Tony Robbinsday

Tony Robbins Audience HuggingTypically, I am as hard to impress as McKayla. But for four hours with Tony Robbins, I screamed, jumped, hugged strangers and along with 10,000 other people, was euphoric to witness the man in action.

I had never heard Tony Robbins speak, so going into his keynote at Dreamforce I was a blank slate. The first hint that this talk was about to be memorable was when Marc Benioff got on stage to do the introduction. Dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt, Marc rallied up the audience and started jumping up and down as he invited Tony on the stage – this is the first time I see my CEO doing this and it was well…cool.

Then the Tony show began. After thanking us for choosing to hear his talk over lining up for the new iPhone 5, he got right to the point. “Change your state, change your life.”  According to Tony, people switch between different states of mind through their day – angry, judgmental, happy. What is really important is to identify those states and to get rid of the counterproductive and negative ones immediately. Once you manage to do that then you will excel because “peak performance comes from being in a peak state.”

The other big point that Tony hammered home was that “emotion is created by motion -- change the way you move, change the way you feel.” What better way to prove this statement than getting the 10,000 adults in the room do physical exercises for an hour. And by exercises, I mean all the jumping, screaming and hugging mentioned in the first paragraph. (Thanks to the woman who gave me the best hug I have ever received -- this was truly memorable!)

The rationale behind all those activities was that if your body language is timid and downcast, then your emotions will mirror that state and vice versa. On the other hand, if you let adult inhibitions go and start cheering, high-fiving and fist pumping then you will feel pure joy, enthusiasm and happiness. Then guess what – once those emotions take over, your performance and results would improve. “Whatever you focus on, you feel. What you feel affects performance.”

Euphoric Run at the Tony Robbins talkI have to admit – Tony needed no further proof of his points. Getting us to literally go through the motions of expressing extreme joy and enthusiasm left everybody feeling elated. I have never seen so many people with wide smiles and sparkling eyes. As he pointed out – those emotions of unbridled joy should not be reserved only for football games where we cheer for others’ accomplishments. They should be part of our daily lives and should accompany our own achievements.

Another big part of the talk was focused on the concept that “biography is not destiny.” Every human being builds up a “blueprint” or a “story” of what his or her life should look like and when reality does not meet the expectations he/she becomes unhappy or depressed.  Then there are the cases when people were set up with a very adverse blueprint but managed to turn this around because of their refusal to believe that this is their destiny.

Take the example of a baby girl who was birthed by a 13-year-old mother, then was sexually abused as she was growing up and became pregnant herself when she was 13. After she gave birth to a stillborn child she was sent to live with a man she had never met before but claimed to be her father. This girl nowadays is one of the most powerful women in the world – Oprah Winfrey. Her upbringing and her blueprint were not her destiny.

When it comes to our lives, the biggest favor we can do ourselves is to remember Tony’s advice: “trade expectation for appreciation and your whole life changes.” Things don’t always go according to plan, so learn to adjust and thrive with what you have.

Tony Robbins at DreamforceThese points are just a tiny fraction of what Tony Robbins shared with the Dreamforce crowd. It was truly inspiring, elating, and action-packed four hours (and he did warn us that the shortest sessions he does are 50 hours). If you want to see more of Tony, I encourage you to watch his TED talk or check out his events line up, including his Coaching in the Cloud talks. He can turn any skeptic into a believer – maybe even McKayla.

Other memorable Tony Robbins #df12 quotes:

  • “Do what you did in the beginning of your relationship and there won’t be an end.” Tweet this!
  • “If you think that energy comes in your life because of food, think about Thanksgiving. How did you feel after overeating?” Tweet this!
  • “Who you spend time with is who you become. One of the most important decisions in your life is who your friends are.” Tweet this!
  • “Happiness is controlled by expectations.” Tweet this!
  • “Why do people fail? Usually they say because of lack of resources. Resources are never the problem, the lack of resourcefulness is.” Tweet this!
  • “Your deepest pain is your greatest gift, if you figure out how to use it.” Tweet this!