Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins is an inspiring read about how to live a happier, healthier more fulfilling life. In the book, Robbins discusses how to empower yourself by taking control of your emotions, values and beliefs.
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- BOOK SUMMARY
- FIVE AREAS OF LIFE
- MAKING DECISIONS AND TAKING ACTION
- EMOTIONS OF POWER
- Part 2 – Strategies From: Taking Control—The Master System
- Part 3 – Tools From: The Seven Days to Shape Your Life
- Part 4 – Secrets From: A Lesson in Destiny
Who is this summary for?
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins is an inspiring read about how to live a happier, healthier more fulfilling life. In the book, Robbins discusses how to empower yourself by taking control of your emotions, values, and beliefs. Absolutely everyone can benefit from reading this book.
It would be surprising if you haven’t heard of Tony Robbins before. Robbins is considered to be the number one life and business strategist. He travels all over the world prevention motivational talks and considers himself an entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. Robbins is perhaps best known for his on-stage presence and chemistry, he’s extremely influential and has touched the lives of many, many people. Robbins is the author of six international best-selling books.
In this summary
Robbins book has 4 key parts that this summary will cover. First, part 1 – Insights From: Unleash Your Power, will cover 5 key areas of your life, emotional, physical, relationship, financial and time. Part 2 – Strategies From: Taking Control, will cover life values and identity. Part 3 – Tools From: The Seven Days to Shape Your Life, will cover and emotional, relationship and time exercise. Finally, part 4 -Secrets From: A Lesson in Destiny, will discuss the importance of giving and contribution.
Part 1 – Insights From: Unleash Your Power
Robbins has three key steps for creating long-lasting change.
- Raise your standards. The only way you can expect to make a significant change is if you start to expect and demand more of yourself.
- Change your limiting beliefs. Our belief system is a fundamental part of our lives and the real driver behind any change we want to make. If your beliefs are limiting you, it’s time to take control and change them.
- Change your strategy. This is the final piece of the puzzle, Robbins explains that if you are holding yourself to a higher standard and you believe you can do it, then you’ll figure out the best strategy. Consider the result you desire and the best strategy to get there. What you are currently doing clearly isn’t working.
FIVE AREAS OF LIFE
Robbins explains that a fundamental part of improving your life and understanding yourself better can be done in two ways. First you need to identify what drives you to do the things you do, and secondly, you need to understand what prompts the emotions you feel. Robbins aims to help you analyse these emotions and classify them as either empowering or disempowering. Both kinds of emotions can be used to your advantage if they are channeled correctly.
Physical health is so important, Robbins explains that it’s about much more than just your physical appearance. If your health is good, you’ll feel better and have the satisfaction of feeling like you are in control of your body and your life. With a healthy and thriving body, you are able to achieve whatever you want.
Relationships are one of the most important parts of our lives and learning how to connect with those close to you is something that can be so rewarding. Robbins explains that everyone has the desire to connect with people deeply and have the feeling that you’ve made an impact on someone’s life.
Robbins points out that anyone living in a capitalist society is at a huge advantage. This is the kind of society that enables you to pursue your dreams and goals. Robbins explains that if you learn how to push beyond making ends meet and simply surviving, then you’ll have the kinds of success you’ve dreamed of.
Robbins explains a critical concept when it comes to time: short-term evaluations can lead to long-term pain. It’s important to understand where you are planning to go to have a clear picture of all potential outcomes when you come up with your strategy. By mastering your time, Robbins explains that it will become clear to you that too many people overestimate what is possible to achieve in one year, but they also underestimate what can be done in a decade.
MAKING DECISIONS AND TAKING ACTION
Robbins explains that the only way to really shape your lives in the way you want is to take control and take action. It’s important to understand that when faced with the same situation, different people will likely take different actions. And it’s inevitable that the different actions will have different outcomes.
”The three decisions that control your destiny are:
Your decisions about what to focus on.
