“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” — Winston Churchill
How does Tony Robbins change lives around the world?
If you want to change your life, you have to change your strategy, you have to change your story, and you have to change your state.
In the book, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, Tony Robbins shares approach for changing lives, including his own.
Changing Your Strategy
To change your strategy, model the best. Work backwards from what works. As Tony Robbins would say, “success leaves clues.” If you start from scratch, you’re doing it wrong. Leverage the lessons from the school of hard knocks that others have already figured out for you. This saves you time, and it helps you find paths and approaches that actually work.
“I’ve spent the past 38 years relentlessly focusing on finding strategies and tools to immediately change the quality of people’s lives. I’ve been successful and impacted over 50 million people in 100 countries because I’m obsessed with finding simple strategies that quickly lead to breakthroughs–breakthroughs in relationships, in finances, in careers, in growing businesses, in mind, body, and soul.
I’ve always believed the best way to get a result, the fastest way, is to find someone who has already accomplished what you’re after, and model his or her behavior. If you know someone who used to be overweight but has kept himself fit and healthy for a decade, model that person! You have a friend who used to be miserable in her relationship and now is passionate and in love for ten years going? Model her. You meet someone who started with nothing and has developed wealth and sustained it through time? Learn from those strategies! These people aren’t lucky. They’re simply doing something different than you are this area of life.”
“I’ve spent my entire life as a human of hunter excellence. So to find a strategy that works, you go to the best; those who have proven results for the long term. And if you follow their strategies–if you sow the same seeds, then you’ll reap the same rewards. This is the essence of what I mean when I say, ‘Success leaves clues.’”
“The other thing the right strategy can do is save you the most valuable resource of all: time. If you start with a proven plan, the right strategy, you can literally convert decades of struggle into days of achievement. You can avoid the inevitable frustration that comes with learning something for the first time by trial and error. Instead, you can get results in days, instead of years, by learning from people who have achieved success already. Why reinvent the wheel?”
Strategy Alone Is Not Enough
Strategy alone doesn’t work because it’s possible you have the wrong strategy, or you have a limiting story that prevents you from taking action.
“Why not? There are two key challenges to thinking that strategy alone can change your life. First, too often people have the wrong strategy, which inevitably ends in disappointment. You’re trying to lose weight by eating 500 calories a day–which, of course, isn’t sustainable. Or you’re sure you’re going to get rich off one hot stock–highly unlikely.”
“Where do most people go to learn strategy? Where do we look for advice and guidance? Too often from someone who isn’t successful in the very area we want to improve! How often do people get relationship advice from friends who are in lousy relationships themselves? Or fitness advice from a friend who struggles with his weight, too? How many people hear the message reinforced that they can’t change their body? Why that message? Because they’re surrounded by friends for family who aren’t fit. The same is true for financial advice. Looking to someone who has not developed real wealth is a recipe for disaster. It simply reinforces the belief that nothing will work. It’s not that nothing will work–it’s that these strategies won’t work.”
Change Your Story
If you want to get results, you need to change your story. Stories are what drive us day-to-day, and they are what inspire us to action, or prevent us from moving a muscle.
“Without the right strategy, you will fail. And when you fail, you develop a lousy story: ‘My Wife will never be satisfied.’ ‘I’ll never lose the weight.’ ‘The only people who make money are the ones who already have money.’ Those limiting stories keep us from finding the right strategies, or, even if we have the right strategies, from executing them.”
“Do you know anyone like that? You put the answer right in front of their very eyes, and they still say, ‘No, that will never work because …’ They’ll tell you a million reasons why it won’t work–they’ve got every excuse in the book. So if the right strategies are there in front of us, why aren’t people using them? Why are they still not achieving their goals? Why is it so hard to maintain a passionate relationship or lose the weight once and for all? Are 70% of Americans overweight because the strategy for becoming thin, fit, and healthy is really so complex? Is the information hidden and only available to the 1% or incredibly expensive? Hell, no. The answers are available everywhere: There’s a gym with someone who can instruct you within a short drive. (God forbid we were to walk there.) There are trainers all over the world, some of which will coach you online, wherever you are! The web is filled with free advice, and, of course, there are thousands of books on fitness and weight loss available for you to download right now to your iPad or smartphone. You have to work to avoid finding the strategies for becoming fit, strong, and healthy.”
Why We Don’t Take Action
We’re human. We’re not robots. Our stories matter.
“So what’s the real problem? The answer is: we have to bring in the human factor. I always say that 80% of success in life is psychology and 20% is mechanics. How else do you explain how someone can know what he needs to do, wants to do it, has the right strategy to get it done, and still not take action? To solve this riddle, we have to delve into the psychology of individuals: the values, beliefs, and emotions that drive us.”
