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The Winning Mindset | Tim Grover

The Winning Mindset | Tim Grover

In order to win, in life or in your career, your mind has to be stronger than your feelings. What does that mean? It means a winning mindset is all about looking past your fears, insecurities, and ego and doing what you need to do.


Tim Grover knows what it takes to win.

As the CEO of Attack Athletics, Inc, Tim Grover is known all over the world for his work with the big names of the sports world. We’re talking major names like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade. In fact, you may have seen him on the smash Netflix docuseries Save the Last Dance talking about his work with MJ.Decorative image with the quote “Every time you fail, every time you fall, stay down there a little bit. Figure out how the hell you got down there.” by Tim Grover

Besides being a big deal trainer, Tim is the author of several national bestsellers, including his latest Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness. As a former athlete himself, inducted into the UIC Hall of Fame for basketball in fact, Tim knows what it means to win. But he also knows how easy it is to trip yourself up with your thoughts.

In this episode, Tim describes the winning mindset, and what you can do to get there. Training your body is one thing. Training your mind is a whole other ballgame, and a game Tim knows well. We chat about how easy it is to sabotage yourself just by having the wrong mindset. See, it’s not always just about what you eat and how you exercise, guys. Your thoughts play a crucial role in your overall well-being. I can’t wait for you to hear Tim’s unique take on it.

  • What sets elite athletes apart
  • The winning mindset
  • Meeting Michael Jordan for the first time (wearing Converse)
  • Tim’s experience with major sport’s injuries
  • Why you need to stay down when you fall

The Darin Olien Show is produced by the team at Must Amplify. If you’re looking to give a voice to your brand and make sure that it’s heard by the right people, head to to see what Amplify can do for you.

Episode Transcript

Darin: You are listening to the Darin Olien Show. I’m Darin. I spent the last 15 years exploring the planet looking for healthy foods, superfoods, environmental solutions, and I’ve had my mind blown along the way by the people, the far off places I have been, and the life-altering events that have changed my life forever. My goal is to help you dive deep into some of the issues of our modern-day life, society’s fatal conveniences. The things that we do that we’re indoctrinated into thinking we have to, even though those things are negatively affecting us, and in some cases, slowly destroying us and even killing us. Every week, I have honest conversations with people that inspire me. My hope is through their knowledge and unique perspectives they’ll inspire you too. Together, we’ll explore how you can make small tweaks in your life that amount to big changes for you, the people around you and the planet, so let’s do this. This is my show, the Darin Olien Show.

Darin: Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. Thanks for tuning in. I’m stoked you’re here. I am really stoked that you’ve given me a little time to unpack and reveal my next guest. This was and is frickin epic. His name is Tim Grover. He is the CEO of Attack Athletics because you know why? This guy attacked it. He was Michael Jordan’s trainer for over 20 years. We unpacked the story of how it happened in this episode. It’s incredible. I bet you haven’t heard it before. He was also Kobe Bryant’s trainer, Dwayne Wade, and hundreds of other sports and now business professionals. This dude is on it. I enjoyed this conversation on so many levels because we both had career-ending college football injuries. And then because we started to unpack what his new book called Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness. He started talking about the difference between what the great people do, the response they have to when things happen, is the greatest thing that you can cultivate. Literally, it’s what happened to me, thank God. There was a moment when I got injured playing football, I was pissed, I was bummed out, and I had a moment which way am I going to go, and I turned it into an opportunity, so did he. And then every opportunity he saw, he helped his clients find that, but more importantly, we got into it, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant weren’t even the greatest athletes. He goes not even by a long shot. But they had that desire, and that willingness to look and to discover and unpack themselves to look critically and to gain and garner the difference of when they got knocked down, when there were challenges, and then what they did to respond to that. Man, you can use this episode in any aspect of your life because that is life. There’s always going to be something. He’s got these other books, which I’m digging into called Relentless: The Good to Great to Unstoppable. And then he’s got digital training platforms called the Relentless System. So incredible conversation, I know you’re going to be inspired, I was inspired. And I’m stoked now that you get to listen to our conversation and get to meet my new friend, Tim Grover.

Darin: Thanks for jumping on dude, I am stoked to have this conversation. But of course, I saw you on The Last Dance. And when I put two and two together, and you have all these incredible insights and books that you’re putting out, I think I could probably talk to you for the next week. And so much more stoked to have you here to bestow some of your unique place that you put yourself in life to be able to help perpetuate people’s greatness with some of the greatest athletes in the world.

Tim: Appreciate it, Darin, thank you. It’s interesting to see how you and I had the kind of the same experience. You go through school, you figure out all the physiology, all this anatomy, and so forth, and then like there’s something missing here. There’s like a main piece like there’s something really, really missed. And then when you hear all these athletes talk, even business people, whatever it is, everything they overcome when they struggle, the first thing they always talk, before they talk about physical, they always talk what their mindset was, how tough they had to be, the way they had to think, all the things that went on from the neck up. And then you’re like, nothing changes. It’s still like everybody looks at these athletes and how they run, how they jump, how they do all this thing. Well, winning requires it to be up here first.

