5 Tony Robbins’ Tips!

Tony Robbins is the undisputed number one life coach in the world. He coached hundreds of thousands of people, among them Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. My wife and I recently spent 4 days with him to learn his approach to, as he calls it, “Unleash the power within”. In this blog I share my top 5 insights and the actions I took.

To stay in tune and discuss topics we don’t normally get the chance to during our busy lives, my wife and I make it a habit to take off two weekends per year and spend them together. Just the two of us; a whole weekend to relax and enjoy. During these weekends we normally go hiking or cycling; or on a city-trip to immerse ourselves in culture, good food and (a bit of …) shopping. Our schedule is non-existing. We catch up on our sleep, read a book or just relax. This year, however, I decided to take it to a whole new level. It was my turn to organise this years ‘spring weekend‘ and, although I knew my wife was very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend together, I arranged  a weekend in which I could ‘share my professional inspiration‘.

Now, my wife is used to me doing things ‘out of the ordinary‘, but when the weekend approached and I still kept it a secret what we were about to do she started to get a bit worried. And she was right too. I was indeed planning on getting her out of her comfort zone! When we arrived at Schiphol airport my wife asked once more: “Ok, so what is it we are going to do?”. When I looked at her without answering her question she got so anxious she said: ” OK fine, as long as you know: I’m not jumping in an ice pool … [I had recently visited Wim Hof in Poland.] … nor am I going to fast; drink veggie juices  or do some kind of weird workshop.”

I looked at her direction and she thought she’d guessed the destination of our weekend; “Oh NO definitely NOT. I’m not boarding this plane if we are going to do anything like that.” The atmosphere deteriorated. I started to feel quite uncomfortable at ‘the doorstep of our love weekend‘. “Please tell me, I won’t be able to sleep tonight if you don’t”, she said. I decided to fill her in as the atmosphere started to drop to an unacceptable level. “We’re attending a four day seminar of Anthony Robbins”. And I anxiously awaited her response.. “That’s GREAT”, she shouted out

After our ‘fire walk’…. a walk over 6 meters of hot coals

Unleash the Power Within

She was delighted. – Although, up until this day, I’m still not sure this was because it positively contrasted her previous guesses, or that she honestly liked the idea I presented. – However, we agreed to fall back to our ’normal weekend format‘, if she didn’t like the program after all. The atmosphere positively shifted, and our weekend started off very nicely.

We checked in to our, not so romantic, hotel next to the event hall in South London. (A friend of mine, who recommended Tony Robbins, instructed me to arrange accommodation close to the venue as the program started early in the morning and lasted till after midnight so you don’t want to tube.)

At nine the next morning the program started as we gathered in a big conference hall in London. It immediately became clear that this wasn’t going to be a ‘private‘ session with Mister Robbins. 7.500 people, originating from 31 countries, attended his 4 day so called personal performance seminar: Unleash the Power Within.

Some people were already dancing and screaming from their chairs before the program had even started. An amazing experience, but according to our rather calvinistic, reserved Dutch attitude, a bit enthusiastic at this point. However, as it turned out later, we’d seen nothing yet …

A one hour warm-up later – with a variety of dancers, entertainers and extreme loud dance music – the main act entered the stage: Tony Robbins. A two meter tall giant. With teeth longer and whiter than seen in most toothpaste commercials and with energy more vibrant then that of a young child at his own birthday party. He started this first day at nine in the morning and continued till twelve that night. Fourteen hours without a single break. Only to be interrupted approximately every 15 minutes with loud dance music during which the 7500 people present jumped up, screamed and hugged each other. At first this felt a bit uncomfortable, but after a while my wife and I decided to join in and go with the vibrant flow in order to fully experience the event instead of just being spectators.

Background

Anthony Robbins, for those of you who haven’t heard of him, is a so called performance -or life style- coach from California, USA. 35 years ago he was the first to introduce the title ‘coach‘ outside the sports-arena and into the business world. “If an athlete needs a coach why not a hard working ambitious business man”. He was the first ‘active life style‘ personal coach for millions of people. Varying from the girl next door to celebrities like Princess Diana, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. Further he also coached dozens of professional athletes like Andre Agassi, the LA Kings, Serena Williams, and so on.

He comes from a very poor background with, at times, hardly anything to eat. Something which became exceedingly painful during Thanksgiving Days when other Americans savoured in abundance of food and drinks. It was during one of those days when his life changed drastically as a stranger came to their door and delivered a massive Thanksgiving dinner. Although his father refused the gift and got angry over the intrusion, little Tony gave a different meaning to the occurrence. He learned that different people make different stories out of the same situation and you always have a choice in what meaning you give to something. This was one of his main insights which he, to this day, still teaches in his seminars. He adapted this truth as his life motto: ‘if strangers care, I care for strangers too‘. He became a life coach and founded his charity foundation that feeds poor families at Thanksgiving. At age 17 he started feeding one family, this year he’ll feed 50 million ‘strangers‘.

His 4 day seminar is a way to ‘make a move‘, in your work, (personal) relations, health, finances or in your private life in general. In the Netherlands the concept of dedicated focus on your own personal development is not yet as common as in the USA where there’s already a massive industry of life style- and performance coaches. The Dutch seems always to be a bit more reticent when it comes to these kinds of things, there’s a lot of skepticism around it. But wow! did my wife and I have a great time in London.

Make your Move! (5 insights)

The seminar was an opportunity for both of us. For me it was professionally very worthwhile to see an absolute star in my field perform. But also personally for both of us it was a chance to not only clarify our wishes for the future, but, even more so, a way to learn how to ‘make a move‘ and make it come true. We learned what new habits we needed to integrate into our lives to attain our future dreams and goals. It’s been a couple of weeks since the seminar, and so far we are pretty disciplined and already notice some positive effects. Both in our private as well as in our professional lives. To give you an idea of what we’ve learned I hereby share my “Top 5 TopMind Tony Tips” insights and the actions I have taken.

