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!
Robbins explains to us that we have the power to create and design our own destinies. We are the ones that 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.
1. Your Decisions Shape Your Destiny
Ever made a decision in your life that changed the entire course of your life overnight?
I know I have.
I've shared before how my decision to relocate from New Zealand to Singapore have changed my life. I experienced new things, gradually changed my values in life, gained and lost priceless things during the process. Ultimately, I've transformed into a completely different person, living a different course of life. One single decision have changed my life upside down. Can you think of any decisions you've made in the past that caused an abrupt change in your life? Whether it's for the better or worst, such life transforming decisions are never easy to make. I still remember the sleepless nights before my flight to Singapore, convincing myself that I've made the right decision. I knew a lot was at stake because 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? We are emotional creatures and oftentimes we make haste decisions based on feelings and what we believe is right. However, the most trivial decisions we make every single day are just like the ripples in the pond. They have the power to create big changes and put your life in a completely different trajectory. It can be the most littlest things, deciding to put on a smile when you're stressed, deciding to be grateful, deciding to go to bed early, or even deciding to drink more water. All decisions are equally important. Over time, small decisions such as drinking more water will have a profound effect and shape your future; as any big decisions such as deciding to relocate to a new continent would.
Then why is it that we overlook some of the most basic things in life? There are literally thousands of small things you can do every day that will change your life for the better. It's because, in life, lots of people know what to do, but only a few people actually take action. Tony Robbins puts it: "Knowing is not enough! You must take action..., it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny." Below are three different types of decisions that we have to consciously make in order to control our destinies:
- Your decision about what to focus on.
- Your decision about what things mean to you.
- Your decision about what to do to create the results you desire.
You have the power to create and shape your own destiny. It all starts with making the right decisions, one at a time.
2. Emotions Create Motion
If something happens to us, we are immediately influenced and begin to feel in a certain way. We've all felt frustrated when the car fails to start in the morning. You've done nothing wrong and now you are going to be late for work. Feeling annoyed, the entire day seems to go haywire.
Og Mandino states: "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."
Great minds teach us that we should not let external events dictate to us as to how we feel. External events are things that are out of our control. You don't have any control over what some people think of you or your car breaking down unexpectedly. You are responsible for what you feel. You should be the source of your own emotions, not them. 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 determines 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."
"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." (Excerpt taken from the book: Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins)
Tony Robbins describes emotions as "a gift, a guideline, a support system and a call to action." If you can fully embrace and become a master of your own emotions, you will become masters of your 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 to myself 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, mindlessly ignoring the 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?
All decision-making comes down to values 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 blindly, but thankfully in large, I think I've made the right decision. But next time I'm faced with another event that requires decision-making of such magnitude, I'm going to make a decision based on my values that are consistent to what I believe my life is truly about.
"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 I learned from Tony Robbins quite religiously. Today I don't just feel but I know that I'm in charge of my everyday decisions. I'm responsible for what I feel. And indeed, I have the power to shape my own destiny and have full control over my life.
Did you have times where you felt helpless?
Do you get upset and stressed by things that you cannot control?
Or all this time, were you dictated as to what you feel and how you live your life?
Don't be a victim anymore, take responsibility and gain full control over your life and your destiny.