Awaken The Giant Within: Book by Tony Robbins | 7 mins read

Awaken The Giant Within (1991) argues that, ultimately, we’re all in control of our own lives, and that by changing our habits, controlling our emotions and believing in those things we want to believe, we can make our ideal life a reality.

About the author:

Tony Robbins is a world-renowned motivational speaker, passionate about improving the lives of others. He previously worked as a peak performance consultant for executives of companies such as IBM, AT&T and various professional sports teams.

What’s in it for you?

Find out how to take control of your life and live up to your potential.

Do you want to change your life but find it hard to commit to your decisions? As you go through life, do you tend to believe that the cards are somehow stacked against you?In Awaken The Giant Within, you’ll learn just how important decisions and beliefs are to bringing about positive change and becoming the person you want to be.

To change your life, focus on making and committing to the right decisions.

When was the last time you thought about changing your life? Perhaps it was New Year's Eve and you resolved to quit smoking. Or maybe 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, the problem was likely in how you framed your 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. Then, no matter what challenges you may face, you have to stick to that decision.This necessitates that you must be willing to adapt your approach as you meet obstacles.

Take, for example, Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda corporation. As a schoolboy, he decided that he wanted to create effective piston rings for automobiles. History shows that he succeeded in that goal, yet on the path to success he encountered many problems that could’ve stopped him in his tracks. For example, during World War II, the Japanese government wouldn’t provide Honda with the concrete he needed to build the factories to manufacture his product.How did he overcome that obstacle? Honda’s solution was to invent his own way of making concrete, thus enabling himself to begin building his empire. And while committing to major decisions may be challenging, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So, when you inevitably fail as you try to enact a change in your life, don’t be discouraged. Instead, think about what you could learn from the failure.

To change who you are, change your beliefs.

Imagine two people that just turned 60; One of them might think his life is coming to an end, now that his best years are gone. The other, however, might be truly thrilled for everything that’s still in store for her.

What could account for such a striking difference in outlook?

The way that we see the world and ourselves is shaped by our beliefs. But what exactly is a belief?

A belief is an idea that’s supported by evidence. You might, for example, have the idea that you’re an excellent chess player. But that idea will become a belief only if it’s supported by certain evidence, for example, you win the majority of the time.

Changing your vocabulary can transform your attitudes and emotions.

Did you know that in the English language there are approximately 3000 words that describe emotions? Surprisingly, however, there are nearly twice as many words for negative emotions as for positive ones – which could be a reason why many people tend to experience negative emotions more frequently. It’s therefore crucial that you pay close attention to the words you use in your daily life, as they will shape your thinking and perception. To think differently about a situation, you need to describe it differently. Imagine you’re on a road trip and your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. In this situation, you could allow yourself to become furious and complain about how “annoying” it is and how “angry” you feel. But you could also say something like, “that’s inconvenient.” Describing what we usually experience as a frustrating situation in more neutral words can stop you from entering a more negative emotional state.This example gets to the heart of what the author calls Transformational Vocabulary: the words we employ to describe our experience of the world actually define that experience.So how can you change your vocabulary in a way that helps you to manage your emotions? The secret is to use strong words for positive emotions and less intense words for negative ones. For example, instead of saying that you’re “happy,” you could use the stronger description, “totally blissed.” Or, if you’re on the verge of experiencing intense negative emotions, you should describe your experience with words and phrases that are less intense, such as “I’m a little concerned” instead of “I’m extremely anxious.

A final tip: try to use unusual words to express negative emotions. Doing this is likely to amuse you, and will instantly lift your mood – even delighting those around you.

For example, when you’re extremely annoyed, you could say: “I must say, I feel quite peeved.” This uncommon word has an old-fashioned, genteel quality to it that can instantly improve your mood.

To find the best solution to any problem, ask the right questions.

