How to Create a Breakthrough in Any Area of Your Life: Manage Your Strategies, Your Story, and Your State
Anthony (Tony) Robbins
November 26, 2012
Question: One of the toughest things about chasing the dream is managing the disciplines of persistent action and hopeful patience that are required to ultimately see the vision come to be. This is an area of huge tension. How do dream chasers manage that tension and thrive?
Fulfilling your dreams and your ability to thrive in the areas of your life that matter most can be simplified by breakthroughs—a moment in time when the impossible becomes possible. If anyone wants to thrive in any area of their life, they have to reach a point of breakthrough where they will not settle for anything less than extraordinary in that area. Whether someone wants a breakthrough in their:
There are only three areas to break through in order to feel lasting success.
One breakthrough area is your STRATEGIES. I personally live for finding strategies—those shortcuts that help people get more done in less time. What is it that gets some people to succeed while others fail who seem to have equal enthusiasm or passion for the tasks at hand? They have insights, distinctions, and strategies that allow them to achieve more quickly.
For example, take someone who was born very poor, without an education, and had emotional and financial challenges but found a way to be highly successful and living an inspired life. I don’t believe that’s lucky—luck is what you do for a day or a week—strategies are what make it consistently happen for decades. A strategy can be found in the simplest or slightest distinction and it can happen in an instant.
As I described above, there are three elements that effect the long-term success or failure of a person and whether they break through or not. For example, there are hundreds or even thousands of strategies out there for losing weight, and frankly most of them are proven to work—if you work them! We’re not hurting for strategies. There are fitness clubs on every street, dieticians, health coaches, training videos, audios, books, etc. Yet 65% of the United States is overweight and 33% is obese, and those numbers are only growing geometrically. I would suggest to you that the problem for most people is not that they don’t have a strategy—it’s that they’re not using a strategy that works for them or acting upon it. Why? Because they have a disempowering STORY.
We all have stories—narratives we tell ourselves about why we can or cannot do or achieve something in our lives. Whether we believe we can or can’t, we’re usually right, because our expectation controls our focus, perceptions, and the way in which we feel and act. When a person succeeds it’s because they have the right strategy, and they found it usually because they have a story that it was possible or they could make it happen. Often people are not losing weight because they have a simple story that says, “I’m big boned.” With that as your core belief system you are never going to find a strategy, and even if you do you won’t follow through on it.
Your story may be true—you may have been through a horrific experience--but that’s not the reason why you can’t have the life you want. For example, you might have had a bad breakup five years ago, but that’s not the reason you haven’t found the passionate and loving relationship you deserve. A disempowering story is one of the things that controls people and makes them stuck in their beliefs.
Most people tell a story in a selective way so they don’t have to ever maximize their effort towards a strategy because they're afraid they will fail. In order to get out of a story you have to be triggered by hunger and desire—if someone wants something strong enough they will break through the story that’s limiting them.
Of course, whether you have an empowering story or disempowering one is influenced most powerfully by the mental and emotional STATE you’re in at this moment in time. As human beings we all develop emotional patterns—moods—that are mental or emotional states that tend to filter how we look at our lives.
This influences the stories that we make up about who we are, what we’re capable of, or what’s achievable or not. The states we go into most often then become the most powerful filter of all that will determine whether we find the strategies necessary to succeed and whether we come up with a story that will empower us. The big question then becomes, what is it that we can do to change our state of mind when we’re not able to maximize our true potential? One of our greatest scientific discoveries has been that you can change your emotional mood by a radical change in your “physiology.”
For people who are experiencing stress at any given moment, a form of relief can be to simply change your physiology—take a couple of deep breaths. Most people only use 20% of their lung capacity taking small short breaths, but 70% of the body’s toxins can actually be released when taking a full breath! By taking the time to fill your lungs and release, you can not only improve your health but also radically decrease the anxiety related to that moment. There are many ways to change your physiology and in our seminars we prove this time after time by taking people who feel depressed and having them make a radical shift. Intuitively we know this can be changed not only by the way we move, but our breath and body temperature as well.
The second thing that affects our state is what we focus on. For example, if you’ve been at a funeral honoring someone you cared about and everyone is in a sad state and afterwards someone shares a story or anecdote about something that person did that was extremely humorous, suddenly everyone goes from tears to laughter. In an instant our states can be changed by what we focus on. What’s wrong is always available—but so is what’s right. Whatever we focus on effects our state and our state then effects the story we have about who we are, what’s life about, what’s possible and what’s not. From that story we will often determine whether or not we will maximize our capabilities and the strategies that will help us achieve what we’re truly after in a sustainable way.
Learning to put yourself in a peak state consistently is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your life. It can transform your stories and give you the strategies to breakthrough. This is a huge focus that we just don’t tell people but what we train people to do with their minds and bodies in an instant, on cue, so they can shift the quality of their performance. Whether it’s a peak performance athlete like Serena Williams, MMA champion Jon Jones, a president of a company, a parent, or someone in prison—if we’re going to shift our life it comes down to these three fundamentals.
Change your strategy, change your result.
Change your story, change your life.
Change your state—you change it all!
Artists go to their studios for a variety of reasons. These can include a desire for wealth and fame, a deep-seated passion for art, a need to communicate ideas, the love of process and play, a sense of societal obligation, the fear of having to take a regular job, prior failures or incompetence in other professions, distaste for conventional work, a feeling of comfort and sanctuary that comes from private creativity, trying to get away from someone or from people in general, a need to explore one's own potential, avoiding domesticity or less-than-challenging pursuits, familial, parental or peer expectations, etc. For many creative folks, the need for garden-variety cash flow may be rather down the list.