Darin: Yeah, so number one, congrats on the new book, Winning, apropriate title, but there’s so much to unpack about that. And talent definitely isn’t everything. So it’s like, how many people do you probably have come across, you specifically saying, holy shit, the best athlete ever seen and then no one knows about them or something happens or they can’t get over trauma or pain or shame or resentment. And at the same time, being in the seat and sitting there with your proverbial popcorn seeing some of the greats, MJ, come on, Koby, and being able to see the differences. So unpack, and then we can get granular too, but what was that? What was that difference between them and maybe that incredible athlete, and then they didn’t have that something?

Tim: I always say this, Michael, Koby, the individuals I’ve worked with, they were not even close to being my most gifted athletes. And people are like, “You got to be kidding me.” I’m like, “No, they weren’t.” But what happened was, they were extremely gifted. Now let’s not take that away. They were extremely gifted, but they didn’t look at what they got as a gift. They looked at it more as a start. They were like, okay, I have the start that I’m blessed with. Now, what do I do with it? And you have the other individuals that were more athletic, they flaunted their gift all the time instead of working at it, instead of shaping it the way it was supposed to be shaped, instead of learning to use it at its fullest. No matter what gift they had, eventually, if it isn’t used correctly, it’s going to be disproportionate, it’s going to start wearing out the wrong way, it’s going to be outdated, it’s going to be outperformed. And those individuals, Michael and Koby always knew that what they had they had to constantly reinvest in themselves, reinvest in this gift, keep it polished, understand how to use it even better, how to constantly know, hey, yeah, we need to take this part of this gift, which is not as gifted to us anymore, and what can we continue to add to this gift because if you just have that one gift, you’re probably going to end up with only one win or zero wins. And these individuals knew that, hey, it’s a gift but it’s just a start. It’s just a start.

Darin: Right. And then that really speaks to the longevity of their careers as well because with those kinds of schedules, the bodies are constantly, always never 100%, always breaking down. And you mentioned something that really stood out as well, and that the mindset needs to be stronger than the feelings.

Tim: Oh, yes.

Darin: And that is like, whoa, because we’re always right, especially not to jab at this culture, but–

Tim: No, you go ahead and jab at it.

Darin: Man, listent, but I still came from born in 1970, working hard, small town. I thrived in working hard, and that’s the cultivation of just building something. And actually having some adversity early in life and not being gifted early. So what is that then? Because man, you even see, I don’t know, some of these documentaries like those kids and in those smaller schools trying to make it in the bigs and then all of a sudden, these documentaries on Netflix and everything else, and then all of a sudden you see them looping and ruminating in the feelings and their athleticism just gets crushed in the wake of their feelings. So talk to me about that. What is that difference?

Tim: Well, one of the chapters in the book is Winning Isn’t Heartless But You’ll Use Your Heart Less. Meaning, basically, your mind has to be stronger than your feelings. Think about every bad decision that you’ve made in your career, in your life, or whatever. It was probably made when your feelings were stronger than your mind. And we make those decisions because we don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. So we put our feelings at risk for the sake of other people’s and it ends up manifesting over time. We start to hold grudges against those individuals for the decisions we made over the feelings, instead of going, yeah, you know what, this is what my mind said, I should have done it. I look at it this way. All right. This is a really simple concept. For people that have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, man, I’m having a hard time, not yoga. Obviously, if you’re really fatigued from work or something you had to work late at, I understand. But most of the people I suspect are always having a hard time. Well, what keeps you in your bed? Your feelings. Your feelings keep you in bed. Your mind tells you to get up, it tells you to get up. I always say this. If you’re blessed to open your eyes and put your feet on the ground, it’s a great day. Everything else is up to you. But what happens is most people, when they finally get out of bed, and they put their feet on the ground, the feelings start to make them overthink everything. They overthink what happened in the past, they overthink what they have to do today, they overthink what’s going on in the future. The feelings make you overthink anything. Your mind makes decisions, hey, this is what’s important to me, this is what needs to be done. For those individuals, winning was their decision. They made a decision, they’re not going to win at everything but the attitude, and the actions it takes to get closer to those wins, that was a decision they made every single day, and they knew that. Listen, we were going to have disappointments, we were going to have failures. But the mind, they can handle those things, your feelings hold on to those. Just think about every time that you fail and every time you’ve had a disappointment, every time you fell down, your feelings hold on to those things. Your mind is just like, okay, we understand it, we can handle it, let’s not constantly think about it. They don’t forget. Everyone tries to say just forget about. No, you can’t forget, but you can’t constantly think about it because if you’re constantly thinking about it, you’re not in the moment. The greatest athletes, the greatest individuals, the greatest CEOs that anybody have you ever dealt with, thinking is actually a distraction for them because that means they’re not in the moment. But it’s taken them years and years and years and years of thinking not to be able to think. It’s funny, you get in the sports business, you get in there and you hear individuals where they, oh, he or she, they’re thinking too much. And the coach tells him don’t think. Well, what’s the first thing that happens? You start thinking. Your skill set has to be so good and your mindset has to be so strong. The repetition that you did over and over and over again, when your feelings were telling you to stop, slow down, you don’t have to do those things, and your mind has made a decision that I’m going to keep doing those things. Then when you’re in that moment, you don’t have to think. You take the feelings part right out of it.

