Tony Robbins is often cited as the “CEO whisperer” helping Fortune 500 CEOs and execs.
On this list is the likes of Marc Benioff (net worth $7.1 billion, CEO of Salesforce enterprise software) to Paul Tudor Jones (net worth $5.1 billion, hedge fund manager) and Peter Guber (Net worth $800 million CEO of Mandalay entertainment, Co-Executive Chairman of the Golden State Warriors – I guess that’s why you buy a sports team because I don’t want to not include it even though it’s not his claim to fame).
These high performers all give praise to Tony for helping them overcome whatever obstacle was in their path.
It’s quite amazing (and almost unbelievable) how influential a single person can be. Especially considering the humble beginnings that Tony Robbins had.
At times, I wonder if there’s some conspiracy or agenda pushing Tony, but then I come back to reality and realize that’s not how the world operates.
Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, Wayne Gretzky, Serena Williams, Conor Mcgregor all met and worked with Tony on some level and publicly said positive things about him. Surely, by now one of them would’ve spoken out against him if he was a fraud.
Jim Rohn had taught me if someone’s successful you should listen, success often leaves clues.
Tony has worked with thousands of successful people, and he himself has amassed a reported net worth of $500 million. He would be a fool to not recognize a pattern or qualities common amongst the highest achievers.
And that’s what this post is intended to be, a look into the qualities of what makes successful people successful. These are quotes, lessons, or nuggets of wisdom I picked up from having listened to hours of Tony’s talks online.
To kick off the list, let’s start with the first quote about success that was covered in the introduction.
Powerful Tony Robbins Quotes About Success and Life
“Long ago, I realized that success leaves clues, and that people who produce outstanding results do specific things to create those results. I believed that if I precisely duplicated the actions of others, I could reproduce the same quality of results that they had.”
Tony has also repeatedly said, “if you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
Why re-invent the wheel?
If something a person does works why not take it in for yourself or improve upon it.
An example of this is reading, “all leaders are readers, but not all readers are leaders”.
Clearly if all the great leaders read then maybe we should as well. I think the reason some don’t pick up on that habit is because what they are really hoping for is immediate return, a fast solution to their problem. Reading is not that, it’s a long-term investment you make, but that’s not sexy to market.
Chamath Palihapitiya early executive at Facebook, CEO of social capital in an interview said:
“I just copied I mean, a lot of my life, quite honestly, just copying things that I see, there’s not a lot of original thought here. It truly is not. I mean, we can all pretend we’re all geniuses. Honestly be good copier’s. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s the best thing in the world, like be around high functioning, high quality people and just copy the shit that they do, observe the shit that’s kind of crappy and then don’t do that stuff. It’s not a complicated formula.”
*I removed some f bombs from Chamath’s quote above to just to make it read a little friendlier*
“Everybody knows Warren Buffett. I mean, here’s a man who’s so smart because his entire life has been about finding the value, but he also has learned how to communicate that, you know, when I asked him what’s the greatest investment he ever made in his life? He said, Tony, it’s what you do.”
In Fact – Warren Buffett has said this about communication:
“Invest in yourself. The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills–both written and verbal. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark–nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it. And the transmission is communication.”
“Most people live with so much fear and anxiety in their lives. And these people just learn to say this is part of life. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs, and my job is never to let what’s happening at the moment define me.”
This is like the Stoic philosophy of accepting life as it happens, not as you wish it would happen.
After all wishing for life to be any other way than the way it currently is, is delusional.
How could it be any other way?
A better question is what are you going to do about it?
How are you going to respond?
“What they all had in common [referring to value investors like Warren Buffet and Macro Investors] was they’re all obsessed with not losing money. It’s such a simple thing because they know if I lose 50 percent of my money, I’ve got to make 100 percent to get even.” — Tony Robbins
This is a lesson in the stock market but can also be applied generally to wealth accumulation.
If you have $100 and you lose 50% you now have $50. Now you need a 100% return in the stock market just to be back at your starting point.
And $50 to $100 doesn’t seem hard but the percentage point change is still the same.
It’s also worth knowing getting a 100% return is very hard to achieve in the market.
The S&P 500 historically returns 9-10% a year. Warren Buffett’s track record is 20% compounded per year. When you deal with bigger sums of money losing it hurts even more since doubling becomes exponentially harder.
If you have $10 best to pocket it and mow a lawn to get a 500% increase in your portfolio size but when you have 100k mowing the lawn doesn’t cut it anymore (no pun intended).
“Most people think guys that become billionaires took these giant risks. And they got lucky and some did. But most of them don’t do that at all. Their secret is they know how to manage risk. They live what they call asymmetrical risk reward. Asymmetrical risk reward means they take the least amount of risk possible for the most upside possibility. Most of us, we’re trying to take a big risk. And if it doesn’t happen, we have nothing left.”
