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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, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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