Ep #40: Lessons Learned from Tony Robbins
On this episode of the Life Coach School podcast, it is again the time to talk about one of my teachers that has had a great impact on me. The week, we are talking about no other than one of the most popular American life-coaches and motivational speakers, Tony Robbins.
Tony is a motivational speaker, life-coach and a self-help author of books such as Unlimited Power, Unleash the Power Within and Awaken the Giant Within. He has also released a number of incredible audio and video programs that have helped countless people around the world to improve their lives dramatically.
Tony’s work has made a huge impact on me over the past 20 years and has affected my own teachings tremendously. Tony is great at making complex ideas about success, growth, focus, determination and commitment (among many others) simplified and truly easy to digest. Tune in to find out about some of these life-changing teachings. If you choose to practice them, I promise, you will be able to transform your life into an amazing masterpiece!
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- Tony Robbins’ past works.
- The importance of mastering decision making as a skill.
- The difference between committing to a decision and committing to trying.
- What role repetition plays in mastering a skill or anything else in your life.
- The concept of pain vs. pleasure and how it drives our decisions.
- How our consistent focus is related to our reality.
- How to create a state of determination and commitment within yourself.
- The questions successful people ask themselves.
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
What the what? Episode number forty. That means for the past forty weeks I have recorded a podcast episode for y'all. That seems crazy. That is so many hours that I have sat here prepared a podcast, talked to you all and then gone to the comment section and written back to y'all. The guy that runs my podcast for me sent me an email; basically said that this past month we've had like forty-five thousand downloads which I can't even wrap my mind around. That is super cool to me it just seems like a really big number.
So many of you listen to the podcast, but I don't hear from you. Sometimes my comment section is like crickets. What are y'all doing? I think you're all subscribed and you just keep getting it, but I would love to hear from you, so know that. I'm not just saying that. I really want to hear from you even if you just say, "Hey, what's up? I listen to your podcast." Just let me know you're alive. There's forty-five thousand of you and I've heard from about twenty of you. I love to just touch base.
Anyway, today we are talking about lessons learned from Tony Robbins. Now, a lot of time when I bring up Tony Robbins name most people know who he is because he was so popular. I think it was in the '80's, right? With his big teeth and his infomercials. He had a program called Personal Power which of course I purchased and inhaled and repeatedly listened to. I love Tony's energy. I love what he teaches. He is literally, quite literally one of the most brilliant teachers I've ever had. No matter what you want to say about him, if you know his work and you've applied his work, you will agree with me. I have never met anyone who has really applied Tony's work that doesn't absolutely love his work. He's a little over the top. He's a little loud and he acknowledges that and talks about it which makes me laugh, but he backs it all up with crazy content, crazy smart content.
Tony has written some amazing books. He wrote a book called Unlimited Power. He wrote a book called Unleash the Power Within and he wrote Awaken the Giant Within. The book that I am most in love with is the book Awaken the Giant Within. It was the book that I probably studied the most. Listened to the most. Really appreciated so much because it was so cumulative of all of the work that he had done. His other books are good too, but I feel like this book really encompasses the other books within them. He's recently written a book called Money, all about money. He basically went through and studied all of the great ambassadors of our time. It's a pretty heavy book. It talks about investments, but he is able to simplify it in a way that is really amazing. I listened to it on audio book and I'm going to listen to it again. There is so much to be learned from that book and the way he makes it so relevant. That is one thing that Tony is really good at is making really complex ideas very simplified.
Now, I do want to offer that Tony Robbins uses neuro linguistic programming or NLP. It's basically a way of retraining your brain which, of course, I am totally fascinated with. There's many modern day coaches that use it. It really does work. It is to something I've had a big interest in learning. It's just not my thing, but it's definitely something worth looking into, I think, if you are kind of intrigued by it.
Most of what I am going to talk about today, most of what I am going to share with you is from Tony's book, Awaken the Giant Within and from his work with Personal Power, the program that I went through and what I learned from him.
