Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you,” and author Wayne Dyer said, “If you believe it’ll work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you don’t believe it will work out, you’ll see obstacles.”
On The School of Greatness, we talk a lot about pushing boundaries and doing things outside your comfort zone. If you stay in one place, you will inevitably stay in one place.
So what’s the key to unlocking that paralysis by analysis? According to today’s guest, it’s “stacking the positives” instead of the negatives. It’s flipping the script. You are a lot more amazing than you think you are, so it’s time to start changing your thinking.
We find the path to greatness is when we have patience with ourselves, learn from our mistakes, and become disciplined in our thought patterns.
Tony Robbins knows all about how to have breakthroughs in the areas of business, life, and love. In this episode, we discuss three habits Tony wishes he knew in his twenties and thirties, why loving yourself is not the secret to success, the key to “stacking the positives” in your life, parenting mistakes we are making in this generation, and so much more!
I can’t wait to dive in. It’s going to be powerful.
Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist, and the nation’s #1 life and business strategist. Over the past four decades, he has empowered more than 50 million people worldwide through his business and personal development coaching programs and events.
He has been honored by Accenture as one of the “Top 50 Business Intellectuals in the World,” by Harvard Business Press as one of the “Top 200 Business Gurus,” and by American Express as one of the “Top Six Business Leaders in the World.” Fortune magazine’s cover article named him the “CEO Whisperer,” and he has been named in the Top 50 of Worth Magazine’s 100 most powerful people in global finance for three consecutive years.
Tony has worked with four U.S. presidents and top entertainers — from Aerosmith to Green Day, Usher, and Pitbull, and athletes and sports teams including tennis world champion Serena Williams and the NBA’s world champion Golden State Warriors. Business leaders and financial moguls from Salesforce founder Marc Benioff to Ray Dalio have tapped him for personal coaching.
He is also a leading philanthropist. Through his partnership with Feeding America, Tony has provided over 600 million meals in the last six years and he is on track to provide 1 billion meals by 2025. Through the Tony Robbins Foundation, he has also awarded over 2,000 grants and other resources to health and human services organizations, implemented a life-changing curriculum in 1,700+ correctional facilities, and gathered thousands of young leaders from around the world with its youth programs.
To start off our conversation, I asked Tony if he could give a couple top lessons, and he said:
Both of those lessons include taking the focus off of yourself and looking around at who you can help in the world. We become too judgmental of ourselves when we are too self-focused. The practice of living to help others is something you can pass down to the next generation. Kids today are bombarded with messages of self-absorption — but that won’t bring them happiness or fulfillment.
“I think if I could give any lesson to my child, it’s the lesson of contribution, which makes life so meaningful.” – Tony Robbins
At 61, Tony has become a father again and is very passionate about fathering well. He believes that there is a large population of kids that were raised in a generation of helicopter parents. The parents thought everything should be about the child, and then they wonder why their children become selfish or don’t have great relationships when they get older.
Love is putting somebody else ahead of yourself. Plain and simple.
“As long as you focus on you, you’re not going to love you because the human brain is always looking for what’s wrong, what to protect, and what needs to be changed.” – Tony Robbins
But according to Tony, when you’re trying to serve something more than yourself, that’s when the higher part of your consciousness is there. That’s when your heart is flowing, and when you’re doing that, you’re not thinking about you and therefore you can feel love.
When it comes to self-love, Tony thinks society has it wrong. He is a big proponent of “stacking the good,” meaning adding together all the positives in your life.
“I started ‘stacking the good’ in my life. Like, let me stack a dozen great memories — feel them, see them, and experience them. And I felt this biochemical change that didn’t just last a half-hour or an hour, … it went on for a day or two. So I’ve learned to stack the good.” – Tony Robbins
This positive mindset shift is what Tony practices in his daily life. He says that what people tell you about yourself doesn’t matter. It’s what you stack. It’s what you assemble and create — it’s the habit of what you put in your head.