This reminds me of the idea of an unfair coin.
Here’s a thought experiment,
You have 100 bucks and can bet any amount on an unfair coin that you know lands 51% head and 49% on tails. How would you play it?
The irrational move would be that you get bored and decide to make large bet on heads. But once you go bust you can no longer play the game. But if you keep making the smallest incremental bet possible over enough trials you’ll become really, really rich.
This website is an example of an asymmetrical risk reward – less than $100 investment and my time. But the upside – can get traction and if resonates with audience it can help many. Which leads us to #7.
“I discovered a long time ago that if I helped enough people get what they wanted, I would always get what I wanted and I would never have to worry.”
This is a variation of Zig Ziglar’s quote:
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Ultimately that’s what a business does, it helps people get what they want by providing a service or product that usually solves a specific problem. In return, they get what they want.
It’s a positive sum game and everybody wins.
“There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality.”
I like this quote about earl nightingale that relates to this idea about what makes a person successful:
“Why do so many fail? What has happened to the sparkle that was there when they were 25? What’s become of the dreams, the hopes, the plans? And why is there such a large disparity between what these men intended to do, and what they actually accomplished? […] If a man is working toward a pre-determined goal and knows where he’s going, that man is a success. If he’s not doing that, he’s a failure. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”
“Lack of emotion causes lack of progress and lack of motivation.”
Say what you want about Napoleon Hill and whether he is a fraud. I still believe he was an early student of personal development and has good teachings like, “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
It comes down to being clear with your intentions and reasons why something is worth doing.
Start with a goal you have, ask yourself why it’s important achieve that goal and to any answer you give keep asking why. If you have enough compelling reasons, your desire to overcome any setback will be stronger, your emotion and passion will find a way to create progress.
It’s a bonus if you can somehow tie emotion into your goals and that alone can take you much further.
“In life you need either inspiration or desperation.”
Tony says people need, “Inspiration – to see a future for yourself that pulls you forward. Some need a kick in the but to turn their life around. My advice is to lean on the inspiration rather desperation if you can.”
“It is not what we get, but who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.”
Jim Rohn teaches, the purpose of a goal is not to reach the goal but the person we must become to achieve that goal.
If you just live to reach the destination you’ll be disappointed when you arrive.
For most people, money is not enough of a motivator.
What we contribute, the people we serve will ultimately bring us the most meaning and satisfaction.
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year–and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.”
Playing the long-game compounds your effort.
Especially if whatever it is you’re working on is leveraged.
A blog, podcast, YouTube channel, creating a business, relationship, and health.
It applies to everything. Spend enough time and energy on a problem you’ll make a breakthrough.
“If you want to take the island, then burn your boats. With absolute commitment come the insights that create real victory.”
On one of the episodes of Noah Kagan podcast he discusses why the founders of Buffer.com were able to create a now $16 million annual recurring subscription business.
They told Noah that they didn’t know what else they were going to do if buffer didn’t work. They went all in. This may be surviorship bias but it might also be a precursor to success – you have to be committed just as if you’re burning the boats.
“Why live an ordinary life, when you can live an extraordinary one.”
Most studies show Americans are not happy at their jobs.
In fact, the risk of heart attack is 11 percent higher on Mondays than any other day (Feel free to fact check – I didn’t believe it myself when I heard it).
I like Gary’s view on this, “we should put happiness on a pedestal.”
If you’re sincerely happy, that’s great, you won. But if you aren’t then do something about it, change something, do things differently.
Jim Rohn quote reminds me, “America is easy! That’s why everyone wants to come here. People haven’t plotted and schemed for 50 years just to say ‘if I could just get to Poland everything would be okay.'”
America is a land of abundance and opportunity.
Now you can even make the argument with globalization and the advent of the internet people all across the globe can tap into different markets they otherwise didn’t have access to.
“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.”
Here’s a note on luck I got from Naval Ravikant podcast on FS Blog.
There’s four kinds of luck:
1. Blind luck –you just find $20 on the ground.
2. Hustle luck – through sheer motion and work ethic you put yourself in a lucky position. For example, through effort you cross paths with a good co-founder.
3. Specialized luck – you have some insight, specialized knowledge where you’re able to take advantage of a situation once it presents itself. (The kind of luck Tony Robbins is mentioning here).
4. Luck finds you – by becoming the best in your field. By becoming prominent opportunities will seek you out. Tony Robbins probably gets the ability to invest in many companies because he brings something to the table, he is known. Founders of successful companies come to Warren Buffett over other investors because of the reputation he has developed of never selling a company, creating an environment where founders are free to do their work without top down management. He gets the ability to form special deals and luck seems to come his way.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
This ties in with #16. What type of decisions are you making. You may ask yourself how you can save $3.00 and decide to cut out coffee, that’s a $3 question. If you asked how could I put myself in a position where I am rewarded for my output? The answer or solution you come up with for yourself could be $1000, $10,000 answer. The way to create wealth is skin in the game (being held accountable for your performance) and leverage (where you output is disconnected from your input). See the difference in the kind of questions you’re asking and the result that follows?