Basically his mentor was Jim Roan who is amazing too and I highly recommend you look into the work that he's done. He's really the guy that taught me about goal setting. He's the one that really sold me on it and why I still feel fully 100% committed to always having goals. Because I have seen the power of what writing goals has done in my life. I was really in my early twenties when Tony first taught me about that. I have always written goals since then. I can go back and look at my goals that I had when I was really young. I can see how powerful it was for me to write them down and how almost every single one of them has come true because of hard work. Now, it didn't just come true because I wrote them down, but because I worked towards them.
I am going to go through and share. I wrote down a bunch of notes of things that I've learned from Tony. I want to share the most important lessons that I think he has to teach and that I have learned from him. I highly recommend his book. I will put the link to it in the show notes. Awaken the Giant Within and I also recommend his new book on money. If you've got a little energy, you've taken your vitamins and you are ready to read a heavy book. I also recommend you check out the audio books so I will put that link to autobahn audio books in the show notes as well.
All right, so the concepts that Tony teaches is he teaches, one of the concepts that he teaches is called State Management. That is basically how you can manage your physical physiology which is your state. The terminology that I would use is your emotional state. He teaches that you can really control that by controlling your physiology. He teaches about success conditioning. He teaches about personal rules, how we all have our own personal rules that we are unwilling to break and how important it is to know about what our rules are and to make them consciously. He teaches about quality questions. Tony Robbins is really my first teacher when it came to becoming a coach.
As coaches, our main tool is asking questions and inquiry. I taught you about that in episode ten, I believe it was, with Byron Katie. I will leave that in the show notes too. She really has the four questions and taught me how to do questions, but before I ever met Byron Katie I really learned that lesson from Tony Robbins. I learned the concept of the primary question and how important it is to know that the questions that you ask yourself will determine the quality of your thinking. He taught about leverage and how you can use leverage on yourself and then he talks about the concentration of power. Those are all the topics he talks about in Awaken the Giant Within, so if you are interested in learning more about those check out that book.
Let's go through and I am going to basically reiterate what his lesson is and then give you my thoughts on it. The first one is in your moments of decision your destiny is shaped. Making a true decision means committing to achieving a result and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility. the hardest step in achieving anything is making a true commitment. That is basically five different quotes that I've put together from him that basically shares his beliefs on how important it is to make a decision. What is so interesting is I was just coaching one of my students on this today and talking about she really struggles with indecision; struggles with her inability to make decisions and how she plays around in this realm of, "I don't know", a lot and it seems like an innocent place to dwell, but, "I don't know", creates a block to your destiny.
According to what Tony says here it’s in your moments of decision your destiny is shaped. You can't argue with that. Think about all the decisions that you've made in your life. Those decisions have created your life, literally. Your decision of where you were going to go to school. Your decision of who you were going to marry or not marry. Your decision of whether you were going to have kids or not have kids. Your decision of where to live. Your decision of how to stay or not stay in your marriage. Where to work. All those decisions create your life and yet so many of us don't really think about decision making as a skill. As something that we can get good at. What I notice the most with people as they get older they stop making decisions. They let their decisions kind of make them without a conscious real consideration about what they want to do. I see that happen with people and then they start believing that they are at the effect of their life because they stop making decisions.
Making decisions is a skill. It is challenging. Right? We don't want to be wrong so we don't want to make decisions. Most of us don't embrace change so we just ride out whatever decisions we've made long ago. Think about some of the decisions you've made, where to live, what job to have, what couch you're sitting on. All of those decisions were made long ago and if you've become someone that doesn't want to make decisions anymore you are living with ten year old, twenty year old decisions.
Now, if you aren't growing in your life and your aren't evolving you may be very content not to make decisions, but I want you to consider that the more decisions you make in your life, and I am not saying you have to make a decision to change. You may re-decide, I would choose this house again, I would choose this husband again, and I would choose this couch again, right? Maybe you wouldn't.
Maybe if you were going to start again you wouldn't chose any of it again. Are you willing to live with that old decision or do you want to make a new one. Right? It is something to really consider as you chose to move and grow in your life. In your moments of decision your destiny is shaped.