Darin: Because you’ve prepared. So the things that line up the most when I hear that is they have to get clear on what they want. So it’s like I want to win, I want to win the titles, you can have sub wins underneath whatever you want. And anyone listening, you don’t have to win an NBA title, but what is your NBA title? Like what is that thing that if you disciplined yourself towards that you can, hey, this is one life, you might as well give it a frickin shot.

Tim: Hey, listen, like you said, you only get one chance at this. MJ always used to say why should I worry about a shot I’ve never taken. And that’s the thing about overthinking. People are overthinking about the shot. They start creating all these problems and issues of why they can’t win, why they can’t do this. Listen, like you said, it might not be that big ultimate win, but every single win you get gets you a little closer to it and every little shot that you don’t take gets you farther and farther away from it. And I’m telling you, man, listen, take those shots. You’re so worried about what everybody else is going to think, what everybody else is going to say. Those people that are doing all that, they would never take the shot anyway, so why are you worried about them? Take the shot. Obviously, you got to be talented in what you’re trying to do. I get individuals that call me up, listen, I have 32-year-olds, I played soccer in high school, now I want to be the best soccer player, I regret. And I’m like, yeah, you know what? Maybe start going in a different direction in soccer. I’m not telling you, the player may not be the way to go if you have that much. If you have that much knowledge and that much passion, what are you going to do with the action now? Can you turn it into coaching? Can you turn it into player development? Can you turn it into something? You know, like you said, it was my story where I played at a D1 school. Was I good? I was decent, I was decent enough to play at a small division one school. Was I ever going to play pro? No, I wasn’t going to play pro. Now, there were other players that were worse than me that kept chasing this dream of playing professional basketball. I was like, listen, you got to put that energy and focus into something else. As we age, genetics and so forth, we’re limited, athletic wise, most of us are. But the mindset is unlimited. Whatever you dream up, whatever you think of, whatever you can chase, whatever you can imagine, it’s obtainable. It is obtainable if you’re willing to do what you said the work necessary to go get those things.

Darin: I mean, that’s the thing. There is a level of wisdom that needs to be applied to the whole thing. Like I played D3 football and I was a fullback and I still fall in 200-pound fullback, smallest in the conference. And I had guys 60 pounds bigger than me that I beat out just because I loved working harder, and I love hitting people. And although I had an injury, but whatever. But the point is like your story. I mean, you played so you have knowledge of the game, you blew out your ACL, you weren’t going to make the pros, you did an assessment but how much passion did you have for the sport? There’s a million different creative outlets, right?

Tim: Yeah. And then, you know, me tearing my ACL actually led me into the training part because I was like, okay, now I know what a major injury feels like. And not only do I have to figure out how to rehab myself, but I also know the psychological battle that I’m going through that other individuals are going to, how can that become an asset to me and not a liability? And that’s exactly what I did. I said, okay, I went back and I looked at my training protocols,. I looked at the other training protocols of other coaches that I had, and I was like, okay, this could have been either the reasons why I tore my ACL. Now it was like, okay, how can I implement my own thoughts, my own ideas, my own creative way of thinking into not having other individuals go through what I went through. And it’s funny, when you say something to an individual, they tell you, “I get it,” they don’t get it. So when a person told me they tore their ACL, when I said, “I get it,” I got it. I got the whole thing. You know, playing football, how many times ankles, hips, back, shoulders, you know what those things feel lik. So everybody says, man, I know. Yeah, you actually know what they are going through, not only from a physical standpoint but also from a mental standpoint.

Darin: So for years, maybe most of my life, people have been asking me, “What kind of foods do you eat? What kind of exercises do you do? What kind of water should I drink?” All of these things and so much more we put into a 21-day program so that can take you through a theme every day of knowledge, action, and then eating these delicious meals, working out, getting support, anchoring in these new habits so you can do what? So that you can kick ass. So you have the energy, the vitality to live the kind of life that you really want. That’s what it’s all about. So all in this app, we have grocery lists, we have education about real hydration and what greater oxygenation and the balance of alkalinization. All of these things we are diving into as you’re heading down this hero’s journey of implementation into a new life to give you the kind of life that you actually want. So join my Tribe. All you have to do is go Sign up, and you get three free days. Join me on this hero’s journey. Join the Tribe.

Darin: Throughout life, everyone can understand adversity because if you have a body and you’re a part of this reality, you’re gonna get slapped around. That is why I think the muse of what you have to share, meaning, that all of these incredible athletes and the difference that they have relates to anything that anyone is going through in life because it’s literally, like you said, it’s that moment. You have a choice. Okay, life is gonna go, it’s gonna hit you, and it’s gonna hit you again, it’s gonna hit you again, what are you doing? Where are you going? What do you want? How are you going to get there? What is it going to take to get there?

