I’m going to start inserting this toggle where you can click to read a copy & pasted version of the actual book ‘blurb’, as all the ideas and comments in my summaries are my own.

From the elite performance coach who authored the international bestseller Relentless and whose clients have included Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade, comes this brutally honest formula for winning in business, sports, or any arena where the battle is fiercely unforgiving.

In Winning, Tim Grover shows why he is one of the world’s most sought-after mindset experts. Drawing on three decades of work with elite competitors, Grover strips away the cliches and rah-rah mentality that create mediocrity and challenges you to embrace reality with single-minded intensity. The prize? Massive success.

Whether you’re an athlete with championship dreams, an entrepreneur building a business, a CEO managing an empire, a salesperson closing a deal, or simply a competitor determined to stand in the winner’s circle, Winning offers thirteen crucial principles for achieving unbeatable performance.

This book reveals the truth about the obstacles and challenges that stand between you and your goals: Winning never lies. Winning knows your secrets. Winning wages war in the battlefield of your mind. Winning wants all of you. And more.

If you’re addicted to the taste of success and crave more, then you’re ready for Winning’s results-driven performance strategy. And if you’re already winning and want to learn how to execute at a level that will establish you as one of the greatest—so you can own not just this moment, but the next, and the next—this book will show you the path.

The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. Winning IS NOT: Glorious, Euphoric, Success, Domination, Achievement, Power, Satisfaction, Triumph, Awesome, Amazing. Winning IS Uncivilized, Hard, Nasty, Unpolished, Dirty, Rough, Unforgiving, Unapologetic, Uninhibited.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. (Yes, I just tried to summarize every chapter with commas)

Impressions 🤔

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
To give you a little glimpse, click on the toggle to read an excerpt that gives you an idea of how his writing makes you feel at times. This might sound cheesy, but if you read that and related to it, or it motivated you somehow, I feel like you would appreciate the entire book.
Winning will use every dirty trick in the book-and make up new ones just to entertain itself- to keep you in hell. It's too hard, it whispers ... you'll never get there... your parents don't believe in you ... your friends think you're crazy ... look at you, you're already a failure. Which, by no coincidence, is exactly what you were already thinking. So you stay there, waiting. Waiting to feel different, waiting to be told what to do, waiting for an answer that never comes. And meanwhile, the flames are getting hotter and hotter, until you can't take it. You have to take action, or you burn out. But instead of being propelled by the heat, you can become frozen where you are.

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.
    1. 💭
      Winning is not a marathon, it’s a sprint with no finish line
    2. 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:
    1. Do I want to do it?
    2. Can I do it?
    3. Is it worth my time?

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”