Awaken the Giant Within
How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Journey! by Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is probably the most influential figure in the world of personal development. He’s the author of multiple best-selling books, and a sought-after peak performance coach for a wide-range of people—from entrepreneurs and politicians, to athletes and actors—he’s helped a whole lot of folks up their game in life + business. And in Awaken the Giant Within, he lays out some of his best strategies on how you, too, can get the best out of yourself on a daily basis by teaching you how to effectively manage your emotions, your body, your relationships and even your financial situation.
In the book, Tony focuses on the psychology of change and takes you through the actionable steps and lessons necessary for you to learn how to gain control of your own life, shape your destiny in the direction you want to go, and become happier and more successful than you ever thought possible.
Everything you need in order to make lasting changes in life is already within you, the big ideas from this book will simply teach you how to dig the best version of yourself out, and let it help you live up to your full potential.
Here’s what you’ll learn about in this summary:
- How damaging self talk can hold you back from your potential and cause you to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.
- The seven steps you can start taking today to gain control over every area of your life again.
- The benefits of dreaming big and setting goals for the future, and what you can do right now to make those goals a reality.
“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in your life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.” —Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“Remember: Success truly is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is often the result of bad judgment!” —Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“Making a true decision means committing to achieving a result, and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility.” —Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
You can live the life you desire + deserve the moment you DECIDE to do so. —click to tweet
- Decisions: Your Pathway to Power
- Change happens in an Instant
- Learning the Vocabulary of Long-Term Success
- The 10-Day Mental Overhaul
- Using Your Life Values as a Personal Compass
- Expand Your Identity
- Seven Steps to Change Your Life
- Take Charge of Your Destiny
Part 1: Unleash Your Power
1. Decisions: Your Pathway to Power
We all want to live our best lives. That goes without saying. Often times we even spend hours of our time sitting and dreaming about what that ideal future might look like. But, how many of us take the necessary steps to start turning that dream existence into the reality of our future lives?
Tony tells us that we’re always making decisions in life that bring us to where we are today and where we end up in the future. More specifically, he writes about three big decisions that control our ultimate destiny:
- Your decisions about what to FOCUS on.
- Your decisions about what things MEAN to you.
- Your decisions about what TO DO to create the results you desire.
Take a moment to think about a meaningful event that occurred in your life about ten years ago; or think back to some of the big political events that happened in the world about a decade ago…
If you really try to put yourself in the mental place that you were in back then, it can really feel unreal how quickly the time has flown. Poof—just like that, ten whole years have flown by, and it feels like it was just yesterday that you were experiencing that important memory.
Looking forward, ten years can feel like an eternity, but in reality the time sweeps by faster than any of us can comprehend.
But what if you chose to think about time differently?
Rather than allowing it to fly past you without noticing or acknowledging it, you can choose to be intentional about how you want the next ten years to look.
Different actions produce different results, so take the time to form the path you want to travel in the next decade.
Grab your journal, smartphone, or bust out your laptop and write down your answers to the following questions:
- What kind of person do you want to be ten years from now?
- What dreams + goals do you want to accomplish over the next…
- 10 YEARS?
- 5 YEARS?
- 3 YEARS?
- 1 YEAR?
- 6 MONTHS?
- 30 DAYS?
Work backwards from the end goal so that you can see what you need to have accomplished in nine years to get to your goal for ten years, and then eight, and seven and so on until you know exactly what you need to do today to make your goal for the future an obtainable reality.
Tony used this technique when he was at his lowest point — sitting in his tiny apartment, feeling helpless and completely out of control in life. He was overweight and out of shape, his finances were a train wreck, and he really felt like he had nothing to look forward to in life. Learning to focus on the goals that he had and finding a way to work towards them every day was the secret solution that caused him to accomplish more in the next decade than most people could do with several lifetimes.
If you want to live your life at the highest level, but feel like you’re short on resources or skills or anything else — keep in mind that it’s your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.
In other words: you can change your life the moment you decide to do so.
And in the coming Big Ideas, we’ll talk about some successful strategies to help you do exactly that.