Recent research seems to show that a small but significant subset goes to work because relaxation stresses them out. Apparently some "driven" folks may just have a need to be busy. They have what psychologists are now calling "relaxation-induced anxiety."
I'd appreciate if you didn't mention this to anyone, but I have it. When I was in grade five I gave a show-and-tell called "Bobby's Hobbies" in which I explained my drawing, painting, bird-watching, woodland exploration, collecting of stamps, seashells, beach wood, mechanical gadgets, mushroom spore-prints and broken clocks. I was as busy as a one-armed man using dental floss. Our teacher, Miss Ayliff, a certified joy-denier if there ever was one, told the class, "All work and no play make Bobby a dull boy."
Christina Luberto, head of a current relaxation study at the University of Cincinnati, thinks that the paradoxical increase in anxiety as a result of relaxation is more common than we might think. In her study, individuals were asked to fill out a questionnaire called The Relaxation Sensitivity Index. It turns out that people with high relaxation sensitivity were also high in anxiety.
That was me in grade five--anxious. Relaxing gave me the unpleasant feeling of losing control. In later life I've come to see control as a mixed blessing but also key to generating creativity and finding success.
The Miss Ayliffs of this world have got it quite wrong. As studio proprietors, we learn that work is play. With no boss, no committee and no band of demanding customers in the waiting room, it's a dream of a job. And I'm not sure, but I don't think it makes you dull.
PS: "We wanted to develop a test to examine why certain individuals fear relaxation events or sensations associated with taking a time-out just to relax." (Christina Luberto)
Esoterica: In my studies of artists' motivation, I've found that the reasons given are not always the real reasons. Artists need to find and understand the primal truth of their own motivations. The more I look at it, the more I realize that habits do more to form success than perhaps any other factor. If you happen to be one of those artists who regularly avoids lethargy and laying about, you may have been blessed with the habit of work. Don't be anxious about it.
NANOWRIMO, WRITER RESOURCES
60 NaNoWriMo Writing Tips in a Single Post
By Jason Boog on November 1, 2012 3:42 PM
Here's the link so you can click on the tips and read more. Sorry, but it wouldn't come up here. SM
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) launched today as writers around the globe try to write a 50,000-word novel draft in a single month.
To help the GalleyCat readers taking this challenge, we will be offering one piece of NaNoWriMo advice every day this month. Last year, NaNoWriMo writers wrote a collective total of 3,073,176,540 words. The writing marathon has generated 90 published novels, according to the organizers.
Our first tip is simple: follow our advice from the previous years! Since 2011, we have collected 60 pieces of advice for marathon writers. You can explore all those writing tips below–tune in tomorrow for some fresh advice.
30 National Novel Writing Month Tips from 2011
1. Write in the Cloud
2. ‘Don’t Finish.’
3. Cliche Finder Stops Cliches Before They Start
4. Take the Fantasy Novelist’s Exam
5. Use a Name Generator
6. Seek Library Write-In Support
7. Consult Role Playing Game Plots
8. Best Pandora Stations for Writing
9. Use the Brainstormer App
10. Dictate Your Novel Draft
11. Use Foursquare for Inspiration
12. ‘Failure Instructs the Writer’
13: Use the Online Graphical Dictionary
14. Write ‘TK’ for Missing Facts
15. ‘Everyone Has a Certain Amount of Bad Writing to Get Out of Their System’
16. Use a Plot Diagram Tool
17. Test Your Characters
18. Use the Reverse Dictionary
19. Use Correct Writing Posture
20. Start a Writing Bible
21. ‘It’s Not a Sprint, It’s a Marathon’
22. Use Your Smartphone for Novel Writing & Editing
23. Turn Your Computer Into a Typewriter
24. Use Write or Die for Motivation
25. Relax with a Literary Drink
26. Browse BibliOdyssey for Inspiration
27. World of Warcraft Procrastinator Support
28. Request a Free Book Cover
29. Lulu Titlescorer Tests Your Title
30. Share Your Final Sentence
30 National Novel Writing Month Tips from 2012
1. Read 30 Tips from Last Year
2. Use the Reference Desk
3. Type a Poem
4. Make a Mind Map
5. Reward Yourself
6. Seek Figment Support
7. Download Seven Free Writing eBooks
8. Get a Literary Butt-Kicking
9. Write What You DON’T Know
10. Fight a Word War
11. Write in the Same Place
12. Download the Free Writing Cheatsheet
13. “Obvious to you. Amazing to others.”
14. Listen to Spotify: NaNoWriMo Tip #14
15. Take the Random Cliche Test
16. Consult a Plot Doctor
17. Fix Your Computer Screen Color
18. Join the Typewriter Brigade
19. Fill Out a Character Chart
20. Meet Your Deadline with Kittens
21. Use the Symbolitron
22. Make a Spreadsheet
23. Explore the World with Globe Genie
24. Write with Your Neighbors
25. Try Communal World Building
26. Write by Hand
27. Adopt an Idea
28. Explore the Onomatopoeia Dictionary
29. Swap Your Novel
30. Keep Writing Every Day
Jonathan Ames has penned short stories, newspaper columns, and novels in his 20+ years as a writer and author. In our Media Beat interview, he reveals how he added another title to his resume: screenwriter and executive producer of HBO's Bored to Death, a series based on his own short story about a writer turned private investigator.