“You don’t have to have a reason to feel good—you’re alive; you can feel good for no reason at all!”
If you publicly say to all your friends, family and coworkers that you’re a happy person and you never get angry.
Guess what happens?
You got to live up with that expectation otherwise that means your a liar. When you’re angry and someone questions your proposition you check yourself and you say to yourself, yeah that’s not how I am suppose to behave and you snap out of it.
“When people succeed they tend to party but when they fail they tend to ponder.”
Greatness tends to come from pondering. Steve Jobs after being fired from Apple says it was one of the most creative moments of his life because it humbled him and let him return to a beginners mind after seeing the success that he had. Maybe it’s a necessary evil that people have to journey through but to be leveled headed, always learning, seeking progress in my eyes seems to be the way avoid around this pitfall.
“The pondering is when you usually get the growth, the insight, the strategy that’ll change your business, they’ll change your personal life, that’ll change your finances.”
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”
Personal note from author (not Tony):
On your quest for success you may have an idea of the type of business you’re going to create. How it’s going to do X and make millions of dollars and how everything’s going to be great because you’ve spent days drafting the perfect plan you will execute on.
But the truth is many plans fail.
Many, if not most your assumptions about the marketplace will be wrong. This is one of the curses of a business plan. The more time spent, the more rigid your approach may become.
PayPal was first a security software for palm handheld devices (remember those?). They had no success with that business model. Instead, through testing and talking to their users they found people were more excited to talk about electronic payment processing and saw how easy the adoption was.
Selling security software was much harder than the idea of receiving money from your friend. So they pivoted to becoming digital wallet.
YouTube was supposed to be a video dating app. They struggled to get users, they even went as far as to offer women $20 to upload their videos but had no takers.
They believed video sharing on the web was the future (the decision) but were flexible in the approach (went from dating to general purpose video-sharing).
“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in 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.”
Similar Tony’s other popular quote:
“If you want to change your life you have to raise your standards.” — Tony Robbins.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your standards. Similar to another one of Anthony’s quote, “everybody gets what they tolerate”. What you personally accept within yourself sets the boundaries of what’s possible. Your standards are the internal promise that’s unbreakable. It’s your level of commitment.
“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else.” — Tony Robbins
If you’re doing what everyone else is doing then don’t be surprised when the report card at the end of the semester shows that your average.
Jim Rohn, says a “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
Go to the school of the hard-knocks, learn from experience, be a student, read and educate yourself. Focus on becoming a dangerous force to be reckoned with in the marketplace.
I believe what Tony is saying here is not that the successful are the 1% and therefore different act in ways which we can’t. But rather they have a different philosophy that enables them to succeed.
“Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.”
Jim Rohn being Tony’s mentor has a lot of similar ideas and teachings.
Jim says, “let the past be a school, let it instruct you but don’t let it abuse you” which I think is beautifully put.
“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”
This is something I have and do struggle with.
Not having reached the level of financial freedom I want it’s easy to get down on yourself. Days when I feel like I didn’t do much or could’ve done more it’s easy to talk down to yourself.
I have to remind myself that life is long, why beat yourself up along the path, switch up with some self encouragement.
“People who fail, focus on what they have to go through; people who succeed focus on what it will feel like at the end.”
Starting is a big mental hurdle, often it can paralyze people for weeks, months or years.
They overwhelm themselves with nuances, I can’t start this because I don’t have the Cannon X91837 camera (made that up), the space is saturated, I don’t have the time, I have bills to pay, I’ll do this when/if.
Tony says these kinds of excuses that people make are, “focused on what they have to go through, they fixated on the pain and troubles of doing something.
How likely is this person to take action?
People who succeed have a vision for what their life would be like if they succeed, they are pulled into the future and get excited about the opportunities. How likely is this person to take action?”
“It’s my responsibility. I’ll take care of it.”
Accept that you’re the one steering the ship – this is both liberating and a hard truth to swallow.
This means everything you have in your life is a result of your standards, your doing. If you’re not happy with it, it’s natural you’d fight back.
But if you accept that life is not happening to your but for you, you can begin to take control, improve and progress. It’s the only way out of the situation your in because the truth is no one is going to save you. You have to save you.
“While they have starkly different personalities, they share one defining trait: They have an insatiable hunger — to become, learn, do, share, and give more.”
A quote that encapsulates this feeling is what Conor Mcregor has said about his success, “There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession.”