Now, the last part what he says, the hardest step in achieving
anything is making a true commitment. I really have seen this in my students recently. In this past year. Is that most of us don't make a commitment to doing something no matter what. We've talked a lot about this on this podcast. People make decisions to try something. They make a decision to learn about something, but they don't commit to completing it. They don't commit to doing the program 100%. They don't commit to achieving the result. They commit to trying, to considering, to doing it until it doesn't feel good anymore.
The difference is when you truly commit you have made the hardest choice. Then, it eliminates any other option. The way the he says is you cut yourself off from any other possibility. I will achieve this result no matter what. I am cutting myself off from any other possibility. That changes everything. If some of the things I say to my students sometimes is what if I gave you a hundred thousand dollars to do this. What if I gave you a million dollars? What would you be doing differently in order to achieve that result? What if your life depended on it? Then you would commit to it no matter what. What would be different? Understanding are you truly committed to what you want or are you just enjoying the idea that it's a possibility. Really tell yourself the truth on that one.
The other quote that he has says, "Information is power when acted upon." I love this quote from him because you have to remember that information in and of itself is nothing. We are in the information age. We are so saturated with information. I know for me information is so easily accessible that I feel like I just am full of information. I have different ideas. If I want to find out how to do something. If I want to find out some research on something. If I want to find out how something started or what something ... Anything. It's available to me at my fingertips. I have taken so many classes and read so many books and heard so many theories. None of that means anything. I have had so many students go through my classes. So many people that have learned the concepts of coaching that didn't act upon them.
I personally have learned so many things and have never acted upon the things I've learned. The power doesn't come from the information. The power doesn't come from listening to this podcast. The power doesn't come from reading a book. The power comes from did you apply it. I want to offer that the sooner you apply something after learning it the more likely you are to keep applying it. If you learn something like, "Oh, that is an interesting concept. I like that. I am going to play around with that concept. I am going to be entertained by it", that is very different than applying it to your life immediately and continuously applying it and seeing its affect in your life.
Another quote from Tony that I love is, "Repetition is the mother of skill." Often when I am training new coaches they're afraid to repeat themselves when they are working with their clients. They are afraid to teach something and then teach it again. One thing, if I've learned anything being a coach and a teacher, it is that repetition and re-teaching and offering different examples and teaching again is how people will really learn something. You can't teach something to someone once. You can't learn something once or do something just once and feel like you are going to be a master at it.
If you want to learn how to do a head stand, let's say. Something we do in yoga. All right? We do head stands. If you want to lean to do a head stand…if you try to do a head stand ten times a day every day of the year you are going to be better at doing a head stand at the end of the year than you were at the beginning. In fact, you are probably going to be amazing at doing head stands. Right? Because repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. If you want to lean the model that I teach, the more models that you do, the more times you practice it the better you are going to get at it. If that is how you develop every skill is by practicing it, practicing it, practicing it.
Now, you need to practice it well and you need to practice it correctly. You don't want to keep practicing doing something in a way that doesn't work. One of the things that I say is what are you practicing all of the time because that is what you are getting better at. Are you practicing over eating? Are you practicing yelling at you kids? Are you practicing not exercising? Because whatever you are practicing is what you are getting good at. It is what your brain is getting efficient at. A lot of people think that, "Oh, if I am just doing, if I am just not exercising that is not costing me anything", but really you are doing something. You are learning how to not exercise. That is what you're practicing and that is what you are getting good at. That is for everything you do within your day. The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. What you link pain to and what you link pleasure to shapes your destiny. It is not actual pleasure that drives us, but our belief, our sense of certainty that somehow taking a certain action will lead to pleasure. Most people focus on the short term pleasure and therefore create long term pain for themselves.
Okay. I really, really, really want you to listen to this. It is not actual pleasure that drives us, but our belief, our sense of certainty that somehow taking a certain action will lead to pleasure. The reason why I want you to pay attention is I know so many of you listening associate pleasure to over eating. Yet, client after client after client that I take through the process of really evaluating what overeating is like for them realize that there is very little pleasure in over eating. Very little and, in fact, it is usually the opposite, but it doesn't matter.
