
[00:23:29] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me a little bit about meeting Michael Jordan, because I think this story illustrates that leaving on one. You mentioned it in the newest book as well. It's like this, he was ready to go on one literally.
[00:23:40] Tim Grover: Listen, we wouldn't even get to one. And he was ready to go. When I met Michael, the whole process was — there was no emails back then. There was no social media. This was back in the late '80s. So I saw a small article in the newspaper saying how Michael was tired of taking the physical abuse from the Detroit Pistons. So what I did was I literally sent a letter, a written letter stamped to every player in the Bull's organization except Michael Jordan, because my philosophy was back then, I was like, well, if I could show the results with these other players, then maybe I can get Michael's interest. Or Michael was so good, he probably already had somebody who was working out with. Those letters got to every single player. Michael reached into somebody else's locker, saw the letter, read it and told the team athletic trainer and doctor, and said, "Find out what this guy's about. Who is he?" So the best of the best who was already at the top of his game are always more coachable. They're always looking to get better.
[00:24:45] So I went through a three-month process, making sure the athletic trainers and the medical staff knew what I was talking about. Actually, when I went to school, I actually learned something. And then three months later they told me just here's the address. They didn't tell me who this was for so I had no idea what I was, who I was meeting. They gave me an address and they said, "Hey, just be at this house at 1:30. And the client will meet you there." And this was before Michael was before the gated houses and a security and all that other stuff. So you could literally just walk up to the house and ring the bell.
[00:25:18] So I walked up to the house, not knowing who it was. I rang the doorbell. And Michael Jordan opened up the door and we sat and talked for 30 to 45 minutes. I explained my philosophy. I told him what I could do. The program I would set up for him. And he told me, "This doesn't sound right." And I said, "This doesn't get any righter." I said, "Give me 30 days," 30 days turned into 15 years.
[00:25:41] Jordan Harbinger: There was an anecdote, I think, in the book where, you said, "All right, when do you want to start?" Thinking, like I got to order all this crap from, I don't know, Dunham's or whatever, sporting goods stores, whatever in existence in that era.
[00:25:52] Tim Grover: Yeah.
[00:25:53] Jordan Harbinger: And he's like tomorrow at eight o'clock or five o'clock, whatever time in the morning. And you're just like sandbags.
[00:25:58] Tim Grover: Yeah. That's exactly it. So I literally had that evening to figure out, I looked at the space and knew what I had to do. I had some contacts with some small equipment companies, and I literally picked up that equipment, me and a couple of friends, moved it into the house and put it together that evening for his workout the next morning. And that's exactly what you said. I couldn't have waited on three. I could have told Michael, "Well, you know, I can't do this. I can't, you know, this is going to take two weeks as it's going to be there." You go figure it out. And that's what it said. Listen, I knew he was a type of individual that moved on one and I had to be the same way.
[00:26:34]Jordan Harbinger: The thing is people can go, "Oh, well, you should have prepared for that knowing who he was," but you didn't even know he was going to answer the door. Like to reiterate, you thought this is going to be somebody who's maybe even warm in the bench. They're just testing you out, giving you a test run, who knows.
[00:26:47] Tim Grover: And I didn't expect it to be an individual that was like, "Okay, you know what? Yeah, now, that I've understood, I have your philosophies, I'm going to talk to a few other people. I'm going to think about it. I'm going to do that." These people, when they believe it's something and they understand that you have to take a gamble on yourself and meaning, take a gamble on yourself as sometimes taking a gamble with somebody else, they're ready to go now. They are ready to go now. And these individuals, so high strong, they're so internally motivated where they don't need the hurrah, hurrah. They want to see results. They want to see results over and over and over again. And they want to see results that benefit their ability to perform at the highest level, whether it's an athlete, whether it's a CEO, it doesn't matter who it is.
[00:27:37] Jordan Harbinger: You've written about focusing only on internal pressure, because you can control that. And I wonder, does this mean that we should put more pressure on ourselves than others can throw on us so that it's never unregulated or surprising? I mean, I guess it will always be surprising, but I guess if we're putting the pressure on ourselves, then what we get externally is never going to be too much for us to handle. Does that make sense?
[00:27:57] Tim Grover: 100 percent. I agree with you all the way on that. To me, pressure is a privilege. If you're put in a pressure situation, that means somebody believes in you. That means somebody believes in you. Well, if they believe in you, why don't you believe in yourself? Pressure is a privilege, pressure defines who you are and who you're not, but also defines who you can become. Because pressure exposes a person's strength. It exposes a person's weakness, but it also exposes the individual on how they handle certain situations.
[00:28:33] I mean, I give her this great story of Michael and his last Utah last championship game six. There's 42 seconds left on the clock, 42 seconds. They're down by three points, not a single other Bulls player touched the ball in those 42 seconds. Not one, not one. Michael got the ball he scored. Utah brought the ball down. He stole the ball from Karl Malone took the ball down the court again, and score it again. That's what's being pressure is a privilege. For most individuals, that's the most stressful situation out there. And I just say, listen, stress is just pressure that you didn't decide to deal with. Because if you deal with a pressure situation every single day or every time it comes up, you won't have to, it won't turn into stress. It will not turn into stress.
[00:29:26] But in order to be put in that pressure situation, your obligation to yourself has to be greater than anybody else's obligation to you. If somebody else tells you, you got to want it. Well, does that mean they want it more than you do? You gotta want that end result. You got to want that pressure. Your expectations on yourself should be higher than anybody else's expectations on you.
[00:29:51] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Tim Grover. We'll be right back.
[00:29:56] Microsoft Teams is helping Periority Bcycles reinvent the way they work. When the pandemic hit the bike shop had to close their New York Cty showroom. They found a way to reopen by doing virtual visits on Teams. Now the team can meet with two or three times the number of customers than they could before. And people from all over the world can visit their showroom. Learn more about their story and others at microsoft.com/teams.
[00:30:21] Now, back to Tim Grover on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:30:26] It sounds like this isn't myth and power of positive thinking. But it's about having the confidence to know that you can handle any situation that comes at you, any sort of permutation whatsoever, because you've practiced it. You've drilled it until you were blue in the face versus I'm trying to sort of distinguish this from a lot of the folks that come through and they're like, "Oh yeah, you know, relish the challenge that comes your way." And like, that sort of feel the burn where let's just like, "Oh, you screwed up all your logistics because you were unprepared. Uh, well the pressure going to make you better." And it's like, well, no, that was a lack of preparation. Not the right kind of stress, maybe.