In this lecture Tony says:
“Most people are hungry because things are uncomfortable. They don’t like how it is and they go to try to fix it or they lose weight to get in a bikini for a month or whatever it is. But the hunger doesn’t last. The people that are the most successful on the face of the earth. I think intelligence is one of the most valuable things a human being can have and develop. But how many of you know somebody who is incredibly smart and can’t fight their way out of a paperbag? Right. So intelligence is not enough. What’s going to make you maximize your ability is hunger, a hunger that doesn’t go away. So in the area where you achieved your hunger was sustained. You got hungry, you got desires, but you didn’t let it go.”
In another talk Tony says, “I love intelligence. I love wickedly intelligent people. I try to hire as many of them as possible, learn from them. But what’s more valuable than intelligence is hunger.”
“That hunger often comes from a story of frustration or pain or desire. And finding that touchstone and igniting is how you often can take somebody who’s not driven and hungry and really help them to change their life.”
“Potential –> Action –> Belief –> Results”
Tony believes the success cycle is the reason for the difference between the rich and the poor.
“Let me show you in two seconds flat, when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
Most people don’t take enough action. But some do. Of those that do, they may not have enough belief in themselves or what they are selling. This has a massive impact on their results which reaffirms what thought was possible minimizing their potential and future action.
How do people make shifts, slower or rapid? Huge, rapid change happens, right? There’s this giant growth that occurs now. What eventually happens to anybody when they start to learn something, a new sport, a new business, a new relationship, what do they get to, what do you call it?
Plateau? So think of it this way. Some people, their philosophy of life is dabbling. Here’s what a dabbler does. They take on a sport like, let’s say, tennis. And when their brand new they know nothing about tennis, they don’t hold the racket. They don’t how to swing or to keep score. They think love is an emotion when it’s a zero (a tennis joke, took me a while to get it). But from not knowing anything, in a short time with a little bit of training, do they get pretty damn good, yes or no?
If this is one hundred percent mastery and this is zero, they might go to twenty or thirty percent growth like that within a few days. A few weeks. Will they top out, yes or no? They’ll be a point which they plateau. What’s a plateau? It’s when you’re doing the same amount of effort but you’re not getting the same level of reward, you’re not making the same progress.”
“When you realize that your problem is not a lack of resources, it’s not a lack of money or technology or contacts. It’s your psychology because the ultimate resource is resourcefulness and human emotion. That’s what starts wars, that’s what makes a business begin, that’s how you have children, and that’s how we end wars. It’s all emotion. And so what I really learned to do is how to manage my emotions.” – Tony Robbins
To give context to this quote, Tony asks what are the common reasons why businesses fail?
You can ask yourself this question as well, why do some people tend to fail while others succeed?
Every person in the room generally agrees, it comes down to a lack of money, time, not knowing the right people, not having the right management. All these things are resources.
And so Tony says:
“Money is a resource, time is a resource, technology is a resource, people is a resource, experience is a resource.
Here’s the only problem.
I said in my experience, and you correct me if I am wrong and I want an honest answer. When we get out of ourselves and we look at human beings and their ability to succeed or fail.
How many people you’ve ever met who did not have the resources and they beat somebody who had all the resources? When you look at the most powerful and effective people in history, resources were never the problem. They didn’t have the resources, but they got them. How do people get resources when they don’t have them? The answer is they’re resourceful.”
And here’s what’s great about resourcefulness.
Who has it within them? Who, who? Every human being. The question is whether you access it or not.”
“But if you don’t consciously select your goals, then you can find yourself falling into the trap of making a living instead of designing a life. And that’s the majority of people in the world today.”
Tony goes on to say,
“everybody in the world has goals whether they know it or not. Some people’s goals are to get through the lousy day. You know, some people’s goal is to change the world. Some people’s goals or dreams are to lose some weight. Some people want to make money.”
Your goals affect, whatever they are.
So what are your goals?
What are you trying to accomplish?
“Strategic innovation is different than constant, never ending improvement. Can I constantly make improvements is a very, very important principle. If you’re not constantly improving, you’re definitely going to be passed up by competition. But if you’re thinking about strategic innovation, what it really means to me is rewriting the rules for competition within an industry, within an area. When you change how people compete, when you change the rules, you take over that industry, you shift completely the game.”
How do you shift the game?
The closest answer I’ve came across is from Charlie Munger. He talks about the difference between specialization and generalization. Specialization is often required for increasing your value to the marketplace and demanding a higher pay.
But if you read broadly and pick up the main principles or ideas of different disciplines, then you can combine old things in new ways never been done before.
Amazon was built once the infrastructure for the internet was put in place by those who came before Bezos. He leveraged that with people who figured out online payment processing and created the world’s largest online book store. By bringing in different elements in a novel way never been done before you change the game.
“If you’re going to have an impact on your kids or your community or the world that requires influence, there is no more important skill of leadership than influence.”
Tony mentions in a talk that selling is the most important skill you need to master.