2. Change happens in an Instant
“Things do not change; we change.” —Henry David Thoreau
How long does it take to make lasting change in life? Many people assume that it takes years of intense therapy with counselors that dig deep into your childhood history to dig up the pains of your past. But Tony believes that long lasting changes can happen in an instant and simply depend on reshaping your neurological focus so that a negative thought loop is broken.
One way to do that is by tapping into the power of questions.
Here’s how Tony puts it: “Questions immediately change what we’re focusing on and therefore how we feel. If you keep asking questions like, “How come I’m so depressed?” or “Why doesn’t anybody like me?” you will focus on, look for, and find references to back up the idea that there is a reason for you to feel depressed and unloved. As a result, you’ll stay in those unresourceful states. If instead you ask, “How can I change my state so that I am feeling happy and am being more lovable?,” you’ll focus on solutions. Even if your brain initially responds, “There’s nothing I can do,” but … you persist with a sense of certainty and expectation in spite of it all, then eventually you will get the answers you need and deserve. You will come up with authentic reasons for feeling better, and as you focus on them, your emotional state will immediately follow suit.”
At his seminars, Tony regularly brings up people that have deep physical and emotional problems like overeating or smoking, and transforms their behaviors in an instant by making them rethink their damaging habits in a completely new way.
In one instance, a man’s five-year-old daughter begged him to stop smoking so that he could live to see her married. In another, a chocolate addict was required to eat nothing but chocolate until he felt so sick he didn’t want to touch the treat again. In both cases, these men had been struggling to overcome these addictions for years but only found success when their entire mindset was changed in an instant. One of the reasons that people don’t often change their behaviors in an instant is that this goes against our cultural narrative of what change is.
Long-lasting change from bad behaviors to good behaviors is “supposed” to be hard, and oftentimes we don’t believe that change will really be permanent unless there is a struggle involved. Not only is this untrue, claims Tony, it’s actually damaging because it prevents us from moving to action to actually make changes.
To believe that change is possible, it’s important that we internalize the following three messages. Read them. Write them down. Say them aloud. And then do it all again, until you believe that in order to change anything in life, you must recognize that…
- Something MUST change.
- I must change it.
- I CAN change it.
If you internalize these three messages, you’ll be on your way to making massive changes at every level of life.
3. Learning the Vocabulary of Long-Term Success
“A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words… the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.” — Mark Twain
How much credit do you give the words that you use for affecting your life? If you’re like most people, probably not enough.
Not only can words change your emotional state in an instant, they are able to convey complex messages to you that most likely go underneath your conscious mind so that you aren’t even aware of them. When used correctly, words can motivate us and move us and get us to change our behavior dramatically, but when used incorrectly they can stop you from making any positive progress at all.
How can words have so much of an impact? Because words are the way we communicate our feelings to ourselves.
By labeling an emotion as “furious” we are able to put ourselves in a category of feeling where our pulse has quickened, our vision has blurred, and we feel ready to explode at a moment’s notice. Crucially, labeling what once was simply mild anger as rage can actually cause your anger levels to be raised to the level of rage, simply by the suggestion that it is. In this way, the words that we use control the emotional spectrum that we experience. Most people use fewer than a dozen words to describe their emotions in a given week, meaning that they tend to keep themselves emotionally stunted.
If you want to change your emotional states for the better, you need to control the words that you use to describe your feelings. In the book, Tony lays out a number of word substitutions you can use to replace words with negative associations to those with positive ones, such as: “anxious” to “expectant” and “exhausted” to “recharging”. These small changes will affect how you label yourself and allow you to move in a more positive direction emotionally, simply because you won’t be bogged down with the baggage of overly negative and untrue emotions.
4. The 10-Day Mental Overhaul
“Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.” —Nathaniel Emmons
As we’ve already mentioned, creating lasting changes in life can happen in an instant, and changes to your mental mindset can happen just as fast. In his book, Tony has outlined some key ways that you can transform your entire mindset about the state of your life and your own future in just ten days. This plan will prevent you from dwelling on problems and instead focus on solutions that can make your entire life better. To follow this plan, simply follow these four simple rules for the next ten days:
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