Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

I read the original edition of the book, which was kind of delightfully anachronistic in the sense that all the examples were people from the 1980's. Aside from some of the comments about diet, though, I found almost the entire book to be very practical in the present day. 

The central concept of Unlimited Power is learning how to run your brain in an optimal fashion. That's one of my personal passions, so of course I was interested to read further. I'm going to try to record my takeaways from the book here. If you find these interesting and want to read further, either click the book image or this link to buy it on Amazon. If you think about it, if this book helps improve your life at all, the price is insignificant. Anyway, here are my notes about some of the key points:

 

You Want to Proactively Shape Your Perceptions

"You shape your perceptions, or someone shapes them for you.... Real power is ... the ability to direct your own personal kingdom - your own thought processes, your own behavior - so you produce the precise results you desire." (pg. 46)
 

How We Communicate to Ourselves Determines if Knowledge Becomes Action

"If all we needed were ideas and positive thinking, then we all would have had ponies when we were kids and we would all be living our 'dream life' now... Knowledge is only potential power until it comes into the hands of someone who knows how to get (themselves) to take effective action... What we do in life is determined by how we communicate to ourselves... What we picture and say to ourselves, how we move and use the muscles of our bodies and our facial expressions will determine how much of what we know we will use... The greatest gift that extraordinarily successful people have over the average person is their ability to get themselves to take action." (pg. 48-49)
 

Your Feelings Result From Your Interpretation of Events, Not the Events Themselves

"How you feel is not the result of what is happening in your life - it is your interpretation of what is happening.... You are the one who decides how to feel and act based upon the ways you choose to perceive your life. Most of us have turned this process of interpretation into automatic, but we can take that power back and immediately change our experience of the world.... You can control your mental activities and your behaviors to a degree you never believed possible before." (pg. 50-51)
 

All Beliefs are Internal Representations

"Remember, we don't know how life really is. We only know how we represent life to ourselves." (pg. 146)
 

The Ultimate Success Formula

"Success is not an accident. The difference between people who produce positive results and those who do not is not some sort of random roll of the dice. There are consistent, logical patterns of action, specific pathways to excellence, that are within the reach of us all." (pg. 58)
 

1. Know Your Outcome by Setting Concrete Goals

"Define precisely what you want." (pg. 53)
"A study of the 1953 graduates of Yale University clearly demonstrates this point. The graduates interviewed were asked if they had a clear, specific set of goals written down with a plan for achieving those goals. Only 3 percent has such written goals. Twenty years later, in 1973, the researchers went back and interviewed the surviving members of the 1953 graduating class. They discovered that the 3 percent with written specific goals were worth more in financial terms than the entire other 97 percent put together." (pg. 263)

As a sidenote, we are in the process of developing a life authoring program here at Aspire which will assist you in solidifying these sort of life goals. 

 

2. Take Action

"Take the types of actions you believe will create the greatest possibility of producing the results you desire." (pg. 53)
 

3. Recognize the Responses and Results You are Getting

"Develop the sensory acuity to recognize the kinds of responses and results you're getting from your actions and to note as quickly as possible if they are taking you closer to your goals or father away." (pg. 53)
 

4. Change Your Action Until You Get What You Want

"Develop the flexibility to change your behavior until you get what you want." (pg 54)
"Good communicators aren't interested in rationalizations of why something is going wrong. They want to find out how to do it right." (pg. 292)
 

What Produces a Mental State

"There are two main components of state. The first is our internal representations, and the second is the condition and use of our physiology. What and how you picture things, as well as what and how you say things to yourself about the situation at hand, create the state you're in and thus the kinds of behaviors you produce." (pg. 84)
 

Are Your Internal Representations Working for You?

"It's critical that we look at any pattern of communication and ask ourselves regularly, 'If I continue to represent things to myself this way, what will likely be the final result in my life? What direction is my present behavior taking me, and is that were I want to go?'" (pg. 160-161)
 

How to Automatically Produce an Optimum State for Results

A "way to establish beliefs is through the creating in your mind of the experience you desire in the future as if it were here now.... I call this experiencing results in advance.... Whatever your goal may be, if you create in your mind a clear image of the result you want and represent it to yourself as if you've already achieved it, then you will go into the kind of states that will support you in creating the results you desire." (pg. 111)
 

Agreement and Alignment are More Powerful Than Confrontation

"Remember that there is no such thing as resistance, there are only inflexible communicators who push at the wrong time and in the wrong direction. Like an aikido master, a good communicator, instead of opposing someone's views, is flexible and resourceful enough to sense the creation of resistance, find points of agreement, align himself with them, and then redirect communication in a way he wants to go." (pg. 346)

Note: I was reading the 1980's edition, which included some gendered language which would now be considered anachronistic. I strongly suspect this has been fixed in subsequent editions. 

"It's about as smart to get in a vicious argument with a person you love as it is to rub sandpaper across your lips and then pour alcohol on them." (pg. 356)
"Everything I know about communication tells me to build from Agreement, not from conflict; to learn to align and lead rather than to try and overcome resistance." (pg. 357)

 

On Mental Filters

"It is important to note that our past experiences regularly filter our ability to see what is really happening in the world." (pg. 361)
 

On Reframing Thoughts

"Reframing in its simplest form is changing a negative statement into a positive one by changing the frame of reference used to perceive the experience." (pg. 362)
"There are multiple meanings to any experience. The meaning is whatever you choose to emphasize, just as its content is what you choose to focus on." (pg. 366)
"We can't go back in time. We can't change what actually happened. But we can control our representations so they'll give us something positive for the future." (pg. 486)
 

The Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness

"Happiness and success in life are not the result of what we have, but rather of how we live." (pg. 491)
  1. Learn to Handle Frustration (pg. 449)
  2. Learn to Handle Rejection (pg. 451)
  3. Learn to Handle Financial Pressure (pg. 453)
  4. Learn How to Handle Complacency (pg. 458)
  5. Always Give More Than You Receive (pg. 460)

 

Are You Heading in the Right Direction?

"In what direction are you presently going? If you follow your current direction, where will you be in five years or ten years? And is that where you want to go?" (pg. 488)
 

Concluding Thoughts

"I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece." (pg. 495)

Unlimited Power was both motivational and highly practical. I liked that it included a myriad of specific techniques that I could start using essentially immediately. In going back through my notes, I'm noticing how densely packed the whole book is with information, which is always nice.

If you'd like to read Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins, please order it here.