(Book) Awaken the giant within – Tony Robbins

Kurt.nzBooks read, Personal development


I wish I had read this when I was in my late teens or early twenties, as I think it would have had a greater impact then.

A very useful tool to make you look at what you’re doing now. What you’re linking pain or pleasure to, what limiting or empowering beliefs you have, your value hierarchy, goals, frame of reference, and states.

Attempts to help us master the five areas of life we need to master: Emotional, physical, relationship, financial, time.

Awaken the Giant Within (highlights)

Lasting change: Raise your standards, change limiting beliefs, change your strategy.

Five areas of life we need to master: Emotional, physical, relationship, financial, time.

What actions can I take today that will shape my ultimate destiny?

The father of action is decision.

“This is what I am. This is what life is about. And this is what I’m going to do.” We all have the power to make those decisions.

Success formula: Decide what you want, take action, notice what’s working or not, change your approach until you achieve what you want.

Three decisions that control your destiny:

1. What to focus on
2. What this means to you
3. What to do to create the results you desire

You need to practice making decisions. You will make bad ones but that’s how you learn. Just decide and take action.

Good questions lead to answers that birth decisions.

What you link pain to and what you link pleasure to controls your destiny.

We can change our associations so pain will result in pleasure e.g. working out may be painful, but looking good is pleasurable, so we think of the pleasure.

Any kind of discipline requires breaking through short term pain.

“I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pain be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures.”
-Michel De Montaigne

Beliefs lie under all that we think. Do some need changing (ones that limit us)?

A belief is like a table supported by legs of experience, references, emotions, pain, pleasure etc. Change the legs to change the belief.


Behind all successful people lies a specific set of empowering beliefs.

Constant and never ending improvement = success.

Small improvements are believable and therefore achievable.

Long term belief change: Something must change, I must change it, I can change it.

Neuro-associative conditioning:

1. Decide what you really want and what’s preventing you from having it now.
2. Get leverage: Associate massive pain to not changing now and massive pleasure to the experience of changing now.
3. Interrupt the limiting pattern immediately.
4. Create a new, empowering alternative.
5. Condition the new pattern until it’s consistent.
6. Test it. Imagine the same future stimulus.

The 6 steps can also be used in negotiating with someone.

Any emotion or behaviour that is continually and immediately reinforced will become an automatic and conditioned response.

Link pleasure to any behaviour you want someone to repeat. Slowly raise the standards for reward/reinforcement though.

What you want is driven by feelings. You really want to change the way you feel.

Your behaviour is not the result of ability but the state you’re in.

Emotion comes from motion. Changes in expression, posture will change the way we feel.

Whatever we focus on becomes our idea of reality.

Sub modalities: Ways we remember. Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic.

Change state: Change physiology, change focus, change sub modalities.

How can you make yourself feel good?

Questions are the answer.

Quickest way to change focus/state? Ask a new question (and then of course answer it).

Powerful questions: What’s great about this? How can I use this?

Transformational vocabulary: The words we attach to our experience become our experience.

The words you consistently select will shape your destiny.

If you label something/someone, it becomes it.

Metaphors: Symbols are even more powerful than words.

A metaphor is a yardstick. You can instantly compare things to it.

If you feel like a bad metaphor, think of the complete opposite. E.g. ‘drowning in a sea of uncertainty’; walk up the beach and relax on the island of wisdom.

Problems are challenges for improvement.

Stress is good, it shows you what you need to cut out.

Four ways we deal with emotion: Avoidance, denial, completion, learning and using.

We get to choose our emotions at any time.

We’re always in control. Even in an uncontrollable situation, we choose how we react to it.

Six steps to emotional mastery:

1. Identify what you’re really feeling
2. Acknowledge and appreciate your emotions knowing they support you
3. Get curious about the message this emotion is offering you
4. Get confident
5. Get certain you can handle this today and in the future
6. Get excited and take action

Ten emotions of power:

1. Love and warmth
2. Appreciation or gratitude
3. Curiosity
4. Excitement and passion
5. Determination
6. Flexibility
7. Confidence
8. Cheerfulness
9. Vitality
10. Contribution

Giant goals produce giant motivation. They take you beyond your limits to a world of unlimited power.

