Peak performance strategist Tony Robbins explains how to change your mental state in order to help achieve your goals. Sign up to receive my email newsletter each week - It will keep you up-to-date on upcoming articles, Mondays with Marlo guests, videos, and more!
While there is a lot of self-help bunk out there, people who hate on Tony Robbins are usually losers who don’t try to better themselves in any way. For the past three decades, Tony Robbins has reached millions through his books, audio lessons, and presentations. This week, Robbins' first book in over 20 years, "MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom," comes out.
Robbins tells us that he wants the book to bring sophisticated money principles to a mass audience, delivered with his signature inspiring voice. We spoke with Robbins about the book, how he works with CEOs, and what he's learned from them.
And the tipping point for me was watching this documentary called "Inside Job," which eventually won the Academy Award. I thought to myself, "You know, I have a unique gift." Most people have no idea but for the last 21 years I've been coaching Paul Tudor Jones, one of the top 10 financial traders in the history of the world. So I thought if I interviewed 50 of the smartest people in the world and asked, "Can the average person still win? What I really want to do is reach the millennial that might just be getting out of school with a huge amount of debt and they're going, "How am I ever going to turn this around?" I want to reach the baby boomer who maybe took a hit in 2008 and they don't think it's possible to retire. BI: How did you end up developing powerful long-term relationships with the likes of Paul Tudor Jones, Richard Branson, Marc Benioff, and Ray Dalio? So, when you can produce results and you're sincere and you're committed and you can do anything you can to support these people, the doors open for just about anybody. BI: In a general sense, what's the main problem your clients have, regardless of their status or industry? So those two skill sets: mastering time (and mastering yourself to do that) and mastering the ability to influence. They're engaged, but how do you engage people when you have an organization that is growing dynamically at 20% or 30% or more?
Or when you're in an industry that is aging, what do you do when the mindset of people is, "This is how we've always done it"? And secondly, it's threshold of control for every business that I've ever helped to turn around a€” whether it's a multibillion-dollar company or it's an army of three from a dentist's office. And once I know what's really driving them, what they're really after, now I dig underneath and I try to figure out what are the obstacles. So I uncover what those barriers are, and then I develop a systematic approach to basically violate the limitations that they have, while having them be the person in charge to make that happen. All of these people have completely different strategies in what they do, but what they have in common is all of them are obsessed with not losing. Paul Tudor Jones has been my client for 21 years a€” I mean, he hasn't lost money for 21 straight years since we started working.
That would be boring if that was the only universal piece besides the other one, which I find fascinating, was that they're not giant risk takers, most of them.
The average person goes out and invests a dollar hoping to make 10% or 20%, if they're lucky a€” so if they're wrong they're in the hole majorly. TR: I don't think I have any regrets, but I can tell you what I learned from mistakes or failures.
The second thing I'd say, and this is something I did early on, was the result of meeting Ken Blanchard.
And the third one, maybe one of the more valuable ones, is early on I decided to invest in what I also enjoyed and what I thought would create a great lifestyle.
I don't give a damn how rich you are financially or how abundant you are with your family or love, we all experience extreme stress in our life at some point. One of my favorite books from the past that I often give people when they're in a tough place because it's so small and easy to read and so profound a€” I've read it at least a dozen times a€” is "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen. Another one I'd recommend is "The Fourth Turning," or alternatively "Generations," both written by William Strauss and Neal Howe. And the other one is Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, who's just one of the most brilliant human beings I know. BI: Since you spend your career helping others, does it ever become difficult to work on yourself? TR: Well, my clients, unless they talk about the depths of what we do personally, I never speak about them. It's really a process of uncovering, being provocative, being real, being raw, making the environment safe, and then looking for the real answers and solutions and then developing a system, because most things you can't just solve them through one conversation, you've got to create a system that causes that person to act differently, speak differently, so something differently than they have in the past in order to create a new pattern that gives them sustainable success. At the most fundamental level, I really believe that you have to know and really respect your audience. Because the more you understand what somebody wants, needs, and fears, the more you can figure out how to add value.
You've got to bring the emotion, and you have to understand that you can't touch other people if you're not touched.
The life coach and host of Breakthrough with Tony Robbins believes in living a passionate life, a life in which fear is a counselor, not a jailer. We need be careful of how we label ourselves, for example, saying "I'm an fearful person" or "I'm a weak person" or "I'm not a strong person." Usually that label comes from your current or past behavior, but once the label becomes a part of you, it starts to control you. Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues!
