If you ever wondered what it takes to be a champion, look no further. Egan Inoue is a champion not only in one but in three sports, and he has won eleven world championship titles. From being racquetball world champion, Egan went on to pursue Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts, and when not in the ring or on the court, he has pursued sports like hunting the ulua fish, and being a successful entrepreneur by opening multiple training centers. And now, he’s even written a book-Becoming Relentless. In fact, it’s questionable whether there’s anything Egan couldn’t do if he put his relentless mind to it.
But Egan Inoue would tell you that all his success can be achieved by almost anyone. It just takes relentless determination, the ability to commit to a training schedule, and belief in oneself-all qualities that can be cultivated. Like everyone else, Egan has experienced times when he had doubts or when naysayers tried to dissuade him from his goals, but each time, he has silenced those voices and pushed through to achieve his goals.
Not being someone who has followed sports or been athletic, at first, I questioned whether this book would appeal to me, but I was pleasantly surprised and quickly won over by Egan’s philosophy and how much of what he says applies to my own life. I especially appreciated that while some of my friends and family complain about how I’m a creature of habit and always have everything scheduled days ahead of time, Egan follows similar practices and believes in the power of routine and time management to get things done. Egan and I both know that those who complain about not having enough time are lying to themselves-time can always be found when you’re determined to achieve a goal. Egan goes on to remark, “I have been asked many times, by many different people, whether I ever have fun in life since I have such a strict routine. My answer, and the truth is, that my fun and joy is found in reaching my goals, which can only happen by having a strict routine.”
Egan also believes in giving his all to everything he does, saying, “Remember that if you’re going to spend one hour on something, you may as well do it the best you can because you are going to spend that one hour on it, no matter what!” Nor is he unrealistic. He knows that being your best doesn’t happen overnight. He has known failure, but he has used those failures as lessons to help him achieve greater successes. He agrees with a quote he includes from Michael Jordan that says, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
While I believe all readers will find something in this book to inspire them and assist them in pursuing their goals, I think young men, from teenage boys to those early in their adult lives and careers, will benefit most from Egan’s message. It’s the perfect kind of book to inspire someone pursuing a dream or wanting to make a transition from one career to another. It’s the kind of book that deserves to be given as a birthday or graduation or bar mitzvah gift to teach people about the importance of having a goal and being determined to pursue it.
I also especially appreciate Egan’s message that if you want something in life, you have to be willing to do what most people won’t. For example, Egan believes partying is a waste of time. I found it refreshing that he was willing to make such a statement, and I was more than impressed when he showed how firmly he believes this. In fact, he has refused to be lucratively sponsored by alcohol companies in exchange for putting their logos on his sports apparel. He remarks of this situation:
“I never drink and never will drink alcohol, so I didn’t want to represent an alcoholic beverage company. A lot of people told me just to take the money, but for me, it was against what I believed in. I wanted to be true to myself and have my decision represent who I am. I am a little extreme, but I don’t feel there is a place for alcoholic beverages in sports. Today I am proud of myself for being able to say no and stand by what I believe. You will feel the same way, too, if you know what your values are and stand by what you believe in.”
While there is much in this book I admire, these two examples of staying true to his routine and not drinking alcohol embodied for me what a remarkable and relentless person Egan is. They also reflect another of my favorite quotes in the book from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Beyond learning how to succeed, readers will enjoy the exciting stories of how Egan won racquetball championships, achieved his goal to spear the 100-pound ulua, survived a court trial in which he had to defend himself against false accusations, became the first non-Brazilian to win the world Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition and the flack he had to take to accomplish that goal, and many, many more stories. On top of that, he shares his training routines and personal tips for success.
Whether you read this book to find out what it’s like to be inside the mind of a champion or because you are seeking inspiration in your own life, you won’t be disappointed. If you think you have what it takes to be relentless, read this book and put Egan’s advice into practice. Egan would be the first to tell you that if he can accomplish great things by being relentless, you can do the same.