“Notes from a Friend: A Quick and Simple Guide to Taking Charge of Your Life” By Anthony Robbins
Published by Simon & Schuster, in 2004,
112 pages long
Anthony Robbins is more than a motivational speaker, life coach and author; he is a mentor to me and provides that little voice of guidance in my head. Throughout this easy to read short book he outlines the main points from the lengthier book «Awake the Giant Within». It includes powerful success strategies helping readers change the direction in which their life is heading. The way these strategies are explained allows anyone to understand and implement them.
One thing I urge you to do is to apply the knowledge you receive. It’s an empowering book with brilliant and simple techniques, which gives you a sense of urgency and motivation to change specific areas of your life with each chapter. But realistically speaking, most people will read it, feel good for a couple of hours or if they are lucky and have no negative interferences, a feel good factor may prolong for a couple of days. Not because Tony’s techniques and strategies don’t work. Far from it. But because of lack of action. This book has the power to change your life through step by step guidance; however you need to take immediate action after completing each chapter to appreciate it fully. Commit that you will take small steps towards your personal transformation each day before reading this book.
If you believe that knowledge is powerful you are in for a surprise. Knowledge on its own is nothing. Actually, it’s good for conversations and gatherings where you can share «knowledge» with other people. Anyone can read something and share his views with his peers but applying the knowledge creates an experience and an empowering story to tell, don’t you agree? New experiences are achieved by utilizing the specific knowledge you learn. So application of knowledge is the key to success. Often the word success intimidates people. Success takes place in any area of your life you want to improve. E.g. becoming a more positive person, getting a six-pack, changing your job to something you love doing, having a big and happy family, are all quite different but equally strong forms of success.
Last point to mention before going into the book details is that Tony uses techniques which are guaranteed to work. You just have to trust them enough to try them. If you have any doubts about the validity on what he writes then by simply googling him you can see how many millions of followers and testimonials he has.
The famous Greek philosopher Socrates’ quote says it best. «I know one thing and that is that I know nothing». This state of mind puts you in a position of constantly learning.
The most powerful techniques and skills I learned in this book are:
- There are no failures:
With every closed door a window opens. Always look at the bright side of life. You either win or you learn. All of the above profound quotes lead to the same conclusion. In any given situation there is something to learn. We learn, try again and move forward. A failure is only a failure if we chose to see it as such. If we can master the skill of not accepting failure, actually learning from our mistakes and not repeating them and see every problem as an opportunity to learn then we have the potential to be unbeatable.
- Decision Maker muscle:
Like every muscle needs training so do the brain. And like Robin Sharma says; it takes 21 days of consistent work before things become a habit. Tony stresses out the fact that with each decision we take, starting with small ones we build momentum. When focused decisions are taken each day towards our goals, we can beat procrastination and more often than not be the person people look for when action is needed. So make a mental agreement with yourself and for the next 21 days consciously make decisions faster and see what happens. The first days will be hard, the second week slightly easier and finally when the new habit is stored into our programming then it will be like you have always been doing it.
Tony states that beliefs are the forces that control all of our decisions. He could not have been more accurate. Beliefs give our brain commands to act in a certain way. So in a way our beliefs control us. Another truth about beliefs is that we can chose to believe anything we want as long as it is supported. For example in order to build a belief for your own confidence, first fake it till you make it and when your body movement, posture and attitude are in line with your thoughts others will consider you a confident person. So your belief that you are a confident person is now supported.
- How to talk to yourself:
We often set ourselves up for failure. Our subconscious mind receives signals from anything and everything; news, people’s problems and more importantly our own selves. Thing is we can actually control anything and everything that goes into our subconscious which transforms into our actions. Starting from what we say when we talk to ourselves. Start your morning with a few positive affirmations «I am happy, calm, successful, healthy, grateful». In moments of doubt tell yourself « I can do it, I am the best, and I can and will accomplish anything I put my mind to». Start seeing yourself as a winner and sooner rather than later you will actually be one. Another amazing book on self talk is “What to say when you talk to yourself” by international best selling author Dr. Shad Helmstetter. Dr. Shad says “The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.”
- What you see is what you get (focus):
«The fastest way to change how you feel about anything is to change what you’re focusing on. » We have the power to change our feelings not instantly but gradually. The extraordinary truth about our mind is that we can actually control our thoughts, however no one told us this in school because of the way society is structured. – It’s easier to brainwash people if they don’t even know they can control what they think, so the media blasts us with anything they want us to believe.-
Focusing on how bad you feel at any given time won’t get you anywhere. Focusing on finding solutions, or on anything that could alter your state of mind at the time will change your feelings gradually. So you ARE in control. Take for example your feelings after your team has lost. You can focus on the loss of your team, taking it personally and walking in your house raging about the referee. Or, you can focus on you just had a nice break from work with your friends and enter your home relaxed. (Try telling this to hardcore fans and the reaction will be… interesting!!)
- Powerful questions:
I believe this is the most powerful skill you could build. It’s simple and so effective. We above sabotage our results by telling ourselves there are a million reasons we can’t have X or achieve Y. Tony urges the readers to switch «I can’t do this», “It’s impossible” to «HOW can I do this?». If you keep asking empowering questions your subconscious will provide the empowering solutions. If you say «CANT» you stop any productive thinking towards the answer.
A month ago I was talking to a friend of mine who works at the local coffee bar. She studied to be a marketer and told me was frustrated she had to work in a café due to lack of opportunities. I discussed with her that the nature of her current work allows her to mingle with people of different backgrounds. I went on to explain if she asks the right questions she just might find the opportunities she’s been looking for. A month later I went to the café only to find out she recently joined a start up as a marketer, the owner of which was a regular at the café she was working at.
We talked about focus, powerful questions and beliefs, but without writing goals on paper, how can anyone focus towards a direction? As Tony states: «Goals give our lives focus and move us in the direction we would like to go». Most people say they know what they want from life and where they are heading. But only a handful have goals written down with a detailed plan and timeline of how to achieve them. Yogi Berra – one of the best catchers in baseball history- says in the simplest of ways: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
This is one of the most effective books I have read and I recommend it to you; a person who is serious about changing your life.