There is nobody like Tony Robbins. He has been around in the personal development industry for more than 20 years. He is a master communicator and has shared his message about positive attitude and reprogramming your mind with millions of people. He has been a life coach for personal development to highly prominent people around the world, including presidents, top athletes and world famous business people. Additionally, he has published books and audios for self study that are available to anybody who wants to grow personally, expand their mind and realize their dreams. But are the ideas that he presented in 1986 still valid?
Like millions of others around the world I bought his first book Unlimited Power in 1986. My interest in (well, obsession with) Martial Arts had then brought me to Los Angeles for the first time. I had been invited by a Kempo Club there, so I went and spent my days exercising and studying Martial Arts in general. I will never forget how I came across Tony Robbins´Unlimited Power the very first time. I was in the book store looking for books on Martial Arts. I was into titles like The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Dancing Wu Li Masters – An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav and heavily into Carlos Castaneda.
The book store was literally full of Tony Robbins that time. His book was displayed at every desk and his picture and posters too. I wondered, Wow, who is this man? And I bought his book and sort of read it. But its content was not my cup of tea at that time. Many years later, as I really read it and grasped its concepts and applied the ideas. By then I could not understand why on earth I had not done this earlier! I know that the answer is that I was not ready for it, but it seems so silly that the book just sat on my book shelf for a few years until I discovered Unlimited Power myself…
So many ideas that I was used to through the practice of Martial Arts were there: focus, strategy, energy, healthy eating, precision, judgment, challenge and a strong overriding message that “it’s not about power over other people. It’s about power over yourself!”
The more I have read and listened to Tony Robbins, the more respect I have for him and everything he teaches. In Unlimited Power the main idea is that we can do, have, achieve and create anything we want out of life. Nowadays, there are plenty of others who claim the same (I am one of them!), but in 1986, I believe Tony Robbins popularized the concept and spread it to the world much more widely than the pioneers before him. There are huge similarities between Tony Robbins´message and for instance Napoleon Hill´s in Think and Grow Rich. Also, I see some similarities between Unlimited Power and the movie “The Secret”, which has certainly spread the concept of the law of attraction around the world.
A very central theme in Tony Robbins´teachings is the importance of self-reliance and taking responsibility: “Whatever happens, take responsibility.” Do not blame others. Do not blame circumstances. Instead go out and create your own circumstances! Naturally, such concepts are also universal and timeless.
“Achievers tend to believe that no matter what happens, whether it´s good or bad, they created it. If they didn’t cause it by their physical actions, maybe they did by the level and tenor of their thoughts. Now, I don´t know if this is true. No scientist can prove that our thoughts create our reality. But it´s a useful lie. It´s an empowering belief. That´s why I choose to believe in it. I believe that we generate our experiences in life – either by behaviour or by thought – and that we can learn from all of them. If you don´t believe that you´re creating your world, whether it be your successes or your failures, then you are at the mercy of circumstances. Things just happen to you. You´re an object, not a subject. Let me tell you, if I had that belief, I´d check out now and look for another culture, another world, another planet. Why be here if you´re just the product of random outside forces?” (Anthony Robbins)
Returning to the initial question, are the ideas that Tony Robbins presented to the world more than 20 years ago still applicable? I would say yes, definitely. Those concepts are universal and applicable anytime by anybody, because “happiness and success in life are not the result of what we have, but rather of how we live. What we do with the things we have makes the biggest difference in the quality of life”. Tony Robbins learned that from Jim Rohn ages ago. I now know that they were and are absolutely right. As Tony Robbins says: “Live with passion!”