[00:31:00] Tim Grover: Exactly. And you know, I have this thing that I say every single one of your plans should be a plan A. There shouldn't be plan A's, plan B's, plan C's because listen to me, if you have a plan B, that means it's not as good as you plan A. You should have multiple plan A's. They should be equally as effective, equally as good. Your first plan A may not work, but your second plan A may or your third plan A but if you literally have plan A, plan B, plan C, you're creating a safety net that you don't need. Many times pressure is, you got to throw yourself over the ledge instead of having somebody else throw yourself over the ledge. You got to know that that next step is — you got to believe in your abilities to know that's what that next step is there.
[00:31:47] You know, winning isn't going to meet you halfway. It's going to meet you at the end, and it's going to watch you go through that unforgiving race to see what's going to come out on that other end. It's like a battlefield that goes on in your mind all the time. You have these constant wars, these constant bombs that are constantly going on in your head, you know, your anger, your fear, your anxiety, all these different things. And yourself and other individuals are trying to explode those things. They're trying to get you distracted. They're trying to get you out of focus. They're trying to teach you not to deal with pressure.
[00:32:22] You know, that's that kind of that old adage of you got this? Well, what do you got? What do you have? What is this? What exactly is this? Because your definition of this is completely different than my definition of this. And what you said about the routine, about the preparation, about doing things over and over and over again, allows those individuals to excel and compete and handle those pressure situations and get the results that other individuals just can't get.
[00:32:53] Jordan Harbinger: It's interesting to look at the example of Michael Jordan in your book. This might've come from the earlier book, Relentless, but it's also come from some of the talks that you've given that I've seen where the show doesn't start and stop with the game right here. I'm trying to remember this, but like Michael Jordan would always wash his car, even if it was raining or something like that, right? and then drive up. You know what I'm talking about?
[00:33:13] Tim Grover: You know for most individuals, the preparation starts when they get to practice or they get to shoot around or get to the game. His preparation started the minute he woke up. Everything he did on that particular day was to prepare himself for the game, the meal, the pre-game workout. He had his timepiece. I always say Michael didn't wear watches, he wore time pieces. There's a huge difference. He didn't drive cars, he drove automobiles. The car was already cleaned. The suit was laid out. So everything had a routine. He didn't have to think about those things so he could stay focused on the game, on the opponent, all the other thing. Those were his necessary steps in order to diffuse the battlefield in the mind. Because if you have all that chaos going on the day of the game, you're thinking about your tickets, you're thinking about what to wear, where your clothes are, where your practices, where everything is, those bombs are constantly exploding in the head. You have that routine, you have that pattern. You say, this is what I do to succeed. This is where I do to stay focus. This is what I do to win. This is what I do to win over and over and over again.
[00:34:22] And those routines got really disrupted for a lot of individuals with a pandemic because a pandemic forced all new routines and there was a bunch of changes. And some people were able to adapt and other individuals weren't able to adapt. A lot of people always wanted to say, "Man, I wish I could work from home." Well, you got a chance to work from home. You know, people want to say, "I want to spend more time with my significant other." Well, you got a chance not only to work from home, but maybe spend more time with that person. It isn't always what you think is going to be.
[00:34:55] Jordan Harbinger: Are you speaking from personal experience right now?
[00:34:58] Tim Grover: Well, no, I'm just saying, it's not that — listen, I'm sitting here, I'm talking to you through, you know, SquadCast. And I have my dog in my lap and I literally have my cat walking through that desk that I have, the doorbell could be ringing. It's raining outside. When you actually have to go to an office, those things aren't with you. Those aren't distractions that isn't a new normal, that it wasn't a part of your new, normal routine. Having your kids homeschooled while you're trying to work. Do you have the ability to adapt or are those minefields constantly going on? Because now your routine has been severely affected.
[00:35:38] Now for a lot of individuals, that was a good thing because you were in a routine that wasn't beneficial to your success. It was just one of those things that you just did every day over and over and over again. It's just like, you know, how's your day going? My day is good. Another day, another dollar. How you doing? I'm surviving. You know, all the old adage is that people always say. Every time everybody asks me how my day is going, I would say it's a great day. It's great. And I could be having the worst day out there, but I can't let anybody else know that's what's going on. If I tell myself it's going to be a great day, it puts me in the correct mindset.
[00:36:16] And some of my worst days are nothing compared to some other individuals, what the experiences they're going through life and the heartaches that they're going through. So I look at it that if I'm able to open my eyes and put my feet on the ground, everything else is up to me after that.
[00:36:34] Jordan Harbinger: It's interesting. You should bring that up. I read in your book that, are you half Indian or part Indian?
[00:36:39] Tim Grover: Actually I'm all Indian. Both my parents are. Yes.
[00:36:43] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, that's a country right now where you think about like, "Man, I'm lucky I don't live there, picking plastic pieces out of the garbage, like you see on national geographic or whatever, where these, like the poor people have no access to water, let alone school or shoes or anything.
[00:36:57] Tim Grover: It's unbelievable. That's why I just said it's all perspective. Listen, I don't have everything I want, but I have more than what I need. I have more than what I need. And you look at other individuals and you just take things in that. Listen, I'm fortunate enough to do what I set out to do. I went to school for this. I'm a one individual that said, "Hey, this is what my education background is. This is where I invested my time. This is where I invested my money. And I actually got a chance to do that." You get how many individuals that go to school for one thing, or get educated in something else and ended up doing something completely different. I'm blessed and fortunate that I was able to find a place path, my own path to winning, to get me to where I want to be.
[00:37:39] Jordan Harbinger: Knowing now that you're Indian. I wonder if when you were training Michael Jordan and all these elite athletes to win world championships, if your mom was to like, "So are you going to go to medical school now or next year?"
[00:37:50]Tim Grover: Jordan, great story and I'll share this with you. I actually got accepted into medical school. So when I went to college, my parents asked me, "What are you going to study? What are you going to do?" And I told them, "I wanted to train professional athletes." And they were like, "What are you talking about?" Like train professional athletes, like even back then, sports athletes did not have individual trainers. They dealt with the training staff that the team had. So this was something that was not even conceivable back then.
