Synthesizing My Tony Robbins Experience
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The question that I posed for November was, "will you listen to other points of view?" And I had defined "listening" as being willing to change your own point of view and agree with at least 10% of what the other person is saying. That way there is an opportunity to create a common ground and build upon it.
I had an opportunity to try this out last weekend when I took a 4 day (16 hours/day) Tony Robbins virtual Unleash the Power Within course. I hadn't been planning on taking the course but someone generously gifted it to me. When I first heard of Tony Robbins, I wasn't a big fan. I just thought of him as the infomercial guy with the strange hair. But when I watched his documentary I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix a few years ago, I started to think he was a pretty incredible person. I watched some of his videos online and found them to have a lot of great wisdom. So I was game to attend the course and "play full-out" as Tony requests all his participants to do. I should mention that "playing full-out" means jumping up and down and dancing and getting into a frenzied state yelling "Yes!" and "Aye!" about ever 30 minutes to keep you "in state". So I was a little skeptical of this process after the first 16 hour day with only one break for 30 minutes. I was wondering if these were the same techniques employed by cults to indoctrinate their new recruits.
I wanted to be open minded and benefit as much as I could from the weekend. So I parked my skepticism and danced like a maniac in my bonus room while on Zoom with 12,000+ other maniacs. (I got over 20,000 steps one day just from "playing full-out and getting in state"). The point of getting "in state" is that Tony suggests that all great success and breakthroughs require energy. If you want to change, you need to have energy to do that. Getting "in-state" gives you the right mindset to really change and learn something experientially, not just in your head. I actually agree with that. And Tony did provide some great content over the entire weekend. I am a big personal growth advocate and have read many great books and taken other powerful courses and training over many years. So most of the content Tony provided wasn't new to me. But I think it is great to be reminded of these things and sometimes hearing a concept in a new way can open another layer of understanding. And I wanted to "really listen" and be willing to come away with a new perspective on my understanding of how to 'live my best life'.
BUT, and there is a but, my skepticism rose up in a wave with the lead up to the first sales pitch for a $10,000+ course that Tony and his team masterfully presented as the logical next step to take your life to the next level. And as the weekend went on, the persuasive lead-ups and pitches kept on rolling in. That's when "getting in state" seemed like a manipulative technique to get people in the state of mind to commit to an expensive program that they might not otherwise sign up for. I was entrenched in my mindset that the weekend experience was very manipulative and I was starting to reject the value of the course. Then one of Tony's former clients/now friend and colleague started to speak about the difference Tony's courses made in his own life. Even though the speaker was engaging, I was tuning him out because it just felt like another sales pitch. And then he actually addressed some people's comments in the chat that said they were turned off by his selling. He was very candid in saying that he didn't benefit from people signing up for the courses. He was promoting them because of the value they added for him and many other people. And then he said that "selling is service." Because if you have a great service or product that can help people and you are not getting it out to them, you are actually doing them a disservice.
So I considered that even if I felt people were being manipulated to purchase these expensive courses, I do believe the people signing up for these courses will benefit from taking them. They may even benefit more because they paid a lot to take them. Because when you put a lot of money into something, you value it. And if there is homework or action that needs to take place in these courses, I am guessing people will be very motivated to prove that their money was well-spent. Perhaps the investment is part of the transformation.
I am not suggesting you sign up for one of these courses, (unless you want to). My learning was that I got a new perspective on selling. I don't think I would ever want to manipulate people to hire me as a coach, but I do see that if my desire is to help people who want to make their dream of writing a book come true, I need to let people know that is what I can do for them. It transforms from "selling" to "service" if that is something that my potential clients want for themselves and I have the tools that can help them do that.
So I am glad that I "listened" and "played full-out". I also gleaned some other great concepts and perspectives. And I learned to karate-chop a piece of wood. I and I think I lost a few pounds after 4 days of maniacal dancing. I came away with the notion that I want my life to be a balance of progress and also being happy in the moment. It feels great to grow and it feels equally great to be happy with what is here now. Last weekend with Tony was all stretching growing. This weekend is about incorporating some new ideas and being grateful for my life just as it is now. And if that's what my take away is from 'listening' to Tony even when I was turned off by all his selling and self-promotion, then I think that is pretty great!
What about you? Did you try 'listening' to people with other perspectives? Did you shift or grow in the process? Click the "like" button if you gave it a try. Add a "thumbs up" in the comments if 'really listening' opened your mind to any new perspectives or helped your relationships with other people.
Stay tuned for my December post on the first Monday of the month, which will be December 7th. We are just about at the end of this M.A.P. (My Amazing-Year Plan) journey together. We've gone through each month of this unprecedented year together. And I am optimistic that next year will bring more joy as the world starts to open up again. If we can grow and be grateful and have fun in a year with Coronavirus, then we should be able to knock it out of the park when we have freedom from it.
And as always, share any comments or thoughts that you'd like in the comments below or in our Weekly ONE Thing Facebook Group.