This is why, because it is not actual pleasure that drives us but our belief, our sense of certainty that taking the action of over eating will lead to pleasure. When you associate pleasure to doing something you will want to do it more. When you associate pain to doing something you'll want to do it less, so really think about that concept.
Most of us associate pain to eating less food and most of us associate pleasure to eating more food. Being able to eat whatever we want when we want, but when you really break it down you will see, especially your physical pleasure is the exact opposite. Eating when you're hungry and stopping when you are sated is the perfect equilibrium for your body. It is when your body feels the best. When you over eat your body feels bloated and uncomfortable. When you under eat it feels agitated and empty. When you eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full that is the ideal state of pleasure for your body. It is a full equilibrium. Why doesn't that matter? Why don't we all want to feel that way all of the time? Light and fueled. It is because we have associated through every commercial we've ever watched and every fast food we've ever tasted to associate extreme pleasure to eating food and over eating food. It doesn't mean that that's the truth really when we evaluate it, but it's our association.
It is what you link pain to that you will avoid and what you link pleasure to that you will created. What Tony teaches is that it is so important to link pleasure to the long term results you want in your life. To link pleasure to, let's say you want to save money, how do you link pleasure to that. If you want to eat only when you are hungry how do you associate pleasure to that and really consciously doing that so that every single time you're rewarding yourself for doing something that gives your pleasure. You are offering yourself pleasure for doing a pleasure thing. I remember one of the things that Tony taught that I thought was so fascinating was linking pleasure and linking pain to things. One of the things that he has offered, and I think he offers it in this book is, if you promised yourself that any time you over ate anything you would take a bite of canned Alpo dog food, if you made that commitment to yourself. You can over eat anything you want, but if you do you also have to take a scoop of Alpo dog food. Therefore you're associating pain to over eating. He says if you do it repeatedly and you really honor that commitment and you are really willing to do it then you will train your brain to associate so much pain to over eating that you literally will lose the desire to over eat.
That is kind of his philosophy which I think is so fascinating. It is like when somebody is told if you don't lose weight you are going to die, literally going to die. All of a sudden they have associated over eating with this tremendous fear of dying and that is why a lot of people are able to lose weight at that point. Sometimes it takes them all the way to that point. Then they immediately associate with so much more ... The same with smoking. Like my mother-in-law. She smoked her whole life and was unable to quit until they basically told her, "You cannot or you will die. You have cancer. You cannot do it." She quit cold turkey and that was the end of it. Never even a question and she hadn't been able to stop her whole life. That is kind of his theory of what he's associating, so think about the things you really want and do you associate a lot of pain to getting them. Those associations can be changed. His work is all about making sure you are associating a lot of pleasure to what it is you want long term in your life and associating a lot of pain to the things that prevent you from getting there.
His next quote is, "Your behavior is not the result of your ability, but the state you are in in this moment. Really important to remember and this is what I teach as well that your feelings create your actions. Not necessarily your ability. If you believe you can do something you are going to take a completely different action that is based on your ability versus if you don't believe you can do something. I see it all the time. Many of my students believing they can't do something when ultimately I've seen them already do it and they can do it, but they are holding themselves back.
Whatever we focus on becomes our reality. I really believe this and teach this a lot. Actually, all of my teachers that I have discussed with you here on the podcast and the ones I am going to discuss with you in the future, all of them believe that what you focus on becomes your reality. Remember the brain can only focus on so much and what it focuses on is what it will create because what it focuses on creates your thoughts, which create your feelings, which created your actions and ultimately your result. He says focus consistently on where you want to go. Not on where you don't want to go. If you focus on your problems, if you focus on where you don't want to go, those are the thoughts you are going to be thinking. You've got to be in a determined state in order to succeed.
One of the things that Tony teaches is that you can create emotion with your physiology. You can get yourself into a physical state of determination. That is going to be much more likely to help you create the result you want. I teach it a little, slightly different that you really have to work on your mind to create that sense of determination.