[00:38:18] Jordan Harbinger: What kind of doctor does that, Tim? I don't know.
[00:38:21]Tim Grover: Exactly. So, you know, growing up in an Indian family, especially back then you have two career choices, doctors being one and the doctors being number two. That was it. And then as time evolved, later on, you were able to go to — you wanted to be a lawyer or an engineer or whatever it would be. So my parents didn't understand, but they said, "Listen, we still want you to take the entrance exam to medical school." I said, "Fine." So the first time I took it, I totally bombed, totally bombed. And my dad goes, "Nice, try." He goes, "I knew this was going to happen. I've already registered you for the next one." Because he knew I was going to blow it on purpose.
[00:39:00] Jordan Harbinger: What a vote of confidence. Hey, I think you should go for another one. I don't even need to know the score.
[00:39:04] Tim Grover: Yeah. Well, he knew I blew it on purpose. He was like, all right, he's going to be like, "All right, well, see dad, I'm not smart enough to get into medical school." He was like, "Yeah," he goes, "I've played this game too. I understand." So then I took it again and I scored fairly well and I got accepted into some pretty high end medical schools. Then having to tell them, I'm not going. You talk about winning is the ultimate gamble on yourself that was having confidence in myself to know that I want to choose a different path and I'm going to get that end result, because that was my ticket to the freedom of the life I wanted to live, not what somebody else wanted to live.
[00:39:45] You know, you take the chance on yourself and you never doubt what the outcome is going to be though when you start. Listen, you have a law degree.
[00:39:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:39:53] Tim Grover: You never doubted, "Hey, this is what I'm going to do. And this is what the outcome is going to be."
[00:39:58] Jordan Harbinger: This show? If anything, the law degree was me going like, "Oh, I guess I should try something else. You know, got to buy myself some time here." That was what that was.
[00:40:06] Tim Grover: Exactly. So you had fear. I had fear when I was like I'm going to train professional athletes. You had fear when you said, all right, I'm going to do this exceptional podcast. And I try to tell it enough. It's okay to have fear, but winning doesn't want you to have doubt. You cannot have doubt. You had fear, but you had no doubt. Others, individuals may have had doubt. You didn't have any doubt that this was going to be successfully for you. This is what you wanted to do. This was the gamble on yourself. There's a big difference between the two.
[00:40:38] Jordan Harbinger: Most people I thought I was a total idiot for doing this, especially people who were in law school. My parents were pretty supportive actually, surprisingly so, probably because they thought, "Oh, he'll get over this phase and then he'll get a real job."
[00:40:50] Tim Grover: Right.
[00:40:50] Jordan Harbinger: They were like, "I'm not going to even try and fight him on this. He'll eventually—", But all my law school classmates almost without exception were like, "You are so stupid. You should be focusing on your career. This is just going to get you fired from any job you have because they're going to see you in like moonlighting and wasting your time. You know, nobody even knows podcasts are. There's no money in it. This is dumb. Like it's a hobby. You're just wasting your time."
[00:41:12] Tim Grover: The interesting part about that statement is you were focusing on your career. It just wasn't a career—
[00:41:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it just wasn't law.
[00:41:19] Tim Grover: Yes. That was a point. Like it wasn't a lack of focus. It was like, "Yeah, actually I am focusing in on my career. I'm just now focusing in on the career you think I should take.
[00:41:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's a good point. That's a really good point. There was a lot of like, you're wasting your time doing this. And meanwhile, there's plenty of time to focus on a few different things. Half the people that were like, "You're wasting your time." I was like, "You're at the bar five days a week. What are you talking about? I'm wasting my time. Let me see a bar tab from yesterday. You had six pitchers of sangria, man."
[00:41:49] Tim Grover: Hilarious.
[00:41:50] Jordan Harbinger: Would you say that emotions make you — this is overly generalized statement. Would you say that emotions can make you weak in performance dependent activities, right?
[00:41:58] Tim Grover: I do. I'm glad you got a chance to read the book and review it because a lot of topics that you're bringing up, we discussed in this book Winning, one of the chapters again is winning isn't heartless, but you'll use your heart less. All right. Which means your mind has to be stronger than your feelings. Your mind is over your feelings. Think about all the unsettling or bad decisions that you've made in your life.
[00:42:26] Jordan Harbinger: No, thanks.
[00:42:28] Tim Grover: But a lot of those were through emotions and through feelings.
[00:42:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:31] Tim Grover: You knew up here what the right decision was. You knew from a mental standpoint, in your mind, this was the right decision, but from an emotional standpoint, or from a feeling standpoint, you were like, "I'm going to go this way. I want to go this way." Your heart in that decision was stronger than your mind. And it didn't turn out very, very well. It just didn't. It just didn't it. So feelings make you overthink everything. Feelings make you overthink, overthink, overthink, overthink. Your mind makes decisions. And it may not be popular decisions, right? If you would have went with your heart and everybody else's heart and everybody else's emotions, you and I would not be talking here right now. You'd be in law school. You'd be practicing law somewhere. And now if I needed to hire you for whatever law practice you are going in, maybe our paths would have crossed, but your mind was stronger than your feelings. You were like, "This is what I'm going to do. This is the path I'm going to take. I got to take my heart out of this. I got to know that I am not problem."
[00:43:37] Most individuals when they get their feelings, when they think about the emotional thing, they feel like they're the problem. Like take the law school, your buddies are saying you need to focus in on your career. You need to focus in on becoming a successful lawyer. So then you're sitting here and thinking, "Well, I'm not going. Am I really the problem? Am I? Yeah, maybe they are right." And you start to get a little emotional. And then when your mind comes in and you make that decision, you're like, "No, I'm not the problem. They're the problem. I know exactly what I want to do." And it's the decision for the mind is going to negatively affect a lot of other individuals because that's not the decision they wanted for you.
[00:44:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's an interesting point. And I think a lot of people are dealing — a lot of students deal with this because they got pressure from everywhere and people who are in any kind of transition. I would imagine some of your corporate clients deal with this as well, because they've got boards — if even if they're a CEO, they've got the board saying, "Hey, you know, look, this other company in our niche is doing this. We should just pivot and do that" I mean, you really have like a lot of outside influence. That's not necessarily qualified or in a position to make a decision. And it gets you second guessing yourself.