In basic terms, our thoughts are a series of questions and answers. Thus, the questions we ask determine the way that we think, which means that those questions are essential to our experience of life. It follows, then, that the quality of our questions has a massive impact on the quality of our lives. Every time you ask a question, its quality will determine the focus of your thoughts. If you ask a negative question, you'll get a negative answer; ask a positive question, and you’ll get a positive answer. For example, if you repeatedly find yourself in an unpleasant situation, asking yourself, “why does this always happen to me?” will instantly focus your thoughts on your life’s failures. The result? Your mood will sink, and your experience of life will be framed by this negativity. Therefore, it’s crucial that whenever you face a problem, you ask yourself the right questions. This is easier said than done. We tend to feel overwhelmed in difficult situations, so we often ask the wrong questions, for example, “why me?,” and then get discouraged by the answers. The solution is to come up with a list of questions beforehand. Make it a habit to ask questions like:What’s good about this situation?” and “what can I do to enjoy the process of solving this problem?” Asking such questions while in the thick of an ordeal will lift your mood and enable you to arrive at an effective solution for it, or at least to cope better with the consequences. If you truly want to create a general positive attitude towards life, you could take this training even further and every morning ask yourself questions that empower you. For example, you could ask “what’s great about my life?” or “what accomplishments am I proud of?” By getting yourself in a great mood at the start of each day, you’ll gradually find it easier to access that positive state during the day as well, resulting in a better, more successful life.

Come up with life rules that make you happy, and tell others about them.

All of us have rules we follow in our lives. These rules, like, “I’ll be happy once I get to eat that Snickers,” play a large part in determining both our actions and how we feel because they decide what will and won’t make us happy. However, such rules can actually limit our experience, and thus the odds of us achieving true happiness. Think about yourself for a moment: What do you need to happen for you to be happy? Do you need to win the lottery? Do you want your friends to appreciate you more? While you may be correct that such things will bring you happiness, those things are beyond your control. Therefore, it’s important to establish life rules that you can control.

For example, instead of the rule “I’ll feel great only if someone congratulates me on my work,” try employing a rule that makes your happiness dependent on accomplishing personal goals. Because many of our rules are dependent on other people’s actions, we’re likely to get frustrated or upset when those people act in a way that doesn’t fit with our rules.

In fact, if you’re upset with someone, that’s because that person is unconsciously challenging your rules. But you cannot expect your personal rules to be the same as other people’s. So, if you want a happy existence, it’s crucial that you communicate your rules and ensure that others know what’s important to you.

By understanding what’s behind your emotions, you can gain control over them.

We’ve seen that by being less stringent about your own rules, you can decide what will make you happy. But it’s not just happiness you can gain mastery over; you can, in fact, choose your entire range of emotions. But in order to gain that control, we need to first identify our true emotions. We tend to get easily overwhelmed by our negative emotions, usually because we generalize them or fail to identify them correctly. For instance, you might be feeling angry about something, but, if you reflect on the true cause of your emotional pain, you might realize there’s something else behind that anger, maybe exhaustion. As soon as you’ve identified this cause, you can use Transformational Vocabulary (influencing your emotions by describing them differently) and express your exhaustion by saying “I’m feeling a little droopy.” This will diminish any negativity you feel, and make the emotion easier to overcome.

Contribute to society to discover what you can accomplish as an individual.

There’s another way you can bring about positive social change. Now that you’ve learned how to control and reflect on your own emotions, you could start helping others with theirs. Imagine you’re at the grocery store and you notice a fellow shopper who appears sad. Instead of minding your own business, you could pay him a genuine compliment. Perhaps you could tell him that you admire him for choosing to buy free range eggs. And perhaps if you go through the world smiling at the people you meet, there’s a chance that you’ll lift their mood, which they can then share with others as well!

The key message in this book: Even small decisions and changes in your behavior can have a huge influence on how you live your own life, and on society in general.

Hope you enjoyed reading it and I believe it will Awake the Giant within you!