Books I'm reading


The last couple of books I've read have been on human performance.

Relentless by Tim S. Grover


I loved this book. It is about the focused mindset of the most elite athletes. Written by the legendary personal trainer to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and numerous other basketball icons, this book gives personal insights into the ‘relentless’ mindset of the most driven athletes. It is not about teamwork or management, or any type of group activity. It is about the work ethic and laser focus of the best.

In the book, Grover defines the attributes of a cleaner, trusting your instincts, and getting in the zone. What I found most interesting was his description of the dark side, and how cleaners use this to propel themselves to greatness.

I should also note that the author is a self-admitted 'a-hole'. Winning includes "standing on your opponent's throat" just to let them know you've won. I do not support everything Grover advocates, but taking the good with the bad, there are valuable lessons in this book.

The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler


This book is absolutely brilliant. It’s about flow aka the zone. It focuses on athletes of extreme sports, simply because for them its either enter flow or die. That said, everyone can achieve flow. Flow is the zone. “It is the state where we are so focused on the task at hand that action and awareness merge. Time flies. Self vanishes. Performance goes through the roof.” It is the state of oneness.

This book helped explain to me why I do so much of what I do. Why will I wake up early to workout? Why train kata alone on a beach at sunrise? Why is it nearly impossible to tear myself away from a project once engrossed in it. Why will I run 10k when dropping my son off at an arena an hour before game time? When asked, I’ll say “It’s just what I do.” or "It's fun." If you don't train, this is hard to understand. These are all gateways to flow. For me, I can catch glimpses of it in meditation, but exercise, and especially exercise that combines mind and body, such as training in the martial arts, is a direct gateway to flow.

If you've read either of the above books, I'd love to hear your comments. Also, if you've read any great books lately that you would recommend let me know.

BTW, to check out audiobooks from the library, use the Hoopla app. It is simple, free, and it allows you to download audiobooks from the library, and listen to them when you are out of wifi range.

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