Tony Robbins’ name is synonymous with happiness and success, but he had to learn self-development the hard way. He was abandoned by his father at a young age, suffered from his mother’s abuse, and struggled with financial difficulty until, one day, he took a decision that altered the course of his life.
Watch this 7 minutes inspirational video to witness a life transformation like you’ve never seen before.
“When I was 11 years old, we had a really, really tough Thanksgiving, where there was no money and no food and my mom was screaming at my father about how he couldn’t even take care of his own family. And it was horrible. And I have a younger brother, younger sister, I’m the oldest, so I was trying to keep them from hearing this conversation.
Then a miracle happened. Bang on the door, I’m the oldest and they’re screaming, so I go answer the door. And I answer the door and standing there is this giant man, I was this little boy, and he’s holding this huge box of food. And beside him on the ground was a black pot with an uncooked turkey in it. And he said, “Is your father home?” And I said, “Just one moment.” I was like, unbelievably floored. I thought, this is a gift from God, this is gonna change it all, this is gonna make my mom and dad happy, it’s gonna be unbelievable.
So I go and my father’s screaming at my mother through a closed door, to the bedroom door. And I said, “Dad, Dad, there’s a guy at the door!” And goes, “You answer the door.” I said, “I did, he’s gotta see you.” So all right, and I kinda tease, and I said, “Dad, you gotta come!” So he said “Fine.” He made one last yell at her and he walks to the door, and I’m waiting there, just can’t waiting to see his face.
My dad opens the door and this man’s standing there with this big box of food, and my father did not get happy. He looked at this man and he raised his voice to him, and he said, “Look, we don’t take charity!” And then took the door to slam it in the man’s face, but the man was a good sized man, he put his foot there and smacked his foot down. He said, “Sir, sir.” He said “Please take this, I bought it.” He said, “We don’t take charity!” And he went to slam it again, and this time the guy put his shoulder against it so he couldn’t do it. And my father’s staring at him, it’s like these two males starting to get in this intense mode, and one’s just trying to give a gift, and I’m freaking. And then the guy said something that I’ll never forget, and moments I wished he hadn’t said, but he found a way to force my father. He’s holding this thing and he looked at me and then he looked at my dad, he said, “Don’t make your family suffer because of your ego.”
Now my dad’s level of energy increased, but he was also trapped, so he took the food, slammed it on our table and slammed the door in the man’s face and never even thanked him. And I didn’t know what to do. Part of me wanted to cry, part of me was crushed. And I watched my father storm off and went on back to scream at my mother. I remember that day, just thinking, I don’t understand.
You gotta realize you can’t lose anything, you can transform things, but you can’t lose anything. Now, you can try and pretend you’ve lost something. You can be upset with somebody and go, oh my God, I lost their love, or they’ve lost mine, or I’ve lost respect. How do you lose respect? You can’t lose something that’s already inside of you. Love is not something you have to go looking for, when it’s where you come from.
My mom was 5’1″, I’m 6’7″, to give you an idea. How she could give birth to me is mind-boggling. She loved the attention she got partying or dancing, but she would never go to the grocery store. I did that every day of my life, I went on my bicycle to the grocery store, made the meal, she never came out of this room. We lived in a 1,200 square foot house, and my forefathers all lived in the living room at different times. She was very powerful and intense lady. But again, I’m not saying this to be positive, it’s just really true. Everything in my life has come from all those things that are there, all of the drives. Now, I could’ve just beat myself up or felt sorry for myself, but fortunately, I didn’t do that.
I remember sitting there in my 400 square foot bachelor apartment in Venice, California. All alone and crying. I remember feeling like my life didn’t even matter, as if the events of the world were controlling me. I also remember the moment my life changed, the moment I finally said, I’ve had it. I know I’m much more than I’m demonstrating, mentally, emotionally, physically, I’m more than what my life is showing right now.
I made a decision in that moment to just alter my life forever. I decided to change virtually every aspect of my life. I decided I would never again settle for less than I could be. Who would’ve guessed this decision would bring me to such an incredible moment now?
I know I’ll never forget the day that it really hit me that I was truly living my dream. I was flying my jet helicopter from a business meeting in Los Angeles, traveling to Orange County, on the way to one of my seminars, and as I flew over the city of Glendale, California, I suddenly recognized a large building. And I stopped the helicopter and hovered above. And as I looked down, I realized this was the building that I’d worked in as a janitor a mere 12 years ago. In those days, I’d been concerned about whether my 1960 Volkswagen would hang together for the 30 minute trip to work. My life had been focused on, how am I gonna survive? I felt alone and I felt fearful, but that day, as I hovered there in the sky, I thought, what a difference a decade can make. I did have a dream back then, but at the time I seemed like it would never be realized.
Today, though, I’ve really come to believe that all my past failures, all my frustrations were actually just laying the foundation for the understandings that’ve created the new level of work I now enjoy. Finally, we reached Irvine, California, and as I began to look below, I was a little disturbed when I saw that the off-ramp to my seminar was jammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic for more than a mile. I thought to myself, boy, I hope whatever else is going on tonight gets started soon, so the people coming to my seminar can arrive on time. But as I started to descend down to the helipad, I began to see a brand new picture. Thousands of people being held back by security just where I was about to land. Suddenly, I began to grasp the reality. The traffic jam had been caused by people coming to my event. When I walked in the arena from the landing pad, I was surrounded by hundreds of people who wanted to give me a hug or tell me how my work had positively impacted their lives. And as I looked out on the audience, I saw 5,000 smiling, cheering, loving faces. And at that moment I realized, I am living my dream. No matter how bad your life is, the first thing you should do is to help somebody else, who’s worse off, because it’ll put everything in perspective.
I don’t care how bad it is. You’re missing a leg, you lost your job. The way outta that is to strengthen your mind, read, feed your mind, but go help somebody else. I feed two million people a year, because somebody found my family when I was 11 years old. And that pride just doesn’t go away. Everybody wants a change, but nobody wants to work out. Everybody wants muscle, but nobody wants to train. We don’t realize that the process of training ourselves, the process of conditioning ourselves actually feels incredible, once you get that initial momentum. You gotta decide you’re gonna commit to mastery. The only thing that’s gonna make you happy, my friend, in this year or any other, is to step up.”