Your decisions about what things mean to you.
And your decisions about what to do to create the results you desire.”
Robbins acknowledges that we are all constantly chasing happiness. He believes that one way to make sure you can maintain a sense of happiness is to make the decision to accept whatever life provides at the moment you are currently living. Don’t waste time waiting for something different. Robbins truly believes that there is nothing that you are not capable of, provided you follow a few simple steps:
- Make the decision to commit entirely to whatever it is you want to achieve.
- Be ready and willing to take radical action.
- Understand what is and isn’t working.
- Update and amend your strategy until you get the result you are after. And do so using whatever it is that life provides you.
Pain & Pleasure
”The most important lesson we learn in life is what creates pain for us and what creates pleasure. This lesson is different for each of us and, therefore, so are our behaviours.”Click To Tweet
Everyone has their own individual associations with what causes them pain and pleasure. Robbins explains that activities linked to any kind of pain is something that people will spend their lives trying to avoid. Robbins explains that we can use this to our advantage when trying to implement a change in our lives. Pain and pleasure are both powerful forces that can be channeled to promote positive change. If you have an old behaviour you want to change, you can attach pain in some way to the old behaviour. And when trying to adopt a new behaviour, ensure that you attach pleasure to this. Continue with this until you find consistency. Robbins explains that it’s effective when done together because we are more inclined to avoid the pain than we are to seek out pleasure.
”So often we’re seduced into believing that events control our lives and that our environment has shaped who we are today. No greater lie was ever told. It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.”
Too often we assume that our beliefs are fixed, this is not the case. Robbins points out that when we change our beliefs, we can experience personal breakthroughs. When wanting to change our beliefs, the best way to do it is to associate pain with the old belief. Just as we discussed in the previous section, it’s important to relate your old beliefs to considerable pain.
”You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief caused you pain in the past, but it’s costing you pleasure in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future.”
Robbins explains to truly believe in something, you must have no doubts or questions. When you start to question your beliefs, it’s clear that they are not as solid as you may have thought. This is where change can occur.
If you want to implement a significant change in your life, there are 3 important things that you need to believe.
- You need to believe that something MUST change. It cannot be a matter of thinking that something should or could change. It needs to be a MUST.
- You need to believe that in your ability and need to change. You need to think that you must change it. Believe that you are the one who has the power to implement the change.
- Finally, believe that you can change it. You are the only source of your change, nobody else.
EMOTIONS OF POWER
Robbins explains that emotions are complicated, but there are 4 fundamental ways that we handle our emotions.
- Avoidance – in an effort to avoid painful emotions, most people avoid situations and activities that could potentially lead to the painful emotions they fear. Robbins explains that in extreme cases, some people do their best to not experience emotions at all.
- Denial – this is used most commonly when people pretend to not be effected by an emotion. They play down any feelings and deny that they are feeling pain (or pleasure).
- Competition – people promote the pain they feel and treat it as a competition with others, surely, the pain you are feeling is worse than anyone else?
- Learning and using – this is the best strategy, Robbins explains that if you can learn about your emotions you are able to make them work in your favour. As we’ve discussed previously, use pain to eliminate bad behaviours and pleasure to promote good ones.
”Realize that the emotions you are feeling at this very moment are a gift, a guideline, a support system, a call to action. If you suppress your emotions and try to drive them out of your life, or if you magnify them and allow them to take over everything, then you’re squandering one of life’s most precious resources.”
Robbins explains that there are 10 emotions of power:
- Love and warmth
- Appreciate and gratitude
- Excitement and passion
We’ve discussed the idea of pleasure, pain and using these to your advantages as well as the different ways to handle your emotions. Now, Robbins suggests you take on a ten-day mental challenge. This involves taking control of all of your emotions for the next 10 days. It means that you will not avoid, deny or dwell on negative emotions. It’s not about ignoring problems as they are inevitable. Instead, focus on being in a mental state that promotes coming up with solutions and activating them when facing a problem.