[00:44:51] Tim Grover: The art of overthinking is creating problems that don't exist. If you constantly overthink, you start creating problems that don't even exist. My greatest athletes, whether they're in football, baseball, they don't worry about taking a swing. They haven't swung yet. They don't worry about taking a shot. They haven't taken yet. They don't worry about, "Well, if I missed this is what's going to happen. If I make it, this is what's going to happen." Now, you get so much emotion involved in that thing. Make a decision. Don't make suggestions. Make a decision and see what the outcome is. Because when you make that decision, you start to perform with energy and most people perform with emotion.
[00:45:31] When you make the right decision for yourself, when you use your heart less, you before with energy, not with emotion. And that's the most successful CEOs, that's what the most successful business people, the most successful money managers, the most successful athletes, the most successful teachers, the most successful anything that you can think of, they perform with energy, not with emotion. Just think about individuals that are waiters or waitresses at restaurants. If they performed every single day with their emotions, it would not be — yeah, see, I don't even have to go any farther.
[00:46:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:07] Tim Grover: You already know, you already know. We've all been in that situation. We've always seen with that and they go in and they perform with energy. They do what they ask. They deal with different customers' complaints, "Not like this. This isn't right, isn't here." "I'm sorry your table isn't ready. Dah, dah," and all this other stuff. If they use their heart and all that thing, it would create more chaos.
[00:46:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's funny. We think about people in those positions and it's like, "Hey, don't use your emotions." But then you hear with other high performers, like, "Harness your emotions, harness your emotions." Is that something that should not be done? What about like controlled anger and things like that?
[00:46:41] Tim Grover: Yeah. So this is what I hate. I hate when — this is a big thing with professional organization, high schools and all this other stuff for teams. Everyone says, "Play with emotion, play with emotion." Well, what emotion you want me to play with? Do you want me to play with happiness, you want to play with sad, you want me to play with anger, you want to play with fear, you want me to play with anxiety? Because one emotion, a person is going to play with maybe different than everybody else. Don't play with emotions. Play with energy, play with energy. Because emotions they're too fluctuated. They're too up and down. If you're going to play with an emotion, you play with one emotion, not with emotions. You got to take the S out of me.
[00:47:21] We have some individuals that they play, they got this blank look on their face. They're extremely focused in the way they are performing tasks, the way they do something. And you have other ones that are constantly fired up, but they stay fired up and they're fired up one emotion. There is no up and down rollercoaster. There's those things. That's how you do this thing. And I have this thing, and this is also in the chapter of the heartless chapter in the book. "Control your thoughts. You control your emotions. Control your actions." So control your thoughts, control your emotions, you control your actions.
[00:47:55] Jordan Harbinger: How often do you think you get so angry that you lose control? I mean, it has happened sometimes. You have kids?
[00:48:00] Tim Grover: I do have kids. Yes.
[00:48:01] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, they know what buttons to push to make sure that you can't control your emotions.
[00:48:05] Tim Grover: Listen, we've all been there. No one is perfect. Everybody gets angry. It's the ability to go from one emotion to another. That's the key. If you can't go from such an extreme high and be able to stay there for such a long level, you got to be able to come back. Are you in that anger state for such a long period of time, or are you have the ability to come back into more of a neutral state of more of a happiness state?
[00:48:30] I always say with my athletes, don't go with anger. Go with controlled rage because anger — this is just what you said, "Somebody else puts you into that anger stage."
[00:48:41] Jordan Harbinger: That's so true.
[00:48:42] Tim Grover: Usually when you're angry at somebody, like you said, your kids, your significant other, or your friend or whatever, it may be, controlled rage is something, it's internal. You get to control how much of that rage you want to let out, how much is necessary, if any of us is necessary, but it's under control. And if you can't control that anger, you can't control that rage, that's going to lead to destructive behavior.
[00:49:06] Jordan Harbinger: Well, we'll definitely talk about destructive behavior. I just, I'm thinking about my kid. He's 22 months old. He can't really make me that angry because he's not like, "I wrecked your car, dad." He's like, "I took the bottle again and dumped it out again. And I'm looking at you because I know you get super pissed off." And he's just laughing at me. So it's a really, it's almost like he's like a drill instructor where he's like, "I'm going to keep making you like mildly annoyed by dumping out everything you give me and looking for your reaction." After a few times, you just go, this is just him testing me. So I lose every time I get upset about this and I can't show it because he's 22 months old. What kind of father gets pissed off at a toddler? So like, it makes you really realize that your emotions are all about your reaction to everything. And nothing will teach you that like a toddler—
[00:49:54] Tim Grover: Yes.
[00:49:55] Jordan Harbinger: —Or maybe a pet, right?
[00:49:56] Tim Grover: Exactly. You got to be able to control. You got to be able to control your emotions, but you can't control your emotions unless you control those thoughts first. We don't act on every single thought. You see a toddler pouring that thing out and your first reaction may be to run to it or grab it. And now all of a sudden you're like, "No, you know what? That's not the right thought." Because if you think that that is the right thought, then you're going to have the wrong action behind it. So the control of knowing how to control your emotions and at what stage your control is extremely important.
[00:50:26] Because most of the time, like I said, other people have more control over your emotions than you do. Because that's a way of them to control you by saying something that makes you feel guilty or something thing that you're insecure about. And they know if they just continue to peck on that on a regular basis, you'll be getting and in an emotional state. And if you get that individual in an emotional state, you have control over that individual. I always say, "Don't let other individuals push your buttons. You need to be able to pull your buttons and that you have the ability to push the buttons that you want to get that end result. If you constantly letting someone else push your buttons, they have control. They know what buttons to push, to get what reaction out of you. So do you have the ability to pull your own buttons and to push them and know which ones you need to do to get through that race in order to constantly win, win, and win. You know, when your son stops doing that, that's a win. That is a win. But if you don't do it, the correct way that wind is going to take so much longer.