Selling or communication is more or less the same thing, the objective of both is to have influence. Being a person of influence doesn’t have the same negative connotation attached to called a great salesperson.
“It’s like the people that succeed are the people that didn’t just have a dream or goal. They had a dreamer goal that was so exciting to them, so obsessive to them that when nothing worked they kept on going.”
“So figure out what’s going to excite you like that. What’s one goal? One focus (if you want to go three, do three max) what’s one, two or three things that you’re going to accomplish in the next 90 days that are going to excite the hell out of you?”
I recently heard on a podcast with Seth Godin, instead of the commonly asked question, ‘what’s the thing you’d start if you knew it wasn’t going to fail’, he says it’s better to ask yourself what you would do if you knew it would fail but you’d do it anyways? (This is the power of asking good questions, if you try to answer it makes you dig deeper inside, it forces you to be more curious).
“Don’t buy the story that you can’t do something because you don’t have the time. It’s a lie. You just need to get more strategic. You need to get a little smarter.”
Jim Rohn taught me, you can’t say if only I had some or Marc’s time I could do the same things as him.
That’s foolish, you can’t get somebody else’s time.
And realize that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, no one gets anymore or less.
Tony elaborates, “If you find yourself not following through, remember, it’s because you have some inner conflict.”
If you want to work out but believe you can’t then spend time with your kids that’s not true.
You need a better strategy.
Maybe from now on, four days a week, you get that stroller and go for a run with your kid.
How powerful would it be to imprint your children with everyday the bonding time with their parent is this thing called movement and exercise.
You’re really, truly being with the kids. You’re having a great time. You’re outdoors, you’re feeling alive, and you’re not to pick one or the other.
“If everything you thought about you got, you’d soon be bored out of your mind. Plus not getting what you want is the most valuable thing that could ever happen to you. Because out of that, you become deeper, richer, stronger. You open up on a different level. Now you have more give to other people as well as to give to yourself.”
Tony follows this by saying, “Who’s to say you’re supposed to think of something and get it? That’s what the secret promises.”
This reminds me of Dave Chappelle bit about the secret, I won’t spoil the joke.
Tony has the same view on the secret as Dave.
He tells a story of a friend who when the book first came out said it was so simple.
Tony’s response, “If you want simple, just go do it. Tell me how it’s working. He said, ‘I focused on green lights all the way here. And I’ve got green lights all the way.’ And I said, ‘what are you going to do when you get red lights?
You’re going to blind yourself.
Say you’re not thinking positively enough. You’ll begin to think you’re all messed up. I said, it’s a stupid. are you saying the purpose of people that were in Auschwitz were there because they weren’t thinking positive enough, and they attracted all this negativity in their life. That’s absurd. We all have different life paths and different stages of our path, and each stage opens up different possibilities for us.”
“When you come up with a meaning, it produces an emotion.”
“It’s not that your mother or father death that’s giving you suffering. Certainly that’s painful. It’s the meaning you think it shouldn’t have happened. And we take control of the meaning. It’s the only thing we can control in our lives. We can’t control events.” If you lose a limb, you can focus on the feeling of loss. I’ll never be able to walk, play sports, run after my kid. It’s the feeling of loss that hurts the most. But if instead you change the story, I am going to be an inspiration for others that with this handicap, and I am going to show others you can still live happily and achieve greatness. You’d wake everyday excited.
“If the meaning is it’s the end, if the meaning is that you’re dissing me, if the meaning is you don’t care whatever meaning we come up with, that affects the third decision, which is what am I going to do? And what people do is based on the meanings cause the meaning, creates emotion.”
To set up this next quote Tony describes the experience of playing a child in a video game. You get destroyed. Absolute humiliation. Four seconds and you’re dead. They’ll always win…and I mean ALWAYS. Is it because they are smarter, or their neurons fire faster? No. Tony says it’s because of this one thing…
“They know the road ahead. And if you know the road ahead, you have an incredible power called anticipation. Anticipation is the ultimate advantage. See winners, leaders anticipate losers react. The reason you get beat is you don’t know where things are happening, so you’re reacting. Reaction is always stressful. And yet so much of our life is predictable. If we just were to study it, not be caught up in our day to day, it’s predictable.”
The lesson – learn from the mistakes of others.
People have already solved many of the common things we find ourselves caught up in. The challenges we’ll face in our relationships, kids, body, job, economics or in-laws. These are predictable, and if you were to anticipate these things and put a strategy in place.
You could take it all out and have the quality of life that you deserve. In business, it’s everything. There are those that anticipate, those that lead, and then there’s that follow. The followers are the reactionaries. So the more we can anticipate and you can’t anticipate and lead unless you first learn how to lead yourself at a different level.
“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”
Don’t let that be you. Fulfillment is as unique as there are people. Achievement, there’re laws, you do this and that. Money, there are laws. your body there’s laws. We all have biochemical, special, unique identities.
