For more than 25 years US-based motivational speaker and success coach Anthony Robbins has been passionately pursuing the answers to questions such as 'What shapes human behaviour? And how can we create lasting change within oursleves and others?'.
He has spoken in front of more than 3 million people around the world and sold around 35 million books and audio coaching products.
After attending his 4-day 'Unleash The Power Within' seminar recently in Kuala Lumpur I learnt many strategies to perform at your best.
I even took part in his famous barefoot walk over hot coals. This powerful physical metaphor shows how anyone can overcome their deepest and greatest fears with focus, passion and desire.
Part rock concert, part learning experience, part aerobic workout, the seminar was attended by more than 4,000 people in a giant indoor sporting stadium that was built for the Commonwealth Games.
Standing 6'7", weighing 265 lbs and with a shoe size of 16, Robbins was impressive on stage as he harnessed the energy of the crowd.
In fact, security guards have to line the stage as he is regularly swamped by over eager fans.
At 43 years old, he has been enourmously successful and worked with people like President Clinton and Melson Mendela.
What was it like?
Hot, humid, high energy and simple take home messages packaged with a high-tech light, sound and video show.
I was impressed, motivated and got some great ideas from it.
Here is my gift to you. The Top 10 Secrets of Success I learnt from spending 4 days with Tony Robbins.
1. YOUR POTENTIAL IS DETERMINED (OR LIMITED) BY YOUR SELF-BELIEF.
As the promotional material says the event was 'about creating breakthroughs, moving beyond fears and limiting beliefs, accomplishing goals and realizing true desires, turning dreams into reality, creating fulfilling relationships, and modeling the strategies of peak performers to produce a quantum difference in your life.'
If you cut out the hype, the simple message is if you believe in yourself enough you can achieve anything.
A memorable one-liner was "the only thing that's keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself".
2. MOST PEOPLE HAVE SELF-DOUBT AROUND UNIVERSAL THEMES.
Ask anyone and most people will admit they lack confidence in some areas of their life. The interesting thing I learnt from this seminar is that this self-doubt is around universal themes. These themes cross age, gender, religous, cultural and language barriers.
Common doubts include 'I am not good enough', 'I am lazy' and 'No-one loves me'.
3. YOU CAN LEARN MECHANISMS TO ELIMINATE SELF-DOUBT.
Robbins calls it 'immersion' where you break old patterns and build new ones by repetition. He uses a lot of Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques to achieve this with his audiences.
He says "progress is not automatic".
A memorable moment in the seminar was when we had to visualize ourselves inside a bubble and inside that bubble was a series of videotapes neatly arranged in a time-line that represented all our memories in our lives so far. We had to pull out the negative videotapes and destroy them. This was followed by time spent visualising the future and how your life will look 10 and 20 years from now.
4. BELIEF IMPACTS ON MANY LEVELS.
The Robbins message was that 3 things shape our self-belief. He calls them the Triad. These are our patterns of physiology, focus and language or meaning.
He highlighted this with the quote: "where focus goes energy flows".
5. OUR VALUES AND BELIEFS SHAPE OUR ACTIONS.
Robbins believes you can "vanquish whatever is holding you back from taking action".
Walking barefoot across a bed of glowing coals is the physical metaphor he uses in his seminars to prove this point to the skeptics.
Eliminate negative self-belief and take massive action are his keys to success.
6. TO CREATE POSITIVE OUTCOMES YOU MUST TAKE MASSIVE ACTION.
"Where focus goes energy flows" is a quote used by Robbins in his presentation to highlight why you need to know your outcome and why achieving this is a must.
But many people fail to take the next step. They delay, put off and find many reasons or excuses not to act.
Robbins believes "progress is not automatic" and "action is power". Take action, even if it is the wrong action. He says it is "never a failure if you learn something".
7. MATCHING & MIRRORING CREATES CONNECTION, TRUST & EMPATHY.
Robbins spent a fair amount of time in the seminar talking about and demonstrating interpersonal communication skills.
He used people from the audience to show how the process of "matching and mirroring" the non-verbal communication and body language of others can be a very powerful way to connect with people.
In essence, you create rapport by adopting the body language of the person you are communicating with.
He believes "rapport is power" and "total responsiveness is created by a feeling of commonality".
If you have learnt these techniques before and haven't used them for a while, I suggest it is time to dust them off and put them into action next time you are communicating with someone on a one-to-one basis.
8. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU FOCUS ON PASSION AND PURPOSE.
Robbins believes that "to have an extraordinary quality of life you need two skills: the science of achievement (the ability to take anything you envision and make it real) and the art of fulfilment (this allows you to enjoy every moment of it)."
He says "success without fulfilment is failure".
Find your passion and purpose in life. My purpose is to make a difference in people's lives and use my gift as a speaker.
9. MODEL YOURSELF ON OTHER ACHIEVERS.
To gain improvements quickly and step up to a new level of achievement, Robbins believes learning from others who are the best in their field is the fastest way to achieve success.
He told the story of how he wanted to improve his tennis game and so employed Andre Agassi, the then number one ranked player to help him achieve this.
Who could you model yourself on?
"People's lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group," according to Robbins.
10. SUCCESS IS BUILT ON A HEALTHY, HIGH ENERGY BODY, HEART AND MIND
If you are not healthy - all of the above points are a waste of time.
Your health is determined and influenced by your lifestyle.
One major change I've made since the seminar is to eat a healthier diet and exercise more regularly.
As a speaker, my whole business depends on my ability to perform at a peak state. Like any professional athlete, the success of business is directly linked to my diet and health.
Take care of yourself, your body is ultimately your most important asset.