Either way the feeling of determination, the feeling of commitment is what ultimately will get you the result you want, so think about your own life right now. How often do you feel determined? How often do you feel committed? Do you practice feeling determined and committed? Because those are two emotions that are high in currency and they don't cost anything in terms of money, but they cost in terms of practicing feeling them. The more determined you are the more likely you are going to succeed in your life and get your results. It seems like common sense, but when you apply it to yourself can you see the results you want in your life and can you see how your lack of determination may be the reason you are not getting there? What would it take for you to be more determined to get those results you really want?
All you really want in life is to change how you feel. This is really similar to the teaching of Abraham which basically says that anything you want in your life is because of how you think it will make you feel in the getting of it. The question is do you know how to feel good and do you know how to feel bad? Now, the do you know how to feel bad is me. I am kind of adding that in there because I teach that you need to know how to feel bad without letting that bad feeling direct your action. If you are willing to feel something and you are willing to find its cause you are much more likely to react to it without a conscious decision to react to it. A lot of us have negative emotion because we aren't even aware of what we are feeling, so do you know how to feel good? Do you know how to generate positive emotion for yourself? Because if you do you'll be able to direct your action more consciously. Do you know how to feel bad? Can you direct yourself to react or not react based on how you feel?
His next quote is, "Our questions determine our thoughts." Successful people just ask better questions. For example, a successful person may ask themselves, "How can I get this done? What are the steps to get this done? When will I achieve this? What help do I need? How can I figure this out? What resources can I tap into to make sure this is completed?" Someone who is unsuccessful may ask a question like, "Why can't this work for me? Why can't I do this? Why am I so stupid? Why am I so lazy? Why is there something wrong with me? Why don't I get what other people do?" Notice how those questions are obviously going to give you very different thoughts to think versus the successful questions. Think about the questions that you are asking yourself and are they the questions of a successful person who is determined to achieving what they ultimately want in their lives.
One of the questions that Tony taught me that I really love is, "What is great about this problem?" Any problem in your life you can ask that question to and I have to tell you that I haven't found a problem yet that doesn't have something great in it. If you train your brain to look for the positive, to look for the great things in seemingly un-great things you will have trained your brain what to focus on. You will become a much more positive person if you train your brain in that way.
Now, what is really interesting is as I was searching for this podcast and rereading a lot of Tony's work, one of the things that he talks about that I had kind of forgotten about that I am kind of re-intrigued to study some more is the words you consistently use will determine how you feel. Now, I teach that your thoughts determine how you feel, but what he's talking about is the quality of the words you use. The quality of your vocabulary. I thought that was so interesting. A lot of times I will talk to my students about how to answer the question, "How are you?" If you answer the question, "Fine, I'm fine", without even thinking about it that is what you actually will fine as you answer it. How does fine feel? Is that how you want to feel? Is that the answer you want to have or do you want to feel amazing, incredible or awesome? What are the words that you consistently use in your vocabulary? Are they positive? Are they energy creating words or are you using flat words like, "Oh, another day. Fine. Yeah." It is like the kids in the car after school, "Mm hm (affirmative) " What words do you want to use to describe your life? What words do you want to use to describe yourself? To describe your kids? To describe how you are? How your life is? Really think about that. Research what are your words. When you use those words what kind of energy do they create.
I think what I am going to do is I think I am going to do an in-depth study on what he teaches on this and then I am going to create a whole podcast on how to use words to change your life. Because what I am really teaching there is how to use different thoughts. How to use different words in your thoughts. As I am talking about this I am thinking about writers and how every writing class I have ever taken is, it is funny because I always have a problem with grammar in the writing classes and the content is always great, but they have to go through and completely rewrite it because the grammar is always horrible, but anyway, you have a sentence that says the cow walked to the fence and what I've learned in writing classes is you need to use more descriptive words to liven it up a little bit. The cow walked to the fence is very boring, but if it's the beautiful sacred cow sauntered to the magical diamond fence. Now all of a sudden I am like, "Whoa", I am much more interested in this sentence that I was the other one. That is kind of what we want to do with our thinking. Can we make our thoughts so they are more compelling so we want to think them more so we raise up our energy and we get a little bit more interested? Get a little bit more curious about ourselves and our lives and how we tell the story of our life really matters. The words that we use. If we describe our lives as, "Well, it's just another day. It is just a series of days strung together." That is one way of describing your life or if you say, "It's just one magical hour after another." That is another way to describe your life. What are the words you want to use? I am going to do an in-depth study and I promise that it will be a podcast that is coming up soon.