But there are certain fundamentals. If you do them in mass, you’re going to be overweight. If you do them differently, you’re going to be fit and strong. Same thing with money, but fulfillment is as unique as art. Art is what one person thinks is beautiful.
“I mean, very often we made decisions in our youth or when we were very young about what to believe, about what we were capable of, about who we are as a person. And that becomes the glass ceiling, if you will, that controls us.”
Tony and the Elephant story:
There’s a corny metaphor, but it’s true. I remember one time I was with my family at the circus and there was a person, and they had this big giant elephant.
And you look at this elephant, and they take this little rope put around their neck, and they drive the stake into the ground. You look at this, you know that elephant could rip down the entire tent with almost no effort.
And yet the elephant doesn’t struggle.
Doesn’t try. Why?
Because the elephants conditioned.
They condition the elephant when it was a baby elephant. That’s how they train them when it’s a little baby elephant and it doesn’t have the power yet.
They put a big rope around it’s neck, and they drive this huge stake in the ground and the elephant fights and fights and fights. And one day, finally, that elephant decides I’m not capable of pulling this out.
And once that becomes the definition of an identity of anyone, an elephant in this case, they don’t even try anymore. It’s just who I am. That’s how it is. That’s just the way it is in my life.
I’d like to ask you to take a look at any place you’ve got a limitation and ask yourself, when did I decide to accept that limitation?
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
Whenever I study, people that are successful what I look for is what’s the standard they hold himself to and what are all the little rituals that add up?
Because think about it, success and failure are not giant events.
They don’t just show up.
You don’t just suddenly become successful or suddenly have this cataclysmic event that makes you fail.
It may look that way, but failure comes from all the little things.
It’s failure to make the call.
It’s failure to check the books.
It’s failure to say I’m sorry.
It’s failure to push yourself to do things physically that you don’t want to do.
“People are rewarded in public for what they practice for years in private.”
Stated in a slightly different way,
“You are rewarded in public for what you have intensely practiced & refined in private!”
Success is not some overnight event.
It’s all these little things. Success is having a vision.
Success is making it compelling success is really seeing and feeling it every day with strong enough reasons.
Success is feeling the sense that I’m here to grow. I’m here to give something to the world more than just myself. Success is caring about other people.
Context, “And this was pretty exciting time, he was greatest basketball player, I think that ever lived and has ever lived. And I asked them, I said, you know what sets you apart, Michael?”
“I’m not competing with somebody else, I’m competing with what I’m capable of.”
Hmmm…Magic formula because most of us lower standards.
Because who you spend time with my friends, is who you become.
One of the biggest reasons I started going to seminars when I was like 17 is I had nobody around me as a great role model.
I can read about somebody, but being around people, being in that environment was very different.
Finding a way to go to work with someone who lived that standard life was very different. You get around people with low standards and you compete with it. You don’t need to compete with it.
“Wake yourself up. If you want a new year and a new life, you don’t need to start on January 1st. Start today.”
“The areas they don’t feel so strong in they go, I don’t have time for it, but what they’re really saying is I don’t feel very competent in that area.”
If you generally are meeting what you expect you want from your life in that area, it feel good. Life conditions matches blueprint, feel good. So what makes you feel bad? What creates pain, stress, frustration? Real easy way to figure it out.
Answer this question. What’s an area of your life? You’re not happy with me.
Be honest with yourself.
And even if your life is great in all kinds of ways, I’m sure there’s an area you’d like to improve. Anybody who’s honest if they’re doing great in their career, very often don’t take care of their body so much. If they’re really focused on their body, very often they find themselves in a position where they’re not spending enough time with their kids. Or if they’re spending time with their kids, their intimate relationships is not doing so well.
It’s the nature of human beings to focus on areas they feel comfortable with and strong in and give those time. And the areas they don’t feel so strong in they go, I don’t have time for it, but what they’re really saying is I don’t feel very competent in that area.
“If you change your take, change your life and change your blueprint, you can have an extraordinary life.”
Now you have only three choices.
Choice one, blame something, an event, someone else or yourself. As we talked about earlier in the series, blame games just destroy you. There’s no progress when you blame for the moment you feel okay, but nothing changes.
What are your real choices?
You only have two choices in life. If life doesn’t match your blueprint, you either have to change your life. That is, you got to say, you know what, my body isn’t there. I’m going to go work out. My relationship isn’t there. I’m going to change it. You know, I’m not making what I gotta make I’m going to retool. I’m going to get a new skill. I’m going to go back to school. I’m going to start a business. I’m going to do something. You have to do something to change your life.
Or in order for you to be happy, if you can’t change your life, you’re going to have to change your blueprint.
Usually in life, it requires a little bit of each.
“If you can just trust that life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you, then you can find in any situation a benefit that can take your life to the next level.”