In a November 2014 interview, the life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins spoke with Andrew Ross Sorkin about his new book and the secret behind the Robbins brand. Tony Robbins is the world’s most recognised, successful and influential peak-state life coach. During his life, Robbins has taken an exceptional route from a usual city boy childhood to a phenomenal self-help guru and through his programs has reached over 4 million people around the world. In this post, we’ll see how Tony developed his life success and we’ll learn from through his own words and theories, just some of the ways we could help ourselves do it to.
On the 29th February 1960, a leap year, Anthony John Mohorovic was born to his parents John and Nikki Mohorovic in North Hollywood, California. A tight bond was kept between Tony and his mother during his early childhood, while his father was a quiet and content man who refrained from the level of responsibility and influence on Tony which his mother took. However, although still tight after the families move to Azusa and the arrival of a new brother, Marcus and sister, Tara the special bond between the two was soon to be tested on one day in 1967. Robbins has since said that he actually wanted to live with his Mother, but didn’t want to hurt either of their feelings. He tried his best to cope, but missed his brother and sister and began to spend his time reading alone.
He joined the new family in their home in Glendora, California where it’s said he stayed on his best behaviour, did as he was told and did well in school to please his mother.
Tony was just thirteen at the time, but he says he was so stunned by the anonymous act of kindness that he made a promise to himself that day that he would one day be successful enough to repeat the help which they had received to others around the world.
This was the first time Tony had felt part of a real family and with it he changed his last name to Robbins to fit. Tony and Jim bonded over their common love for sports and Tony dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. But by 9th Grade Tony realised he wasn’t going to make it as a baseball star and so aimed instead at what he thought was the next best thing to playing sports – writing about them.
Tony didn’t want to cover the local school teams like most young sports writers but instead, he wanted to start right at the very top. One of Tony’s first interviews was with Howard Cosell, a top sports journalist at the time. Tony recorded his interview and it was later mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, a major breakthrough for Tony and something he was thrilled to have got. This lasted for quite some time, but at sixteen Tony grew ten inches in one year and reached six-foot seven-inches in height.
Tony went on to run for Student Body President and although considered as the underdog, he used his newly found appearance and well-practiced speech to his advantage – he was elected president.
This went on for months but as it began to affect his school life, he was forced to share his situation with the student councillor for his school. Tony went on to search for a way to support himself and saw an ad in the local news paper for a sales position which promised $500 a week, a huge amount of money for himself as a seventeen year old boy. Just a few months after leaving high school and he’d earned enough to move into his own apartment and support himself. One day while making a sales pitch to a new potential customer, Tony’s direction began to change once more.
It was now the late 1970’s and California was being described as the ‘Mecca for the spiritual enlightenment and self-help movement’, something seen to have impacted the lives of several world renowned people’s lives, including Steve Jobs. Tony gained in with this phenomenon when he was invited as a guest to a Jim Rohn speaker session one day.
Rohn has since spoke about that day saying that “Tony was not the ordinary 17 year old, he was remarkable.” He gave him a job and Tony left his old one to begin selling Jim Rohns speaker sessions to businesses all over Los Angeles instead.

It’s told that Tony was soon earning $3000 a month, but in June 1978 he returned to Glendora’s High School for his graduation.
Tony kept up the enthusiasm for his new career with Jim Rohn and kept a journal, similar to the ones Jim Rohn kept throughout his life, in which Tony wrote down and documented his own personal development findings. However, it wasn’t all good and with his greatly found success at such a young age, Tony lacked social time, his relationship with Liz Acosta fell apart and he began to realise all of the jealous friends he’d lost.
Tony put on 38 pounds in just two and half months, was forced to move to a small flat near Venice Beach and began wasting his days watching soap operas alone. It was now 1982, just a year after he’d hit rock bottom and Tony had made a radical transformation in his life. He was inspired, motivated and determined, and he began working on creating his own speaker sessions and seminars like the ones of his early mentor Jim Rohn. With some found success, he decided to take his seminars back to California, the home of the self-help and self-development movement where he soon found more success than he could ever have hoped for. As time went on, Tony’s seminars and speeches gained a bigger and bigger audience, became a bigger and bigger success and made Tony a very wealthy man. He was gaining so much success with his seminars and there promotional infomercials that he’d become household name by the later 1980’s. As well as keeping his seminars going, Tony began to look to other ways of connecting with his audience including books, tapes and later in the era of the web, internet downloads. Robbins published his very first book, Unlimited Power, in 1987 discussing a range of self-development topics including health and energy, persuasive communication and overcoming fears. Four years later and in 1991, Tony released his second and to date, final best-selling book, Awaken the Giant Within. Tony Robbins has undoubtedly had an extraordinary life and whether you believe in his teachings or not, he’s undoubtedly changed the lives of millions around the world. Robbins still hosts his seminars around the world, including his current seminar Date with Destiny and continues to deliver the timeless lessons of his life to millions around the world through his books, audio products and now the internet too.