[00:51:34] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think that's why Michael Jordan would use to go into the other team's locker room and just kind of — I don't know what he was doing in there, saying hi to people? It seemed innocuous, but he was just in there to be like, "I'm on your territory." It's like that whole, like, "Not touching, you can't get mad. I'm not touching you. You can't get angry," like that kind of thing.
[00:51:50] Tim Grover: Right. The reason he did that was to now, everybody was focusing in on him instead of focusing in on the game. So if the coach was writing plays up there or they were watching film or whatever, now, all of a sudden everybody's like, well, they forgot about that, when Michael just walked in. And especially the young guys, they wanted to see how Michael was dressed, what he was wearing, the shoes that he had on, who he was coming to talk to, and what is he doing in this locker room? And Michael would come in sometimes and just say, "Hey, who's guarding me tonight." The other team would say, "It's Calbert," or whoever. He'll be like, "Boys, it's going to be a long night for you," and just walk. And now everybody starts laughing because now what happens is Michael actually took over the headspace before the game even started. They're so focused in on that moment, that totally forgetting about what they have to do an hour later.
[00:52:41] Jordan Harbinger: That's really devious and good because I can imagine a coach being like, "Hey, forget about that." And everyone's like, "I can't." "Okay, sure." And they were just like two seconds later paying attention to it.
[00:52:51] Tim Grover: It's like the athlete that everybody tells you, "Don't think, don't think. Just go out there and perform." Well, what's the first thing that happens when somebody tells you don't think.
[00:52:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right. You start thinking about it.
[00:53:00] Tim Grover: You think.
[00:53:01] Jordan Harbinger: Why not? Why shouldn't I think? Is there some wrong with thinking? Yeah.
[00:53:03] Tim Grover: Right, you start thinking.
[00:53:05] Jordan Harbinger: Recovering from a loss, this sort of touches on emotion a little bit. You mentioned in the book, Winning, that when you're recovering from a loss, you just dissect it until it falls apart. What's going on here? That's a kind of a brilliant tactic actually.
[00:53:18] Tim Grover: Well, so this is how I look at a loss. Here's another cliche that just tells us absolutely just, oh, it irks me and it teaches people the wrong thing. And that's why a lot of people can't get to where they're at because these cliches have been going on for years and years, and years and years. Now I'm trying to get people, this is not how the champions do it. This is not how the winners do it in life. All right. They always say, "When you get knocked down, you need to stand right up again. You know, you get knocked down, stand back up." Well, a loss is knocked down, right? If you just jump back up, you're going to fall again because you didn't realize what puts you on that floor. So I would say when you get knocked down there, stay down for a little bit. Understand what you were doing down there. How'd you get down there? Educate yourself, learn from that experience. Because when you stand up, you can't stand up the same person.
[00:54:10] So if you get knocked down once and you figure out why you got knocked down, when you stand up again, you're going to be stronger than you were when you get knocked out. When you get knocked down again, you stayed on it a little longer. You figure out you stand up again. You're going to be smarter. When you get knocked down a third time and you're knock downs are infinite. When you knocked down, you stay down there again. It's another loss. You stand up. You're going to be more resilient. So every time you stand up, you have to stand up a different individual than the individual that got knocked down. Otherwise, your losses are just going to be more losses, more losses, more losses.
[00:54:45] Yeah, it looks good to everybody else. When you get knocked down and you stand back up again, but you're standing up the same person. You didn't learn why you got knocked down. And sometimes you only need to be down there for a minute. Other times you have to be down there maybe for weeks, maybe even for a month until you figure out what's going on of why you keep ending up with this loss and you're not in this race to win.
[00:55:09] Jordan Harbinger: It's like dating where people keep getting attracted to the wrong kind of partner. And then it's like, "Hey, maybe stop dating and go to a therapist and find out why you keep getting together with people who steal your money or whatever."
[00:55:20] Tim Grover: Yeah.
[00:55:21] Jordan Harbinger: It's kind of a similar scenario. Like you have to reflect on it. Otherwise you're just getting beat up for no reason.
[00:55:26] Tim Grover: Exactly. Exactly.
[00:55:30] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Tim Grover. We'll be right back.
[00:55:34] Microsoft Teams is helping Priority Bicycles transform the way they work. After closing their New York City showroom, they started doing virtual visits on Teams. Now, people from all over the world can come into their showroom. Learn more at microsoft.com/teams.
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[00:56:47] And now for the conclusion of our episode with Tim Grover.
[00:56:51] You mentioned that great champions, you know, they bring the team up, they make a team better, but they're hard to work with. And I think, you said that Michael Jordan in the Last Dance. Other players say, "Oh, he's an asshole. He's hard to work with because he didn't let emotions get in the way." How can we tell if somebody on our team or we in our organization is a champion driving everyone to be better and is difficult to work with for that reason versus somebody who's actually just a toxic asshole that needs to be removed from the team or the organization? Because there's plenty of people who are terrible to work with under the guise of making everyone better, but they're just sh*tty people.
[00:57:26] Tim Grover: Listen, are they getting the end result? You know, everyone has a different way of elevating the team around them and not every method works for all those individuals, but is that person — the one thing Michael said, "I will never ask you to do something that I won't do myself. I come to practice. I work, I practice extremely hard. I do what I'm supposed to do. I'm coachable. I may be vocal. I may be hard on you, but winning is not easy. It's not easy. And if you have a one, anything, let me show you how to win." Are people just talking or are they actually winning? Are they getting those results over and over again? That's how you tell if a person is toxic or not? Are they just jabbering? And it's easy to uplift yourself. It's easy to elevate yourself. All right. That's the easy part. Do you have the ability to elevate the individuals around you. That is the most difficult thing to do. So what works for one individual is not necessarily going to work for the other individual.
[00:58:35] You may have an individual — on that Bull's team, Michael was the in-the-face guy. He was in your face, told you like it is, all right. And then there was Scottie. Scottie was more of the uplifting person. He talked little bit softly and so forth. So Michael knew who he could talk to. And there were many times he was like, "Scottie, you go talk to him." Because Michael knew if he talked to him the way he did it was actually going to get more of a negative result that a positive result. And that's leadership also knowing to when to delegate authority to somebody else, so everyone can get that ultimate result.
