Extended Summary – @thenaijayouthng

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

Often times you’ve thought about making significant changes to your life or lifestyle but in most cases this doesn’t happen. Why is it so? In this chapter Tony Robbins believes that the problem is usually in how you framed the desire to do so. Take for instance; instead of I’d like to stop eating junks replace it with I’d start eating more healthily. He said to change anything about your life you will have to make clear decisions and under any circumstance, you should stick to it.

He talked about the story of Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Corporation. While he was a schoolboy, he decided that he wanted to create effective piston rings for Automobile. During World War II, the Japanese government wouldn’t provide him with the concrete he needed to factories to manufacture his products. What did he do? He invented his own way of making concrete and as a result he began building his empire.

He encountered many problems but that didn’t stop him from succeeding in his goal.

Although committing to decisions that can effect our lives positively could be challenging, the more you do it, the easier it will get. The author believes that although you might fail at the beginning when it comes to commitment, you shouldn’t be discouraged. You can only get better and that’s by learning from each failed attempt; what worked? How can I do better next time?…And gradually you’ll be set on a path to getting better.


  1. Make new habits by associating unwanted ones with pain and desired ones with pleasure

To accomplish your goals and to effectively make the changes in your lives for good, you must be committed to your decisions. Although it could be really difficult breaking some of your old habits, you must stay committed to your decision to. Tony suggests that if you want to break from a particular habit, an effective way might be associating it with pain.

For example, you might want to stop eating chocolate so you could live healthier. You should associate eating chocolate to a non-pleasurable experience. You could make yourself sing a song you really do not like each time you eat chocolate and soon your brain will adapt to eating chocolate and not being fun. But more importantly than deciding, you must commit to your decisions. It is not also enough that you only associate the habit you want to break to pain, you must then replace that habit or activity with something you like and enjoy which is in line with your goal. Or associate your goals to pleasure. When you feel like eating chocolate eat your favourite fruits or work out, same way you have suggested to your brain it’s not pleasure eating chocolate, same way, you’ll get your brain to associate the alternative to pleasure.

This method has been proven to work in far more cases than not.

  1. To change who you are, change your beliefs

Imagine 2 people at the age of 60. One of them might think life is coming to an end as the best days are already gone. Yet another might be so excited on what the remaining days of her life has in stock for her. The difference lies in their belief systems.

A belief is an idea supported by evidence. For example, you may have an idea that you are a good chess player but this becomes a belief when supported with evidence, perhaps you win the game most of the times you played.

He suggests that to change your person you must change your beliefs and have a positive outlook towards life.


  1. Changing your vocabulary can transform your attitudes and emotions

It is important that you take notice of the words you use on a daily basis as they will shape your thinking and perception. To think differently about a decision, you should describe it differently. The words we use to describe our experience of the world actually define that experience. Tony called this Transformational Vocabulary.

By using strong words for positive emotions and less intense words for negative emotions you can use your vocabulary to help manage your emotions. For example; instead of ‘I am happy’ you could use ‘totally blissed’; instead of ‘I am anxious’ you could use phrase like ‘I am a little concerned.’


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

Going by the questions we ask, one can determine the way we think. Our thoughts are a series of questions and answers. The kind of questions you ask yourself determines the way you will likely respond to a situation. For example; if you are going through an unpleasant situation, and you often find yourself asking, ‘’why does this always happen to me?’’  it is clear you are thinking from a negative state of mind and instantly your focus will be on your life’s failures. But if during that same situation you ask yourself questions like ‘’how can I fix this?’’ ‘’what is this situation or experience teaching me?’’ ‘’what can I do better next time?’’ with questions like that you focus on the victories you’ve had in the past. You focus on learning, you ask yourself questions from a positive state of mind and respond to the situation positively…instead of drowning your mood.

Tony Robbins suggests that you make a list of questions beforehand; questions that come from a positive framework. And put those questions to test when next you are faced with ordeals that are quite thick. This will not only lift your mood but will also make you come up with an effective solution or at least, help you cope with the situation better.

Ask yourself positive questions every morning when you wake up and start your day in a great mood, by constant practice, you’ll soon find it easier to get into positive state as your day goes by.


  1. Discover your own life values to find out if you are living up to your full potential

Do you know what is most important to your life? Can you certainly tell what value is the most important to you? If your answer is no or you simply aren’t sure, you should do your best to find out? Is it love? Health? Relationship? Passion? Most of the happiest and successful people understand their values and built a life around it. You should try discover yours.  You need to live your life in accordance to your beliefs.

In this chapter Tiny suggests you take time to reflect and list out your most important values, in order of priority and elaborate on your reasons for including those values. If your highest value does not align with your goals then you might need to change the values you place that high. For example, your goal might be to finish up a book in 4 weeks and one of your highest values might be socializing with friends every evening. Every time you spend the evening with your friends you get back too tired to work on your goal, it simply means this value does not align with your goal.

He used an example of someone whose value is passion and does everything with so much passion but it’s having a bad effect on his health. In this case, if this person becomes unwell, he cannot do things with as much passion so he needs to place health above passion on his value priority list.


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

All of us have laid down rules that we follow in our lives. Someone might say ‘’I’d be happy if I ate that bar of chocolate’’ a rule like this plays a large part in determining your actions and how you feel because it is part of what decides whether you are happy or not. Think about your life for a moment; what will truly make you happy? Winning the lottery? Being appreciated more by your friends? Though things like this can bring you happiness but they are not things you can control. It is important to establish your life rules more on what you can control. For example, instead of ‘’I’ll feel great if someone congratulates me on my work,’’ attach your happiness to you getting your work done or accomplishing your personal goals. Because many of our rules are based on other people’s actions we are likely to get upset if they do things that do not agree with our rules. But the truth is we all have different life rules. For example; your life rule regarding friendship might be that frequent phone calls must be made; you might feel upset if your friend doesn’t call you as frequently as you want. You might feel the person is no longer your friend. But to your friend, his/her life rule surrounding friendship might be that you be there for each other whether you call all the time or not.

If both parties communicate their rules surrounding friendship you will have a better understanding of why your friend is upset or better still avoid getting upset, knowing that you have both communicated each other’s rules.


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

You can gain mastery over any form of emotions. Most times we tend to get overwhelmed by our negative emotions and that’s usually because we don’t analyze the emotion and search deep to the real cause of it. For instance, you might be feeling angry over a situation but when we search deep down to the cause of it, it might just be simply exhaustion or tiredness. If you understand this, you can have better control over it next time. Tony Robbins suggests that you use Transformational Vocabulary (changing your emotions by describing them differently) to change your emotions. After identifying the cause of the anger, in this case, exhaustion, you can say words like ‘’I feel a little droopy’’ instead of ‘’I’m exhausted.’’ This will reduce the negativity and the anger will be easier to control or overcome.

For instance, you’ve identified the cause of your unhappiness as being lonely. The next step you need to take is to identify why you are being lonely and start to take actions about it. If you however find it hard to take control of your emotions, remember the last time you successfully did and focus your attention on it. That will boost your confidence to deal with this present emotion and as such you gain control over it.


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

You may be thinking you are not influential enough to cause a change in your society and because of that, you don’t even make attempt. The truth changing the world starts with you and as you make those changes they cause an effect in the society.

For example; the next time you see a sad person at a store try paying the person a genuine compliment, you may just help life their mood. Smile at people as you go about your daily activities, you never know how many people’s moods you’ll lift. Pass positive energy. Using this information you have, help others too. These are just the least of the ways you can contribute to the society.

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