Tony’s come along way since the promise he made to himself on that Thanks Giving, many years ago and now fulfils that promise he made through the Anthony Robbins Foundation and its yearly ‘Basket Bridges’ campaign. Following his break up with Liz Acosta at around age nineteen, the pair discovered she was pregnant with his child and 9 months later in 1984, they had a son named Jairek Robbins. With such a lengthy and interesting life, full of twists and turns to his success, there are a whole range of lessons we can infer from the life of Tony Robbins. One of the biggest lessons Tony Robbins teaches through his content is focus and the power of focus and energy. Tony’s made a lot of decisions in his life, as we all do, but many of his including his decisions to go it alone and leave home, and to turn his life around after hitting rock bottom are the decisions which ultimately changed the directions of his life and lead him to his destiny of success. It’s important to recognise the significance your decisions may have on your life, but also to realise that you can’t always predict their effects looking forwards either. We all have standards and at the simplest level of personal development, it’s the level of standards which we set for our own lives, for our own work, for our own personality and effort that reflects on our success. You’re only on this earth for a limited number of years, yet many people waste many of theirs on minor and extraneous things. Tony thought big with his seminars, books and actually with his whole aim of accomplishing the self-development area in all.
Tony Robbins' mission is to help people change their lives, but he says he first had to change his own after growing up with an alcoholic, abusive mother.
I try to incorporate the best advice I come across into my life and Tony Robbins definitely has some very good insights.
It's a personal finance book that draws upon interviews Robbins conducted with 50 of the world's most talented investors, including billionaires Carl Icahn and Ray Dalio. I've been teaching these principles for decades, but the system has gotten more and more complex, as you well know. I couldn't answer the door because of bill collectors, our cars being repossessed, things of that nature. What was amazing about it was probably the best of all the documentaries showing systemically how a small number of people almost blew up the entire world economy.
This is a guy who in 2008, when the markets were blowing down to the floor, he made 28%, and the market was down 51% from top to bottom.
And I want to hit the sophisticated investors who are like, "Holy shit, I don't have $5 billion and $100 million to start with, but I'd like to know what Ray Dalio actually does so that I can add some of those tools to myself." All three types of people can get great value out of this book.
In law, there's all kinds of words you don't know if you're not a lawyer and that gives them power. How do you achieve and have the depth of impact and have your culture spring from that and grow when more and more people are being added to it?
I look to see what aspects of psychology have to be straightened out in this individual, what skillsets might be missing, and then I get a plan to help them implement that and help that leader become strong. Carl Icahn was the most extreme because I showed up with a video crew and he goes, "I don't want the video crew." He threw them out. Paul goes and shakes the building to find why they're not maximizing resources a€” that's his strategy.
He told me, "Tony, your business will eat up whatever cash you have available when you're growing a business.
I was just recently on a trip, with I won't say who, but there was a multibillionaire on the trip with me. And the reason is because what this man lived through in WWII, he was in Auschwitz, and he studied what made people survive versus the people who didn't.
It's the whole concept of understanding that your thoughts really, truly shape everything in your life that you feel and experience.