Sometimes not getting your blueprint’s the best thing could ever happen, because the disappointment drives you to find something more important inside of you or not getting it makes you look for another aspect of your life, a spiritual aspect, a family aspect, a physical aspect.
Every one of us in our life is going to face situations where it feels like we have total trauma, something that’s been taken from us. The real question is, what are you going to do with it?
“I always tell people, tell me your schedule, and they’ll go, well, you know, I go to work and I work from 9:00 to 5:00 and I come home I’m exhausted. And so, you know when am I going to start a business? I said, well, what about the other eight hour shift?”
Early in Tony’s career that’s what was required. Fun fact, he worked as a janitor early in his career because it gave him the freedom to listen to audio and feed his mind. He turned that dead time into something productive. Also, he got paid for the result – if he finished cleaning earlier he got paid as if he worked 10:00pm-2:00am. In the talk Tony goes onto describe what’s necessary sometimes to gain financial independence,
“But I worked 8:00am to 5:00pm and literally I’d come home, I get a bite to eat, and then I start my work at 6:00p.m or 6:30pm and I go until 2:00 a.m. I’d get another seven or eight hours in. And that’s how I built everything at the beginning. That’s honestly what’s required. And to not do that is to cheat yourself because in the end. What we get will never make us happy. How many stars in your chart, how many Academy Awards, how much money you make, what makes us happiest? Progress. Progress equals happiness if you’re not growing, you’re dying inside. […] So the mindset has to be this is the way I live going forward. I am a learning machine. And that makes people fulfilled because you become more. You’re not just doing something because you have or because you’re trying to keep up.”
“Your labor is probably the most sacred gift you can give to any human being. Because it’s so much of your time and energy. It’s the essence of all you developed in your life.”
People that start a business are artists, they’re not just artists like they paint.
But they are creative and become good at something and say to themselves, “hey, I can create better design or clothing or write better code than my employer”. This is the main idea concept behind the E-myth book.
As tony puts it, “Running a business is more than just the art of it. And most businesses are started by an artist and most businesses fail.” If you’re an artist you have to realize that you may struggle because you’re going to want to do your art. But a business-person says it doesn’t matter what I want. I can’t fall in love with my product or service. I need to fall in love with my client and constantly adapt to meet their needs. “Don’t fall in love with your product or service. Fall in love with your ideal client.”
That’s a different game.
“You’ve got to try experiments. Most aren’t going to work. And I think that if you try new experience, you get new voices, you’re asking new questions, you’re going to stimulate new answers. But most people do the same thing. When you start saying, I don’t have the idea, you don’t even look for them anymore. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“Twitter was an experiment, sound like an idiotic idea. A couple of guys on the side doing a project and 140 characters. Who wants to do that. Who’s going to care? It took off.”
Tony and the person interviewing him then expand on Silicon Valley and how it has a cult of failure, they almost idolize it.
It’s a little strange almost like they become happy to fail because it’s so accepted.
I find Peter Thiel to have the best perspective on this, you want to find the middle, look at failure as learning but you don’t want to fail. Do everything you can to avoid it. It can be demoralizing and hurt.
“Failure is only when you permanently give up. If you learn anything and you apply what you’ve learned, failure is a stepping stone.”
The story continues, life goes on and you still have to live.
If you look at your life like a book, there’s still many pages and chapters unwritten.
It’s up to you what the end of your book will read.
Why learn the six humans needs? Because once you know what drives somebody, you know how to meet their needs or you can predict their behavior and see whether they’re they are right corporate match, personal match, or intimate match.
1. Certainty – it’s a survival need (avoid pain and get comfort).
2. Uncertainty – If you know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, you’ll get very bored. We have a need for uncertainty. We have a need for surprise (that are surprises we want).
3. Significance – The need to feel unique, special, or important.
4. Connection and Love – People are afraid to love because their afraid to get hurt. Instead, they settle for the crumbs of connection.
5. Growth – Progress equal happiness. It’s a spiritual need.
6. Contribution – the need to step outside ourselves. You can only feel so much yourself. We have a desire to share and to give. It’s another spiritual need.
So why do people behave so differently if we all have the same six basic needs?
We all the same six needs, but we don’t value them equally. We also achieve or fulfill them in a variety of different ways. Ways that can be constructive and positive or destructive.
“emotion is the force of life.”
Tony argues, that we are all smart people, we can just about rationalize or paint a narrative behind anything. What really changes people is emotion, it’s know or having reasons that compels you to want to contribute and do something beyond yourself. It’s emotion that makes us want to make a difference and to perform. If we get the right emotion we can get ourselves to do anything.
