If you've never been to a Tony Robbins event you're probably a little cynical about "that guy in the infomercials." Which is fine. A little cynicism in an age of gurus adoration is a healthy thing.
Robbins may seem to be full of ego from afar, but when you get to experience the man behind the brand, you'll find he's all heart. And at 6'7", it's a big one. So having just spent a week with a man who has mastered the art and science of 'personal transformation,' I can now recommend parking your cynicism for a few days and doing the same. Whether it changes your life or not, I can guarantee you'll never regret it. Something I don't day lightly!
Below are ten ways to "unleash the power within" (the name of Robbins trademark UPW weekend event). Short of that, I hope they serve to remind you to do more of what you already know brings out your best. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't benefit from a regular reminder. Tony included.
1. Decide what you MOST WANT and WHY you want it.
Creating a vision for the future you want acts as a compass, steering you toward more of what you want and away from what you don't. Without it, you may end up some place you don't much like. Millions do.
That's not to say you have to know ever element of your ideal life, but you need to be clear about the values you'd be honoring if you created it.
Family. Contribution. Creativity. Improving the status quo. Community. Growth. Love. Leadership. Service. Freedom. Adventure. Advocacy. Playfulness. Purpose.
So before you do one more thing, get out a blank piece of paper and map out what a truly extraordinary life looks and feels like for you - physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally, in your relationships, the work you do and the impact you make.
So get crystal clear about why it's so important for you to pursue your big vision and achieve the goals that move you toward it. What lies at stake if you don't?
If your goals aren't meaningful enough, you won't stay the course when the going gets tough. Be sure they align with your deepest values, not just your pride.
2. Take action, massive action!
It's easy to live with excuses and justifications about why you can't do what you want, at least not now. Maybe later. But inaction exacts an increasingly steep toll on our lives. Nothing is a more powerful antidote to fear than action. Daily action. Massive action. Brave action.
So don't wait until you have all your ducks lined up in a row, have mastered perfection or know everything there is to know before you step into action. Start talking to people. Extend an invitation. Risk a rejection. Join a group. Attend a class. Find a mentor. Introduce yourself to an influencer. Offer your services. Get your finances in order. Ask for help. Learn a skill. Read a biography. Hire a coach. Just-do-something! Every. Single. Day.
The more you act in the presence of fear, the more you dilute its power and amplify your own.
3. Reframe problems
"The past does not equal the future. Unless you live there." - Tony Robbins
So you've got problems - the tough economy, a lousy boss, unsupportive family, too few resources, too much debt. Join the boat! It's not your problems that keep you from creating what you want, it's the story you tell yourself about them. To quote Tony, "See things as they are but not worse than they are. Your problems are really just invitations to step through fear."
4. Power up your language
The words you use to describe your past, present and future create the reality you inhabit. If you cast yourself as a helpless victim, you'll be just that. If you cast yourself as the master of your fate, you'll be that too. You can't change your history, but you can rewrite your story of it to expand the possibilities for your future.
Learn to lower the intensity of negative emotions and increase the intensity of positive emotions simply by changing the language you're using. For instance, instead of saying you're stressed, say you have a lot on. Instead of saying it's impossible, say you haven't yet figured it out. Instead of saying you're lonely, say you're looking forward to meeting the right person. Likewise, instead of saying you feel fine, say you feel outstanding!
5. Turn fear into your ally
Too often we cast fear as 'the enemy' when in fact, if fear wasn't wired into our DNA we humans wouldn't be here! It's knowing what to fear most that is crucial. Rather than vilifying fear you need to harness its energy and make it work for you. You can do that by focusing not on what might happen if you fall short of achieving the results you want, but how you will feel if you do nothing and play it safe.
Delay grows increasingly expensive. Fear regret more than failure.
Psychologists call this "Neuro-Associative Conditioning." You can do this by stepping into your future self and imagining how you'll feel in the years to come if you let the fear that's undermined your actions to now continue to pilot your life. Get really present to how it will cost you. Visualize yourself staring at yourself in a mirror 1, 5, 10, 25 years from now if you've let it continue to keep you from stepping up to the plate in your life and doing whatever it takes to achieve what you want.
6. Be agile
"The results you get in life aren't from one single decision, but from what you do after you make the decision." - Tony Robbins
Whenever you take a plane flight, most of the time it's off course by a few degrees. It's the micro adjustments the pilot makes en route that enable it to land in the right place. Likewise, keep your eye open for how you need to be adjusting your approach as you navigate your way from current Point A to desire Point B. If you aren't getting the results you want, change what you're doing. Anything else is a surefire recipe for landing a long way off course from your intended destination.
Successful people are always monitoring their progress, and continually adjusting what they are doing to produce better results in response to the changing environment around them. They don't let setbacks stop them. They don't over-personalise rejection. They look for the lesson, adjust their strategy if required, and press on.
6. Create daily rituals for 'peak state.'
When you are feeling passionate, brave, focused, purposeful and absolutely determined to achieve a particular outcome, you're unstoppable. When obstacles arise, you find a way around them. When setbacks happen, you bounce back fast. When people reject you, you move on. It's not personal, just par for the course of achieving anything worthwhile.
The question is: What will it take to be at your best more often? How could you start your day more purposefully so you can be more focused through the day? How can you look after your body better, in ways that optimize energy and minimize stress? What new habits can you nurture to replace your well practiced harmful ones?
If you started every day feeling purposeful, determined, resilient and ready for anything, imagine what you could achieve!
It's the small things you do that few see which create the big results everyone wants. In the video above I share five rituals that I've found help me get and stay in peak state!
8. Embrace uncertainty.
"Your level of success lies in direct proportion to how comfortable you are with uncertainty." Tony Robbins
Most people want to feel in control of their lives and able to make decisions based on a future they can predict with certainty. But let's face it, no matter how much you may try to control your environment, you can't. Life is inherently uncertain and any certainty you think you have (beyond death and taxes) is mere illusion. Embracing life's uncertainty liberates you to be decisive amid ambiguity and quicker to adjust your sails as the wind changes around you (rather than flipping out because it wasn't in the weather forecast!)
9. Design your environment
Never underestimate the impact of the people around you to move you forward or hold you back. As Tony Robbins said "Your life is a direct reflection of the expectations of those around you." So if the people you're surrounded by aren't bringing out your best and championing you to pursue your highest aspirations, step out of your social comfort zone and find people who will.
10. Practice gratitude in every situation
People who have a habit of forever focusing only on what's missing - what they can't do, or don't have - will always be miserable... no matter their fame or fortune! So stand guard of your mind and when you catch yourself dwelling on what's missing, refocus your attention on all that you already have.
Celebrating even the small things - from the winter sun to the summer heat (you're alive!), from your ability to read this article (many can't), to the roof over your head (that many would love), from your toddlers' tantrum to the state of your teenagers room (I have four of them... all look like disaster zones!) - can make a profound difference to both your health and happiness.
Cultivating gratitude amplifies the blessings in your life, fuels positive emotions and keeps you from making small problems big.
If there's one thing that was reinforced from my 'Date With Destiny' with Tony Robbins, it's that all it takes to change your life is deciding that the time has arrived to step up and do just that.
Are you ready? And if not now, then when?
Life is short. Don't waste it.