Awaken The Giant Within



It's coming to that time of the year again when you reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the next 12 months. Is it a coincidence that gym membership rockets in January but by March 2/3 of new members go less than once a week; if at all.

Have you thought about changing your life? Perhaps it was last New Year's Eve and you resolved to quit some bad habit. Maybe, like me you wanted to lose weight and seriously considered going on a new diet. But did you actually manage to bring about those changes to your life?

If you didn’t, like me, the problem was likely in how we framed our desire to change: “I’d like to stop eating junk food” instead of “I will start eating more healthily.”

To change anything about your life, you first have to make a clear decision, says Tony. Then, no matter what challenges you may face, you have to stick to that decision.

Tony Robbins has been a favorite of mine for many years. He sets the bar to whom I measure everyone else when it comes to 'life coaching'. I have been fortunate enough to see him live a few times in the UK and US. The energy from his events are electric and you leave them ready to tackle any situation that comes your way.

The three most powerful points I took from the book were;

  1. Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards and believe you can meet them. Good is the enemy of great.

  2. If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything

  3. People with an impoverished vocabulary live an impoverished emotional life. Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary, you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live.

What I love about his message is that it's all about 'standards'. Why be good; when you can be excellent!

Good is the enemy of great!

As with all these things; one needs to be reminded constantly. That energy you have after listening to his audio books, going to his events or reading his books, do wain and therefore I make it a point of repeating his message many times a year.

Awaken the Giant Within is one of his original and early works. I would recommend listening to the audiobook while following in your book, as the passion from Tony's delivery in audio really makes the message so much more powerful.

In short, the message from the book is that if at any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards and believe you can meet them. We must change our belief system and develop a sense of certainty that we can and will meet the new standards before we actually do. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. Your habits are what will drive your success or failure in life.

Tony describes three decisions that control your destiny. They are;

  1. Your decisions 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 you desire.

Everything you and I do, we do either out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure.

It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean. Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.

Setting Higher Standards and Making Better Decisions.

  • Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards and believe you can meet them

  • We must change our belief system and develop a sense of certainty that we can and will meet the new standards before we actually do

  • In life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know they should do

  • If we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently

  • It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped

  • Not only do you have to decide what results you are committed to, but also the kind of person that you’re committed to becoming

  • If you truly decide to, you can do almost anything

  • It’s likely that whatever challenges you have in your life currently could have been avoided by some better decisions upstream

  • Success truly is the result of good judgement. Good judgement is the result of experience, and experience is often the result of bad judgement!

  • Know that it’s your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny

Pain or Pleasure.

  • Everything we do, we do either out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure

  • For most people, the fear of loss is much greater than the desire for gain

  • Why is it that people can experience pain yet fail to change? It's because they haven’t experienced enough pain yet; they haven’t hit what Tony calls the emotional threshold

  • If we link massive pain to any behavior or emotional pattern, we will avoid indulging in it at all costs

  • Anything you want that’s valuable requires that you break through some short-term pain in order to gain long-term pleasure

  • Whenever something happens in your life, your brain asks two questions. One; will this mean pain or pleasure. Two, what must I do now to avoid pain and/or gain pleasure?

Reality & Your Beliefs.

  • We’re not driven by the reality, but by our perception of reality

  • It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean

  • It’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events - how we interpret them - that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow

  • If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible

  • New experiences trigger change only if they cause us to question our beliefs. Remember, whenever we believe something, we no longer question it in any way

  • The way to expand our lives is to model the lives of those people who are already succeeding. It’s just a matter of asking questions: ‘what do you believe makes you different? What are the beliefs you have that separate you from others?

  • We all want to change either 1) how we feel about things or 2) our behaviors

  • There are three specific beliefs about responsibility that a person must have if they’re going to create long-term change. First, we must believe, ‘Something must change’ - not that it should change, not that it could or ought to, but that it absolutely must. Second, we must not only believe that things must change, but we must believe, ‘I must change it’. Third, we have to believe, ‘I can change it’

  • The only way for us to have long-term happiness is to live by our highest ideals, to consistently act in accordance with what we believe our life is truly about

Your State and Focus.

  • The difference between acting badly or brilliantly is not based on your ability, but on the state of your mind and/or body in any given moment

  • Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear

  • You’ve got to be in a determined state in order to succeed

  • Quality questions create a quality life

  • A genuine quality of life comes from consistent, quality questions

  • We can change how we feel in an instant, just by changing our focus

  • One of the ways that I’ve discovered to increase the quality of my life is to model the habitual questions of people I really respect

Words are Powerful.

  • The words you habitually choose also affect how you communicate with yourself and therefore what you experience

  • People with an impoverished vocabulary live an impoverished emotional life; people with rich vocabularies have a multi-hued palette of colors with which to paint their experience, not only for others, but for themselves as well

  • Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary - the words you consistently use to describe the emotions of your life - you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live

  • If we want to change our lives and shape our destiny, we need to consciously select the words we’re going to use, and we need to constantly strive to expand our level of choice

Setting Goals.

  • Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible - the foundation for all success in life

  • All goal setting must be immediately followed by both the development of a plan, and massive and consistent action toward its fulfilment

  • It’s not just getting a goal that matters, but the quality of life you experience along the way

  • Remember, our goal is not to ignore the problems of life, but to put ourselves in better mental and emotional states where we can not only come up with solutions, but act upon them

  • Many people know what they want to have, but have no idea of who they want to be

Your Values.

  • Remember that your values - whatever they are - are the compass that is guiding you to your ultimate destiny

  • Anytime you have difficulty making an important decision, you can be sure that it’s the result of being unclear about your values

  • To value something means to place importance upon it; anything that you hold dear can be called a ‘value’

  • If you ever feel angry or upset with someone, remember, it’s your rules that are upsetting you, not their behaviour

The Ultimate Success Formula.

  1. Decide what you want​

  2. Take action

  3. Notice what’s working or not

  4. Change your approach until you achieve what you want



What I took from it.

Tony Robbins is still one of the best 'Life Mastery' gurus out there, and this was one of his original programs. By reading this book, you have an edge over most people who listen to their own negative inner voice. In this program, he covers 'pattern interrupts' and how to erase those old 'mental tapes' many people play on a loop to themselves. Break old patterns and learn new ones.

It's a short book to motivate people to think about their goals, be committed to them (not just hope they will happen), take actions, assess the results (to measure the effectiveness of those actions), and adjust their plans until their goals are achieved. There is nothing new about this approach and many people interested in 'self-help' would have heard these messages before. For me it's more like listening to a artist on stage. You like the 'song' and therefore you will listen to it often in years to come; and sooner or later you will be able to 'sing' along. Its that stage we should all strive to achieve. Let the message become part of your sub-conscience.

My Rating

There is no one better than Tony Robbins when it comes to being a motivational guru. Others try but why have a substitute when you can have the real thing. Tony raises the bar but shows you who to easily clear it - as long as you do the work

This is a book which can evoke huge and lasting change in your life. Depending on how much effort you are willing to devote to this program, you can turn your whole life around.