Tim: So it’s funny that you mentioned all those things because I have a little adage of what similar to what you just said, you know when life hits you. Everybody talks about when people fall when they fail and all that other stuff. When you fall down, stand right back up. When you fail, stand right back up. I disagree with that. When you do exactly what you said, when you got hit, every time you got hit or life hits you, you can’t come back the same, you have to come back differently. So every time you fail, every time you fall, stay down there for a little bit, understand why the hell you got down there because if you stand right back up, you’re gonna fall down again. Give it some time, understand why you did it. So now when you stand up, you’re actually smarter. Then when you get knocked again, like you said, when you get knocked in life again, and you fall down and you fail, when you stand up, you’re going to be stronger. When life hits you again, you fall down and you stand back up, you’re going to be more resilient. So every time like cracks you and it’s going to crack you and you don’t know when it’s going to crack you, you don’t know if life and winning is wearing a halo or it’s wearing fangs, you don’t know what it’s gonna do. And when it cracks you, you cannot be the same individual. You have to make that decision right there and then.

Darin: Dude, that is such an important piece because I think people lose that piece. And the learning is in what you just said. It’s not just bouncing up. Bouncing up, you’re gonna take another left hook pretty quick and you’re still shaking. And so taking that moment of assessment, like you said, like with your injury, you went in go, okay, why did my ACL blow to begin with? Let’s reverse engineer this thing. I may not be on the court again, but let me figure this out. And it’s like those moments are– it’s like, dude, you we can unpack this all day long. How you look at that is like, am I a victim? Or is this actually an opportunity to be better, like you just said? Man, that’s it.

Tim: You know what, I say, listen, what people consider would have a victim mentality, I actually turned into a victory mentality. I was like, okay, whether I blew my ACL or not, was I ever going to play professional basketball? Absolutely not. I’m not going to give one of those stories. Man, if I didn’t blow out my knee, I would– No, no. It was telling me stuff that I knew but I wasn’t willing to admit fully. So it was just like, okay, now how do I want to use this? Like you said, turn it into a victory mentality. I said, all right, yeah, this happened. Now, do I go sit in a corner and bitch about it and tell my drinking buddies 20 years from now the stories that never existed, that we’re never going to happen? Or do I turn it into a victory into something else, but still related in the field I enjoyed the most?

Darin: Yeah, man. I hope everyone just takes a pause, and takes that in for a second because you can look at the smallest or the biggest challenges in your life that have happened, and it has that opportunity to look at that and extract the victory side of it, the understanding like what is life trying to help even steer you towards? Like look what it did to you. It created a career that I bet you could have never have guessed at that age that you would be working with the best athletes on the planet.

Tim: No. And you know what is funny, I actually ended up creating something that hadn’t really existed before because with most professional athletes, unless you are a boxer or tennis or golf, team organizations worked out with team individuals. They hired individuals within the organization. So I ended up creating something that was unique that wasn’t really out there before. That wasn’t my job to go out– That’s not what I was trying to do but that’s one of the side effects that happened. But it’s exactly what you said earlier about taking that left hook. You know, if you stand right back up, you’re going to be a little dazed. When I was creating something, when I was doing those things, when I was taking all those hits, yeah, they were chaotic. But each hit that created chaos ended up having more clarity for me because I was like, why is this so chaotic? Let me figure this out, instead of pointing fingers at everybody else, what is creating this, how do I create clarity from this chaos that’s going on that’s going to allow me to excel at whatever I’m going to do.

Darin: Talk to me about your particular road, when you were developing something that really didn’t exist, the training protocols, the winning strategies, and how the hell did you land MJ, Kobt? How did that happen? I’m just curious as a fan, and then a fan of yours, too. How did that happen?

Tim: One of the interesting parts of this story is Michael Jordan was my first professional client.

Darin: You just went to the top.

Tim: I graduated with a master’s degree in exercise science. My father was like, listen, you’re done with school, you just can’t sit at home. I don’t care what job, you got to find some work. We don’t sit at home in this family. We go in there, we provide, we help we execute, we do what we’re supposed to do. So I took a job at a local health club. The minimum wage was $3.35 back then, $3.35.

Darin: What year was that?

Tim: This was in ’85 or ’86 back then or middle ’80s. And everybody was just like, man, you got a master’s degree, and again, how do you turn something that everybody says it’s a negative and can create a lot of chaos in the clarity. So it was a missing piece for me because I went to school and I had all this book knowledge but I had no practical experience in this stuff. So you know, I could write, well, in my mind, the perfect workout but I couldn’t execute it. So going to this health club, they made me earn my way up to be a trainer. Okay, I was like, I’m probably the most qualified individual that’s ever walked in this place. But no, you got to pay your dues. The caveat about that is when they made me take the exam after whatever, it’s four months, five months, they actually asked me to rewrite the exam because I knew more stuff than what was on there. So I started to work with, once I graduated to being a trainer, I started to work with individuals. I worked with anybody that any recreational athlete, any person that wanting to lose weight, any person wanting to get stronger. I was like, okay, this gave me a chance to really work on my craft. But the one thing I did differently than everybody else, I didn’t just take the road of what to think. I started to mix things in on how to think. I was like, you know what, nobody’s doing this part here. Listen, there’s no science behind it, there’s nothing behind this thing, I just know it’s right. I know, these certain principles should be incorporated into different people’s training, this is how you balance the body out, this is how it should be broken down. So I started to do stuff that other people weren’t doing because I wasn’t following the format.

Darin: What were some of those things, those kind of first little things that you started applying?