Now, the last part of what I am going to tell you about what Tony taught me is create a compelling future. Tony taught me about thinking about my future and thinking about it a way that propelled me forward. That was compelling enough that I knew I would have to grow into it. That I knew that there was so many exciting things out beyond me in the future that it kept me wanting to move. It made me want to move a little bit faster so I could get there sooner. He is also the first one that taught me the concept of massive action. Now, I have adapted it a little bit, but the way that Tony talks about massive action I think is so hilarious because he will say, someone will say, "I've tried everything." He will say, "How many things have you tried?" They will be like, "Three." I have done this so many times with my own students. They will say, "I have tried everything to lose weight." I'll say, "How many diets?" They will say, "Every single one of them." I am like, "Name them. Name every single diet that you've tried", and it is like five. It is definitely not every single one. How we exaggerate when it comes to the effort that we've taken and most of us take very little action in our lives. Most of us need to increase our action tenfold, a hundred fold before we are ever going to get the results we want in our lives. I think Tony really taught me how to be an action taker.
I have since learned more about what it means to take massive action. It doesn't mean that you work so hard that you can't function, but it does mean that you take enough action to give yourself a chance at getting the result you want and how setting goals that ignite you and excite you. It can make a difference between a dull life and a really exciting, anticipation feeling when you go through your life because the best is yet to come. Thinking about that. Everything out there. My future is going to be way better than what is going on now. Not in a way that takes you out of your present moment, but in a way that makes your present moment better because it creates that excitement in your life. He has about three chapters in that book all on goal setting. I highly recommend. I actually went to an event with Tony in Fiji. He owns a beautiful resort in Fiji. I went there, I think it was for seven days about twenty years ago. Sat down, it was called Date With Destiny, I sat down in this beautiful Fijian hut overlooking the ocean and we worked on what it means to really create goals that get you so excited you can't possibly not take action. I highly recommend you read that section in his book. I teach a lot of his goal setting concepts when I teach goal setting, but he takes it into a much deeper level. It is an area that you're interested in I highly recommend that you do it.
Now, I seriously could go on and talk about Tony. The amount of material that he has out there is really, really exceptional. I really want to recommend to all of you that you study his work. One of the things that he says that I think is the most compelling to me and has been is when we went to the Date With Destiny he made us memorize this quote, it was twenty years ago, that we had to say. I remember the first part of it basically said, "Now, I am the power. Now, I am the power." I really integrated that. The last part of it was, "Step up", step up step up, we had to say that three times. I think for me what that has meant is am I stepping up into the best version of myself. Am I willing to take that step into the best version of myself and am I recognizing that now I am the power? Tony says, "I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece." Do you feel like you are making yourself a masterpiece? Now, if you don't feel that way this is not an invitation to feel guilty about it, but it is an invitation to decide, "Yes, I want to be able to look back on my life and say, "That is my masterpiece. That is what I did with my life and I'm so proud", because time's a ticking for most of us. It is never too late and we can always step up. We can always claim our power and we can always be improving and growing and creating a compelling future. I will always thank Tony Robbins for teaching me that at a very young age because I have used it every day since. I feel like the compelling future that I made back then is the future I am living now, is the present that I'm living now. I wouldn't have this life that I have now had I not set those goals back them, so thanks Tony. I will always be a student of Tony Robbins and I highly recommend that you join me.
I'll talk to you guys all next week. Bye-bye.
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