[00:59:11] That individual that you talk about, who's just so toxic, they're selfish in a bad way. They're selfish where it's only about them. It's not about anybody else. It's about them, them, them. When these great leaders in business, when these great leaders in sports, these great winners, everybody benefits. Are they all going to benefit at the same level? Listen, obviously, you know, the CEO is going to — he or she, or they, they're going to benefit more, all right. But even the individual that has stock options in the company, or who might be making the minimum wage, they benefit from a winning culture. They benefit from a winning organization. And if they stay with that organization long enough, they will be able to know the steps that are necessary to get to a higher level.
[01:00:01] Jordan Harbinger: Let's talk about the dark side. This is probably my favorite part of the, any of this stuff that you write about. I assume a lot of people ask about this. Well, first of all, what is the dark side? This is like, we see the results of this on television usually when we watch documentaries about like Tiger Woods or whatever, I mean, and I'll ask you about him in a bit. But what is the dark side first of all?
[01:00:20] Tim Grover: Well, I'll tell you what the dark side is not.
[01:00:22] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:00:23] Tim Grover: The dark side is not about vampires and Star Wars and so forth. The dark side, everyone has one. It's what keeps you going when nothing else will. It's that internal fuel. It's that chip. That's not on your shoulder. It's a chip that's inside of you that nobody else can touch only you can touch. So when everything is going wrong, where you have no energy where you're literally living in apartment and you have no food in that house, your dark side tells you keep going. It's that internal voice that's in your head that tells you, "We're going to get there. Keep working. Block everything else out." And it's unique to each individual in here.
[01:01:10] I'll give a great example. You know, you have a lot of individuals that are raised by only one parent for whatever reason, or maybe no at all. You may have an individual that uses that as an excuse, the rest of their life. I didn't have a good family structure. My father wasn't there, my mother wasn't there or whatever it is. And then you have that other individual that says, "Watch me." That's their dark side saying, "Watch what I'm going to do with this situation here." It will keeps you going when nothing else will. It's that internal fire it's that desire that nobody can take away from you. It's dealing with those skeletons in your closet. I have this thing that winning knows all your secrets. The dark side knows all your secrets. Now, if you don't want to share them, that's up to you, but you have to accept that part of you. You have to accept, "Hey, this is what's going on."
[01:02:08] I tell this story when I was a child, I was the one of those individuals that at the middle of the night I would call my mom and dad said, "You know, dad, mom, there's a monster under the bed. There's a monster under the bed. There's a monster under the bed." And this went on for a while. And do you know when it stopped?
[01:02:23] Jordan Harbinger: I'm trying to think. Do I still do that?
[01:02:25] Tim Grover: It stopped when I realized I was the monster. It was a thing that I wasn't willing to deal with. It was a part of me. And when I finally accepted that monster is a part of me. There's a monster in all of us. We just have to know whether it's a good monster or a bad monster. Can we control it? Can we not control it? When I realized I was that monster and this was what allowed me to be me, that monster underneath the bed went away. Now, it became my job to learn can I control this monster that's inside, or the, you know, the name they give it, the monster inside of me. That's that fuel. That's that energy. That's that exhilaration that pushes you and that drives you. It has the ability to say no when everybody else is telling you to say yes. It's your dark side came in when everybody was saying, you went to law school, whether you paid the tuition, your parents paid the tuition, you were on a scholarship, whatever your dark side was like, "I'm not going in this direction," when everybody else is telling you to go in this direction.
[01:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: Do you want athletes to access their dark side? Is that where you want them to go? Or is it better to be in a more positive type of place?
[01:03:44] Tim Grover: I want them to only access their dark side as long as they can control their dark side. If they can't control the dark side, don't allow it. You've seen this destructive behavior in all forms of life with individuals that one, they don't know what their dark side is. They get it confused with something else. And when they do let it go, they have no control over it. And it leads to destructive, destructive behavior. Know what your dark side is understand it. Know that you can control it, know that you can control it. Know that it's going to attack your fears. Know it's going to attack your insecurities. It's going to be with you. It's a part of you. You have to accept it. I need my athletes to show up as a whole. I don't need them to show up. Only part of them, bring everything with you and use what you need when you need it.
[01:04:42] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned in the book, there are CEOs that say, "Oh, I don't have that." And then it's like eight months later, the board's calling you because the guys running the company into the ground because he doesn't know. It's like the devil on the shoulder, right? If you don't see the devil on the shoulder talking to you, you think that you're making these decisions, but really it's controlling you.
[01:04:59] Tim Grover: Exactly. That's a perfect example. Perfect example.
[01:05:02] Jordan Harbinger: Powerful high performers that often get embroiled in scandal. A lot of people say, "Oh, it's unchecked power." Do you think it's the power that they get because they're used to accessing their dark side? You know, like the DUI or the people who end up getting caught with like, they got three women on the side or something like that. What do you think is going on there?
[01:05:21] Tim Grover: It's something they can't control. They think, well, don't even think, they know they like they have this knowing feeling that I can get away. I can keep getting away with these things. And now all of a sudden, you're not in control anymore. It's in control. Not sometimes it always leads to destructive behavior. Always, usually leads to an exit of some point. So I said, you got to be able to harness it and you got to be able to control it. You got to know when to use it. And when not to use it, you got to know when to show it. And when not to show it, but it's a part of you. It is a part of you. It's like everybody that's won something exceptional. And there's pictures of Kobe doing it, there's pictures of Michael, there's pictures of CEO's and business CFOs, all these other things, they appreciate, they cray the solitude in the dark. And what I mean by the dark in a room, it doesn't have to be a dark room, but it could be a place where they're just there by themselves. There's pictures, all over Instagram of Kobe holding the trophy, just going somewhere by himself holding the trophy. There's images of Jeff Bezos, there's images of all these individuals that are in their office by themselves, after a huge win. They need that solitude. They need that darkness to understand that's where they kind of unwind. That's kind of where they get to understand who they really are. And you can't run from it because wherever you run it's with you, it's going to be with you. You can't be great at what you do without it. You can't be exceptional. You can be good, but when you're good, you're not really judged. When you great and when you're unstoppable and when you consistently win, you're going to be judged. And people that are willing to show their dark side and know how to use it, they're not afraid to be judged.
[01:07:14] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think that's why a lot of players like Kobe had the Black Mamba alter ego, do you think that's why a lot of players contain that dark side in an alter ego instead of just letting it spill out everywhere?