Tim: Obviously, in training now, there’s a lot of balance involved. There’s so much balance. So I was doing balance back in the early ’80s. And I was like, okay, this is how important it was. I was doing core. We didn’t call it core work back then, we call it abdominal work, and everybody just thought it was just about the stomach, and I was working all the different muscles that stabilize that area. So people were just like, we’ve never done this before. I said, yeah, I understand you’ve never done this before, but I’ll continue to try it. Let’s see where it takes you. And people were getting better results and quicker results. So those were just some of the things that I was doing. I did a lot of interval training back then. Now it’s called high-intensity training because you only have a certain amount of time with an individual. A person signs up for a 15-minute session, they’re going to see you two or three days a week. You’re trying to cover as much as you can in that individual. I was, okay, we do an exercise, we do a short burst of cardio in between, we do another exercise mixing all these things up. So when I got a chance, three or four years later, there was a small article in the newspaper said how Michael Jordan was tired of taking a physical deuce for the Detroit Pistons. I was like okay. So back then no emails, you couldn’t text anybody. The cell phones were the ones where the backpacks with massive things, not things you can put in your pocket. So what I did was I wrote 14 letters to all the players on the Bulls Organization. The one person I didn’t write a letter to was Michael Jordan. I wrote letters and I put them in the mail. Well, obviously, some of the letters made it there because people think they’re fan mail, so the administration puts all the fan mail together and they throw it in a person’s locker and they decide whether to read it or not. So one of the letters was open, and it was sitting in somebody else’s locker. And Michael reached in the locker and saw this letter and gave it to the athletic trainer and the team physician at that time and said, hey, find out what this is about.

Darin: He just randomly grabbed this letter.

Tim: Just randomly grabbed this letter, but had enough curiosity and had enough thought process. Well, I’ll get into this just a little bit later. And so the three months that with the team physician, the athletic trainer put me through was more strenuous than the six years of college that I had. They didn’t tell me who– They reached out to me and said, hey, we have an individual who is interested in hiring your services. I’m like, all right, great. It’s going to be one of the 9, 10, 11, 12th guy on the team. They’ll give me somebody, they say, hey, go experiment on this guy, see what see what’s going to happen. So they put me through all these tests, and then three months later, they gave me an address and they said, hey, meet the person at the house. They still didn’t tell me who it was. So I drove out to the house. And this was before the gated house and all that other stuff. So I rang the doorbell once, no answer, rang it twice, no answer, rang it a third time, Michael Jordan opens up the door. He opens up the door. The interesting story on that part, Darin, is I was wearing Converse gym shoes. So I’m immediately thinking about, alright, how do I get out of the shoes as quickly as possible? So I take off my shoes. Listen, I didn’t know who I was meeting, what was going on, and by age you wear socks with holes in them. So I had two holes in both of my socks. I’m literally standing in front of them. I got Converse gym shoes off that I just taken off. I have socks that have two holes in them. So alright, what do I think? I take my socks and I turn them upside down, so the dirty part is now on the top. And he’s just looking at me while I’m doing all this stuff here. So I don’t know if there was an icebreaker or he just said, man, who’s this guy that they sent me. So we went down into the house and I’m not a starstruck person. So we sat down, we talked for about 30-40 minutes. And I gave him all the different philosophies and different things I did. And the part that was so interesting that he was like, this is so different. This is not what everybody else is telling me. So I said, Michael, when you play the game, when you play this game, alright, you don’t play it like anybody else. He goes, yeah, I don’t play it like anybody else. So I said, you have the ability to do something that very few individuals do. You have the ability, not only what to think, you know how to think. There’s a huge difference, huge difference between the two. All right, what to think is what everybody reads, they tell you here it is, this is the way it’s got to be, here you go. So I said you play with the ability of how to think, that’s where you get all your creativity from your instincts. So everything I’m telling you, do I have research to back this up? Absolutely not. I just know with the individuals I’ve worked with, it makes sense, it works. And I said, if you give me a chance, I will prove to you that it works. So he goes on, I’ll try it out for 30 days. Thirty days turned into 15 years. And as we were walking out the door, he just looked at my shoes and he said, “Never again.”

