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10 Amazing Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Tony Robbins

10 Amazing Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Tony Robbins

Have you ever been to a Tony Robbins event? Thousands of people are screaming “MAKE YOUR MOVE! SAY YES! SAY YES!” The crowd goes wild as the inspirational giant leads everyone into a peak state right before they walk across a bed of fiery, burning hot coals—a metaphorical experience for being unstoppable.

Some people may mistake Tony Robbins’s books, audio programs and seminars as motivational. Although they continue to uplift millions of people around the world, they are much more than merely motivational. But Tony is consulted even more often as a peak performance strategist and I’d say his results back up the title. He’s successfully coached athletes like Andre Agassi, who came from a slump back to #1 in the tennis world, as well as leaders in the financial world like Paul Tudor Jones, whom Tony has worked with for 21 years and who’s made money every single year no matter where the market has been. Tony has also been credited by many people with helping them transform and upgrade their health, psychology, relationships, business and finances—in other words, their lives.

Having attended several of Tony’s seminars and listened to almost every audio program he has, there are 10 amazing life lessons I’ve learned from the man himself. They can be implemented by anyone today to profoundly increase their quality of life.

1. Trade your expectations for appreciations

If you trade your expectations for appreciations, you’ll immediately feel grateful. And it’s when we’re grateful that we feel rich and wealthy, regardless of how our lives look financially or materialistically.

Last week I met my dad’s longtime friend and business partner and he’s got tons of energy despite being at an age where he’d be considered an elderly man. When I asked him what his secret was to having so much energy, he told me that he always counts his blessings. In other words, he cultivates gratitude.

What can you feel grateful for right now? This is a question I learned from Tony that I ask myself often.

2. Where focus goes, energy flows

What we focus on feels real to us in the moment, and whatever we pay more attention to in our lives grows. If we’re focused on how we can add more value to our clients, we’ll consistently find ways to add more value to their lives. If we’re focused on our excuses for why we can’t achieve something, we’ll empower that limiting belief more and more.

Tony’s excellent at guiding the focus of a room full of thousands of people in his seminars, and you can be too. He does this most effectively by asking specific questions. It’s our questions that direct our focus. And when we get to the root of it, we all have at least one primary question that drives our lives, that drives our focus, that directs our energy, and that creates our story and our life.

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Where’s your focus at right now? Where does it need to be to grow and contribute more in your life?

3. Be results-focused rather than activity-focused

When you know the result you’re after, you’ll come up with greater actions to take to get you your results more effectively, efficiently, and rapidly.

I used to be a huge to-do list guy. I’d make one every day when I’d wake up in the morning and cross out my to-dos as I’d progress through my day. I found the to-do list process unfulfilling over time and often overwhelming when I’d have many to-dos. Then I discovered the RPM plan (results-focused, purpose-driven, massive action plan). This planning method and mindset allowed me to increase my results and productivity up to 10 times faster each week. It worked because I knew what my result was, I knew why I wanted it, and I had a high quality massive action plan to get me my result.

What’s the result you’re after right now? What’s your outcome from reading this post? Is it to learn and implement 10 amazing life lessons that can help you grow more in your life? Is it to cure boredom in the moment?

4. A 2 mm change is sometimes all you need

In soccer, the difference between scoring a goal versus missing the goal is within 2 mm. It’s the difference between hitting the sweet spot on the ball rather than coming under the ball making the shot fly over the crossbar.

The same metaphor can be applied to our business, relationships, health, and finances. For example, maybe you get greater conversions from your sales copies when you highlight the benefits. Or maybe you feel more connected with the people you have relationships with when you hug them with a warmer and tighter squeeze. Or maybe you notice that your energy magnifies when you drink wheatgrass juice in the morning rather than a coffee.

What’s the 2 mm change that you can make in your body today to profoundly increase your health and vitality? Business? Relationships? Finances?

5. The Triad: physiology, focus and, language

We can master our emotional states with a specific recipe of how we use our body, focus, and language.

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If you’re standing tall with your chest out, shoulders back, chin up and your fists in the air while you’re focused on an awesome victory and you’re shouting with total joy and pride “I am a champion!” then you will feel like a victorious champ.