Insight 1: “Your physical state determines the quality of your learning abilities. Being able to change your state is the key to growth.”

Effect: So it’s not the amount of time or the effort you put into something that determines your learning curve, but the mental and physical state you’re in which defines the quality of learning, the ability to change your physical state will control your learning capabilities. You’ll therefore have to make sure to get into the right physical and emotional state before you start learning. If I tell you a human being takes in approximately 10% when listening to someone, 40% when listening and actively taking notes, and 80% when physically active and involved, why sit still at meetings?

During the seminar the program started at 8.30 AM and lasted till around 12 PM, without hardly any breaks. Every 15 to 20 minutes however loud music played during which everybody jumped up and started dancing. Because of this we’re so seized by the program that I didn’t look at my watch once.  At TopMind™ we teach people how to change their physical state by a radical change in physiology. A great preparation for learning is physical exercise, meditation or listening to (your favourite) music, for example.

Action: I’m more disciplined in performing my daily physical- and mind exercises. This helps me start my day in a positive, energetic state. I start every day by meditating (as I’ve been doing for years) and finish with a ‘Wim Hof Breathing and Tony Visualisation Exercise’. In total this takes up approximately 60 minutes of my morning. 

Insight 2: “Energy is the determining factor of life. Treat Energy like a muscle: use it or loose it.” 

Effect: The main determining factor of a successful (working) life is energy. The more energy you have, the more you’re potentially capable of. So you’ll have to make sure to have enough of it. How? Our energy level is like a muscle: if you train it, it gets stronger. But if you don’t use it, you’ll loose it. Physical training and exercise are the key to boost your personal energy reservoir. Motion = Emotion. Physical exercise is key to building energy. Our bodies are not made for sitting on a chair, while most of us do so the entire day. ‘Physically moving your body’ as much as you practically can determines to a great extent the move you make in your private or professional life.

Action:   After the seminar I increased my workouts from approximately 2 times a week to 4/5 times a week, and do so with mainly ‘low impact’ practice. You can receive professional and high quality advice on how to exercise optimally your body from Koen de Jong and Nico van der Breggen (www.kiwinederland.nl ). Their advice is based on an objective physical test, which clarifies how you currently manage your energy in rest and during exercise.

Insight 3: “Hunger is key! If you are hungry enough you can change anything!”

‘Hunger’ is your personal motivation for growth. How can you get (more) hungry? Referring to Tony basically through:

  1. Consciousness! Becoming conscious of the current pain or discomfort in your life and possibilities for the future. Develop the ability to feel and reflect.
  2. Inspiration! Find inspiration through various activities like study, personal coaching, seminars, social contacts, nature, arts etc.

During in-company trainings I always notice a big difference between people’s ‘development-pace‘. Some progress quickly whereas others seem to ‘stand still‘ for a long(er) period of time. A common excuse is for people to point out there lack of self-discipline or time. But often it has nothing to do with that. Self-discipline is merely the result of being hungry instead of a fixed element of someone’s character. The ones progressing quickly always just seem to be more eager to learn (about themselves). They send me e-mails, call me, take notes during trainingsessions and always ask a lot of questions. In short, they’re hungry for information. They are not necessarily more gifted or talented, they are simply more motivated. So it is in fact hunger that determines people progress.

Action: I noticed that the seminar with Robbins fired up the hunger in myself. Key insight is thus that inspiration fuels the hunger and my related action is that I ‘ve booked my next session with him (Tony) in June. The hint here is once you feel inspired, act fast with concrete instant simple actions. Just do it!

Insight 4: a) Your focus defines your feelings (emotions) and b) the quality of your feelings determine the quality of your life.

This insight what the TopMind™ Training is about. One of the reasons we focus on ‘Focus!’ is because we believe your focus determines how you feel. Your focus in combination with the meaning you give to something effects your physical reaction. What do you focus on? For instance: if you focus on negative thoughts or the difficulties of certain situations, such as the negative traits of your boss, your body will stressfully respond in a similar reaction. If however you are able to change your focus, you can influence your feelings and thus your physical response.

Action: I finish every day at night writing 5 things in my journal about what I’m grateful for, satisfied with or positive about. This ends my day with a positive mindset. If you do not have a journal, buy one NOW and start using it! (-:

Insight 5: Your personal beliefs control your life. Limiting beliefs limit your life. 

In the course of our life, we pick up numerous beliefs which drive our behavior and choices unconsciously. With these we make up a story that we keep telling ourselves repeatedly and unconsciously. We pick these beliefs or dogmas up from our parents, education or simply culturally. A few examples of ingrained unconscious beliefs are: desire (greed) is bad, I have to pay my dues, I have to become successful in order to be worthy, life is give and take, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, my character is set, determined by my genetics and I have little influence, etc. Gaining better insight in your limiting beliefs and remove them if it is time to do so, gives you clarity and energy to make healthy decisions. And healthy decisions result in a healthier life.

Action: Personally I’m clarifying my own limiting beliefs by keeping a journal. Moreover, I have a personal coach who helps me clarify my personal story. An action for you could be to find a coach or mentor who can serve as a conscious mirror and help you reflect (rather than advice…). If you are looking for someone who is very capable in helping you clarify your personal ‘dogmas’, check Dogmadetox.com, Arnold Timmerman.

I hope these insights help you again in your search for self-development and happiness. Leave your comments or questions below. We’ll react within 24 hours. And if you liked the blog, ….. ‘like it’! (-:

Keep your eyes on the ball!

Warm regards, AJ

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