Darin: Many of you who follow me know I’ve spent most of my life searching for the healthiest foods on the planet from the Amazon jungle to the Andes of Peru, to the Himalayas and Bhutan, to the deserts of Africa, and everything in between discovering hundreds of plants and herbs and superfoods like this is my passion. Things like sacha inch, an Incan treasure, wild [unintelligible 00:31:41] mushrooms, things like Maya nuts, another Aztec superfood, wild cocoa moringa, many adaptogenic herbs and on and on and on. If you look hard enough, there are a few unknown extraordinary foods around the world that people still don’t know about. And a few years ago, I came across my favorite superfood discovery of all time, barukas nuts. Why is that my favorite? Well, when I first tasted them, my eyes lit up. I was blown away. They’re so delicious with notes of popcorn and cocoa and chocolate with peanut butter, and with this amazing crunch, so the taste alone just absolutely blew me away. But after sending them to the lab, which I do, and getting all the tests, I realized they’re the healthiest nuts on the planet. No other nut even compares. They have an unusually high amount of fiber, which is critical for healthy digestion. We’re all getting way too low of fiber in our diet and it’s good for the healthy bacteria and microbiome. And they’re off the charts in super high antioxidants, and have few calories than any other nut. It’s jam-packed with micronutrients. And what they don’t have is just as important as what they do have because they’re found in the forest in the savanna what’s called the Cerrado biome of Brazil, not grown on a plantation or a farm. They’re untouched by industrial pesticides, larvicides, fertilizers. They’re truly a wild food. But they’re not just good for you, they’re really good for the planet. Most other nuts require millions of gallons of irrigated water, not to mention, using bees and shipping them across the United States and just horrible sustainable practices just to grow certain nuts annually, but Baruka trees require no artificial irrigation. At one time, the Cerrado’s forest were made up of millions of these trees. These trees are incredible. They’re nitrogen fixers. They give back to the other plants in the forest. Their grandfather of sacred trees, but most of them were chopped down to make way for cattle, soy, and corn production. When you’re down in Brazil, it can be absolutely shocking. And actually, I’ve cried several times with miles and miles of deforested land filled with soy farms. This beautiful Savanna filled with soy farms and cattle grazing. Our mission is to reverse that. And the long term goal is to plant 20 million new baruzeiro trees throughout the Cerrado. And if that wasn’t enough, we are also providing highly beneficial and fair jobs for thousands of indigenous people so they can stay on their land and they can thrive with this consistent income every year forging and working with Barukas. Barukas are truly good for you, good for the planet, and good for the world community. It’s a win all the way around. I really think you’ll love them, so I’m giving all of my listeners 15% off by going to That’s B-A-R-U-K-A-S dot com backslash Darin, D-A-R-I-N and using the code “Darin” at the checkout. I know you will enjoy.

Darin: I want to unpack the things that people need to understand more of, and one of those is the difference between selfishness and greatness. And maybe even narcissism now is a word that people like to throw around a lot. What is that difference because people looking in, I think this is tied, I’m gonna jump steps a little bit, I think this is tied to feelings as well, like getting caught into that whole thing. So what is your unpacking of what you see as selfishness and the bridge to greatness?

Tim: Again, one of the chapters in the book is Winning is Selfish. And I say this, I said, why is it selfish to take care of yourself? Why is that a bad thing? I’ve never understood that. The more you advance yourself, the more you can help other individuals. Michael said it in The Last Dance. He said, listen, I was hard on my teammates. I was difficult on them. He said, I had to pull them. I didn’t have to push them all the time because when you pull somebody, you bring them closer to you to explain this is the way you do it. When you’re constantly pushing someone, you’re pushing them away from you. So what happens is when you constantly start pushing somebody is that’s actually more selfish than pulling somebody in close to you because what you want to do is you want to take your greatness, your selfishness, how you got there, and you want to instill it in others. And that’s the difference between somebody that selfish for the good of themselves and the team, for the individuals that are just selfish for yourself. And it’s funny, were selfish all the time. We just like to give it fancy names. What’s the difference between– Somebody tells you “me-time.” And what’s the difference between me-time and somebody said, hey, listen, don’t bother me for the next hour. Oh, you’re being selfish, right? And the people that are usually calling you selfish are the ones you give the most to but the first time you said no to them, now all of a sudden, you’re selfish. You have to invest in yourself. You have to create separation from others. If you create separation from others, you’re going to find out the people that understand freedom, that understand the new levels. They’re going to come with you or they’ve been through that battle. They’re like, they won’t judge you for being selfish. As long as they know it’s going towards an end result that’s going to benefit many other individuals. The way Michael played, the way Koby played, Dwayne Wade play, the way these individuals practice, the way you did it. They said, I’m never going to ask you to do something that I won’t do myself. Now, if you’re doing stuff that and it’s only beneficial, if you could go out and say listen, I’m just going out to win the scoring title, that’s a bad kind of selfish. If I go out and score a lot of points, and it allows the other players on the team to do their jobs a little bit better, that’s a good type of selfish. But in order to win, you have to take care of yourself, you have to be a little bit selfish. You do need an ego that’s built through results, not through talking. That’s a huge difference. A lot of people have egos from what they just talk about. It’s good to have an ego that you earn. You don’t just spray it on people and use it all the time. You need that ego because you earned that ego through the results that you’ve put in all those times.

Darin: I mean, you talk about Bird, Magic, MJ, Kobe, like all these guys, they didn’t have to say anything to anybody ever because they have so much earning and they have so much discipline and they’re such a leader of exactly what you said. They’re going for it, they’re doing it, they’re not babbling and talking about it.

Tim: Larry Bird is one of my favorite players of all time and people just don’t– Go pull some of his stuff on YouTube. It’s unbelievable. Everybody knows about the all star game where he won the three-point contest. And he literally goes into a locker and says, “Okay, which one you clowns is going to finish second?” That’s ego and confidence. And he goes and wins it and doesn’t even take his warm-up off. And then in one game, and everything I’m saying you can pull up, he decides the whole second half, I’m just gonna shoot left-handed. He was just like, I need to be challenged. Now what he’s also doing is he’s striking with that ego and with that confidence and the results that he’s getting, he’s striking doubt into the other opponents, not for that game, for when he’s going to meet him in the playoffs, and so forth. So they’re using every tool they have in that toolbox of winning in order to strike doubt in everybody else’s mind.

