As many of my readers know, I volunteer a substantial amount of my time – up to a month each year – in support of various seminars put on by Tony Robbins. I don’t do it for the money, because, well, it isn’t a paying gig. I do it for my own personal growth opportunities, but more because I see what an amazing difference his seminars make in people’s lives. I have seen him perform many suicide interventions, and even done a couple myself. I have seen him save relationships that were on the ropes, businesses that were struggling, and people with issues in their pasts affecting their lives today.
This year (December 2015) at Date With Destiny, Robbins introduced some new material, and I thought you might enjoy hearing about it. If you make the One Decision, this simple process can dramatically improve the quality of your life and relationships. I hope you find it as valuable as I did.
Robbins started out by asking us to remember a time when we had a truly magnificent experience; a time in our lives when things were going extremely well, or just an instant, a moment, when we were really happy. Once we had an event in mind, he asked us to write down the emotions we were feeling at the time, and a tiny bit of the circumstance surrounding the event. After doing two or three of these, he then asked us (as painful as it sounds) to recall an event that was the opposite – a time when things were really bad. Some folks, as you might guess, had some awful things happen in their pasts. These are usually easier to recall than the magnificent times, unfortunately. Again, he asked us to write down what we were feeling at the time.
The interesting observation that he made was, for most of us, the magnificent events were about a group, about “we”, not about “I”. We were there, but most often the magnificence was about being with, or celebrating with, or contributing to others. Doing something for ourselves and others. And the crappy times were almost exclusively about “me” or “I”. That’s not the whole point of the exercise, but it is a part of it, and an interesting observation. Robbins maintains that to be truly happy we must be contributing to something larger than ourselves, whether it is in our businesses, our lives, or our relationships. Being self-centered or selfish doesn’t work, and we all know that. But it runs deep! I know one of my magnificent times was when I was able to do something nice for a friend of mine who could basically have anything he wanted – I found something I knew he would enjoy, and put it together for him. My joy came from watching him enjoy himself. And, that’s how my relationships work, too. I derive pleasure and satisfaction from helping others; it is just how I am wired; and I think it is how many of us are wired.
Robbins says that we can make a decision, choose to be in a magnificent state all the time. As with anything, it is not simple, and repeated practice makes it permanent. You don’t go to the gym one time and have a great workout, and then expect to be in shape the rest of your life; it is the constant training of the muscles (or the mind, or our emotions) that lead to a great physique, mental acumen, or emotional strength. Growing up I admired Mr. Spock from Star Trek, somehow being emotionless seemed cool. Robbins teaches that emotions are everything – everything that is important about being human, anyway – and I think he is right. I have been going to his events as a volunteer for the better part of 10 years, and the emotional development has been a large part of my growth path. Not just in understanding them, but in controlling them – we get to choose how we feel in a given moment – we get to choose how we respond, and how we feel about, events that happen to us in life. This is perhaps the most important thing he teaches. And yes, it is difficult at first, because all our lives, most of us just respond to events without thinking about them. Even those of us with appropriate training and practice still struggle at times, to make ourselves feel something constructive rather than destructive, when a challenging event occurs.
Robbins says there are just three things that cause suffering: Loss – Loss of the fulfillment of our needs; Less – Less fulfillment; and Never. The belief that because of this event, you will _never_ be able to … or because of this, now I will _never_ …
And we can be creators of our lives rather than managers of our circumstances. Which are you? This particular statement was particularly on point for me this year, because I have been struggling with an NLP concept wherein we are called to be “at cause” rather than “at effect”. (In fact I wrote this down as one of my outcomes at the event this year – to figure this out – How interesting that Robbins addressed it directly!) Do we work at the cause of our lives, or at the effect of the stuff going on around us? If we are at Effect, or busy managing our circumstances, then we are not living the meaningful lives we could be living. If we create our destiny, if we operate mostly at the cause of our lives, then we can have a more powerful and pleasant existence. If we choose, in each moment, to live in a magnificent state, we will make better decisions, in everything. Stock traders who have a happier home life make better trading decisions. (You could argue that because they make better trading decisions they have a happier home life, but the two tend to feed on each other anyway, and studies have shown that it is the happiness that causes the results, and not the other way around, at least initially.)
Robbins talks about the Science of Achievement and the Art of Fulfillment. Achievement requires a laser focus, taking massive action, effective execution, and grace. (Grace – There is a bit of being in the right place at the right time, call it what you want.) But fulfillment is an art. We need to figure out how we each individually feel fulfilled. Robbins devotes his entire 6 day Date With Destiny to helping people discover this. Figuring out what you felt during a magnificent experience is a great start; there are lots of ways you can recall those feelings, and own them. Relive the event, relive other events, just decide to think the way you were thinking then — there are many ways. So first, find a way to reach those feelings and anchor them in. [Google NLP Anchor to learn about how to connect a specific physiological trigger with an emotional state — very useful but beyond what I want to talk about here]. Once you have a way to access these magnificent emotions, use it! Set a timer, if you must. One thing I have done in the past, is I had an issue with my posture, with how I carried myself. So I spent quite a bit of time making myself stand up straight, shoulders back, hands not in my pockets (!!) and then I would catch myself reverting back to a crappy physiology. So I decided that every time I walked through a doorway, any doorway, I would do a “physiology check”. It is natural now, and I don’t even think about it. It was odd, for awhile, because I would visibly change as I walked through a door, or even part of a hallway that went from one area to another that had an indentation that looked like a door.
We can do the exact same thing with the magnificent state. Find something you do all the time, and add that state to it. Whether it is taking a sip of water, or standing up from your desk or a chair, or even taking a deep breath – associate all the magnificent emotions with a simple action you do all the time, and in short order, you will be in a magnificent state most of the time, if not all the time. Sure, we slip, things happen, and when they do, we can stop for a moment and choose how to react to them. We still may become disappointed, or sad, or something else, for a moment, but we can choose to immediately go back to that magnificent state.
This is the One Decision we can make. We can choose to live life in a magnificent state. We will attract a better class of friend, we will be more trusted, we will be better negotiators, we will make better decisions. I made a commitment to do this, right then when I heard Robbins talk about the One Decision.
Will you join me?