[01:07:24] Tim Grover: Yes. Again, I'm glad you read the book because that's in the book. It says, winning knows all your secrets and that's whole about the Black Mamba. He could live his life that way in his personal life, but on the basketball court, in a business life, it was like, this is who I am. This is who I need to be. I have to say now, and I have athletes all the time that talk about Mamba Mentality. The Mamba Mentality, it's not a mindset. It's a lifestyle. And I've seen it destroy more careers than I've actually seen it help because that lifestyle that you have to live in order to get that wins over and over and over again, it's not for everyone. It is in a dark place. It isn't a dark place. And, you know, obviously, listen, he didn't pick a garden snake, he didn't say a garden snake mentality. He picked the most venomous snake out there to be his alter ego.
[01:08:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's not the dandelion mentality or whatever. I don't even know. I don't even know what other snakes there are. I've got like two, my snake vocabulary is very limited.
[01:08:32] How do we know for indulging our dark side for a result to get something done or we're just simply not respecting other people, not respecting our family? Because I want to be careful not to give a pass to bad behavior because someone says, "Well, I'm a high performer. It's my dark side. Sorry."
[01:08:46] Tim Grover: No. And that's an excuse. That's an excuse. You could be an extremely high performer and high-performance performing at the highest level is your dark side. You're not the individual that you said earlier that doesn't go to the bar five days a week that doesn't have bar tab. You know, that could be the person that works too much. That's their dark side. It could be the person that doesn't celebrate their wins. They just want more wins. They want more wins. They want more wins. All right. The individual that just uses that, "Oh, I'm a high performer and that's my dark side." They're not using the dark side, that's just an excuse because they're just being, you know, whatever you want to call them.
[01:09:27] Jordan Harbinger: They're terrible people, yeah.
[01:09:28] Tim Grover: There's a difference between people that use that as an excuse and people that know how to use it for their advantage, the dark sides of very powerful thing. And we go into it really, really in, in detail, we went into really detailed in Relentless and that we went into even more detail into Winning. And if you read that chapter, if you get that book and that's the only chapter you read, you'll get a clear understanding of what it is and how each individual has it and how each individual can use it and control it and have a better understanding of it.
[01:10:02] Jordan Harbinger: I thought it was a helpful chapter. I still think the concept is helpful because there's a lot of people — like right now, there's almost a cult of like, "Oh, you know, work-life balance and you got to be this way and you gotta be that way." But it's the same social media sort of influencers telling you, you know, just get up and be motivated to do what you want to do. Maybe this isn't what they mean, but it's kind of like saying, "Ah, stuff all that stuff that you feel into the back and be this different way," but that doesn't really work because you kind of need that raw dark side to come out because that's the side that says, like, "There is no balance in what I'm doing right now. I'm focused on this and only this and the other things are going to suffer. And I will have to fix that later, but the people around me that are close to me have to realize that this is what's happening right now. Like I got my evil mask on right now."
[01:10:48]Tim Grover: Jordan, I couldn't have said it better. Listen, winning wants all of you. There is no balance. And another chapter in the book, there is no balance. There's so many books that are written out there about balance, balance, balance. Listen, you don't find balance. You don't find it. Everybody's trying to find balance. You don't find balance. You create. And the way you create balance is different than way some other individual creates balance. And what everybody tries to do when they tell you, "You have no balance in your life." What do they try to do? They try to add more stuff. So now you're trying to balance even more things.
[01:11:22] You know how you get closer to balance, you get rid of the unessentials. And there's so much inside of us, there's so much in our minds, there's so much in our thoughts, there's so much in our emotions, there's so much in our actions that we need to delete, that we need to get rid of. And if you get rid of those things, you actually get closer to balance. Are you going to be perfectly balanced? You're not going to be perfectly balanced. All right. And don't judge somebody and don't try to find somebody else's balance and then try to use it as yours. The most people that talk about balance are the ones that are extremely successful now, but they don't talk about the times where they were so unbalanced before to get to this level.
[01:12:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Funny, you should mention that there's a guy who's been on the show before that I really loved Scott Galloway and he says, "Work-life balance, that doesn't exist. If you want to be economically successful," because that's the angle he's coming from, he says, "There's no balance until you're like 40." You know, before that, you're just, you live at the office all the time because you're working on your startup or you're working on your company and you're getting ahead and you're working six, seven days a week and you suffer through that so that when you're 40, 45, then you can have balance because you've earned it. You're welcome to have balanced before that, but you're probably not going to end up in, I think, he says like the top 10 percent of earners. It's just facts, really.
[01:12:38] Tim Grover: I totally agree with him. 100 percent. Totally, totally agree. It's like you said, the Instagram gurus and motivational individuals, they love to talk about the feel-good things. You know, everyone sees winning as this euphoric thing and it is, but this book is the language of winning of what it takes for each — and I don't care how small you win or how big your win is, this is what you have to go through. This is what the race of winning requires. I don't care what level you're at. This is what it's going to take. And people just don't like to talk about it. And I'm that one individual that not only wants to talk about it, I want it to be heard because it's essential. It's essential to your success as an individual, as a business person, as an entrepreneur, whatever it may be. As a parent, it's essential.
[01:13:34] Jordan Harbinger: Tim grover. Thank you so much. Great insight here on what it takes to win as opposed to just waxing philosophical about it on Instagram, so really good insight.
[01:13:42] Tim Grover: Thank you, Jordan. I appreciate it. Thank you again. Listen, Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness, it's an all of us. It's an all of us. Jordan, thank you so much. Great interview.
[01:13:54] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you very much. I appreciate you saying that.
[01:13:56] Tim Grover: Doing interview way back when, to where you are now, I won't say it's a different person, it's a much improved person. Thank you. You've taken this to a much higher level. I'm impressed. I really am. I actually watched the other interview the other day, just to kind of like, "Oh, let me look at Jordan." I was like, "Oh yeah, I remember this. I remember him saying,"
[01:14:14] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you. I appreciate it. I'm always working really hard to get better at this. I have coaches for like vocal tonality and improv comedy. I'm not trying to be funny, but it's just, it helps you think quicker.
[01:14:23] Tim Grover: It shows, it shows. Great investment.