Darin: Let’s talk about discipline then what your take is on routines because that also can be under that selfish guide, but I love routines. I love that thing and that builds me up, that fills my cup every day. And so now I’ve done that, I am much more able to give and be in the world of extroverted where I need to be knowing that I’ve disciplined myself about early in my day or weeks or whatever.

Tim: There are routines that lead to comfort, and there are routines that lead to skills that lead to comfort. So what your routine is doing is led to a skillset, like what you said earlier that this people have to do over and over and over again, so it sharpens your skillset to the point where you don’t have to think about it anymore. This is who I am, this is what I need to do in order to be this extroverted self. A lot of people’s routines are just based strictly on comfort. There’s no skill involved into it. They just do the same thing over and over again. And those individuals say, oh, another day, another dollar. Everything is gonna be good. They give you the same cliches over and over again. And what happened with the pandemic is a lot of individuals, their routines got hit pretty hard. Now, if your routine was built only for comfort, you’re in trouble. If your routine was built to enhance a skillset to make that skillset something that you don’t have to think about that you just do over and over again, they get you prepared for that win that’s gonna show up on that day. There is gonna be a win that’s gonna show up every single day. There is. Do you have discipline enough in your routine? Do you have enough skillset to see those wins, to feel those wins because what the pandemic has done, and this is one of the reasons I wrote this book Winning, is we forgot what a win looks like, we forgot what a win feels like. We’re waiting for the confetti to come down and there are fireworks and all that other stuff. That’s not what wins look like. Wins are about the grit. It’s not about the glamour. It’s about the obstacles, it’s about the challenges, it’s about the pain that you have to go through which is earned through your discipline, through your routines. Because if you don’t have those things and you just have a routine that is lacking in discipline, that’s lacking in accountability, you’re never gonna be able to face those obstacles, those challenges, those pains. You know why a lot of people don’t have discipline? Because they’re the assistant managers of their own life. Instead of managing, they’re the assistant manager. How many individuals do you know that are out there that are the assistant managers of your life.

Darin: For me, they kind of read as just someone who’s reacting to their life. You’re just kind of responding, you’re just kind of doing, you’re getting all your emails, you’re doing it and it feels– here’s the trip, is it feels busy. It feels like you’re exhausted at the end of the day, you feel like you did something but is that discipline and is that routine for your purpose for what you want. And clearly, for everyone listening right now, you can just do that quick assessment and probably in a nanosecond, you will know whether that’s true or not in your life.

Tim: Exactly. When you said that nanosecond that it would take, people rather get distracted and do something else so they don’t have to think about that they literally do the same thing every single day over and over again without a purpose. They just do it because it’s out of comfort because they don’t schedule that one nanosecond in their mind to be like, wait a minute. I’m literally in the same place, the same person that I was a year ago, 2 years ago, or 3 years ago. What do I have to adjust in my life? What do I have to do to make these changes? What is the purpose of why I’m doing this thing? Is there no purpose? Is it just to get through the day? And most individuals, yeah, you know what, they just want to survive because surviving is easier than thriving, it’s so much easier.

Darin: It’s true because it doesn’t also challenge you. If you challenge yourself and you want a goal, guess what you have to go through, you have to go through some struggle because you’re only you based on what you’ve chosen to this point. It’s not like Kobe or MJ could say, I want to win the NBA title and just sit and just hope that that’s gonna happen. They have to come to you, they have to learn about training in a different way, they have to figure out their mindset, they got to work every angle possible. I mean, I’m sure you could talk about a million different ways that these guys were constantly kind of ringing out the rag trying to look for any– just like talking about Bird, any way that they can challenge themselves and find the nuggets that were gonna give them. Hell, MJ has a million stories of how he was creating the motivation.

Tim: Their language of winning is so different because they understand that once you get that win, once you get that championship, whatever that may be, it could be the NBA championship, it could be the Superbowl, it could be the world series, it could be you getting the top salesperson, whatever it may be, having the top-rated podcast. In order to achieve that win again, you can’t come back the same. There has to be something that you’ve added. Every single championship that my guys won, every CEO that I’ve worked with that sets his record, the numbers, the first thing we do is we always challenge them. Alright, listen, what do we have to adjust, what do we have to adapt, what do we have to overcome in order to continue these wins because if you don’t, we are not gonna get back here again, we are not. Winning is gonna acknowledge you, it’s gonna thank you, and it’s gonna move on to somebody else because most people when they celebrate, those victories, I always tell my athletes, I was like, celebrate hard but don’t celebrate long. Most individuals celebrate hard for too long.

Darin: I think something that’s super important and not a lot of people talk about this especially in the late culture of a lot of people and that’s the shadow, the dark side, the parts of us that we honestly don’t want to see, we don’t want to acknowledge but yet, our subconscious can play that shit out and it creates some challenges in our life. So I love that you talked about this. So talk to me about the dark side and then talk to me about when you and Kobe actually had dinner with your dark side. Like, why do it? Why did you of all people being a top trainer, why did you and how did you discover the importance of discovering and seeing and transmuting this dark side.

