Library / Personal Development | Human Psychology

Date of review: April 2020
Book author: Tony Robbins
Вook published: 1991

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins (1991)

Tony Robbins' books have a lot of energy and he is one of the biggest names in coaching, having worked with the greatest athletes and businessmen. I thought I should at least make sure I didn't miss any important piece of wisdom, so I decided to read one of his books. The big advantage of this book is that it is quite short and can be read in less than 2 hours.

What is your goal, what plan do you have? Take action, now

Often, you are left with mixed feelings after reading so-called 'self-help' books - all pieces of advice seem exactly right, you fully agree with the messages, feeling energised and ready to rock. Yet, shortly after you close the book (normally the next day), when you try to recap the key points from the book, you cannot really come up with anything. All thoughts that come to mind are obvious, and you are sure you knew them before you read the book. The sad feeling of wasted time (and money) take hold of you.

It is not uncommon for quite a few people to just completely ignore such types of books. Occasionally, I feel the same way, especially when I try to remind myself that execution and small steps that you take every day are crucial for any success, much more than grand vision or inspiration.

Nevertheless, I still occasionally go back to reading such books. Two types of books I find most useful. Those that deal with specific habits and practical advice or written by people who have achieved something remarkable (often overcoming unique challenges).

Some of the thoughts and ideas that I got from this book

  • Power comes from focus. Focus is often mentioned by other big achievers, including Bill Gates (who spent weeks locked on just writing one software, it was make or break moment of his whole life, at least professional life) and Warren Buffett.

  • Decisions should be followed by action. Tony makes a big emphasis on the action, which is understandable but really depends only on you. No one can take this action. So perhaps a helpful technique would be writing reminders, asking friends to remind you about how much time/efforts you spent today, this week, month on doing specific things.

  • Commitment before any decision is made.

  • Make decisions more often, grow your muscles, learn from your decisions.

3 key decisions to make

    What to focus on at every point of life?
    What does it mean for me now and future?
    What should I do?

    Work out a plan, have a goal/values, not just solve various problems all the time

    4 step process for achieving success:

    1. Clearly decide what you want.
    2. Take Action.
    3. Notice what's working and what's not.
    4. Change what's not working until it's working.

    All decisions are either to gain pleasure or avoid pain. Important to link pain and pleasure to the right causes. You should create pain of NOT taking action

    6 master step process from pain to pleasure to produce action:

    1. Decide what you really want in life and what prevents you from having it now.
    2. Get leverage using 'pain'. Ask pain inducing questions like what it costs me not to take action
    3. Then start asking pleasure-related questions - if I do change how I would feel, what I could accomplish.
    4. Do something that is not expected, radical. Interrupt your pattern. Disrupt bad patterns.
    5. Find new patterns to replace your old habits.
    6. Condition the new pattern until it's consistent. Rehearse it. Give yourself presents to celebrate the first steps. Immediate rewards

    A useful technique to break down patterns

    Get rid of thoughts that bother you by imagining the situation as if you are watching a movie, then press 'Backward' and 'Forward' buttons several times, watch the movie backwards, watch it in a different colour, add funny music, funny pieces to key participants (like moustache, new haircut, big sunglasses, different clothes), change scenery, add rainbow... Better than analysing Why and What if ...

    To conclude, no book can help you if you don't take real action, but occasionally, you need such books to remind yourself of that. What is your goal, what plan do you have? Take action, now.

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