Book notes: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Awaken the Giant Within book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Awaken the Giant Within (abridged) by Anthony Robbins

Synopsis: “Anthony Robbins already has unlocked the personal power inside millions of people worldwide. Now in this revolutionary new audio production based on his enormously popular Date with Destinyβ„’ seminars, Robbins unleashes the sleeping giant that lies within all of us — teaching us to harness our untapped abilities, talents and skills.

The ultimate program for improving the quality of every aspect of your life — personal or business, physical or emotional — Awaken the Giant Within gives you the tools you need to immediately become master of your own fate.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts: Tony Robbins always delivers. I’ve had this book on my list for awhile now, but kept putting it off because I don’t like reading the abridged version of anything. I figured that based on the reviews, I’m sure it would deliver value and cover some of the main points of the full version. At the same time, I felt I needed something short to offset Open, which was 18 hours long.

Key ideas/notes:

  • Man is born to live, and not to prepare to live
  • Men are not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men
  • It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped
  • Take control of our consistent actions to shape your destiny
  • Q: What precedes all our actions? What determines what actions we take, and therefore who we become and what our ultimate destination is in life?
    • A: Decisions.
  • When you make a commitment to your decisions, they become real and powerful
  • It’s imperative to decide what results you’re committed to, and equally critical to decide what kind of person you are committed to becoming
  • You have to set standards for what you consider to be acceptable behavior for yourself and decide what you should expect from those you care about
  • Set and live by the standards no matter what happens
  • Making a true decision means cutting off any other possibility
  • Decision making, like any other skill you focus on improving, gets better the more often you do it
  • Three decisions in particular to pay attention to:
    • 1) Your decision about what to focus on in each moment that you’re alive. That decision shapes how you think, what you feel, and what you do
    • 2) What things mean to you
    • 3) What should I do now?
      • It’s not what’s happening to you right now or what’s happened to you in the past that determines who we become, rather it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny
  • The Niagara syndrome:
    • Most people jump into life like a river not really knowing where they want to end up. So they get caught up in the current: current events, current fears, current challenges. When they come come to forks in the road, they just go with the flow of the river
    • They are directed by the environment and not their values. As a result they feel out of control. They’ll soon find themselves 5 feet from Niagara Falls without an oar and eventually fall in some sort of way
    • Whatever challenges you’re facing right now most likely could have been avoided by better decisions upstream
  • 4-step process to achieving success (Ultimate Success Formula):
    • 1) Clearly decide what you want. What is it that you are absolutely committed to achieving?
    • 2) Take action, take massive action to make it happen
    • 3) Notice what’s working and what’s not working
    • 4) When things aren’t working, change your approach continually until it does work and you achieve what you truly want
  • The minute you make a new decision, you set in motion a new cause-effect direction and destination for your life. A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action
  • The hardest step in achieving anything is making a true commitment, a true decision. Carrying out your commitments is often easier than making the decision that leads to them. Make your decisions intelligently but make them quickly
  • Critical rule: never leave the scene of a decision without first take a specific action towards its realization
  • Make decisions often. The more decisions you make, the better you’re going to get. Muscles get stronger with use and so does your decision-making
  • Learn from your decisions, don’t beat yourself into the ground because of failure or mistakes
  • Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach
    • Cultivate the art of flexibility
  • Enjoy making decisions, a single decision you make can cause the flood gates to open and drastically change your life
  • Everything we do, we do for a reason, even if that reason is not conscious. We do everything out of our need to avoid pain or gain pleasure
  • Procrastination is simply what happens when you know you should do something but don’t. Why? Because you link more pain to taking action than putting it off
    • Procrastination means putting off the pain
  • When we link pain to the past, present, and the future, we have a threshold that can quickly propel us to take action and make immediate changes
    • The problem is most of us decide what to do based on what is going to give us pleasure and pain in the short-term instead of the long-term
  • In order to succeed, most of the things you value most require us to break through the wall of short-term pain in order to have the long-term pleasure in the first place. Combined with the fact that it is not an actual pain that drives us but really our fear that something will lead to pain
  • The most important and effective thing you can do is changing what you link pain and pleasure to in order to take action
  • Anytime you experience a significant amount of pain or pleasure, either emotionally or physically, your brain immediately searches for a cause. Once your brain discovers the cause-effect relationship, it links that association in your nervous system so that it becomes a warning signal so you don’t experience that pain
  • False neural associations: when you create false cause and effect relationships within your nervous system and brain
  • We have the ability as humans to consciously override our experiences and rewrite what causes pain and pleasure for us
    • Anyone who has succeeded in life has learned to override their conditioning
  • Anytime you’re in a peak state, whether it be positive or negative, be careful of what you focus on consistently while you are in that state because whatever you notice while you’re in that state will get linked neurologically
