The Book in 3 Sentences
- Winning IS NOT: Glorious, Euphoric, Success, Domination, Achievement, Power, Satisfaction, Triumph, Awesome, Amazing. Winning IS Uncivilized, Hard, Nasty, Unpolished, Dirty, Rough, Unforgiving, Unapologetic, Uninhibited.
- Winning is not a spectrum, you either win or you lose, and when you do win, you get thrown right back to the beginning and have to do it all over again with even more obsession than the first time.
- By referring to characteristics of individuals like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and others, along with the personal details Tim shares, he creates a Winning persona as someone who: flexes their IDGAF muscle often, is extremely confident in themselves, is ok with being called selfish and not being liked, understands the importance of knowledge, is comfortable with loneliness, can control their mind, can control the uncontrollable, is addicted to results, has mastered focus, has fear but never doubts, holds themself accountable, and what I personally think is the most important for Winning: has a dark side.
(Yes, I just tried to summarize every chapter with commas)
After reading the above summary sentences, you might be thinking “Well then, this book sounds toxic”, but you must understand that Tim is giving you a description of what Winning is, based on the lives of the grossly successful people he has worked with; he is not describing what YOU have to become.
The way I look at it is: ‘success’ is different than ‘Winning’, and it’s ok if you don’t align with some of the personality traits mentioned above; you can still be successful without some of them.
There are several parts throughout the book where he very clearly emphasizes that it’s not all about being a toxic workaholic or being emotionally disconnected, quite the opposite in fact. He wants you to have emotional control, social control, and most importantly, mental control. A couple quotes that I think summarizes this nicely are:
"You can't help all the other people in your life until you can first help yourself".
“At the end, and even along the way, there is joy. There must be joy.”
All in all, I liked Tim’s take on the topic of Winning and I came into it excited to dig deeper into the brains of some of the greats like MJ and Kobe. Whether you choose to take these ideas and apply them to your life, is entirely up to you.
Who Should Read It❓
This book is a bit harder to generally recommend to certain people because of Tim’s strong take on his ideas and I think it really depends on where you are in your life and what you want to achieve in this world. He even states in the book that if you’re reading it to get some extra motivation or a little push, then this isn’t the book for you. It’s not some guide or framework that will help you achieve some abstract goal of Winning.
So, with that in mind, I would recommend this book to the following people:
- If you have been conflicted as to whether your competitiveness is a good or a bad thing. To all my fellow athletes that transition into the business world, I’m talking to you!
- I’m sure at one point or another, you have been told that being deeply competitive isn’t healthy and that it’s unproductive, I know I have. Even thinking back about my book summary of The Courage To Be Disliked, it speaks to that quite strongly. However, there are some important granularities that you should consider when you are pinning one idea of competitiveness against the other - they are more similar than you think.
- If you are just interested in how MJ and Kobe’s brains worked. Tim seems pretty similar to them...
- If you don’t take things personally
How the Book Changed Me 💯
How my life / behaviour / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.
- I say “no” to things that do not entirely excite me.
- I am more comfortable with the fact that I can’t always make other people happy with my decisions. Meaning, I am generally more confident with the choices that I make.
- Having read other books that described competitiveness as being a bad thing, this one helped me come to a healthier balance by re-encouraging my competitive personality to shine how I see fit.
- I think about this idea a lot: Tim doesn’t like the line “It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint” and associates it with procrastination and lack of focus, which I definitely thought was a bit aggressive, but he then conceptualized it by saying if you look at an elite marathon runner and take their average pace, it would be just about/almost the sprinting speed of most people. Meaning, elite marathon runners are essentially sprinting throughout the entire marathon.
- Life truly is short, so this idea has encouraged me to stay motivated and keep sprinting through my life.
- I’m more comfortable with fear and more aware of doubt. I have thought about his 3 questions when I am doubtful of something:
- Do I want to do it?
- Can I do it?
- Is it worth my time?
Winning is not a marathon, it’s a sprint with no finish line
My Top 5 Quotes 🗣
“The reality of competitions is this: To achieve at the highest level, you have to crave the end result so completely that nothing else matters”
“You’re not trying to prove others wrong. You’re proving yourself right”
“If you think the cost of taking risks is too high, wait until you get the bill for doing nothing”
“You can’t be a great leader without understanding how to think for yourself”
“A sense of balance is personal, and it’s different for everyone”