The human mind is always pursuing something. Set it to a task and goal worthy of it.

Goals require a plan and massive and consistent action towards it.

Eustress. Stress that leads to positive action.

“Live the dream.” Can you say you’re living the dream?

Persistence often overshadows talent. Champions have an unbelievable level of persistence.

Reticular activating system (RAS) determines what you notice and what you’ll pay attention to.

Compelling goals and clear cut reasons activate your RAS. Rehearse the pleasure.

Even though we may focus on the end goal, often the pursuit of the foal also allows and creates great, positive impacts.

What kind of person do I need to become to achieve all that I want?

Once you write a goal down, before you do anything else, take a positive step towards it.

Once you’re close to achieving a goal, ensure you have a greater follow-up one.

A compelling future creates a dynamic sense of growth.

Knowing what to do is not enough. You must do what you know.

10 day mental challenge: Don’t indulge or dwell on any unresourceful (not useful) thoughts for 10 consecutive days. Focus on solutions not problems.

Laziness, fear and habits can stop us from making positive change.

Superior evaluations create superior lives.

Things that affect evaluations: Mental and physical state, questions we ask, hierarchy of values, beliefs, references.

When you know what’s important to you, making a decision is quite simple.

The consistency in our values must occur regardless of whether our environment rewards us for it or not.

Truly living your values and doing ‘the right thing’: Certainty, inner peace, total congruency that few people ever experience.

We need to teach our children our philosophy of life by being strong role models, by knowing our own values and living by them.

Values are something you place importance on. Means and ends. Know the difference and be sure to pursue the end itself.

If conflicting values are too close together on your list of hierarchy, you’ll experience conflict. To and fro between them.

Accomplish your highest values first.

Just as we move towards pleasure and values that bring that, we move quickly away from ones that cause pain.

We’ll do whatever it takes to avoid experiencing our most intense levels of pain.

What would it take to make you feel good today? Don’t you know it takes nothing? You just have a rule to give yourself permission when x happens.

Rules are the trigger for any pain or pleasure you feel in your nervous system at any moment.

Do your rules disproportionately point in one direction or the other? I.e. 1,000 rules to say you’re not successful, but only 1 rule to say you are?

Do your rules empower or disempower you?

Set up the game so you can win.

Decide on your rules, change them, communicate them. Discover other people’s rules.

‘Must’ and ‘should’ rules. ‘Should’ are easy to violate. Rules also have hierarchy.

Ask people their rules. “In order for you to feel x, what must happen?”

Imagination is more important than willpower.

Use contrast to put your life into perspective.

Garbage in, garbage out. Stand guard at the doors of our minds to ensure that whatever enters will enrich us.

Same for kids. Ensure they have positive experiences for the future.

Expand your references, expand your life. Books, other beliefs, adventure, sports, things you usually avoid, travel.

Get off the bench and step into the game of life. What new experience could you explore today that would expand your life?

We all act consistently with our views of who we are, accurate or not.

You have the power to reinvent yourself.

Who are you becoming and who are you helping people become?

Seven days to shape your success:

Day 1. Emotional.
Take control of your consistent emotions and being to consciously and deliberately reshape your daily experience of life.

Day 2. Physical.
Health and fitness are not the same. Build an aerobic base, start slow.

Day 3. Relationship.
Find out people’s values and rules. Make your relationship the highest priority. Focus on making it better.

Day 4. Financial.
Earn more by becoming more valuable, helping more people and increasing their quality of life. Maintain your wealth, spend less, invest. Protect your wealth. Enjoy your wealth.

Day 5. States.
Write down states you’d like to experience each day. What rules do you need to experience these states?

Day 6. Time, priorities.
Do what’s important, not urgent.

Day 7. Rest and play.
Do something fun, relax, be spontaneous.

You have the power right now to control how you think, feel and what you do.

Life is cumulative. It’s made up of a series of choices, not by one decision.

What if you lived your life like a professional sports person? Practicing, experimenting, making mistakes, listening to advice/coaching, living by a code of conduct.