“I developed this belief that life is calling not to give me something, but to deliver things for me to bring something to life. And I felt the joy that came not from getting, but giving.” – Tony Robbins
Crushing limiting belief systems is what Tony is all about. As the top life coach in the U.S., he empowers people with the understanding that their biography is not their destiny. He believes that it doesn’t matter what you’ve been through; what you decide now is what is going to control your life, and each day you can make decisions to save your life.
Tony is a living testimony of this mindset. When he was growing up, his mother married many times, and his home life was chaotic and abusive. When he was seventeen, he left home and never returned. After he left home, he assembled a new story about himself: that his past did not equal his future, and that his parents were not to blame.
“If you want joy, happiness, freedom, and an extraordinary life, it will not come from blame. Never. There’s no pride that comes from blame.” – Tony Robbins
I can relate to this story as I also grew up in a very chaotic household, struggled to graduate from high school, and had a lot of obstacles to overcome as a young adult. I had to learn how to construct a new life from the ruins around me and forgive those who hurt me. That is when my quality of life began to shift.
Another part of “stacking the good” is our own view of ourselves — our self-esteem.
“Your self-esteem does not come from what people say about you. Self-esteem comes from what you experience about yourself.” – Tony Robbins
Tony explains that we can’t live using our rearview mirrors to guide ourselves. Otherwise, we are going to crash.
“My core mission is what I do for a living. It’s why I’m here talking to you right now. It’s getting people to be free and alive and to have the level of fulfillment that they deserve to have.” – Tony Robbins
Before Tony goes into any coaching of the mind, spirit, or emotions, he first speaks to the body. He knows that if you change the body, you’ll change the emotions, and if you change the emotions, you’ll change your decisions.
If you think about your quality of life, a lot of it has to do with your emotions and how you feel about your situation or the people around you. There are billionaires with all the success in the world who still want to commit suicide.
“You can’t have beautiful relationships and commit suicide. You can have people loving you and be sad all the time. Our pattern of emotion is our home and you have to upgrade your home. You have to train it. The words you say create a biochemical response, so there are certain things you have to do physically so you’re strong enough to remember the truth. Fear is physical, and so is courage.” – Tony Robbins
When it comes to living an extraordinary life, Tony says the common thread is generosity. Life is not about making ourselves happy. Here are the three truths that Tony wishes he knew in his twenties and thirties:
When I asked Tony what his definition of greatness is, I loved his answer. It’s aligned with everything he talks to his audience about — service to others.
“I think greatness is service. Those two are twin powers in a great life. I think greatness is finding the way to do more for others than anybody else.” – Tony Robbins
Tony believes that when you serve others, your own sense of internal pride is enlarged. People could take away every material thing you own, but who you become as a person through that experience is something no one can take away.
“I think purpose and having a sense of progress are the two things that create a great life. If you’ve got a higher purpose than yourself, that’s going to give you the motivation and the energy to drive when everybody is exhausted and you’re exhausted. And if you’re making progress, you’ll feel the rewards that come from that.” – Tony Robbins
Tony and I are congruent on this subject of greatness. That’s why in this podcast I try to give away as much as possible. You can come and learn from some of the greatest people on the planet, and their experiences, habits, and disappointments can serve as a stepping stone into your own greatness journey.
Just as the popular saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all ships,” when we all aspire for greatness together, it actually edifies and benefits all of us as a community.
I’m looking forward to seeing where Tony heads next in his journey of service towards others, and I thank you for being a part of the conversation.
Guys, this interview is packed with so many nuggets of wisdom from my wonderful friend and mentor, Tony Robbins. I hope you learned a lot about owning your future in business, life, and love! Listen to the full episode for more, and don’t forget to share this episode with someone who needs to hear it — you could change someone’s life.
If you found value in what Tony and I talked about today, please tag Tony Robbins and me, Lewis Howes, on Instagram with your key takeaways. Please also go to Apple Podcasts, give it a five-star rating, and don’t forget to subscribe!
I want to acknowledge Tony for being an incredible human being and for spreading positive energy. Our life is not for us. It’s for other people as well. He has made a powerful impact on me, and my own journey of greatness. Every time I interview Tony, it keeps getting better!