I believe anticipation is power, that if you are going to have a great life, you don't want to react to everything. I can help someone grow their business 130% in 12 to 18 months only because I've done that with so many of my own and have faced so many challenges. And then of course you know the story of his administration, and so I was brought in multiple times. I do my homework about the company, individuals in the company, leaders in the company, so I dig in. We've all been put to sleep by somebody who's told us all these wonderful facts that didn't matter because information without emotion is not retained. When it comes time to give the speech to the committee or snowboard down the mountain, don't hesitate. He’s released several self-help books, audiotapes and hosted many inspirational peak-state coaching seminars around the world. Anthony Robbins not only talks, teaches and inspires success, but also has developed his own success at phenomenal rate to. His mother took a leading role in his life from the start as she talked to him, told him who she was, where she’d come from and took almost full responsibility for his well being. His family remember the way he was always questioning what was around him and how his mother became his first teacher, answering all of his questions of the world by looking them up in the family encyclopaedia. Not only was Tony broke at the thought of the divorce but he was then asked to choose between his parents. His mother and siblings moved out soon after and he was left to be brought up by his father. They we’re looking towards to a poor holiday, however a package of food and gifts was left on their door just a few days before and the family got the Thanks Giving they wanted. Tony has since spoke about Jim Robbins, stating he was major influence during his childhood, even more so than his father. Tony’s uncle later told A&E Biography that even though he lost most of his games, he still gained huge amounts of physical confidence from his step father Jim. He approached Willis Osborne, a teacher and yearbook advisor at his school and told him about a ‘special project’ he’d like to work on in sports writing and asked the teacher if he could help, to which Willis replied ‘sure’.
So he scoured the local papers and found out where various sports celebrities of the time where appearing, then he got his good looking mom to help in getting them to co-operate. They talked about various things during the interview but most notably about the power and value of good communication – looking back, a well placed suggestion of what was to come for Tony Robbins. Following his mention in the paper, the local Glendora Press learned of Tony and hired him to write for their sports page and a few months later a TV station also offered Tony a reporting job. She had begun to lose control over him and thought that his new found fame was too much for her son.
It was a drastic change for Tony and he’s since said that “he liked the result, because people looked at me in a different way after that.” He didn’t realise it then but this small change, would go on to change the direction of his life forever. He began to work on projects and activities for the body, but his newly found success once again lead to issues between himself and his mother at home.
Tony’s sister Tara said a few years later that “Tony did just need to leave the house, it was you know, spread your wings, he was ready to go, he was motivated.” and on Christmas Eve 1977, he did just that. He moved in with a friend, called his uncle who ran a cleaning business and began working nights after school cleaning. The councillor suggested he left school to figure out how to support himself and while he didn’t want to, feeling that he was again being forced out of something he loved, it’s exactly what he did.
He knew he could be persuasive, landed the job and moved on as a sales man, selling music club subscriptions door-to-door.

Around this time, he met Liz Acosta when she came to work at the music company; they hit it off straight away and began dating. The man was so impressed with Tony’s sales skills, he told Robbins, “you have so much talent, if you took this skill you could convince anyone, anything, you could change people’s lives,” planting a seed in Tony’s head, which would begin to redirect him for decades to come. Rohn’s seminars we’re attracting thousands at the time and Tony was so inspired by Rohn, he approached him after the seminar and asked him for a job. He was excited and proud of his accomplishments in school, but also nervous that his mother – who he had not seen since he left home 6 months earlier – was going to present.
He was offered a promotion to run his own office for Rohn in 1979, he took the offer and began working harder than ever, making $10’000 a month at just age nineteen. An upset and lonely Tony fell into a depression, began to eat exponentially and started to spoil his own business. He began to run the seminars and gained his own gimmick – fire walking – to differentiate his from the rest. Making the most of this fame, Tony knew he had to begin building on his range of products and he did. It included further details of his personal development techniques and strategies, which he calls ‘Neuro-Associative Conditioning’. Coming from a life no different to most young children, through his devotion, determination and many of his now life teachings, Tony has grown to become a man of success much greater than he could have ever hoped. The foundation also works on other projects including its aim to empower students and prisoners through learning programs based on Tony’s teachings.
At a seminar of his sometime later, Tony met Becky Jenkins, a lady with 3 children, who he went on to marry.
However, Tony has built the huge list of his own teachings based on his life experiences and so in this lessons section, instead of recovering our own lessons from his life, I’ll be discussing just a few of the lessons which he often speaks about gaining from it himself instead.
I’ve done this because of my strong belief that focus is the key to the successful completion of anything. He believes focus is one of the most powerful forces we have as human beings, but also that as with all powerful forces, if it isn’t used correctly, it shouldn’t be used at all. He believes that decision if the initial and one of the most important factors of a person’s route to success, as a single decision can change a persons destiny forever. To up your game, to up your lives and your level of success, you must up your standards for yourself. Don’t waste your time on the little things, but rather dedicate your life to the mastery of bigger things which actually have a significant impact on what really matters to you instead. Watch as Tony reflects on a Thanksgiving that turned his life around, and an emotional Oprah shares her own story. There's a certain level they know how to manage, in terms of people, their activities, their resources, their results. It's not leadership by position that allows people to succeed; it's the capacity to influence the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions, and the actions of other human beings. How do you get them to grow 30% or 130% within each year when they haven't even grown 5% prior?