”In life, never spend more than 10 percent of your time on the problem, and spend at least 90 percent of your time on the solution. Most important, don’t sweat the small stuff. . . and remember, it’s all small stuff!”Click To Tweet
Part 2 – Strategies From: Taking Control—The Master System
Robbins describes your values as your personal compass, they are what gives you direction in your life and what effects every decision that you make. Robbins explains that significant leaders are people who understand their values very well and live their life by them. People who have a really clear understanding of their values are destined to be influential and significant. The best way to find complete fulfillment in your life is to commit you the things that you value the most, and do everything in your power to live your life accordingly.
Robbins explains that when you have trouble with decision-making, it’s more to do with your values that with the decision you face. If at any point you are uncertain about your values, this will be reflected in your ability to make choices. Here are two steps Robbins recommends when facing these decisions:
- It’s so important to be aware of your personal values currently, this will help you understand why you act the way you do and what motivates you to do certain things.
- Next, consider the emotional states you gravitate towards and which ones you avoid.
- Compare your values and emotions side but side to create a clear understanding of what is your driving force.
- From here, you should be in a position to make well-thought-out decisions about how you want to shape your life and your future. You’ll be more conscious of your desires and destiny.
Robbins explains that your identity is a pretty fundamental concept when it comes to discovering who you really are. He explains that your identity is made up of the beliefs you have and what makes you different from others, your individuality.
”Your capability is constant, but how much of it you use depends upon the identity you have for yourself. For example, if you feel certain that you are an outgoing, outrageous person, you’ll tap the resources of behaviour that match your identity.”
A question Robbins found quite common was whether or not your identity can have limitations based on experience. Robbins explained that your identity isn’t limited by your experiences, but rather the way you interpret your experiences. He explains that identity isn’t fixed, it’s based on decisions that you make about what makes you-you. Your identity is essentially a definition of your life.
Who are you?
Robbins encourages everyone to define themselves and dive a bit deeper into figuring out their identity. Firstly, consider if you know who you are. Try writing down a few things that make you-you. Write these down instinctively, don’t think about it too much. Ask yourself what you would see in a dictionary next to your name, what is your definition?
It’s important to remember that you are different to other people, and it’s these differences that help define your identity. And once you’ve discovered who you are, you will have the ability to understand and shape future behaviours.
Part 3 – Tools From: The Seven Days to Shape Your Life
In the third part of his book, Robbins outlines a few exercises that you can try out for different areas of your life including emotional, relationships and mastering your time.
First up, the emotional destiny exercise. The goal is to gain more control over your emotions with the intention of being able to re-shape your experiences.
- Note down any emotions you experience throughout your usual week.
- Consider any events, situations or actions that usually trigger these emotions.
- Finally, for any negative emotions, come up with an appropriate remedy of antidote.
Secondly, the relationship destiny exercise. The goal of this exercise is to deepen and improve your personal relationships. specifically focusing on emotional connections.
- Have a chat with your partner and figure out what parts of your relationship are the most important to each of you.
- Commit to knowing that being in love is more important than being right.
- Acknowledge that things can get tense sometimes, recognise when and why this usually occurs and come up with a plan to combat this.
- Schedule one-on-one time together regularly, at least once a footnote but preferably weekly. Get out on dates and be creative.
- Ensure that you kiss every single day.
Mastering your time
The third exercise aims to master your time and life. The goal is to stop letting time rule you and promote stress and instead using it to your advantage,
- For the first day, pay close attention to time and how it affects you. When you feel pressure in any moment, consider your future and how this can empower you.
- Commit to learning how to distort your time. Robbins recommends choosing a task that usually takes awhile to complete. Now, add something else to this task to distort and increase your perception of time. Aim to complete two things at once. For example, if you know that going for a run takes a long time, try listening to an audio-book while you run. This way, you’ll be distracted from the running, time will pass faster and at the end you got two things done instead of just one!