Tim: I was one of those individuals that was– you know I used to be– mommy and dad, there’s a monster under the bed. And they’d come in and say, no, there isn’t and so forth. You know when that stopped? When I realized I was the monster. When the best part of me, the part that was gonna get me through life, that was gonna help me deal with the adversity, that was gonna help me deal with the naysayers, that was gonna help me deal with everybody that’s gonna judge me, I was trying to hide because society said that’s not what you’re supposed to do. When I realized I need to be all of me, not part of me, winning requires all of you, it wants all of you. We all have a dark side but everybody thinks it’s a bad thing. This is not Starwars, this isn’t vampires or any of that stuff. This is something that keeps you going when nothing else will. It’s a thing that keeps your fire lit, internal fire, when you’re at your lowest point, when you want to quit, where you’re like I don’t want to do this anymore. When new people workout, you don’t stop working out during an exercise because you’re physically exhausted, you give up because your mind gives up. The individual says just keep going. An example is you can have an individual who’s been raised by a broken home. They may not have any pairs or they only had one pair. You have one individual that uses it as an excuse their whole lives, you know, I never got the opportunity because I didn’t have this and this. And you have the other individual that says, watch me. That’s their fuel. That’s their fuel to say, hey, yeah, everybody’s gone through something in life and how you handle that challenge, how do you see it, and how are you going to use it to get better. That’s what this is about. This is about bringing your best part of you. This is about bringing all of you. Because you know what, winning takes a long walk in the middle of the night and it’s bringing everyone you don’t want to see. It’s bringing all those people you don’t want to see but what is winning telling you? Hey, you need to acknowledge these people, you need to learn how to work with these people, you need to understand these people because these people are you. These people are you, so stop trying to hide them and acknowledge them and understand that this is part of what makes you special. It’s like slob. People always tell me, what are your flaws? I was like, I have so many flaws, I couldn’t even tell you. But my flaws allowed me to do things that other things that people can’t do. And then when you looked at Kobe Bryant, his dark side, he basically made a whole name and character for it, the Mamba Mentality. Well, he took it and it came out of something he was going through personally in his life and he needed to still have an altered ego when he stepped out on the basketball court, still be able to perform at the highest level. He wanted to continue to win at the highest level, so he decided to create this individual that blocked everything else out. And it was funny, we used to talk about it and kind of acknowledge it all the time. We went out to dinner one day after a game and we go to a restaurant and we go. So he asked the hostess, he goes, table for four. So I’m assuming 2 other people are coming. I didn’t know. So we sit down at the table. The waitress asked, waitress or waiter, I can’t remember, he asked, “Would you gentlemen like something to drink?” We ordered 4 glasses of wine and I’m like, okay, well, everybody’s drinking and just thinking the same thing. Two other individuals had recognized Kobe at the restaurant, politely came over and says, “Hey, do you mind if we join you?” And Kobe said, “No, those seats are taken.” And they’re like, what the hell is this guy talking about? What is he talking about? And they thought he was just being rude. He goes, “No, those seats are taken.” Then I kinda knew where he was starting to go with this. And then after those people left, and he said every now and then, I need to have solitude with my skeletons in my closets, with my monsters underneath my bed, with my secrets, with my fears, with my insecurities, I need to acknowledge them. I need to understand that they are a part of me. I need to understand how they’re gonna work with me in order to constantly get those wins. And that’s what the dark side is, it is your secrets, it is your fears, it is your insecurities, it is your monster underneath the bed, it is your skeletons in the closet. Learn how to control them. Learn how to use them because you’re going to need them. You are going to need them. And the 4 of us sat down, we had a wonderful dinner, and we had wonderful drinks during that day, and we had great conversations.

Darin: The other thing I want to just mention is that you and I and then we can continue on our day, but I just love talking to you. I was involved with on Netflix, Down to Earth and a show that I was hosting with Zac Effron running around the world. A week after that, so we were number one on Netflix, then The Last Dance came out and you guys took over us to number one.

Tim: I’m glad you said “you guys,” but I was a small part of that but thank you so much.

Darin: But I say that because you were. You were 20 plus years in MJ’s life, that’s nothing small. You may have been small on film but you obviously played a huge role in his life and other people’s lives. 

Tim: Thank you, Darin.

Darin: Man, I want to stay connected. I love what you’re doing. People should check out your multiple books but your new book, Winning. Congratulations getting that done through the pandemic. And we’ll put all that in the show notes. And man, stay connected, brother. I look forward to what you’re doing.

Tim: It was an honor. Thank you. You gave me something very valuable today, your time and also an understanding of an individual of I didn’t have to explain this thing, this is more like a conversation, you know like I get this. Thank you.

Darin: That was a fantastic episode. What was the one thing that you got out of today’s conversation? If today’s episode struck a chord with you, and you want to dive a little deeper on a variety of topics, check out my live deep dives on More episodes are available on as well. Keep diving my friends, keep diving.

Darin: This episode is produced by my team at Must Amplify, an audio marketing company that specializes in giving a voice to a brand and making sure the right people hear it. If you would like or are thinking about doing a podcast or even would like a strategy session to add your voice to your brand in a powerful way, go to That’s

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