#BookNotes: Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins

Below are the notes I took while listening to the audiobook, Awaken the Giant Within, written and narrated by Tony Robbins. I love this book. The principles Robbins advocates in this book are practical and extraordinarily productive. The notes in no way do justice to the book, which I highly recommend reading. They are intended to serve as a supplement to your reading or offer a refresher of this classic. If this is of value, please feel free to check out other book notes with the tag below. Thank you! 

Life is a gift and it affords us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back. 

Decisions are the mother of all actions. Moments of decision shape your destiny.

Saying, “I’d like to do something” is simply expressing a preference. 

You need to set standards and a baseline for what you expect of yourself and what you expect of others. Otherwise, you accept far less than you deserve.  Set and live by these standards, no matter what.

Most people make excuses, not commitments. 

Conditions don't determine your destiny. Decisions do. 

Stating preferences is not making decisions. Making a true decision means cutting off any other possibility. It means committing to achieving a true result. After making a true decision you have a sense of relief. 

Don't leave decisions up to circumstances. 

3 decisions: What to focus on, What things mean to you, What should I do now. 

If people are achieving better results than you in a particular area, they are making different decisions than you are. 

Going with the flow means allowing the environment to dictate where you go rather than your own values. And that creates a feeling of no control because decisions are being directed by the environment.  

Set a plan and have a map. 

4 steps to power:

  • Decide what you want

  • Take action

  • Notice what is working and what isn't

  • Change what isn't working based on results

6 keys to harness decisions

  • Remember the true power of making second

  • Realize the hardest step is making a true commitment; make them intelligently but quickly

  • Make decisions often; muscles get stronger with use

  • Learn from decisions and iterate; always learn

  • Stay committed to decisions but flexible in approach; it's the result that matters

  • Enjoy making decisions; any decision can change your trajectory

Everything we do is born out of avoiding pain or seeking pleasure. Procrastination is putting off the pain. But putting off the pain creates more pain (waiting to pay taxes until April 14th). 

The problem is that we tend to avoid pain or seek pleasure in the short-term rather than look at the long-term. 

The only way to change is to change what you link pain and pleasure to. This means changing the “neuro-associations.” 

It’s important to evaluate any linkages we have to pain or pleasure to determine if they are accurate. 

Focus on the pleasure of taking action and on the pain of not taking action. 

Beliefs can change our bodies in moments. They aren’t benign harmless thoughts. 

A belief is like the legs of a table top. Without the legs, it is just an idea. If you see yourself as a failure, then that belief governs actions and it will mold the life you predict for yourself. 

In order to change your beliefs you need to apply pain pleasure principle. By applying pain to current beliefs and pleasure to new beliefs. Create doubt in your existing beliefs. And build new beliefs. Turn them into convictions. Convictions are even stronger beliefs and can be used as a force of good (or bad). Look for experiences to reinforce beliefs and turns them into convictions. And then take action on it. 

What are your empowering beliefs? What are your beliefs that are disempowering? 

Who is succeeding in a particular area you’d like to succeed in and what do you need to do to do the same?  

Beliefs can create meaningful change or they can smother any hope you have for the future. 

Change doesn’t need to take a long time, be expensive, or be painful. You can change anything with the right strategy. 

NAC: Neuro Associative Conditions (training). 

The first belief we need is that we can change now. You have to believe that. Change doesn’t take time. Getting ready to change takes time. Change can happy immediately. The second belief we need is that we’re responsible for our own change. We have to see ourselves as the source and agent of change. No one else. 

6 Master Steps to Change: How to change beliefs

  1. Decide what you really want and what’s preventing you from having it now. The more you focus on what you don’t want you’ll just get more of it. You get what you focus on. The more clarity you get the better off you are.

  2. Get leverage. Start associating massive pain to not changing and associating pleasure to changing now. Create a sense of urgency we are compelled to follow through on right now. Whether we will do it is a matter of motivation. Ask yourself pain inducing questions: What will happen if I don’t do “x,” What am i missing out on by not changing, etc. Then start asking pleasure inducing questions: How happy could I be if I changed “x”?

  3. Interrupt the limiting pattern. It’s not enough to know what we want and we can’t keep doing the same things. We have to change things in order to get change. Do something you (or someone) doesn’t expect. Do something crazy to change your state of mind or that of the people around you.

  4. Create a new empowering alternative. Critical to creating long-term change. For example, if you are quitting smoking, you need an alternative to relax. Or replace depression with helping others.

  5. Condition the new pattern until it’s consistent. This is how you ensure a change you made lasts long-term. Don’t just condition yourself initially. Set up a schedule to reinforce it regularly. Link pleasure to the new behavior regularly. Set up short-term goals and milestones. Link the pleasure to the behavior that is occurring now. It’s not a logical association. It’s an emotional one.

  6. Test the new pattern for ecology and effectiveness. The new system needs to work in a variety of environments - personal, business, health, etc. Make sure the new beliefs fit your values and principles.

Most people are caught up making a living rather than designing a life. Most goals are “pay off debt” or “increase pay” or something. All goal setting must be followed by developing a plan and starting to act. Do you have a list of goals of the physical, spiritual, financial, goals, or are you afraid of not achieving them. 

Be flexible and open to change. Change the approach. But not the vision.