That requires an enormous psychology when the economy is changing, the technology is changing, and the competition is worldwide. You've gotta be obsessed because you know when you lose 50%, you have to make 100% to get even. I just don't believe in regret, and my economic world is not what I would ever have imagined; I'm financially free. The bottle looked cool, and the water tasted really incredible a€” you could tell the difference. I look back on Fiji Water and anytime I grab one I say, "Holy shit!" So use your experts as coaches and do your own homework and dig deep. I bought it a€” it was just a little backpacker's resort, but over the years I've built it into the top resort in the country, top 10 in all the South Pacific. Money can't be cared about a€” it's got to be a tool that you use, because if you don't use it, it will use you. If it's not you, it will be someone in your family, and so the ability to find meaning in the most difficult times, I think, is one of the most important skills of life and there's probably not a greater example than that book.
Where the world is going and what technology is leading us to in terms of the evolution of humanity is an incredibly valuable thing to understand. Self-reliance is a theme all human beings, especially those living in the Western world, have to fully understand if they're going to do well in a world that's changing constantly.
You go to a psychiatrist, and they're on this Prozac, Effexor, and antidepressants, you may have picked the wrong person. And then I had a situation with some partners where people were not truthful, and I had a $100 million debt overnight. Just penetrating, provocative questions to get to what the real challenge is, and what the real opportunities are.
I want to know, just like when I work with an individual, what do they desire, what do they hate, what do they love, what are they hungry for, what's missing?
What you are as a communicator from the front of the room is you're emotional transportation. So if you're just giving some frickin talk you've memorized over and over again, you're going to have a flat affect. The Watch OWN app is free and available to you as part of your OWN subscription through a participating TV provider. Robbins was a former minor league baseball player but was at the time, a struggling sale man instead. She took him out of everything and Tony was forced to give up his dreams and become the man of the house – he would do anything to please his mother. He’d hit rock bottom and while starring at waves as they rolled in on to the seashore ahead of him, he thought deeply about everything he had done, gained and lost over the last few years. It was now that Tony came to realise how he could package his story, his lessons and his inspirational speaking into a product which he could sell.
However, the pair divorced in June 2001 and Tony went on to marry Bonnie Humphrey (now known as Sage Robbins) later that year. Be it school work, a project, a blog post, a sale, it’s only through hard focus on your vision for that task that I believe you can ever succeed in completing the task successfully. Learn this from the life of Anthony Robbins and don’t let yourself down by chasing the minor and almost worthless things in life – but alternatively aim high and Major in Major things instead! Then 2008 happened, and I started seeing people losing their homes a€” you know, people that were really good human beings and now couldn't put their kids through college or lost their retirement.
So that leaves you feeling either really angry or really depressed because there are no solutions.
If I said to you last year the third largest cause of death in the United States was iatrogenic causes, you might go, "Is that some form of Ebola?" No, it means physician or hospital induced. I do that by realizing that the chokehold on the growth of any business is always the leader. He knows a€” he's not stupid a€” he knows he's going to be wrong [sometimes] so if he loses a dollar and has to spend another dollar, spending two to make five, he's still up $3. I want to go make an investment and buy a home for my mom who doesn't really have much money." The gift of that a€” she's now passed away a€” brings me joy for the rest of my life. He's the one who taught me fundamentally that if you want anything to change, you've got to change it. If you go to somebody who's broke who's selling you financial services, that might not be a good thing. And I realize, "Holy shit, I can handle $100 million." And that allows me to now handle businesses, with revenue all together, that bring in $5 billion.
And when you face those situations, they transform you, they change you, and when you're able to break through them to a new level, they allow you to have gifts to give other people. I've got a mission to help people improve and massively change their lives and create breakthroughs, so I'm always looking for them and I'm the first guinea pig.
That's what a movie does, that's what music does, it transports us from one state of being to another. If you've just got a bunch of visuals on the screen that are leading your talk, hang up your shoes and get the hell out of there. And when the system hadn't changed two years later, I became obsessed with watching every documentary and reading every book about how it occurred. Great leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem and 95% on the solution, but we all get stuck at times.
He was going to fly publicly, and then he didn't even fly first class a€” it was too expensive so he flew business class.
Taking action, even though you're afraid, is how you become courageous—because courage, like fear, is a habit.

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