4 Lessons from Self-Improvement Master Tony Robbins
Nearly a decade ago, I purchase a Tony Robbins classic CD set titled “Ultimate Edge”.
Even today, it’s resting comfortably on my bookshelf where it’s more than earned its place.
Over the years, I, as well as many others, have learned a lot from Robbins and his unique teaching style. It’s not easy to become a household name as what is essentially a life coach or self-improvement teacher, but he’s done it better than anyone before him.
With everything I’ve learned since getting that first program of his, it was hard to pin down the most important lessons I’ve learned from his teaching, but I’ve managed to distill down the top four things I’ve taken from everything Robbins has taught me over the years.
The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.
– Tony Robbins
When I got that first CD set, it took me roughly two months to get through it. I went through every CD, every lesson, and every exercise.
It’s been so long that it’s hard to remember everything I’ve taken from it, but since that time I’ve regularly followed Robbins and taken a lot from his various videos, podcasts, and even his Netflix special (which I highly recommend everyone watch).
Some of the below lessons have to do with his teaching principles. However, a lot of it has to do with the example he sets as a human being. That’s been much more influential than anything to me and something I highly respect.
1. Do it now
One of the single most important principles I took from that original CD set is the importance of starting immediately after you set a goal, however small.
In Ultimate Edge, after you finish a lesson, Tony always has you take some sort of immediate action; he does the same thing in his seminars. It doesn’t really matter what it is, the point is just that you start generating energy right away so that you can fully harness the power of momentum.
After you set a goal, pick something small you can execute on, like listing out necessary tasks, purchasing a software, contacting someone important, or asking yourself important questions if you need some clarity. This will help you start generating momentum right away, momentum which you can then build upon over time to accomplish something great.
2. Stop caring what others think
Anyone who has followed Robbins for some time knows that what you see is what you get with him. He’s extremely real and raw and will tell you how it is to your face. He’s often over the top and can be a bit cheesy, but that’s him.
Tony knows who he is and isn’t afraid to be himself. That’s a quality that I really appreciate and something truly rare. But it becomes even more impressive when you consider that he has to weather much heavier criticism than the average person.
If you sit through one of his seminars, he does some funny stuff, but it’s mostly just gimmicky motivational exercises that are necessary to keep everyone’s energy up (also the reason he has seminars– you have to step away from your usual environment) in between the actual work– the exercises, interventions, etc.
But he gets a ton of crap for being some scam artist and is often misunderstood because of this. However, he doesn’t change his process because he knows it works. He doesn’t bend to his critics or what he fears others are thinking of him. He does his own thing.
3. Happiness is found in progress
I always tell people happiness comes in one word: progress.
One of the biggest things I’ve taken from Robbins that has fundamentally influenced how I live my life is his understanding of what makes us happy.
One of the greatest mistakes I’ve found people make in searching out happiness is in thinking that there is some singular thing that, when found, can provide the happiness we so desire.
However, this is a huge misconception about the way that life works. The truth is much more subtle and lies embedded in the very fundamental nature of life itself. Life is ever-changing, always moving. For us to find happiness we must find it in most skillfully adapting to that nature of constant change and movement.
That’s where progress comes in. As life moves on, to focus on moving forward, little by little, fills us with a sense of purpose and fulfillment that nothing else can. And this makes us continually happy provided we’re always working on progressing, however little that might be.
4. Your belief structure is the most important thing
Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.
I’ve learned a lot of great lessons from Tony Robbins, but nothing has been more important than what he’s taught me about our belief system.
Our belief structure has an enormous amount of power. It can both destroy us and lift us up, almost single-handedly resulting in either our happiness and success or regret and failure.
However, I love Tony because he doesn’t just preach motivational posters (“Belief in yourself.”), he offers incredibly specific, time-tested and proven methods (through hundreds of his own students, his exact methods) for changing how you think and act.
One of this favorite ways? Daily affirmations, or what he often calls “incantations” (probably to distance himself from the overuse of the former). Robbins has a highly structured and well-thought-out morning routine, part of which includes a set period of time where you repeat incantations which you’ve pre-written for yourself.
- “I can do this. I have the confidence to stand in front of 100,000 people”
- “I love and appreciate those around me”, and
- “I’m unstoppable. I have an unshakeable resilience that can face any challenge”
While you’re reciting these, Tony often suggests you do some sort of physical activity to get your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping. This isn’t some hype-driven suggestion, though, he knows that connecting the right emotions to these incantations is what really allows them to settle into our subconscious and impact our inner dialogue effectively.
This all might sound a little hoaky, but the reality is, Robbins has shown through his students how effective it really is. This is just one way that he shows others how to rewrite their belief system, but it’s one of my favorite because it offers a simple and accessible strategy for doing so.
Over the years, Tony Robbins has taught me, and many others, a lot about life. Ten years ago, I applied all that I learned through his program and it made a big impact on my life– and continues to do so today.
If you haven’t yet, take some time to explore his knowledge and see what you can learn from him yourself. Nowadays, that’s easier than ever to do for free with podcasts narrated by Tony himself as well as countless YouTube videos of his speeches, interviews, and interventions.