A few weeks ago I went to Unleash The Power Within, a Tony Robbins seminar. If you don’t know who Tony is, watch this.

The seminar was 4 days and 50+ hours. On day 1, we went from 10 AM until 2 AM the next day with only 1 break.

We laughed, cried, danced our asses off and walked on burning coals.

It was a 4-day experience like no other.

Here are 10 things that I learned:

Don’t negotiate with your brain

Have you ever felt really inspired at night to work out the next morning? You set your alarm an hour early, get your clothes ready and know the exact routine you’re going to crush at the gym or the route you’re going to run.

But when that alarm clock goes off in the morning, excuses start popping in your head. You feel sore, you might have the flu, anything you can talk yourself into being “true” so you can regain that extra hour of sleep.

This is what Tony would call “negotiating with your brain”. We’re dealing with the same brain that we had in the caveman days. But because we’re not fighting for our lives against wooly mammoths, we get our fight or flight response from less important tasks.

These thoughts you have are not “your thoughts.”

They are just thoughts.

You’re not the first person to feel overwhelmed or tired.

Just witness these thoughts and let them pass by like a car on the highway, rather than let them control you.

Achieve A Peak State

When do you think the most clearly? Love the most deeply? Feel the best physically?

When you are in a peak, high-energy state.

Usually, this happens when you receive an adrenaline kick or get a great workout in. But you can train yourself to be in this state whenever you want in three steps:

  1. Change your physiology. Take 10 deep breaths, go for a walk outside, do 20 burpees. Motion creates emotion.
  2. Focus on the right things. Your focus equals your feeling. If you keep thinking about how hungry you are, the hunger will grow. If you focus on something else, the feeling will follow.
  3. Use precise language, both verbally and physically. When someone asks how you’re doing, don’t say “not bad”, say that you are OUTSTANDING, and soon enough you will be.

Being “energy-rich” is the key to having a successful business, relationship, and a better life.

This is also key for leaders. Leadership is truly just changing other people’s states.

We Get What We Tolerate

The most successful people don’t have the highest goals, they have the highest standards.

Here’s an example: Person A says “My goal is to make $1M this year.” Person B says “The absolute minimum that I can make is $1M this year.” Person B visualizes that this money is already theirs and anything less than that $1M is actually like they’re losing something they own.

Warren Buffet says there will be more millionaires created in the next 3 years than in the past 100 years combined.

Are you one of them?

Playing small doesn’t help you or anyone around you.

Create Lasting Change

The two ways to create lasting change are either through causing significant pain or pleasure, either in the present or the future.

If you want to quit smoking, you have to visualize how much pain you (or others) will be in by continuing with this habit into the future. Or you can visualize how much pleasure you (or others) will receive by cutting this habit.

The pull has to be strong enough or it won’t work.

Again, this is how you get others to change, or to buy something or to follow your lead.

Proximity Is Power

Who you spend your time with can say a lot about you. Choose people that are going to push you to be better. Don’t settle for less. It sucks but sometimes you need to cut ties.

Tony also spoke about the power of rapport.

People like other people for two reasons: either the person is like you or like someone you want to be.

Think about this with anyone that you truly admire, whether you know them or not.

The Dickens process

This exercise is well worth the price of admission and gets its name from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” in which Scrooge is visited by ghosts showing him his past, present, and future.

In this process, you take your top two or three limiting beliefs and answer the following questions (with deep visualizations):

  1. What has each belief cost you in the past, and what has it cost people you’ve loved in the past? What have you lost because of this belief?
  2. What is each costing you and people you care about in the present?
  3. What will each cost you and people you care about one, three, five, and 10 years from now?

Then you take those 3 beliefs, cross them out and replace them with your growth beliefs.

Why is this so effective?

Tony says:

“When we feel pain in one time zone — meaning past, present, or future — we just switch to another time zone rather than change, because change brings so much uncertainty and so much instability and so much fear to people, The exercise prevents you from escaping yourself.”

Are You Good or Outstanding?

This is simple: be outstanding.

Everyone in the world is “good.” Hey man, how are you doing? “Good.” How’s your day? “Good.”

“I’m good at my job, I’m a good husband, I’m a good drummer.”

Good sucks.

Since “good” is so watered down, it leads to poor results.

Excellent is better than good. Not as many people are excellent — these are the overachievers.

Unfortunately, excellent only leads to good results.

The 1%ers are outstanding. Literally, they are so skilled that they stand out.

Be outstanding.

The Power of the Mind

Tony’s co-host told a powerful story of his mother getting cancer. The doctor told him that she was only going to live for 2 months.

He threatened the doc: “Do NOT tell my mother that. You can tell her the medical piece of having cancer and the treatment but how long she lasts on this Earth is NOT up to you.”

They argued.

The doc never gave the 2-month verdict to his mother.

She lived for another 11 years.

The mind is really fucking powerful.

Be A Lion

Billy Beck III took the stage. He is the trainer for Tony Robbins and The Rock. That’s all I needed to know.

He dropped a few truth bombs.

Exercise isn’t about how you look. You’ll probably never look like The Rock, and that’s okay.

The point of exercise is to remind you who you are.

Are you someone that goes all out, has discipline, and gets 1% better everyday? Or are you lackadaisical, lazy and an underachiever?

In other words, are you a lion or a lamb?

Lambs are fearful. They stick in the herd. They hide behind their friends when the wolf comes, sacrificing their brother just for a chance of survival.

Lions have presence. They are truly in the moment. When it’s time to eat, they eat.

Be a fucking lion.

Gratitude

“Trade your expectations for appreciation.”

I’ve always cognitively understood why gratitude is important but I think the key is visualization.

Close your eyes, put your hand over your heart and deeply visualize three moments you’re deeply grateful for. Go back to that place. That moment that your mom told you she loved you in the 6th grade or the first time you met your spouse or even the time you had wet socks on and replaced them with a fresh pair from the dryer.

Try it right now. Three things, one minute each with your eyes closed.

Two of them should be deep memories and one should be as simple as the sock example or the simple pleasure of the sun on your face.

Feel it.

I do this every morning and it has changed the way I see the world every day.