[01:14:26] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you. Yeah. We'll link to the book in the show notes as we always do. I really appreciate your time.
[01:14:32] I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, here's a trailer from my interview with Laila Ali, daughter of legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali. She's got a great story about how she ended up the only other boxer in her family and how she carries her father's legacy, whether you're into sports or not, I think you're really going to dig it.
[01:14:51] Laila Ali: You have to have it in you to want to be a fighter. It's not something that you just go, "Oh, I think I'll just try boxing," you know? Because you're going to get your ass beat if you don't train and you don't have it in you. When you get that opportunity, it was a brawl. I mean, it was bloody. It was like crazy. And I was like, "I want to do that." You would think anyone punching you would hurt, right?
[01:15:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Sure.
[01:15:07] Laila Ali: But as fighters it's like, "Oh, that person could punch, that person can't." Tapping you, tap, tap, tap. And then every once in a while, that bam! It's that hard one, "Ooh, okay, I felt that." If you're listening to your camp saying, "She's nothing. She this, she that." And then you have to get your ass in there and then you feel that punch like, "No! She can punch. No, she's not just a pretty face." If you see me across that ring, looking at you, like, "You remember all that stuff that you talked? Now, it's about to happen. It's just me and you. Nobody else can get in there with you. And I'm going to remind you of all the things you said." They didn't know that street side of me. Not everyone has that. You don't have to.
[01:15:32] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:15:33] Laila Ali: But I do. Now, you get to meet someone, just to see how they walk, see how they hold their stuff, and see if there's any fear in their eyes.
[01:15:39] Jordan Harbinger: What was your father's reaction to you wanting to box?
[01:15:41] Laila Ali: He didn't like it.
[01:15:42] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[01:15:42] Laila Ali: No.
[01:15:43] Jordan Harbinger: You guys were sparring before you can put the gloves on.
[01:15:45] Laila Ali: Oh yeah. He supported me though. He came to a lot of my fights. He couldn't be at all of them. I could always see that glare in his eyes and him being proud. And just to come into that arena and having everyone chanting, "Ali, Ali," and you just see him light up to see me in that ring and him just remembering himself. Our boxing styles are similar, the way I'm shaped, my body shape. So just seeing all of that had to be a super crazy experience for him.
[01:16:08] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Laila Ali, check out episode number 309 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:16:16] Tim's an intense guy, as you may have noticed. I like doing these, you know, it's a little outside my comfort zone, because I'm not used to the whole sort of sports world. Tim had some pretty good points that we talked about off air. Most of the time, when people ask for advice, we aren't looking for an answer. We're just looking for what we already know or already think or we're looking for confirmation or validation of our ego. And Tim said to not look for the roses, look for the thorns. Now, of course, you should be able to celebrate a little bit, but true champions, you know, the ones he is working around, they're always looking for the thorns, right? The celebration stuff that we talked about earlier, it's always sort of the minimum of that.
[01:16:53] And now, this seems like it might be unhealthy and I'm open to interpretation on this. But I'm the type that can't stop or chill out. Right? I like working. It's not sort of a compulsion. I really do enjoy it deep down. I don't want to chill out or relax. I like working on vacation. I might not choose to zero out my inbox, but vacation means I get to work on different things, not just sit at a beach with a drink all day. I do hope I mellow out later on in my life though. I got to tell you. And I'm wondering if this is more of an affliction than a lifestyle. You know, it's not something that I don't like hustle porn. I don't think it's healthy. So if you're, we're not like that, I probably envy you as opposed to thinking that what we're doing is healthy here. I just want to be very clear on that.
[01:17:36] I also love the distinction between allies versus friends, right? Friends tell you what you want to hear. They're cheerleaders and that's great. It's great to have cheerleaders. But allies tell you what you need to hear. And so while you might get emotional support from friends, allies are actually telling you how to get better. And that's a huge, huge difference in distinction that I think is worth paying attention to. Tim further said that winning requires you to question what you have learned, right? If you do the same things as everyone else, you're going to be like everyone else. Even if you're at a higher level than them in other areas, you're going to get stuck. So you have to break out of that system entirely.
[01:18:15] And Tim was very clear on this. It's in the book. He mentioned it during the show, it's about getting one 10000th of a percent better at the top, top, top levels. You're talking about fractions of a percent being a major advantage. And you know, I see that in business. Of course, we see it now in athletics now that Tim's explained it to us, or if you're an athlete yourself, you know what he's talking about. And a lot of people when they're at a high level, but not the top right there. They're not at the pinnacle, they're not really one of those exceptional characters, it seems like the cost of taking chances, you know, redoing your whole routine, redoing your golf swing, you know, Tiger Woods did that. On top of his game and he starts to redo his swing. And everyone's like, "Why?" If you think the cost of taking chances is too high, wait until you see the bill for doing nothing.
[01:18:59] Big thank you to Tim Grover. The book title is Winning. We're going to link to that in the show notes as we always do. Links to all of that goodness is in the show notes as it always is. Please use our website links if you buy the book from any author that helps support the show. I know it's small money, but it adds up if you use the dang links y'all. Worksheets for the episode or in the show notes. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of the interview going up on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or hit me up on LinkedIn. I love connecting with you there because I get to see what the real you were there. Like, you know, I look at your jobs and I ask you questions about the weird titles you have after your name or the letters I don't know what they mean. I find that fascinating. On Twitter and Instagram, it's okay. But you know, I, I kind of half the time, you're just like, it's like a picture of a gerbil or something. I don't know something about LinkedIn that's just a little nicer.
[01:19:48] Anyway, I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships, using systems and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute networking course. That course is free. jordanharbinger.com/course, I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. And most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course. They contribute to that. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:20:09] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. And my awesome baller ass team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The feed for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's into basketball and loves Michael Jordan and Kobe, or is just like one of those intense sports athletic guys, they're going to dig this episode, share it with them. I hope you find something great. In every episode of the show, please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:20:51] Microsoft Teams is helping Priority Bicycles reinvent the way they work. When the pandemic hit the bike shop had to close their New York City showroom. They found a way to reopen by doing virtual visits on Teams. Now, the team can meet with two or three times the number of customers than they could before and people from all over the world can visit their showroom. Learn more about their story and others at microsoft.com/teams.
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