  • The truth will eventually emerge if you continue to question the false associations that have limited your life in the past
  • Assume the power to change what you link pain and pleasure to. The foremost power is awareness, changing behavior in the short-term will create short-term results. You must change the cause
  • Beliefs are what makes the difference between a lifetime of joy and contribution, and one of misery and devastation
  • Belief is simply a feeling of certainty about what something means. It’s a feeling that’s supported by something we call references, by life experiences that hold that belief up
  • All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in our beliefs
  • Get your brain to associate enough massive pain to your old belief and it’ll certainly change in a heartbeat
    • Then associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new empowering belief
  • Another strategy is to create doubt in your current disempowering beliefs
  • If you question anything enough, eventually you will begin to doubt it
  • Use real life examples of pain to create an experience that will change your beliefs into a conviction which will help you keep and maintain it
  • Take action. Each action you take strengthens your commitment and raises the level of your emotional intensity and conviction
  • “What will it cost me and what kind of pain will it give me to keep holding onto these limiting beliefs I have?”
  • Ask yourself: “what will I have to believe in order to be successful in this situation?”
  • Joke: how many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: One. But it’s very expensive, takes a long time, and the lightbulb has to want to change
  • You can change anything about your life instantly with the right technology and the right strategy
  • Every change you’ve ever made in your life only took a moment. What took time was getting yourself to a point where you finally did whatever was necessary to make it happen
  • Science of Neuro-Associative Conditioning (NAC)
  • We all want to change two things: how we feel about something or our behaviors
  • Our cultural programming teaches us that changing significant problems quickly is impossible, because to change quickly means we never had the problem at all. It’s not change that takes time, it’s getting ready to change that does
    • Decide what you really want and what’s preventing you from having it
      • What you focus on is what you get, focus on what you want. The more specific you can be about it the more clarity you will have and the more power you’ll command to achieve what you want more rapidly
    • To get true leverage, ask yourself pain inducing questions. Then use pleasure associating questions to help you link those positive feelings to the idea of changing so you really want it
    • Create a new and empowering alternative. You must have an alternative to replace the old behavior
    • Condition the new pattern until it’s consistent
    • Test the new pattern for ecology and effectiveness
  • Your new behavior has to preserve the benefits of your old behavior, or even improve them
  • Many people in life know what they should do but never do it. The reason why is because they’re lacking the drive that only a compelling future can provide
  • Some people think they have no goals but they don’t understand how it works.The human mind is always pursing something if nothing more than the ability to reduce or eliminate pain, or avoid anything that would lead to it
    • Our brains also love guiding us towards pursing anything that could lead to pleasure
  • We all have goals, the problem is we are unconscious in the use of our resources
  • All goal-setting must be followed immediately by the development of a plan with massive and consistent action towards its fulfillment
  • If you have not been able to summon the power to act, it’s merely because you failed to set goals that inspire you
  • What stops you is the unconscious fear of disappointment
  • “Goals are dreams with a deadline”
  • Four areas of goals: personal development goals, career/business/economic goals, adventure or toy goals, and contribution goals
    • Personal growth goals:
      • Things you’d like to learn, limitations you want to overcome, ways you’d like to improve your body, your spirituality, relationship goals, short-term or long-term?
    • Career/business/economic goals:
      • How much do money do you want to make in a year or lifetime, career goals, investment goals, money management goals, how much do you want to spend on travel and adventure, on kids education, on your own toys, professional breakthroughs you’d like to make, what kind of impact do you really want to have?
    • Toys and adventure goals:
      • What you’d like to build or create or purchase, what would be sheer fun and enjoyment, places you want to go, events you’d like to attend, things you’d like to do?
    • Contribution goals:
      • Can be the most compelling goals of all, opportunity to leave your mark, create a legacy that creates a true difference in peoples’ lives, build a shelter, adopt a child, community service and volunteering, create something that will better the world
  • You should have four, master, one-year goals that absolutely excite and inspire you. They should be based on sound compelling, reasons that will drive you forward
    • How would you feel if you’ve mastered and obtained all four of these within one year? Stress the importance of developing strong enough reasons to achieve these goals
  • Assignment: at least twice a day you must rehearse and emotionally enjoyed experience of achieving each one of your most highly valued goals. Every time you do this, you need to create even more emotional joy as you see, feel, hear yourself living your dream
  • Your absolute confidence in these goals will attract the appropriate coaches and role models. People who can guide you into taking the most effective actions to produce the results you want more quickly
    • Instead of the traditional trial and error method, they can help you save time, sometimes decades or more

Closing thoughts: As expected Tony delivers. Even after listening to a ton of Tonys’ other work, I still learned a lot of tactical information relating to what makes us take action and how to set inspiring goals.

Nutshell: Simple and powerful strategies on making decisions, taking action, reconditioning your thinking, and creating effective goals.

Rating: 5/5

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