Awaken the Giant Within is a 1991 book by the famous Tony Robbins. In its pages, Robbins provides personalized advice gleaned from decades of experience to help you overcome bad habits and unleash your full potential in both body and mind.
A 3 Minute Summary of the 15 Core Lessons
#1 Three Decisions Matter
Robbins argues that there are three primary decisions we make every day and consistently across our lives that determine our destinies. The first of these decisions revolves around what we decide to focus on. This will affect our career goals and relationship ambitions, and they can allow us to focus our efforts on what really matters.
#2 Decide What Things Mean to You
The second key decision to make is to determine what various things mean to you as a person. It’s not enough to just take cultural values for granted and assume that they are actually important to your heart. You need to take a hard look at what you value and figure out what you actually think about the things in your life.
#3 Decide What to Do About Those Things
After you’ve identified the two above decisions and what they entail, you then need to decide what to do about those desires and beliefs. Only now, after identifying what you are after and what truly matters to your personal goals, can you start taking steps to readjust your life and align it with your ultimate objectives.
#4 Focus on the Destination, Rather than Fear
Robbins stresses that it is important for everyone to focus on where they want to go and who they want to be rather than allowing fear to arrest their development. Too many people, he says, waste their lives paralyzed by fear and indecision and never end up doing what they want or obtaining their lifelong achievements all because they let fear get the better of them.
#5 People Do Things For Two Reasons
Broadly speaking, people take actions for one of two reasons: either to avoid pain or gain pleasure. Understanding this will allow you to better examine why you take the actions you do and what motivates most of your responses to stimuli throughout your day. Do you live a primarily fearful life or do you spend most of your time chasing your goals?
#6 Five Major Elements
Robbins goes over the five major elements of your decision-making process: core rules or beliefs (which are often instilled in us as children), values, questions, references, and emotional states. All five of these elements dictate our daily routines and where we end up heading throughout life if we decide to run things on autopilot.
#7 Changing the Elements Changes Your Life
At the same time, while these elements work together to broadly determine the direction of our lives, changing just a single of them can result in a powerful adjustment to your daily experience. If you want to make a change in your life, focus on altering one of these elements and you’ll immediately see results for good or for ill.
#8 Hijack Your Habits
Robbins says that habits are inevitable, but what you should do is pair your bad habits with pain and pair your good habits with pleasure. As an example, Robbins suggests listening or singing to a song that you hate every time you want to eat a sugary snack that causes you to gain weight.
#9 Use Your Words!
Robbins draws from his experience as a public speaker and advises the reader to use their words to transform their daily experience. Learn new words and speak them to yourself to change your state of mind. You can reinforce your good feelings with powerful and positive words or make bad emotions seem less intense by using mitigating language.
#10 Make Up Rules To Follow
We too often make up rules that give others control over our lives. As an example, we only allow ourselves to be happy if our bosses are satisfied with our performances. You can instead make up different rules, like deciding to be happy if you do good work at your job regardless of whether or not your boss appreciates your efforts.
#11 How to Create Lasting Change
Robbins argues that there are three main ways to create lasting change in your life: raise your standards, change your beliefs (or the elements described earlier), or change your strategy. The first method involves not accepting mediocre work or effort from yourself or others who are important to you. Raise your standards both for your relationships and your work and you’ll see better results.
#12 Changing Limiting Beliefs
Too many of us are locked into old patterns of habit and inaction because we have certain limiting beliefs. Many of these come from childhood experiences, such as when we are told by our parents that we aren’t good enough for a particular sport or hobby. You must learn to change these beliefs to take away their power over your behavior.
#13 Altering Your Strategy
The final way to create lasting change is to alter whatever strategy you are currently following. If you have a long-term goal that you want to attain before you die, it only pays to use winning strategies. If you’ve been on the path to your goal for some time and haven’t yet achieved victory it may be time to switch things up and pursue a different strategy.
#14 Learn From Decisions
Robbins stresses the importance of learning from all your decisions, especially since some of them won’t be perfectly successful. Don’t get discouraged by your failures but instead, take every opportunity to learn from decisions that don’t work so you don’t make them again.
#15 Learn to Enjoy Making Decisions
Finally, Robbins advises anyone looking to create lasting change in their life to get used to enjoying making decisions. You’ll be able to flexibly adapt your strategy and more consistently pursue your goals if you get in the habit of relishing in the chance to control your destiny and make real decisions that yield tangible results.
Top 10 Quotes from Awaken the Giant Within
- “If you can’t you must, and if you must you can.”
- “I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. ”
- “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”
- “Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.”
- “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
- “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
- “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
- “It is your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.”
- “Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.”
- “People are not lazy, they simply have impotent goals..that is..goals that do not inspire them.”
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Tony’s 10 Rules for Success
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