If you’re sitting down with your shoulders slumped, your chin down to your chest with your head leaning forward while you’re focusing on how you’ve failed once again and your thinking, “Why am I such a failure?” then you’ll feel like a depressed failure.

Guess what? You can influence how you move your body, what you focus on, and the language you use to describe any moment. That means you can directly influence your emotions, and by being aware of your physiology, focus, and language, you can master your habitual emotions over time.

How’s your posture right now? What are you focusing on? What words are you using to describe your current experience? What can you do to upgrade your emotional state right now with your physiology, focus and language?

6. The 6 human needs

This was possibly one of the top three greatest things I’ve learned from Tony Robbins. No matter where you’re from, what your background or story is, Tony says that there are 6 fundamental human needs that we all share and that drive our lives. We generally value two out of the six needs most and we filter our life choices, decisions, and habits based on meeting these primary needs first. The 6 human needs are…

Certainty—assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure

Uncertainty/Variety—the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli

Significance—feeling unique, important, special or needed

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Connection/Love—a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something

Growth—an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding

Contribution—a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to, and supporting others

One person might meet their needs on a strong level for certainty, variety, significance, and connection through smoking cigarettes. They can feel certain or comfortable from smoking cigarettes whether it’s a habit they’ve had for a long time or because they can feel like they can relax from having a deep exhale. They can feel variety because smoking a cigarette instantly changes your biochemistry and state. They can feel significant if they see smoking as a cool thing to do or being the guy or girl who offers someone a cigarette, and they can feel connection by smoking with others.

Another person can meet those same needs through daily exercise. They can feel certain that they’ll feel great and energized from exercising. They can experience variety through mixing up workouts, through the biochemical change that takes place in their body, and through training different muscle groups. They can experience significance by being someone who values their body and by having a ripped body. They can experience connection and love for themselves for taking great care of their body and by exercising with others.

Tony said that whenever we have a habit, emotion, or thought that meets at least three of our needs on at least a level of 6 out of 10, then we form an addiction. The fastest way to break an addiction is to replace the addiction with a vehicle that meets the needs or more needs in a better way.

Which two needs do you value most right now in your life?

7. Change your story, change your life

We all have stories for our lives. Most of the time, we tell them unconsciously to ourselves and to others. For example, how’s your day been so far? The answer you’re thinking of right now is a story, and the fun part is you have the ability to define your story. You might not be able to change the events and circumstances that happen in your life, but you can certainly choose the meaning for them.

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8. Decisions lead to destiny

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins 

It is not our circumstances that define our destiny, rather the decisions we make, because each decision we make leads us to a destination in our lives. There are three decisions we’re always making consciously or subconsciously: what am I going to focus on, what does it mean to me, and what am I going to do about it?

What’s one of the greatest decisions you’ve made in your life? What would your life be like if you didn’t make that decision?

9. The 3 mandates of a leader

The three mandates of a leader start with seeing the situation as it is, not worse than it is. Then seeing it better than it is. And finally, making it the way you want to see it.

I remember when I was 13, I got super inspired to play soccer professionally. At the time, I hadn’t played soccer in years and most of my friends who did had been playing with a club team by then. I went out and played with some friends and realized that my skills at the time weren’t as good as the club players. Rather than give up or think less of myself, I was so inspired by the dream that I clearly asked coaches to give me an evaluation on where my skills stood and what I needed to improve on in order to play on a competitive level club team. Once I knew where I was and had a clear idea of where I wanted to be and how to get there, I took massive action to propel my skills and within a few short years I was playing with an MLS Academy team and invited to play college soccer.

In what area of your life can you practice the three mandates of a leader right now to live a more energy-rich and legendary life? In what area of your life have you been practicing the three mandates?

10. Success leaves clues

Want to accelerate the results you want in your life? Most probably, there’s someone alive who’s achieved what you want. All you need to do is model them and you’ll get the results they got in a much faster time than going through a trial-and-error process.

Tony promotes modeling and immersion training as one of the best and fastest ways to achieve mastery in a skill or area of life.

What’s a result you want in your life right now? Who’s accomplished it? How can you model them to get the result you want now?

And there we have it! That’s 10 amazing lessons I’ve learned from Tony Robbins that have profoundly increased the quality of my life and that I hope will benefit you and your loved ones.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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