don’t lose your natural instincts

don’t lose your natural instincts
Photo by Francesco De Tommaso / Unsplash
“A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.” — Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones)

In his book, Relentless, Tim Grover talks at length about each of us having ruthless natural instincts. A great example of this notion is the basketball legend Michael Jordan. Jordan had a relentless drive for the end result, and let nothing stand in his way of achieving it. He didn't say much — he let his actions speak for themselves.

Tim explains in the book that we are all born with a natural instinct to be the very best version of ourselves. However, as we grow, we get “domesticated” by the schooling system, and the society and culture at large. And thus, we begin to lose that natural instinct.

If you want to be the best, deliver a miracle, and win in life, not just once, but again and again, then you must regain that natural ruthlessness, that ferocious instinctive drive to do whatever it takes to reach the top of your chosen field and to stay there.

Here’s an informative excerpt and a few inspiring quotes from Tim’s book in this regard:

“Picture a lion running wild. He stalks his prey, attacking and killing at will, and then goes in search of his next conquest. That’s what his lion instincts tell him to do, he doesn’t know anything else. He’s not misbehaving, he’s not bad, he’s being a lion.

Now lock him up in the zoo. He lies there all day, quiet and lethargic and well-fed. What happened to those powerful instincts? They’re still there, deep inside, waiting to be uncaged. Let him out of the zoo and he goes lion again, preying and attacking. Put him back in the cage, he lies down.

Most people are the lion in the cage. Safe, tame, predictable, waiting for something to happen. But for humans, the cage isn’t made of glass and steel bars; it’s made of bad advice and low self-esteem and bullshit rules and tortured thinking about what you can’t do or what you’re supposed to do. It’s molded around you by a lifetime of overthinking and overanalyzing and worrying about what could go wrong. Stay in the cage long enough, you forget those basic instincts. But they’re there, right now, waiting for you to find the key to the cage so you can finally stop thinking about what you’ll do if you ever get out. All that killer instinct is just waiting to attack.”

“Anytime you take natural instinct and try to change it, you’re going to have a problem. You can build on it, add to it, improve it, but you cannot tame it. There’s a difference between training and taming.”

“Instinct is raw clay that can be shaped into a masterpiece, if you develop skills that match your talent. That can only come from learning everything there is to know about what you do.”

“You get there by taking huge risks that others won't take, because you rely on your instincts to know which risks aren’t risks at all.”

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