Awaken the Giant Within

By: Tony Robbins - Read: December 17, 2022 - Rating: 7/10

From the title, I expected that this would be more about manifestation and the psychology of achieving big results. Instead, it's more about emotional regulation and mastery of your mind.

The main premise is that we can most effectively control what we do in every domain by conditioning ourselves to associate certain positive emotions with actions that we want ourselves to take. He also sprinkles in lots of other wisdom about a variety of topics in life mastery, including insights on personal, financial, and relationship success.

The examples are very dated now, which made it a bit tougher to get through, and I think some of his messages are communicated better in other books now, but the core psychological principles are very valuable and worth reading.

My Notes

A lot of the book involved valuable individual/self-reflection exercises, which I didn't include my personal responses to here. Instead, I left my notes on the main ideas and concepts that I found most valuable.

How to create lasting change

  1. Raise your standards
  2. Change your limiting beliefs
  3. Change your strategy - emotional, physical, relationship, financial, and time mastery

Decisions

Different actions produce different results. Your destiny is shaped in moments of decision.

  • If you don't decide to set a standard for what to accept in life, you'll slip into behaviors below what you deserve.
  • "Truly making a decision means committing to achieving a result, and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility."
  • "The way to make better decisions is to make more of them"
  • "Information is power when acted upon"
  • "Repetition is the mother of skill"

The three decisions that shape your destiny:

  1. Your decision about what to focus on
  2. Your decisions about what things mean to you
  3. Your decisions about what to do to create the results that you desire

In order to succeed, you must have a long-term focus.

Harness the power of decisions:

  1. Remember how powerful making decisions is
  2. Realize that making a commitment is the hardest part of decisions
  3. Make decisions often
  4. Learn from your decisions
  5. Stay committed to your decisions
  6. Enjoy making decisions

The forces that shape your life

Pain and pleasure are the essential forces that shape our lives. What you link pain and pleasure to shapes your destiny.

You can control your behaviors by linking pain to behaviors you want to stop and linking pleasure to new behaviors you want to develop. This is better than using willpower because you rewire the lower areas of your brain to align with your desired actions. It's almost like trying to redefine your brain's attractor states, rather than trying to force yourself away from attractor states.

Belief systems

"It's not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean."

A belief is simply a feeling of certainty.

The way to expand our lives is to model the lives of those people that are already succeeding.

The only true security in life comes from knowing that every day you are improving yourself in some way. The Japanese call this concept kaizen.

Creating lasting change You have to believe that you can change now. You have to believe that you're solely responsible for your change.

Tony Robbins presents the concept of Neuro-Associative Conditioning as his strategy to create lasting change. It's interesting as it wasn't scientifically backed at the time, but empirically works very well - but now with further developments in our understanding neuroscience, the concept of making lasting changing by linking emotions to actions lines up with how our brain works and is very intuitive - it's like hacking yourself using a caveat of how we work.

The steps of neuro-associative conditioning:

  1. Decide what you want and what's preventing you from having it now
  2. Get leverage: associate massive pain with not changing now and massive pleasure to the experience of changing now
  3. Interrupt the limiting pattern - break the pattern of your old behavior that you are trying to change
  4. Create a new, empowering alternative - replace your old behavior with something new that's linked to pleasure
  5. Condition the new pattern until it's consistent

How to get what you really want

Whatever we focus on becomes our idea of reality. Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.

Focus on what you want in detail and visualize it, using all the different submodalities - or dimensions of experience (auditory, visual, olfactory, etc.)

Questions are how we tear down our limiting beliefs and are an important part of growth.

The words that we attach to our experience become our experience. Get rid of words that create disempowering states, and strengthen words that create empowering states.

The ten action signals

This section has an overview guide on how to deal with each of these emotions. Worth checking back on in the moment.

  1. Discomfort
  2. fear
  3. Hurt
  4. Anger
  5. Frustration
  6. Disappointment
  7. Guilt
  8. Inadequacy
  9. Overload and overwhelm
  10. Loneliness

The ten emotions of power

  1. Love & Warmth
  2. Appreciation & Gratitude
  3. Curiosity
  4. Excitement & Passion
  5. Determination
  6. Flexibility
  7. Confidence
  8. Cheerfulness
  9. Vitality
  10. Contribution

A compelling future creates a dynamic sense of growth. This is essential to living, and allows us to achieve while taking part in a sense of joy and contribution.