Tony Robbins is an American motivational speaker, personal finance advisor, life coach and self-help guru/author who inspires millions worldwide. His stellar works and achievements are too vast to write, and if you haven't listened to his speeches or read his books yet, it's a definite must. Some of his clientèle includes the likes of Bill Clinton, Hugh Jackman, Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher. If they can learn a thing or two from Tony Robbins, I'm sure you and I can learn a lot from him too!
Tony's main message to us is that we have the power to create and design our own destinies. We are solely responsible for our emotions, actions and decisions, which will in turn shape our destiny. Below are the three key factors taught by Tony Robbins in his book "Awaken the Giant Within", that helped me shape my destiny.
Update March 2018: I have had the privilege of attending Tony Robbin's Unleash the Power Within seminar in Singapore 2018. Since my attendance I've updated and further expanded this article. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Your Decisions Shape Your Destiny
I've shared before how my decision to relocate from New Zealand to Singapore have changed my life. I gained new experiences, my values gradually changed and during the process I gained and lost many priceless things (read more about my relocation here). In hindsight, deciding to move to Singapore have changed my life upside down. I've transformed into a completely different person, living a different course of life.
Can you think of any decisions you've made in the past that caused such a big change? Whether it's for the better or worst, making life transforming decisions are never easy. I still remember the sleepless nights before my flight to Singapore, trying to convince myself that I've made the right decision. I knew a lot was at stake because I knew my decision would change my life.
But what if I told you that it's not only the big decisions that matter in life, but it's also the small ones? The most trivial decisions also have the power to create big changes, setting our lives in a completely different trajectory. They can be the littlest things such as:
- Deciding to put on a smile when you're stressed
- Deciding to be grateful
- Deciding to go to bed early
- Deciding to drink more water
All decisions are equally important. Whether it's a "big" decision such as deciding to relocate to a new country, or "small" such as deciding to drink more water; they all have the power to shape your life over time. Although this may sound like common sense, we never really optimise our decision-making process (more on this later!) We are emotional creatures and our decisions are heavily influenced by our emotions, perceptions (which may or may not be factual) and habits. Therefore it's important to be more aware and take active participation in your decision making processes. You need to steer away from living life on cruise control, if you did, you would be leaving your life's destiny at chance.
Below are Tony's suggestions:
- You need to decide on what to focus on.
- You need to decide what things mean to you.
- You need to decide how you are going to create the results you desire.
Today you decide to take care of your health (focus) because you want to live a life of vitality and energy. You want to be more productive and live life to the fullest (meaning). Therefore you decide to meditate, exercise and go on a diet (how).
It all starts by making a conscious decision and following through that decision. It's our decisions not the conditions of our lives that determine our destiny.
2. Emotions Create Motion
Imagine your car breaking down in the morning. You're done nothing wrong and now you're going to be late for work. You're annoyed and frustrated. Heck, it even turns out to be a bad hair day! You've started the day in the wrong foot and everything seems to go wrong.
External events have the power to influence the way you feel, if you let it. We should not let external events dictate us as to how we feel. External events are out of our control.
"Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts. Today, I will be master of my emotions" - Og Mandino.
You do not have control over what others may think of you nor do you have control over your car breaking down. You are responsible for what you feel and how you feel. You need to be the source of your own emotions. It's important that we fully understand this and become masters of our own emotions, because emotions are the fuel that drives us to take action. How you feel determines what you do and what you do shapes your destiny.
Do you only feel passionate when you're being loved?
Do you only feel successful when you've hit you're sales target?
Do you only feel happy when everything goes right in your day?
You don't have to condition yourself to feel good only when certain things happen to you. Empower yourself to feel amazing without any special reasons! You can just decide to feel good right now, simply because you're alive! Simply because you want to. You can feel any way you choose at any moment in time.
Here's an excerpt from Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins:
"How do we "get" passion? The same way we “get” love, warmth, appreciation, gratefulness, and curiosity—we decide to feel it!
Use your physiology: speak more rapidly, visualize images more rapidly, move your body in the direction you want to go.
Don’t just casually sit and think.
You can’t be filled with passion if you’re slumping over your desk, breathing shallowly, and slurring your speech."
Tony Robbins describes emotions as "a gift, a guideline, a support system and a call to action." If we become masters of our emotions, we can become masters of our actions and destinies.
3. Your Values Create Your Destiny
Have you ever been in a situation when you were torn apart during a tough decision-making process? Let's go back to the decision making process I went through when I was debating whether I should relocate to Singapore or not. The whole process was an internal torture. I was uncertain of many things and found myself asking questions that I did not have the answers to.
Would I be more happy if I moved to Singapore?
Would I be more successful?
What if I failed?
As I look back, there was one major flaw in the process. I was questioning things that were completely out of my control while ignoring my inherent values I had as a person. Instead, the questions I should have asked myself were:
Is it the experience and/or money that makes me happy?
Or do I value my relationships first?
Do I value adventure or am I grateful for the things that I already have?
Successful decision-making comes down to value clarification. "When you know what's most important to you, making a decision is quite simple. Most people, though, are unclear about what's most important in their lives, and thus decision making becomes a form of internal torture."
I ended up moving to Singapore and it's coming to my 4th year as of date. Thankfully, I've never regretted my decision. Next time I'm faced with another event that requires decision-making of such magnitude, I'm going to ask the right questions, Is this coherent to my values?"
"Living and doing what you believe is the right thing will give you that sense of inner strength that we all deserve. Always remember that your values -- whatever they are -- are the compass that is guiding you to your ultimate destiny."
I practice what Tony preaches quite religiously. I don't just feel but I know that I'm in charge of my life. I'm responsible for how I feel and I have the power to shape my own destiny. Starting from today, I hope you do too.
Did you have times where you felt helpless?
Do you get upset and stressed by things that you cannot control?
Think and reassess. Are being dictated as to what you feel and how you live your life?
Don't be a victim anymore. Take full responsibility ands gain control over your life again. Be in charge of your destiny.