We Create Limiting Stories
It’s easy to come up with limiting stories when our strategy or lack of action doesn’t work.
“When someone has the right strategy in front of her, and she still doesn’t success, it’s because she’s missing the second key to a breakthrough: the power of story. If you’re not taking action and the answer is sitting there in front of you, there’s only one reason: you’ve created a set of beliefs that you’ve tied into a story–a story about why it won’t work, why it can’t work, why it only works for other people. It’s only for the rich, the thin, the lucky, the happy in relationships. It’s easy to come up with a limiting story.”
Limiting Stories Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
We get what we expect, from ourselves, from others, and from life.
“So why bother to take action on a strategy that you ‘know’ will fail? Well, strategy here isn’t the problem. Your story is. A half-hearted approach that says, ‘It might work, or it might not …’–of course it won’t! That belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. With a disempowering story, failure is nothing less than guaranteed. Which, of course, only reinforces your belief that nothing will work. And so the cycle continues.”
People Who Make Change Happen, Change Their Story
The people that make changes that stick, create compelling stories for themselves and for their world. They use stories to create possibility and to empower them to take action.
“But the people who make change happen, who get stuff done, who accomplish, who shift, who grow, who learn, they take their strategy and attach a new story to it: a story of empowerment, a story of ‘I can and I will’ instead of ‘I can’t and I won’t.’ It goes from being a story of limiting to a story of empowerment: ‘I will not be one of the many who can’t, I will be one of the few who do.’
You can use or story, or your story can use you. Everybody has got an empowering story if he or she wants to find it. What’s wrong with your life is just as easy to find as what’s right with your life, when your story changes. If your relationship isn’t working out, all the good guys are gone, or they’re gay and you’re not. Or you’re gay and they’re not. There’s always a story, right? Stories control our emotions, and emotions drive all of our behavior and actions.”
Change Your Story, Change Your Life
You can make anything happen if you change your story.
“Change your story, change your life. Divorce the story of limitation and marry the story of the truth, and everything changes. I can tell you: when you get rid of the limiting stories, take massive action, and find the strategies that work, the results you can create are truly miraculous.”
Your Story Changes Your Outlook
Changing your story changes how you see your world, and it changes how you see yourself. You can use your stories to redefine yourself and re-imagine what’s possible.
“It’s hard to change your story when you’re in a lousy state. If you feel like hell, you don’t think to yourself, ‘Life is beautiful!’ Have you ever been really angry with somebody, and suddenly you remembered every freaking thing that person ever did to irritate or annoy you? When you go into an angry state, it switches on the part of your brain that supports that state, and the story that keeps you there quickly appears.
By contrast, if you’ve ever fallen head over heels in love, can you remember how the world looked? it was like looking through rose-colored lenses: everything was wonderful, right? Rude clerks didn’t bother you; crying babies seemed cut. That’s how a positive state can change your outlook–your story.”
Change Your State
If you don’t change your state, you can stay stuck. You’ll play the same broken record over and over again in your head. If you want to break out of being stuck, then change your state to create new options and new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.
“Your mental and emotional state colors your perception and experience of everything in life. When I work with anyone–from world-class athletes to high-powered executives–we change his or her state first. There’s a part of you that, when it’s turned on, can make anything happen; but when it’s turned off, the world is dead. You know what I’m talking about don’t you? you know when you get on a roll, and everything flows just perfectly without your even having to think about it? You ace the tennis shot. You say exactly the right thing in the meeting or walk out of the negotiation with exactly what you wanted. On the other hand, we’ve also all experiences the opposite: we couldn’t remember our home address, the name of our dinner host, or spell the word ‘the’. I call that the stupid state. But a few minutes later, it comes to you, you remember the answer because you get in a different state.”
By Changing Your Body First, You Can Change Your Mind
The fastest way to change your emotional and physical state is to change your body. You can change your breathing, you can change your posture, you can move in a new way. Hold yourself high. Breathe as if you had full confidence. Move it like you mean it.
“I teach many ways to create immediate change in your state, but one of the simplest ways is to change what I call your physiology. You can change the way you think by changing the way you move and breathe. Emotion is created by motion. Massive action is the cure to all fear. Think about it, fear is physical. You feel it in your mouth, in your body, in your stomach. So is courage, and you can move from one to another in a matter of milliseconds if you learn to make radical shifts in the way you move, breathe, speak, and use your physical body. I’ve used these insights for almost four decades to turn around some of the world’s greatest peak-performance athletes, financial traders, and business and political leaders.”
Own your life by owning your strategies, stories, and states.
Model the best, tell yourself a new story that empowers you, and move in new ways that create powerful states for personal change and transformation.
You’ll soon find new ways to be all that you’re capable of.
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Image by Premnath Thirumalalsamy.