Author: Tony Robbins, Anthony Robbins
Genre: Self Help, Non-Fiction
Published in 1992, the book has sold over two million copies all over the world. Tony Robbins, himself, is a janitor to $600million net worth story. He was impressed with how rich his landlord was, so asked him his secret. That landlord recommended a motivational speaker. Tony went to learn, and then impressed offered to become a pupil. Then he learnt NLP, fire walking etc. and offered free seminars to perfect his craft. And over time has become one of the most successful motivational speakers. He is well Known for Self-help books such as Unlimited power, Unleash the Power Within and this one. Tony believes that there is a giant sleeping inside us, each of us is filled with a talent, a gift, waiting to be tapped. This book contains various ideas and strategies that will help the reader produce specific, measurable, long lasting changes in themselves and others.
These Strategies are divided in four parts.
Part 1: Unleash Your Power
Dreams of Destiny
“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. When we focus consistently on improvement in any area, we develop unique distinctions on how to make that area better.” Most of the people fiddle their way through life, never settling or being an expert in anything in particular.
Tony provides us with few steps to follow to improve quality of our lives:
Raise your Standards, the most important thing is to change what you expect or demand from yourself. To change a whole company, country or world, one simple step is to change yourself.
Change your limiting belief, our beliefs should be like unquestioned commands, shaping our actions, thought. We must develop a sense of certainty that we can and will meet the new standards before we actually do.
Change your Strategy, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. One must realize that knowing is not enough, one must take action. Take advantage of the lessons already learned by your role model or mentors.
“DECISIONS” The pathway to power
“The most powerful way to shape our lives is to get ourselves to take action. Any action is a cause set in motion, and its effect builds on past effects to move us in a definite direction. Every direction leads to an ultimate destination: Our destiny” Everything that is going on in your life are result of some sort of decision you made in past.
“If you don’t make decisions about how you’re going to live, then you’ve already made a decision.”
“The Ultimate success formula, to help you get where you want to go: 1) Decide what you want 2) Take action 3) Notice what’s working or not, and 4) Change your approach until you achieve what you want.
The Force that shapes your Life
“Understanding and utilizing the forces of pain and pleasure will allow you once and for all to create the lasting changes and improvements you desire for yourself and those you care about.” There are certain actions that we know would bring pleasure to our lives but we simply never act on them because we associate more pain with doing what is necessary than missing the opportunity.
“What you link pain to and what you link pleasure to shapes your destiny.” Identify these pain and pleasure points so that it could benefit you and enhance the effect of your actions.
“It’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events – how we interpret them – that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.” Author states that beliefs are like a guiding force to help us determine, what will lead to pain and what will lead to pleasure.
“Someone with a conviction is so passionate about their belief that they’ re even willing to risk rejection or make a fool of themselves for the sake of their conviction. So, the best thing you can do to create mastery in any area of your life is to raise a belief to the level of conviction.”
“The only true security in life comes from knowing that every single day you are improving yourself in some way”. The constant strife to learn something new, to add value to others lives, gives us a sense of certainty that whatever happens we can always learn and, we can always grow.
“The key components of creating long-term change are a shift in beliefs. The first belief to be changed is that we can change now and second is that if we’re going to create long-term change is that we’re responsible for our own change, not anyone else.”
“If you and I want to change behavior there is only one effective way to do it: we must link unbearable and immediate sensations of pain to our old behavior, and incredible and immediate sensations of pleasure to a new one.”
Following are six steps to create a way, out of pain and into pleasure with no disempowering detours:
- Decide what you really want and what’s preventing you from having it now.
- Get leverage: Associate Massive pain to not changing now and massive pleasure to the experience of changing now!
- Interrupt the Limiting patterns
- Create a New, Empowering Alternative
- Condition the New Pattern until it’s consistent
- Test it!
How to get what you really want
“Realize that you’ve got to discipline your mind. A mind out of control will play tricks on you. Directed, it’s your greatest friend.” Author states that asking questions to our own mind helps us to focus better, as questions are a powerful tool for changing lives.
Questions are the answers
“Questions are the primary way that we learn virtually anything. Quality questions create quality life.” When we ask questions, it sets of a processional effect that impacts our mind beyond our imagination, when we question our limitations, it helps us to bring them down.
“Difference between people is the difference in the questions they ask consistently.” According the author questions determine everything that we do in our lives, from our abilities, relationships, to our income. Questions have the power to affect our beliefs and thus what we consider possible or impossible.
Vocabulary of ultimate Success
“Many of us are aware of the powerful part that words played in our history, of the power that great speakers have to move us, but few of us are aware of our own power to use these same words to move ourselves emotionally, to challenge, embolden, and strengthen our spirits, to move ourselves to action, to seek greater richness from this gift we call life.” Author states that the words that you consistently select shape your destiny, words are basically a tool for representing things to ourselves and if we direct the transformative words towards ourselves, it allows us to produce totally different feelings and also allows us to ask more intelligent questions.
The Ten emotions of Power
“It’s a misconception that we have no control over these mysterious things called emotions. Out of their need to avoid feeling certain emotions, people will often go to great, even ridiculous, lengths.”
Author points out there are mainly four ways by which people deal with emotions:
- Avoidance- We all avoid our emotions in one or other point in our life, but dealing with emotions in this way leads to a trap as it may allow us to avoid negative situations to protect yourself from in the short term, but ultimately it keeps you away from feeling the love, intimacy and connection that we desire the most.
- Denial- Experiencing an emotion and trying to pretend it’s not there only creates more pain. Understanding your emotions and using them should be the strategy instead of just trying to deny them.