- Use importance as the top priority rather than urgency when writing down your to-do list.
Part 4 – Secrets From: A Lesson in Destiny
Robbins explains that the real secret to living a fulfilling life is giving.
”Probably the most pervasive false belief most of us harbour is the fallacy that only some superhuman act would have the power to turn our problems around. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life is cumulative. Whatever results we’re experiencing in our lives are the accumulation of a host of small decisions we’ve made as individuals, as a family, as a community, as a society, and as a species.”
Robbins challenges everyone to make contributions whenever possible. Consider different ways that you can help and actually make a difference to someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, it can be just a few hours per week or month. First, look to your community and see where help is needed. If you are looking for inspiration, here are a few ideas:
- Programs for the mentally and physically disabled
- Voter registration
- Energy conservation
- Park maintenance
- Big Brother/Big Sister programs
- Emergency Aid
- Volunteering at a local soup kitchen
Giving back to your community and making a difference in other people’s lives will be incredibly satisfying for you. It’s important to remember that the world is much bigger than you alone. Behind you as an individual is your family, your community, your society and your country. These are all factors that help influence who you are, so ensure that they are looked after just as you are.
- Long lasting change can happen in 3 steps: 1 – raise your standards. 2 – change your limiting beliefs. 3 – change your strategy.
- There are 5 key areas of life that you need to master: emotional, physical, relationships, financial and time.
- Remember that you have the power to really shape your life in the way you want, you have the ability to take control and take action.
- Pain and pleasure are both powerful forces that can be channeled to promote positive change.
- If you have an old behaviour you want to change, you can attach pain in some way to the old behaviour.
- And when trying to adopt a new behaviour, ensure that you attach pleasure to this.
- When you start to question your beliefs, it’s clear that they are not as solid as you may have thought. This is where change can occur.
- There are 4 fundamental ways that we handle our emotions. Avoidance, denial, competitions and learning and using. Learning and using is by far the best strategy and the one you should always strive for.
- Values are your personal compass, they are what gives you direction in your life and what effects every decision that you make.
- If at any point you are uncertain about your values, this will be reflected in your ability to make choices.
- Your identity is made up of the beliefs you have and what makes you different from others, your individuality.
- The real secret to living a fulfilling life is giving.
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Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life is written by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus – The Minimalists. Their book questions what it means to be happy and explores how life a meaningful life. By identifying and explaining five core values Joshua and Ryan offer useful advice on how you can take steps towards living a life full of happiness, passion, and freedom.
A guide on how to let go a little bit and enjoy life more. To realise that we will suffer in life, not everything is always great, and this book will show you how to suffer better, more meaningfully and with more compassion. In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson is straight-up with his advice but when you have finished reading it, you will have a new lease on life. Most importantly, Mark Manson will help you pick meaningful values for your life and teach you that you don’t have to try anymore.
Guidelines is my eBook that summarises the main lessons from 33 of the best-selling self-help books in one place. It is the ultimate book summary; Available as a 80-page ebook and 115-minute audio book. Guidelines lists 31 rules (or guidelines) that you should follow to improve your productivity, become a better leader, do better in business, improve your health, succeed in life and become a happier person.
- Try using pain and pleasure to your advantage when trying to implement a change in your life.
- Take on the ten-day mental challenge. For the next 10 days do not avoid, deny or dwell on negative emotions. Instead focus on being in a mental state that promotes coming up with solutions and activating them when facing a problem.
- Try the emotional destiny exercise. The goal is to gain more control over your emotions with the intention of being able to re-shape your experiences.
- Give the relationship destiny exercise a go. The goal with this exercise is to depend and improve your personal relationships. specifically focusing on emotional connections.
- Test out the master your time and life exercise. The goal is to stop letting time rule you and promote stress and instead using it to your advantage.
- Download the complete book on Amazon.
This summary is not intended as a replacement for the original book and all quotes are credited to the above mentioned author and publisher.