An example through the story of Stephen Hawking, “If you wanted to give something back, if you want to know how to become emotionally fit, get out of yourself. Hawking decided he wanted to make sure that he left a legacy that could touch all human beings, and so he started digging in.” Hawkings felt dead inside even before he physically died, completely depressed. But he received the greatest gift at the time which was the right women who fell in love with him after he was diagnosed with ALS and gave him a reason to live.
An example through Tony’s life the ultimate edge program, “And I didn’t have any special gift or any special talent, but I did have that hunger, you know, that hunger to say that life has got to be more than what I’m living. That hunger to say I’m not willing to settle. That hunger that made me seek out answers.”
“It’s not just getting a target, but knowing why we want that target. That’s what will get you to have the energy to actually follow through.”
“Knowledge is not power, knowledge is potential power, knowledge is trumped every day by execution.”
Tony says if you really want to change your life, you can’t let the learning you have lead to knowledge or you’ll become an idiot.
You got to let your learning lead to action and then you can become wealthy, financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and everything else.
Don’t just read and listen to tapes, connect the stories to your life, find yourself in the book, find yourself in the audio tape. Act on it. Don’t be detached from your learning. “information without emotion is rarely maintained.”
54. Take Massive Action Quote
“Massive action is the cure all. Take massive action and effectively execute.”
If your goal was to see a sunset and your plan as you start taking action is running east, I don’t give a shit how positive you are. But if you take massive action and what you’re trying doesn’t work. What should you do? If you have this big goal and you’re on fire for it, you’re going to make it happen and then you try something that doesn’t work, what should you do? Try something else. And what if that doesn’t work? Try something else. And what if that doesn’t work? You try something else. You keep trying UNTIL. There’s no failing until you decide to quit.
“Knowledge is trumped by execution every single day and that execution comes by changing the psychology”
“If you want to grow your business, you’ve got to grow.”
There is no business that’s going to grow dynamically and consistently and give you huge levels of financial and emotional and spiritual rewards without you growing.
if you look at any business and you want to know what the chokehold is on the businesses growth. It’s always the owner, it’s always the leader, because the chokehold is in the form of your psychology and your skills.
And I would say to you, 80 percent of success in business is psychology and 20 percent is mechanics. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in strategies because I know one strategy can save you a decade of pain. One strategy can make you a million dollars. But how many have lots of strategies in the past and then not follow through? That’s why I say your psychology is the most important part.
“A business is a system that adds value even when you’re not there and you as a leader have to get good enough to both hire people and train people so that you’re not a manager.”
I teach people a format called seven-seven where there’s seven areas of a business you cannot miss marketing, sales, optimization, the financials culture. And I’ll make sure that each week you and your team focus on that, not the day to day business. But how do we strengthen our marketing, not just for this run, but overall how we build the brand? What do we do to change our sales process, how do we optimize the business? How do we spend no money and grow the business 30% in the next three to six months? And when you take small markers in the business that are critical and you improve them 5, 10, 15% but you do 12 of them, you’ll grow your business 120, 130, 140% because there’s a compounding impact.
“Success is the result of good judgement”
Success is the result of good judgment, right? You can make great decisions. You’re going to succeed. But where does good judgment come from? You know, good judgment often comes from experience and experience often comes from bad judgment. So I found the way to speed it up is not learned through my own experience, but learned by modeling others compressing decades in to days.
How do you decide who whom you’re going to help? Well, first of all, I try to to do things online. You know, like there’s a zillion things on YouTube, so no one has to spend any money. Anybody who wants to be inspired. The only thing I don’t like about that is it’s random. I’m a system guy, like I know how to take you from here to there. So I have products that can do that for people.
“I don’t think of leadership as a position. I see it as a skill, a tool that all of us have to have.”
Other people don’t have to follow you to be a leader, but you have to live life on your terms. And the first person you have to influence is yourself. You know, whether you’re fit or fat. You’re looking to influence those thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions for a greater good, not just for yourself. And I think the people that master that are the people that you know about.
“leadership is the capacity to disappoint your disappointment because you’re going to have to go through failures.”
“If you add the value, you will become the brand. Find a way to add more value than anyone else does.”
There’s only one way you succeed long term. Anybody can get lucky. Do something for a period of time. But real success in any measure whatsoever comes when you do more for others than anybody else. There’s no other way to do it. You find a way to add more value, and if we find a way to add more value, we can be superior in the marketplace.
But we can also be superior in our own lives. We can enjoy our lives at a different level. We got a different set of pride that isn’t fake. It’s not ego, egos when you try to make it better than it is. And you know, the truth is it’s not. But when you really are in a position where you own what you’re about and you know what you’re here to deliver and you deliver it on a significant scale, then you have an opportunity to really experience not only success, but fulfillment.
“Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.”
If you spend a lot of time doing minor things can expect to get major results? It’s sounds obvious but if you look at how your day is structured and more importantly what you put in that day, you have to ask yourself are you focusing on making $10, $100, or $1000 decisions?