- Competition- Many people stop fighting their painful emotion and decide to fully indulge in them, rather than learn the positive message their emotion is trying to give them, they intensify it and make it, even more, worse than it is, it becomes “badge of courage” and they begin to compete with others.
- Learning and using- You must learn from your emotions and use the results you want for greater quality of life. Emotions, even the painful ones, are in reality an internal compass that points you towards the actions you must take to arrive at your goals.
Six steps to emotional mastery:
- Identify what you’re really feeling
- Acknowledge and appreciate your emotions, knowing they support you
- Get curious about the information this emotion is giving you
- Get confident that you can handle this emotion
- Get certain that you can handle this emotion in the future as well
- Get excited and take action by turning it into the more useful version of itself
Creating a Compelling Future
“It’s not just the setting of goals that matters, but the quality of life you experience along the way.”
“The direction we’re heading in is more important than the individual result.”
There are few tips from the author as to how to make your goals real:
- Write down everything you’d like to improve in your life that’s related to your personal growth.
- Brainstorm for at least 5 minutes, don’t stop writing! (This includes: things you’d like to learn, skills to master, traits to develop, physical improvements, conquer fears)
- Add a timeline to each of the goals, how long you want to give yourself in years to accomplish it.
- Choose your single most important 1-year goal from this list
- Write down anything you want for your career or professional life
- Write down everything you could ever want to have, do, or experience in your life
- What kind of houses? Trips? Cars? Services? Experiences?
- Again, give a timeline
Part 2: Taking Control – The Master System
Ultimate Influence: Your Master System
“The Key to understanding people is to understand their master systems so you can appreciate their individual, systematic way of reasoning.” Everyone of us has a procedure set in place which helps us determine what things mean to us and what we need to do about them.
Life Values: Your Personal Compass
“The only way for us to have long-term happiness is to live by our highest ideals, to consistently act in accordance with what we believe our life is truly about.”
Resetting your values:
Step 1. Find out what your current values are, and rank them in order of importance. It will give you an understanding of why you do what you do.
Step 2. Ask yourself a new question: “What do my values need to be in order to achieve the destiny I desire and deserve?” Brainstorm out a list. Put them in order. See which values you might get rid of and which values you might add in order to create the quality of life you truly want.”
Rules: If you’re not happy, here’s why!
“As long as we structure our lives in a way where our happiness is dependent upon something we cannot control, then we will experience pain.”
“All we have to do to make our lives work is set up a system of evaluating that includes rules that are achievable, that make it easy to feel good and hard to feel bad, that constantly pull us in the direction we want to go.”
Realigning Your Rules
- Write down your answers to the following questions:
- What does it take for you to feel successful?
- What does it take for you to feel loved— by your kids, by your spouse, by your parents, and by whoever else is important to you?
- What does it take for you to feel confident?
- What does it take for you to feel you are excellent in any area of your life?
- Look at the rules and ask yourself if they’re appropriate, do they make it easy to feel bad or good?
- If necessary, change your rules so that it’s easy to feel good and hard to feel bad.
References: The Fabric of Life
“References are all the experiences of your life that you’ve recorded within your nervous system— everything you’ve ever seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled— stored away inside the giant file cabinet of your brain. Some references are picked up consciously, others unconsciously. Some result from experiences you’ve had yourself; others consist of information you’ve heard from others, and all your references, like all human experience, become somewhat distorted, deleted, and generalized as you record them within your nervous system.”
Part 3: The Seven Days to reshape your life
Day 1: Emotional Destiny- The only true success
Changing how you feel is the motivation behind all of our behaviors, we need to build a proactive plan for dealing with the negative emotional patterns that we habitually experience. The output expected is to take control of our consistent emotions and begin to consciously and deliberately reshape our daily life experience.
Day 2: Physical Destiny – Prison of pain or Palace of pleasure
Physical destiny you experience depends on how you condition your metabolism and muscles to produce the levels of energy and fitness you desire. The optimum balance of health and fitness is achieved by training your metabolism.
Day 3: Relationship Destiny- The place to share and care
This helps you to measurably enhance the quality of your personal relationships, and deepen your emotional connection with the people you care about most by reviewing the six fundamentals of successful relationships.
“Success is worthless of we don’t have someone to share it with; indeed, our most desired human emotion is that of connection with other souls.”
Day 4: Financial Destiny- Small steps to a small (or large) fortune
This helps you take control of your financial future by learning the five foundational elements for establishing wealth.
Day 5: Be Impeccable: Your Code of Conduct
It is possible to have great values, to have all your rules aligned to support them, to be asking yourself the right questions, and not to be living your values in the moment. All of us at one time or another have let events control us, we just need a clear – cut way to ensure that we consistently live the values to which we’ve committed ourselves, and a way of measuring or not we’re actually achieving that value on a daily basis.
Day 6: Master your time and your life
To learn how to use time to your advantage rather than allowing it to rule your levels of satisfaction and stress.
Day 7: Rest and play- Even God took one day off!
To achieve some balance, one must take break and to have some fun.
Part 4: A Lesson in Destiny
The Ultimate Challenge: What one person can do
“Whatever results we’re experiencing in our lives are the accumulation of host of small decisions we’ve made as individuals, success or failure is determined by the decisions we make and actions we take every day.” Nothing can be more crippling to a person’s ability to take action than learned helplessness. The book is really long. For the most part, it talks of concepts already talked by many other authors before this, and does not offer any new research. Robbins has been able to make it interesting and engaging through his seminars and easy to read style.
Why should you read this book: This is a book packed with plenty of strategies on how to take charge of your emotions, health, relationships and finances. It is a book that offers timeless philosophies that can help you reach your true goals and discover your passion in life.