by Tony Robbins: Fulfilling your dreams and your ability to thrive in the areas of your life that matter most can be simplified by breakthroughs, those moments 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 you want a breakthrough in your business, intimate life, emotional well-being, health, finances or career, there are only three areas to break through to feel lasting success. Here are my 3 steps to a breakthrough:
1. YOUR STRATEGIES
I 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.
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 think 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.
2. YOUR 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 usually they found it because they have a story that it was possible or they could make it happen. Often people don’t lose weight because they have a simple story: it 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.
3. YOUR STATE
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 that moment in time. As human beings we all develop emotional patterns, also known as moods, that are mental or emotional states that tend to filter how we look at our lives.
These influence the stories that we make up about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we can achieve or not. The states we go into most often turn into the most powerful filter of all. They 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.
BREATH AND STRESS
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.
WHERE FOCUS GOES, ENERGY FLOWS
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. As I always say, where focus goes, energy flows. 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: