Please enjoy this transcript of my second interview with world’s most famous performance coach, Tony Robbins. Transcripts may contain a few typos—with some episodes lasting 2+ hours, it’s difficult to catch some minor errors. Enjoy!
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Tim Ferriss: Hello, ladies and germs. This is Tim Ferriss and welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to deconstruct world-class performers, whether they are from the worlds of sports, investing, acting, military, anything and everything, to help to tease out the routines, habits, favorite books, etc. that you can use. This particular episode is a repeat guest – Tony Robbins. Tony and I have gotten to know each other over the last few years, since I first had him on the podcast, an epic two-parter, which was very long and very, very good – one of the most popular episodes I’ve had of the podcast to date.
Tony Robbins is the world’s most famous performance coach. For those of you who don’t know the name, he’s advised everyone from Bill Clinton to Serena Williams, from Leo DiCaprio to Oprah, who calls him “super human,” world leaders like Gorbachev, it just goes on and on. In this particular episode, we talk about a number of topics we didn’t cover in the previous interview.
We also drill into some new rapid fire questions. So, for instance, his best investment he’s ever made, quotes that he lives by, worst advice that he hears or sees being given out regularly, why he’s changed his diet for the first time since he was about 17, I believe. We also go into some very specific exercises. There’s a portion in the middle where Tony is effectively on his own. I just let him go for a good, I’d say, 30 to 40 minutes. If you want a very specific exercise that you can apply in real time, because he walks me through it and I dug in because I could use it, today specifically, I was having a very rough day, called the 90-second rule.
It’s a process and he brings up a personal challenging experience that he had not long ago in Dallas and then walks through exactly how he contended with it. It’s from roughly 1:05 after this introduction ends to 1:15. So 1:05 to 1:15, roughly. We get into a very nice flow. I also have to recommend that you check out the brand-new documentary out about Tony Robbins, which digs into one of his events called I Am Not Your Guru.
You can find it on Netflix. I saw it before it came out and found it exactly powerful. There’s a good chance you will find yourself laughing and crying at different points. I’m not much of a crier, so that should tell you something. Check it out: I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix. Without further ado, please enjoy this follow-up conversation with Tony Robbins.
Tony, welcome back to the show.
Tony Robbins: Thanks for having me on, Tim. Good to hear your voice.
Tim Ferriss: Good to hear your voice too. And I’ve been thinking about you a lot. I’ve gathered questions as follow-ups and I’ve taken some from fans. Part of the reason I’ve been asking myself about you is because I’ve been wondering what would Tony Robbins do in certain circumstances I’m finding myself in. I’ll give you a perfect example. Today, I’m on book deadline right now and it rolls around to around 3:00 p.m. and it’s just one of those days where I haven’t felt like my brain has been connected to the rest of my body and I haven’t really done anything.
I’m on book deadline, a very crunch book deadline. And for whatever reason, words just are not really very intelligible on the page. And that led me to want to ask you – a lot of my fans have asked this – does Tony have bad days? And if you do find yourself in a situation like this where you’ve tried the priming and for whatever reason, it’s like the mid-afternoon and you’re like, wow, I really don’t think I’ve gotten much done today. If that happens, what do you do? What is the internal monologue or the self-talk?
Tony Robbins: I know that trying to think my way through it is not going to do squat. Of course I have those days and those times. I don’t have days like that. I pretty rarely have a day like that, but if I feel it happening and I catch myself within a few hours, then I do something radical with my body because the body will change the mind the fastest.
You have to find that sense of energy and passion and intensity back inside yourself of what makes you go. What I would do if it was my situation, I’d immediately do something either really hot or really cold – those two extremes. Or go for a run or go lift. Anything that’s going to pump the blood through me. But my first run would be jump in that freezing-ass water that I always have nearby or jump in a cryotherapy because like I tell you, when you drop your temperature down to -220ºF and you will have a whole new mental state, that’s for sure.
But really, truly, it’s getting physical in some intense, dramatic way that shifts the physiology and that’s what’s going to shift your mind and then the creativity comes in. Once I’ve made that shift, then I’d focus on coming back to not the deadline, to my reasons, the why, right? I know you do as well. Just what am I doing this for? Get reassociated. What am I most passionate about?
I won’t read, write, speak, or do anything. Maybe read, but I won’t write or speak about something I’m not totally passionate about. So if I’m not feeling it because my body is just thrashed, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, which is common, that’s when I’ve got to do something physical to shift it, to make that happen. But when I do those two things, it usually flows. I bet it would be for you too. I remember years ago, I worked with John Denver popped in my head just now. He was stuck in every way, couldn’t write a damn thing. He was very frustrated.
I just took him through three of his greatest songs he’d ever done and as he walked through the songs, I said, “I want you to describe to me the moments that were coming through you.” In all three of his examples, he was either skiing or he’d gone on a run or done something and then boom, he was in this state where he was in this flow state again. I remember I did that for him and then I started doing it for myself ever since that time.
Tim Ferriss: And do you still travel with a small trampoline?
Tony Robbins: Yes, I don’t travel with it, but I –
Tim Ferriss: You don’t have it –
Tony Robbins: I have an army of goodies that go place to place, yes.
Tim Ferriss: And how do you use that? How do you typically use the trampoline?
Tony Robbins: I do it because most people know you have more – your lymph in your body – there’s four times more lymph than there is blood. The lymph is the detoxification system in your body. When you’re feeling tired or exhausted or lethargic, outside of sleep and hydration and then food, it’s really making sure that lymph system is moving. So I jump on that thing for 10, 12 minutes first thing in the morning and get my lymph moving. Especially if I don’t have the cold nearby. If I can’t – if I don’t have a cold plunge or something, I’m in a hotel, then my next piece is to lymphacize for 12 minutes and it’s just amazing. You get all that lactic acid out of your body moving and you feel like a different person.
Tim Ferriss: You mentioned John Denver. Of course, I’ve seen your documentary, which is quite the buzz at the moment and we’re going to talk a lot more about that. I wanted to ask – and a few fans also asked about this – if you think back, is there a particular intervention that was particularly difficult and what made it difficult and how did you handle it?
Tony Robbins: Oh gosh – there have been so many particularly difficult ones.
Tim Ferriss: Or are there characteristics that make particular interventions difficult?
Tony Robbins: I remember one in particular. I don’t know why this one flashes in my mind. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this with you. We’ve talked a few times. But it was a really big deal. It was my Date with Destiny. It was the first time I brought any reporters in to see this. This is, gosh, 20 years ago maybe. I always read. I think you know I read. People do 10 to 20 pages of homework. I read it all. Now it takes a couple weeks to read it all. I don’t remember what everybody’s name, but that information is in me so I’m ready. I’ve done this and Diane Sawyer was coming with her crew to kind of just do a brief filming and show all these incredible CEO types that we’re changing their lives and redesigning their destiny.
In the middle of this experience, and it was on day one, this woman kept trying to get my attention, I felt. I don’t reward that, right? I’m happy to do it if it’s not for attention; if it’s for help. But this woman it was clear. So I ignored it, ignored it. All of a sudden, she just exploded, ignited, and started saying, “I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill you!” And she had her hand like she was stabbing at people. People were running from her, going totally berserk. Then I saw who she was. I saw the dynamic of what was going on. Instantly I realized who she was.
She was woman who had 50 – she was one of the first people with multiple-personality disorders, MPDs they call them – one of the first diagnosed ones when they first came up with the title of this. She had been institutionalized. Her story was so brutal because her father had been sexually abusing her for a good portion of her life and she finally told somebody and he had her institutionalized. People that I guess were his friends.
The doctor there actually sexually abused her. He would drug her and sexually abuse her. So you can only imagine going inside your head where there’s pain no matter what, you’re out of control. We all have to find a way to survive. We have to find a way to meet our fundamental needs for certainty, for variety, for God’s sake, when you’re being trapped. For feeling like you have some significant control over your life. For the feeling of connection or love or growth or contribution. These are human needs that have to be found in our life for us to feel like we can function. So if we can’t find them in good ways, we’ll find them in bad ways.
And her way was to just change personalities. That’s one way to get out of pain. If you’re being viciously attacked and you’re out of control, try to become someone else. She kept doing it and doing it. Long story shortened, she’s screaming, doing this, people are freaking out. All of a sudden, she starts talking like a little girl and then like an old man. It looked like something out of Exorcist. In the middle of all this, I just let her go and go and go. I finally just said to her, I said, “You know, I understand you’re in a lot of pain and I just want you to know that I know who you are and I know what you’ve been through.”
Then I told the room the story of what she’d been through while she stood there with her mouth opening, just gaped open. I said, “So I want you to know that I know you believe you’re all these personalities, but,” I said “there’s probably a reason you’re here.” I said, “I think the reason you’re here is because changing personalities was a brilliant solution for you to survive in those situations and you had to keep more and more personalities but you kept doing it so much, now you’re out of the institution, but you’re still living in pain.”
I said, “The problem is you must be here because at some level, you know this isn’t working because no one can love someone when they don’t know who they’re going to be next.” It just grabbed her. I found her internal need. Then as I started working with her she would jump back because she wanted control. She would try to do something. She would say, “I’m going to pee on this chair.” And I said, “You pee on that chair, I’ll slap you across this room.” She wasn’t ready for that piece. Obviously, I’m not going to do it, I’m just using the shock factor. I said, “I’m not some stupid psychiatrist you can play these games with.”
I said, “I know who the fuck you are and you know who you are deep inside.” I said, “All the stuff was brilliant, brilliant adaption that helped you survive but now it’s separating you from everyone. It’s causing you to feel the deepest pain.” I said, “I think it’s brilliant you have so many personalities. Children have lots of personalities. You say, I’m Superman. No, I’m Batman. I’m Superman and Batman. You can do all that stuff when you’re a kid.” I said, “When you’re an adult and you saw that shit, people want to lock you up.” I said, “You’re probably great with children.” She looked at me and she goes, “I am great with children.”
And you watch her going in and out. So anyway, this is an hour and a half process I’m trying to tell in two minutes, but the bottom line in the end is the way I finally kicked her over the edge. She says, “I was one of the first MPDs.” I said, “I know, and they’re so god-damned common now aren’t they?” Because I knew her biggest need was to be significant. She was defeating all the psychiatrists. She wanted to be – the significant drive needed to be met more than any other drive for her on the surface. What she needed more was love. So I used the significance drive.
I said, “Yeah, it’s so common. I mean, MPDs are a dime a dozen. There’s nothing unique about them at all.” You could just see her face just drop. I just took it all away. And then I turned around and I said, “But, you know,” and the cameras are rolling by the way, so what I’m not telling you is inside my gut when this first starts, I’m like, are you kidding me? This woman is splitting personalities and being a freak in the middle of them filming here? They’re going to be like, this is who comes to Tony Robbins’ seminars? I got the room full of CEOS, you know, Marc Benioff from Salesforce and billionaires and this woman is taking away my entire ability to reach people is what ran through my head.
But I let go of that and just worked on her. But at the end, the cameras are still rolling and I said, “Look, they’re a dime a dozen, but” I said, “I don’t think there’s ever been anyone in history that’s ever had 52 personalities or even two and who integrated in a matter of two minutes or less on national television.” “But” I said, “I don’t think you’re capable of that.” It was just the perfect double bind. She went through all these conversions in her face. Anyway, long story short, she transformed.
Then all I did for the next four days was catch her and show her. I said, “Listen, you know, anyone can forget things. Certainly, we’ve all had the skill of forgetting your keys. When you go from place to place to place and then you find them in the place you’ve been looking for the fifth time through.” I said, “Forgetting can also be a skill.” And then I just helped her along the way to let go of all of those personalities. And the beauty of it and the reason I think it was powerful was they didn’t do that story for a year because they wanted to see what happened with her.
A year later, she was still clear and when Diane Sawyer interviewed her psychiatrist, she said, “It’s just a miracle. I can’t explain it. It’s just a miracle.” Because she never split again. So that would be a fairly dramatic example. But, you know, I’ve gotten the call, as you know, President Clinton in the middle of the night saying, “They’re going to impeach me. What should I do?” I got a chance to work with Princess Diana to help her clarify what she really wanted to do to make one of the biggest decisions in her life in British history. I’ve had a ticket to history.
I’ve had the chance to be with Mr. Gorbachev and really hear what ended the cold war directly and the sit down with him and President Bush Sr. at that time and Mitterand and Meg Thatcher and sit in like a fly on the wall in those conversations.
There have just been some amazing times in this life that I’ve been privileged to witness and be a part of and sometimes influence.
Tim Ferriss: I view you as an expert question asker. A crafter of questions as a way of – not manipulating, that’s not the right word – but changing though or changing thought patterns. If you could ask all of the past podcast guests that I’ve had one question, what would that question be? I know it’s an odd –
Tony Robbins: First, I would never ask one question. I think you know me well enough to know – somebody counted one time. I was at an event and there was this woman who was suicidal and someone counted and I asked 167 questions before I ever said anything.
Tim Ferriss: Of that one person?
Tony Robbins: Of that one person, right. She was a person that was completely shut down, suicidal, non-responsive. So I would never ask one question. But the line of questioning would depend on the person.
I’m always fascinated by what is the drive that makes someone the best of who they are? What is the uncovering? What is the piece that triggers that? I usually ask people a question like, whose love did you crave the most growing up? Your mother or your father? I’m sure you loved them both the most, but whose love did you crave the most? Whose love did you crave the most?
Tim Ferriss: Oh, you’re asking me?
Tony Robbins: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: Probably my Dad, I would say. Yeah, I would say so. I had a very deep relationship with my Mom. And I felt close to my Dad in a lot of ways, but it was a different relationship.
Tony Robbins: Yeah. Who did you have to be for your father? If you had a first gut reaction without even thinking? Just no filters. I had to be …?
Tim Ferriss: I had to be – that’s a good question. Man. It’s pretty rare that I get stumped on my own podcast.
Tony Robbins: That’s good. Because this is deep in your unconscious. Because the reason that I’m asking this question is – and I’ll give you a moment or two to think – what controls our life is our model of the world. So our model of the world is we all have to have a set of beliefs, a set of values, a set of rules, how you should be, how I should be, how life should be. And, of course, life doesn’t always match that, which is where people get stressed out. Thinking that all their preferences should be met. But if you understand the driving force of your whole life comes because when you’re first born, you’re wide open. You can be anything.
A child can do anything. You can laugh, you can cry, you can scream, you can throw stuff, you can go to the bathroom in your pants. Try that when you’re 40 see if it works. The whole thing changes because you learn from the source of love you crave the most, from both sources of love, you learn how you need to be. You learn it by what they tell you or what they don’t tell you. What you inherently make up in your mind based upon what you witness. So just tell me the first gut response. First gut response is, from my father I needed to be …” To have his respect. To have his love.
Tim Ferriss: I think to have his love and his respect. The first thing that comes to mind is maybe obedient is not the right adjective, but accepting of whatever his instructions were, effectively.
Tony Robbins: Interesting.
Tim Ferriss: As you know of me, also, when you said I would never ask one question, well, I’m pretty prone to asking barrages of questions and I felt like that created a lot of friction.
Tony Robbins: With him?
Tim Ferriss: I wanted to ask why a thousand times in a row before I would –
Tony Robbins: And that wasn’t acceptable? He wanted you to accept what he said?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I would say it was a frequent source of conflict.
Tony Robbins: Interesting. And what else did you have to be besides you had to accept his view, to some extent. Or not question it or not ask too many questions? What else did you have to be?
Tim Ferriss: What are – well, let me ask – let me flip this around. I’m buying myself some time. How do you dissect –
Tony Robbins: Well, let me ask you about your Mom? Let me ask that question. What about your Mom? Out of curiosity, who did you have to be for your Mom?
Tim Ferriss: I didn’t feel like I needed to be anyone for my mom. She was very good at exposing me to many different things. We didn’t have a lot of money, but she would expose us to whether it was particular books or say going to the beach and gathering black sand with magnets. Whatever it might be, she would expose us to a lot of different stimuli and then if we became passionate about something, she would, to the extent that she could, support that.
So I felt like it was very my marching to my own drummer was perfectly acceptable and wherever I ended up, as long as I was happy, was a perfectly fine destiny, so to speak. I never felt like I had to be anyone in particular for my Mom, I don’t think.
Tony Robbins: Which is also why you didn’t crave her love, you see? We crave the love that we feel like we didn’t get as much of and it affects our unconscious. So your pathway of your life of experimentation and feeling like it’s not only something that is good, it’s something that could be great, it sounds like it started with those experiences with your mother. Your mother of anxiety, wherever you would feel them would come from the experiences with your father because you couldn’t win. Follow?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I do.
Tony Robbins: So both of those pieces are inside you today, are they not?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I would say so. I mean, certainly. How could they be, right?
Tony Robbins: So what happens is, if we understand where those sources are, we can reclaim certain aspects. That’s a deeper, longer conversation, but it’s like finding the pieces with your father, finding a different experience, a different set of memories even of your father that there may be deep in your unconscious that have been pushed away by the times that tightened you.
Very often when we have an experience where we feel constricted in some way, like we’re not able to please the person we love at the highest level, there is a tension that grabs in our body, almost like a muscle locking up. Then what happens after that trauma or that frustration or whatever you want to call it, that intensity that happens in our nervous system is we don’t let it go. Oftentimes, it just stays with us. It could stay with us 20, 30 years later. We don’t even know why we’re feeling these feelings. We’re trying to attack it from a million ways.
Often you can reclaim and heal that by finding the memory before that, a much earlier memory, where perhaps your father was – maybe he never was – but where you felt an expression of love that was not tied to behaving in a certain way. Where you could actually feel that, remember it. There’s a liberation that occurs when we find that. So I’m interested in knowing what drives people because it helps you understand who they are and where it came from. It helps you understand their strengths and their weaknesses so you can help them.
But I’m also interested in helping people to heal those pieces that have come that where a person has adapted so much that they’ve overused a part of themselves. Like I had to be, in my case, it was my mother’s loved that I craved. I had four fathers so I didn’t really crave them. They weren’t around enough, right? But my mother’s love – and pleasing her was not an easy task – she would beat the shit out of you if you didn’t do it – I love her to death. I’m grateful I am the man I am because I learned so much of how to adapt and I don’t want people to experience suffering like I experienced, so a huge part of who I am came from my Mom. I’m not dissing her in any way. But I had to go back and reclaim certain aspects of my life to have some real freedom in myself and knowing where I came from was very helpful.
Tim Ferriss: Well, just as a side note also, I completely agree – and I think this is more just an observation that you can feel free to respond to but you don’t have to – which is I do have those memories of sort of deep bonding with my Dad at a very young age that weren’t sort of predicated on any type of any of the things that we just discussed.
I’ve tried very hard in the last few years also with a lot of the work that I’ve done in the world of entheogens and psychedelics and so on as a way of facilitating some of this very early reintegration and self-examination. I’ve never been closer to my Dad than now.
Tony Robbins: Oh, that’s beautiful.
Tim Ferriss: I just came back from a trip to Paris with both of my parents and so there’s been a lot of growth as a result of looking at, at trying to ask myself variants of some of these questions that you’re posing.
Tony Robbins: You know, just so people are clear. I’m not a big focuser on your past, but this specific element of who did you need to be and who did you not need to be? When you look at people that you really like a lot, you have tremendous passion or appreciation for, respect for, invariably it’s because you see in them something that’s actually in you.
But you’ve dis-identified with it because the source of love in your life that you were trying to please or prove to did not necessarily reinforce that form of yourself, so you dis-identify. This is not me. I’m the person I need to be for my mother or my father or whoever the case may be. So it’s really useful from that standpoint so that you can begin to enrich and expand your life. It sounds like you’ve used psychedelics as a way to go back there. It can be done, obviously, that way. It can also be done in very simple direct ways through closed-eye, kind of hypnotic patterns that can be done over the course of an hour or two. I do those in many different events, including Date with Destiny.
Tim Ferriss: Let’s talk about investments for a second, but in a very broad sense. So if you had to think of the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made – and what I mean by that is an investment of money, time, energy – and I’ll give you an example. Just because it might clarify the question.
So Amelia Boone, who is the world’s most successful female obstacle course racer, four-time world champion, for her it was her first $450.00, which was a huge financial stretch at the time, for her first World’s Toughest Mudder competition. She ended up winning and it took her on this completely different life trajectory, right?
Tony Robbins: Yes.
Tim Ferriss: Does anything come to mind for you?
Tony Robbins: Probably the first one was going to a Jim Rohn seminar. I think I’ve shared with you, I was working for this man helping him move. I was 17, I was in high school. I was just trying to earn extra money. My father had talked about this guy who had been such a loser before and how he’d been so successful. So when you’re 17, I told the guy. I said, “My Dad said you used to be such a loser and now you’re so successful. How come? What’d you do?” He didn’t like that response at first. But he told me he’d gone to this seminar by this man named Jim Rohn. I’d said, “What’s a seminar?” He said, “This man gets up and shared with you the best of what he’s learned over 20, 30 years of his life in an evening and saves you all those years.”
I said, “Wow.” I said, “Is this happening soon?” He said, “Yeah.” He told me when. I said, “Can you get me in?” He said, “Yeah.” And he just didn’t say anything after that. I said, “Well, will you?” He said, “No.” I said, “Why not?” He said, “Because you won’t value it if you don’t invest in it.” I said, “Well, how much is it?” He said, “$35.00 for three hours.” I said, “$35.00 for three hours? I made $40 a week as a janitor. I’m going to high school. That’s a week’s pay!” He said, “Well, then just go learn on your own experience and waste 10 or 20 or 30 years of life.”
So it’s up to you. But he said, “I’m not paying for and even though I could get you in, I’m not going to. You decide.” I wrestled for a week with that decision because it seemed like such a giant decision. But I look back on it as one of the most important decisions of my life because that night stimulated me. Jim Rohn became a model of what was possible to me of how I could help people long term. I had no direction or vision. I didn’t even know such as a thing as a seminar or an event like that occurred. It all came out of that initial conversation.
So it was a damn good $35.00, even though it seemed like all the money I’d ever see in the world.
And when I was interviewing these people, by the way, for the Money Master, the game, I interviewed 50 of the smartest financial people on the face of the earth, right? All these guys are self-made, none of them are from the lucky sperm club. Every single one of them, as you dug in with them, had different things. I asked them about their best investment and so forth. Guys like Warren Buffett said his best investment was going to Dale Carnegie, he told me. He said, “You know, it’s what you do. Investing in yourself if the most important investment you’ll ever made in your life.
There’s no financial investment that’ll every match it because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity,” he said, “that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom for you because it’s those skillsets that really make that happen.” So I found that most people, there’s different types of investments. Where it’s got to start with is your own development, which you’ve done your whole life.
Tim Ferriss: I’m working on it. I’m still a collector of quotes. I capture them in Evernote. What’s surprising to me is how many of them are misattributed to people that actually originate with Jim Rohn. It’s been amazing. I remember I was at a gym not long ago, a few weeks ago, and there was a t-shirt that this gym had made which said, “Don’t wish it were easier, make yourself better.” I think that actually goes back – a number of people pointed out – to Jim Rohn in some form.
Tony Robbins: Yeah, “Wish you were better.”
Tim Ferriss: “Wish you were better,” exactly.
Tony Robbins: Don’t wish you were better.
Tim Ferriss: Do you have any quotes that you live your life by or any particular maxims?
Tony Robbins: Gosh, there’s so many. But I think the core construct of my life is it’s your decisions, not your conditions that shape your life. So it’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. So you want to choose really well. You make a different decision, you have – I tell people, I think of the last 10, 20 years of your life. Has there been a decision that if you made a different decision, your life would be completely different today? Better or worse, I don’t know, but completely different. Everybody can relate to it. So I think most of us forget the power of decision.
You know, you don’t like your job? Change it. You don’t like your relationship? Change it. Start by changing yourself because if you just change people, you’ve got the same problems you’re carrying with you, right? If you don’t like your income, change it. And all of us have that capacity, but it really comes down to making decisions. Most people don’t make enough decisions. Decision making is like a muscle. The more you make them, the stronger you get. If all you make are the easy decisions, any idiot can do that.
The most successful leaders are the ones that have to make decisions where they’re likely maybe going to be wrong. But they figure out, you know, I’ve got to make the decision quicker so if I’m wrong I can find out quicker and make a better decision, change to the next thing and make it go. My life is about really how can I help people to change the structure of what creates decisions? What filters that is our beliefs, our values, our rules, and our emotions, obviously, because that shapes it all. I’m constantly looking for the tipping point that can change the quality of this person’s life. Often we made decisions, 5, 10, 20 years ago that still affect us today.
Sometimes those decisions were made as a child about life, about yourself, about what you believe about men or women or people or relationship or finance or anything. Beliefs create and beliefs destroy. There’s no such thing as a belief that doesn’t have a consequence. The only question is it an uplifting consequence or a degrading consequence? So I’m huge on finding what those are, eliminating the ones that are keeping people from making the decisions that move them forward and making that happen. I love quotes, but it’s really more the hunt for excellence.
It’s the hunt for what’s outstanding. It’s the hunt – just like you – it’s one of the reasons I love you so much and respect you so much is I feel like we’re different creatures, but we’ve got some of the same core stuff in us, which is we want to understand the truth and we want to bring the truth to people. We want to find that truth and all its beautiful forms, different forms, so people have a variety of way of creating the quality of life they desire and they deserve. We’re both kind of experimenters in that area. To me, that’s what it’s about more than the quotes themselves.
Love quotes, love anything that’s inspiring. I’m touched by them all. But in the end, information has got to be converted. Knowledge has got to be converted to action or it’s worthless. Jim Rohn used to say, as my teacher, he’d say, “If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.” His idea of wealthy was not just money, it was really rich mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially, of course. I really have lived by that.
Tim Ferriss: Looking at the flip side, what is some of the worst advice that you see or hear being dispensed often? In say, the self-improvement world or self-development world. It could be in any sphere, but I’m just wondering if any particularly common, yet bad, advice comes to mind that you think is –
Tony Robbins: Oh, gosh. There’s so much. That’s such a [inaudible] to pick from. It depends on the start. I tell you. I’d say financially, just because I finished four years of obsession on that subject. I’m doing Money Master the game and getting that out to people. I’m still so obsessed by it. As you know, we live in a culture that most people allow financial “professionals,” 95 percent of which in the marketplace they call them wealth managers, there’s 300 names, but 95 percent of the people you’re talking about is a broker. It might be a really nice person, but the advice they’re going to give you is based on what the house has taught them to sell, and the house always wins. These corporations are not bad, they’re just trying to make profit for their shareholders. That’s who they’re focused on first. They’re not focused on you.
So finding a fiduciary, as you know, is one of the most important elements. Someone who is legally required to put your needs ahead of their own. So many people put their money in mutual funds. 96 percent of all mutual funds don’t even match the market over a 10-year period of time. Only 4 percent will match it or beat it and that 4 percent is always changing. So you want to get someone who can give you advice who is extraordinary.
I am actually really excited that I wrote that book and then I donated all the money and I fed 100 million people and I’m feeding another 100 million this year. I’m going to feed a billion people over the next nine years, which I’m really excited about – my partnership with Feeding America. But in doing that, in writing the book, I wanted people to not be screwed over, so I spent $500,000.00, quite frankly, of my own money and then I donated that, just like the book, to create this online site where people could go and they could put their numbers in and they could find out what they actually were spending.
As I think you know, 1 percent in fees makes up ten years of income you lose. In other words, if you paid 2 percent when you could have paid 1 percent or 3 percent instead of 1, you’d be paying 20 years’ worth of future income out just in fees for the same stocks, the same bonds, the same investments you could’ve owned for less. People just don’t understand this. So I created the site and I had people go there and I donated the pieces. It instantly pulled all your accounts in and showed you what you’re really being charged so that people could make better decisions. And then if you wanted a fiduciary, I recommended six of the best and largest firms out there.
Then when I went to do my paperback, Tim, something happened that just blew my mind. Which was one of the guys on the site, his name is Peter Mellouk from Creative Planning. It’s the No. 1 rated wealth manager for the last three years, to give you an idea. No. 1 for CNBC for the last two years. Barron’s was the first one for three years. No one’s ever done it for three years. So he’s brilliant, a brilliant guy. Managing, at the time, about $17 billion. He said, “Listen, Tony. I want to sit down with you and have a conversation with you because you care so much about people, but there’s a little gray area in the wall that some of the people you do business with are taking advantage of and I think you’re going to go berserk when you find it out.”
You came to LA for the UBW and I met him right afterwards, the same day at my hotel there. We sat down and talked and he showed me how these people that say they’re a fiduciary, they’re saying, “I’m here legally required to take care of you,” now have this little component called “dual registration,” where they’re a broker and they’re a fiduciary. So you’re going to somebody thinking that they’re legally required – and they’re going to tell you “I’m legally required to take care of you.”
In the middle of the conversation they can switch hats and be a broker and sell you something that is an inferior product that gives them just a higher commission that has no value for you and they can do it. So I found out every person on the site but one was doing it. I couldn’t believe it. It’s just this gray area they’re getting by with, so I’ve knocked them off the site. I was talking to Peter and I said, “Peter, this is a great way to get rid of your competition.” And he laughed. He goes, “No, it’s the facts.” I said, “No, I get it.”
I said, “You know what? If you’re No. 1 for three years in a row and no one’s ever done that,” and he has this approach. You know, our billionaire friends all have family offices where you have seven or eight people who full-time are looking at your mortgages and they’re looking at your accounting and your investments. They look at every aspect of your life and they make it work. You’ve got to be a billionaire to have it. He created a billionaire family office-type format for millionaires. I said, “Listen, if you’d be willing to do this with people who have $100,000.00 or even $50,000.00, you won’t make money on it. I know you won’t make money on it, but I want to help everybody. If you’ll do that, I’d be interested in joining forces with you.”
We spent several months together. So now, so you know, I’m pretty excited about it. I’m partners with Peter at Creative Planning. I’m a member of the Board of Directors and I’m also their head Director of Psychology for their investment group. Now my focus is getting people to the right kind of person. So I’m responsible for basically helping educate the public. And, of course, since I’m a partner in the firm and if I grow the firm, if I get my clients, it helps my business and his business together, because we’re together now. But I could’ve been with anybody. I picked this guy because he’s just second to none. So you’ve got to find the right person.
The other side of decision making would be, I think, if you look at health. There’s so many things in the health area that are so conflicted. I think you know, you asked me last time about diet and I told you I have a really boring diet. For 16 years, I was a vegetarian, a vegan. And then I began eating fish. That was the only thing I was eating. I felt stronger, I needed that.
About, gosh, three months ago, I had several challenges in a row. I had the challenge of first, for years of pounding my arms together with such intensity, 50 hours in a week out on stage, the nerves in my arms. I couldn’t sleep on my side, so I slept on my back. Not a big deal. But then my wife kept saying, “Honey, you stopped breathing. I’m really worried.” I went to a sleep study and found that I stopped breathing 17 times in 16 minutes on my back. So extreme sleep apnea.
So they give you this sleep app, which is this like vacuum cleaner to put on your face. It’s extremely sexy. You’ll get girls with it for sure. I’m just like, “Are you kidding me? This is how I’m supposed to live my life?” And then in the middle of this, I go snowboarding and I get in a snowboarding accident and I rip three of my rotator cuffs. I’m good at handling pain. So it wasn’t that big a deal. But then the pain starts going down my arm and I find this level of pain that’s 9.9. I can handle pain, but it was as severe as anything I could imagine. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t do anything.
Went into the hospital for the MRI and found out that I had spinal stenosis, where the nerves are being pinched and my spine is tightening up. They tell me I can’t snowboard again, I can’t play squash, I can’t jump around on stage and be crazy. So I wasn’t one to accept that. So long story short – I’m telling you this because I have a core belief. The core belief is – you asked me about quotes – it’s a belief. Life is always happening for us, not to us. It’s our job to find out where the benefit is. If we do, life is magnificent. So I’m trying to find some benefit in not sleeping, not having pain, having a vacuum cleaner on my face and I won’t give up.
All these guys are telling me my life is over, right? In the midst of all this, I’m also experiencing something insane that I didn’t tell my wife because I didn’t want to worry her. I’m only 56 years old and I’ve never – I’m on stage 50 hours, you know me, I don’t forget a thing. My brain is just a strength. I’m on stage and I’m trying to figure out, all of a sudden, what did I just say? And why did I say it?
It was like dementia. So that’s freaking me out. All this is happening at once. While I just – maybe six months before – made this decision that said I am going to become a master of joy and happiness like I never have before. As great as I think my life is, I’m going to end suffering as it arrives. I’m going to realize that there’s only two places you can live – beautiful states of being: joy, happiness, love, passion, decisiveness, creativity, awe. All of those states that when you’re in those emotional states, life is magnificent. You treat yourself and others at the highest level.
And then there are suffering states and none of us who are achievers would probably call it suffering. Just like achievers are never fearful, they’re just stressed. Stress is the achiever word for fear. But if I follow your stress, it’ll take me to your fear, same thing. So I never call it suffering. If you would’ve said are you suffering? I would’ve said suffering? Are you kidding? I don’t suffer? I have the most magnificent life. I have this incredible mission. I have millions of people that I meet and love. I’ve got four incredible kids. I’ve got the greatest wife in the world. I’m physically fit.
I’ve got financial freedom. But I did suffer because suffering really is any emotion that takes you out of those beautiful states. So I’d get frustrated, I’d get stressed, I’d get concerned, I’d get overwhelmed, I’d get all kinds of feelings. They didn’t last very long, but I’d feel them. And I’d say, well, that’s part of life. But really what happened for me is – you talk about better advice. The advice I gave myself, the advice I got – I sent to India and spent some time with a friend of mine and came out of it and said the next level for me is realizing how to experience life at the highest level, every day, every moment.
Finding ecstasy and joy in this moment with you, in a moment with my wife, in a moment when I’m going to go talk with someone. Billionaires are common. Someone who is truly happy every moment of their life is not. So you talk about advice or direction. My whole obsession became to say look, my whole life is about helping people create an extraordinary quality of life. Not a good one, not even a great one, just life on their terms.
Whatever that is. For some people, that’s three beautiful children. For some people, that’s a garden. For some people, that’s poetry. For some people, that’s building a billion-dollar business. There’s no right or wrong. But whatever you really want, to get it you’ve got to master two skills. The one everybody knows is the science of achievement. Like we’ve got to figure out how to take our visions and make them real. The people that do that are the people that everybody knows the name of and respect and who have their life they want it seemingly.
It is a science in that achievement, there are rules. If you want to know finance, there are rules to finance. I just spend four or five years doing it. If you follow those rules, you’re going to have an abundance of money. You may not be a billionaire, but you’re going to have an abundance of money. You break those roles – I don’t care who you are – you’re going to have financial stress. Same thing with the body. You and I both know we’re all biochemically unique, but there are certain fundamentals. If you violate them, you’re going to have low energy and disease. If you align with them, you’re going to have high energy.
So that’s science of achievement. You and I could dig into that forever. But the one I’m passionate about, the one I really want to jump on this call with you on, because I really want to spread the word, is two things.
It’s this idea that the other skill you need – that is so boring and our culture does not reinforce it, does not show it’s true importance – is the art of fulfillment. It’s an art, Tim. It’s not a science. Because what’s going to light you up – you and I are good friends – and what lights me up, there’s going to be a lot of things in common, there will be some things that are different. There’s a woman in your life. She’s going to love certain things and you’re going to have in common certain things. She’s going to be excited by things that don’t excite you. That’s just part of life. I was with Steve Wynn and I think you know Steve is a dear friend of mine who built most of Las Vegas and Macau.
He calls me up one day. This is the perfect example of this. He says to me, “Where are you in the world?” I said, “I’m in Sun Valley.” We both have some escape homes in Sun Valley, vacation homes there. He goes, “I’m in Sun Valley. Do you know it’s my birthday?” I said, “I do know it’s your birthday, Steve. I was going to call you.” He said, “You don’t need to call him. I’m here. Come see me.” So I said, “I’ll have to come see you.” He said, “When you come, I’ve got to tell you something. I have been coveting a painting for 17 years.” He said, “I just outbid everybody at Sotheby’s for it,” and he said, “Tony, you’ve got to see it. It’s incredible. I paid $82 million for this picture.”
I’m like, oh my God. I’ve seen some of his paintings. The Picassos are amazing. He’s got everything you can imagine. Rembrandts. I said, “Okay, I can’t wait to see it.” So I’m driving to his house. I’ll never forget it. I’m picturing in my mind like the Mona Lisa, this is like a Rembrandt, what is this? This is going to be incredible. I walk in his house and he goes, “Look!” And I look up and it’s a big red square. I mean, if you know art, it’s called a Rothko.
Tim Ferriss: Rothko, yeah.
Tony Robbins: It’s a big red square with a little bit of orange in it, right? And I look at him and I said, “Steve, you know,” I first admired it and then I started teasing him. I said, “You know, give me $100.00 and 15 minutes and I could do this shit. I’m telling you.” He didn’t like that. He goes, “You know, you don’t understand. The guy committed suicide.” Well, if he committed suicide that should be his blood on there for $82 million, for Christ’s sake.” So I teased him about it. The reason I bring it up is, he finds $82 million of value in that painting.
I respect him because I don’t. He knows each brush stroke and what it means, what went into it and what the talent is. I don’t have that level of sophistication around that kind of art. So I look at that and I go, red square. He looks at it and goes $82 million worth of value. That’s how humans function. So you and I have to figure out what it is that really lights us up, because success without fulfillment to me is the ultimate failure in life. The worst advice you can get is go achieve all your goals. Most people do that and they go, is this all there is? What you have to find out is what’s going to fulfill you.
It’s not like a science because it’s different for everybody. You want to know what’s – I’m up here in B.C. right now. I’m looking out at the forest. You look at this forest – if you want to know what God loves, what the universe loves. It’s pretty obvious. Nothing is the same. It’s all diverse. It’s pure diversity, right? So that’s what’s real, but the principle that makes you feel fulfilled is you’ve got to grow. Anybody – I don’t care how much money they have, how many Academy awards they have, how many people they like or like them.
It doesn’t matter what they have. It’s never enough if you don’t keep growing. Because if you don’t grow, you die. If your business is not growing, don’t bullshit yourself; it’s shrinking. If your relationship is not growing, it is shrinking, it is dying. There is no in between in real life with how things really live. And if you grow, the reason I believe growth is imperative in the universe – it’s not my rules – everything in the universe grows or dies – is because it gives us something to give. I rely believe that’s what we’re made for. We’re most alive when we don’t just do something for ourselves. But we really feel like our life matters because it extends beyond ourselves into contribution.
So I’ll give you a perfect example. I’ve been sharing this example all over the world because it’s just so relevant. I also wanted to test how people responded. So during these premieres of I’m Not Your Guru around the country, I’m going up afterwards for Q&A and then I ask people, as well as in my seminars around the world, I’d say, “We’ve lost a national treasure in the United States two years ago.” I’ve asked this in China, Beijing, in Tokyo, in Sydney, down in Brazil, up in Toronto, in America.
I said, “His name is Robin Williams.” I said how many in this room – don’t raise your hand if you liked Robin Williams; raise your hand if you loved Robin Williams.” And 98 percent of the room in Beijing, in Tokyo, in Sydney, I’m talking about all over the world, 98 percent of the people, 99 percent raised their hand.” And then I give shit to the 1 percent that are assholes that didn’t like him. But I say, “You assholes.” How could you not like Robin Williams, right? But the truth is, these people say they love him. They didn’t even know him. Now as he a master of achievement? Science of achievement? You bet.
I mean, everybody comes to Hollywood with big dreams. Everybody tells you you’re full of shit. This guy did it. He wanted his own TV show, he did it. He wanted the No. 1 show, they all said there’s no way. Some people are ancient enough to remember Mork and Mindy and he did it. Then he wanted to have the most beautiful family and he did it. Then he said he wanted to make more money than he could spend and he achieved it. Then he said, “This is not enough. I want to make movies, not just TV,” and he did that. Then he said “I want to win the Academy Award for not being funny,” his No. 1 skill, and he did it.
He said he wanted to make the whole world laugh and he did it. He wanted to get the whole world to love him and he did it. And he hung himself. Hung himself in his own home. Leaving hundreds of millions of people around the world literally that loved this man. And screw us, he left his children and his wife scarred for life. And he was a good man. How do you explain that? I’ll tell you how to explain it. The worst advice a person ever got somewhere got stuck in his psychology that achievement was more important than fulfillment. It’s the biggest fucking lie on the planet.
If you get it, if you wake up to it, you can actually have a life that is so rich and so beautiful, but the only way you can do it is you’ve got to understand that this brain inside our heads is a 2,000,000-year-old brain. This 2,000,000-year-old brain was not designed to make you survive. It’s ancient, old survival software that is running you a good deal of time. Whenever you’re suffering, that survival software is there.
The reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself. You’re obsessing on yourself. People tell me, “I’m not suffering that way. I’m worrying about my kids. My kids are not what they need to be.” No, the reason they’re upset is they feel they failed their kids. It’s about them still. In fact, I began to uncover where all suffering comes from. I found the simplest little tools. I dug in. Suffering comes from three thought patterns: loss, less, never.
If you are in a situation where you believe that someone did something – the government, your friend, your co-worker, your kid, whoever, and because they did that you lost love or you lost an opportunity or you lost respect or you lost anything, the illusion of loss is the place we suffer. It is unconsciously, even when it’s not conscious, because we’re obsessing about ourselves. We’re having this illusion that something happened and now life as we expect it to be is not there. Our expectations are what are keeping us from feeling that happiness.
On the other hand, the other one is less. If you did something, I did something, you failed to do something as my friend, I failed to do something for you and as a result either of us starts thinking we have less respect, less love, less joy, less opportunity, less something, you’re going to suffer. You’re going to come up with those emotions that make you crazy. And the worst one is when you start thinking because you did this or I did this or you didn’t do that or I did that or the government or somebody did something, because of that, we will never have something again, then people get crazy inside.
The antidote to that suffering is appreciation. It’s getting outside of yourself and finding something to appreciate because we get so upset about stuff today that’s nothing. I mean, I’ll give you a perfect example. I’m privileged enough now to have an intercontinental jet where I can go straight to China non-stop. It’s an unbelievable privilege at this stage of my life. But my whole life I’ve flown commercial. I get on Qantas Airlines to go to Australia, 14 hours, you know the drill. What I’d be is like, I’ve got 18 companies now, 12 of them that I actively manage.
We’ve got 1,200 employees on three continents and 7 industries. We did $5 billion plus in sales this year, combined with all these people. With all that going on, I get on that plane and my brain would be like, oh my God. I’m going to be disconnected for 14 hours. I’d create all this stress. What’s stressful about sitting? Or lying down if you’re privileged enough to be in a first class seat? The stories we tell ourselves that stress us out. But on this flight, it’s like you’re used to domestically you’ve got access to internet and thank God you’ve got connection to Facebook and Instagram.
God forbid that you’d be apart from that for a few minutes and your emails. I get on the plane and they announce for the first time, we have internet. Tim, I swear to God, it was like God entered the plane. People were cheering. People stood up, actually stood up and clapped. And I have to admit, I didn’t stand up and clap, but I was doing that inside. Like, oh, yeah, this is so cool! And then what do you think happens 15 minutes later?
Tim Ferriss: The internet is announced to not be working.
Tony Robbins: For how long?
Tim Ferriss: I have no idea.
Tony Robbins: 14 hours. It never worked again. And people were like – this is bullshit! I’m not putting up with this! What the hell is wrong with these people? My point is, 15 minutes earlier, it was a miracle.
Now it’s already an expectation. You want to change your life? You want to end suffering? Stop just focusing on achievement. It’s easy to achieve when you’re fulfilled anyway; you feel better. Actually trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole life changes in a moment. It’s the whole game.
So what I decided to do is to realize if I was going to take a different level of life, life is too short to suffer. You know what it took me to suffer, Tim? And I wouldn’t call it suffering; I’d say it was a little stressed or frustrated. I just added my phone nearby, that’s all it took. What do you think the chances are if you’re a listener right now, or you Tim – what do you think the chances are with 1,200 employees across all these industries, multiple continents, what are the chances that someone is effing up something right now?
Tim Ferriss: I’d say 100 percent.
Tony Robbins: What do you think the chances are? It’s 100 percent. And if I had my phone nearby, there’s going to be a text or an email or a Slack or something to let me know that. I’m going to go from this beautiful state I’m in to what the? Are you kidding me? And that would be my life. I realized that my happiness was so cheap. I would give my happiness over somebody not doing what I thought they should do. The more people that you’re then responsible to and for the more likely the law of averages says it’s not going to work out the way you expect. And so I finally decided – I got a No. 1 and this is my invitation everyone. It’s why I came on because I’m so passionate about this. You can tell.
I hope – it probably feels like a soliloquy right now. I apologize, my friend, but I just want to plant the seed with everybody. Because as beautiful a life and as blessed the life that I’ve had, and I’ve worked my ass off for it and I’ve been blessed, both, but out of all of that nothing compares to the last year and a half when my wife and I both made this distinction and said there’s only two states you live in: beautiful states or suffering states and life is too short to suffer.
When we start to suffer we have a 90-second rule. Feel it for 90 seconds, figure it out, and let it go. Because all these things we’re so upset at – my preference is that everyone would do things a certain way. My preference is I’d have the internet on the plane. We all have these preferences that we make life and death. It’s like this survival mechanism in our brain is always looking for what’s wrong. That’s what it does. That’s the survival mechanism. It’s looking for what’s wrong so you can fight it or flight it.
But there’s no longer a saber-tooth tiger to avoid, so now it worries about what are people thinking of me? Or do I have enough money in a country where if you live in poverty in the United States, you’re actually in the 1 percent of the world. People say they’re in the 99 percent are lying. Half the world lives on $2.50 a day. $900.00 a year. So I don’t want anybody being in poverty anywhere. But we live in a world where most of us are looking for what’s wrong. What’s wrong is always available; so is what’s right. If you don’t control of your focus, everything in your life will disappear.
We have this 90-second rule. If you want later on in the show here, I can do a little process with everybody for two minutes and show them how to end some suffering as it occurs.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I’d love that.
Tony Robbins: Now, suffering will show up again because the mind is always looking for what’s wrong. So it shows up. It’s not like it won’t show up, it’s just you kill it. I always tell people, “Kill the monster while it’s a baby. Don’t wait until it’s Godzilla eating the city.” Whatever little challenge you’ve got, you want to kill it right away, so in the beginning it should’ve probably been a four-hour rule, quite honestly. And years ago it would’ve been a four-month rule of upset and so forth, but we’ve really gotten it down like a muscle to 90 seconds.
I cannot tell you the level of magnificence and joy and happiness you have when you don’t stress out about all the stuff that you can’t control that’s just a preference and you find the beauty in everything and you use what life is offering you. I mean, I’ve always done this, it’s like anything else. You can’t manage something you don’t measure. I wasn’t measuring this because I just called these other emotions. They weren’t dominant, they weren’t destroying my life. They were just showing up at times. I called that life.
No, that’s not life. That’s survival software. That’s an old brain. And I teach my brain what to do. I don’t let my brain – I don’t have an argument. I don’t have negotiations in my mind. I’ve trained my brain through conditioning to do this. And now this year, I’ve trained it to just let go and find what is beautiful in each moment. And I’m telling you, there is nothing on earth that I’ve experienced that has brought my joy to me, to my wife. Because also when you’re doing that, you’re in a different place. You can’t be present with someone when you’re stressed out inside.
If there’s really a problem, it’s so much easier to solve when you’re in a beautiful state of being with all your ability and strength, than when you’re in a stressed out state. And all the people that think getting stressed out makes me better; it’s bullshit. I can tell you. You might look like you’re getting better, but you haven’t really tried being in the ultimate beautiful states and solving something and seeing how much faster it’ll be. So I am on a journey to invite people to make the most important decision of their life, which is deciding to end suffering, deciding to live in a beautiful state.
That’s my spiritual vision now. My friend who’s name is Kristin Ji in India said, “What’s your spiritual vision?” That’s how this conversation started. He said to live in a beautiful state all day long, every day. That’s my entire piece. Because if I do that, everything else comes from it. Someone asked me the other day, “What would cause someone to kill men, women and children?” Like you’ve seen happen in Paris and what happened in Nice recently and what’s happened obviously in Orlando and San Bernardino. I said, “I can’t tell you the kind of person who did it, but I can tell you who didn’t do it. A happy person didn’t go kill all those people.”
A fulfilled human being, a person in a beautiful state does not plot or try to harm anybody, much less kill anybody. A person in a beautiful state is not out there trying to steal from somebody else. So you know when you get on airplane and the first thing they say is if we have a problem and we lose oxygen the mask will drop down and put it on your child first, right? No. They say put it on yourself first, which seems selfish with your child; we all want to take care of our kid first. But the reason is if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re going to have nothing for that child and that child’s going to die too.
Putting yourself in a beautiful state is putting that living oxygen inside of you and then you have things to give other people. As long as you’re suffering, suffering begets more suffering. So I always tell people, “Figure out what your favorite flavor of suffering is. Are you a person that gets stressed out all the time? Is it anxiety? Is it worry? Is it anger? Is it pissed off? It is trying to please everybody? What is your favorite style of suffering and end it. Because when you end that, there’s a level of freedom that no amount of money will give you. No amount of love will give it to you. No amount of accolades. No amount of Academy Awards, none of that.
I get the call from all those multi-billionaire clients and from all those people in the entertainment business who’ve got everything and they’re miserable. They bring me in to help me with their business or whatever it is, and I’m the Trojan horse. I give them what they want, but then I know what I’m really there for is to also give them what they need and to help them to find that joy and happiness. So I’ve been doing that.
Like managing coaching Paul Tudor Jones, one of the top 10 financial traders in the history of the world and a guy who in 1987 when the stock market took its biggest percentage drop ever, percentage wise, still the most, and he made 200 percent for his clients, and then he lost money. But I’ve been coaching him now for 22 years. He hasn’t lost money in 22 years. So I’m doing my job. But I’m also making sure that man is fulfilled. And that to me is my real mission with him, even though I’m helping him on the business side in a way that he’s very pleased with. Making sure that his life is fulfilled is my ultimate drive.
So I’m finished with this little piece. I just think a lot of people say to me well, you know, God’s not really in my life. I don’t know there’s a God or an infinite energy or whatever you want to call what you think has created you. I always say to people, can you imagine if you were the creator and you come here to one of your creations and you say to this person, Joe, how do you like what I created for you? And he says, geez, God it’s hot as shit here. Couldn’t you have just kept it as 78 degrees? Why did you have to change all these temperatures and make it so tough? And man, you’ve got these stupid people I’ve got to deal with all the time. They’re always getting in my way and, you know, why do I have to work for a living?
Plus you’ve got these little red ants. They’re tiny little ants and they bite my ass and they hurt like hell. Why would you create these annoying ants? Now, if you’re a God, do you want to hang out with this person? And if you’re a human, do you want to hang out with him? And then if you’re God, you go to someone else and you say how’s it going? The creation I created for you? And the guy says, hey, man, God, this is so incredible. This is the most beautiful place I could ever imagine. The sky, the air, the water. Oh my God there’s so many different people that challenge me and help me to grow and learn and people I can love.
And oh my God you even created these red ants. I mean, these red ants are so tiny. I’m 1,000 times their size and they’re so courageous. They come even bite me. It’s cool what you’ve created here. Who do you want to hang with? So if he goes I don’t have God in my life, it’s probably because you whine and bitch too much to feel God’s presence, right? We have got to stop the suffering. I don’t know many people that don’t suffer regularly. They don’t call it suffering, but that’s what they do. And it’s something you can end. Not like one time. It’s like drawing the line in the sand and saying if I want to take the island, I’m going to burn the boats. I’m not going back.
And then committing yourself to it and not beating yourself up. I don’t say to my wife, oh, you’re suffering and you need to change and we have a 90-second rule. It doesn’t work that way. I’m just like, “Honey, I don’t know if you’re suffering or not. I feel energy in you right now and I want you to know I’m here for you and anything I can do to help.” We do our own internal work, but if she suffered for whatever period of time internally, I’m there for her but I’m not going to make her wrong for it. Because what happens is your brain starts to see how life can really be and it is more beautiful than most humans will ever dream of. So most people try to drink or smoke or do something to alter their state to get in a beautiful state. I’m telling you, you can wire yourself to be that way.
So this is my little soliloquy. Thank you for letting me pump it out. Because you’re such a gem, Tim, to let me do it. But it’s just like if I could get every human being to truly make the decision, keep the word and keep practicing, because it’s a daily practice. Because I still feel it. If something shows up, you see it and you let it go. But as you do it more and more, like I said, it’s like a muscle.
There is a level of joy as much as you’d ever dreamed you’d have, I’m telling you there’s 100-fold out there and I’m inviting your listeners to consider trying a real simple ten-day challenge to say, for ten days I’m not going to suffer. I’m going to end it, I’m going to let it go. I’m going to realize don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s all small stuff. I’m going to stop obsessing about myself and I’m going to focus on what I can appreciate and what’s beautiful and just try it and see what happens.
At the end of ten days if you rely believe it’s the most important thing in life like I do, then you commit to that decision long term and maybe surround some of your friends and family, sharing why you’ve done it so you’ve got some leverage on yourself and you keep moving forward and keep expanding.
Tim Ferriss: And for people who – I’m going to take you up on what you said a little bit earlier, just in terms of describing how the 90-second rule works in practice. I think a lot of people listening want to take you up on the challenge and to have the 90-second rule process in their toolkit as part of that. What does it look like? Could you give us an example of what that might look like?
Tony Robbins: I’ll give you an example where I had to use it recently. I was in Dallas, I don’t know, three or four weeks ago and I was doing an Unleashed Power with an event and we had about 7,500 people there, 8,000 people there. We went to do the fire walk. It was no different than any other fire walk I’ve ever done in 35 years. We also have a quarter of one percent or a half of one percent, under one percent of people that have hot spots or blisters. They know they could get it in advance. It’s like going – if you’re going to go do a marathon, you know you could get blisters and if you do, you don’t quit, you push through it and it’s a badge of courage and you’re proud of yourself, right?
And you know the fire walk, that’s what it is. It’s an experience of someone overcoming their fear. It’s something real. It’s visceral and you’ve got to get yourself to take action in spite of it. There is some exposure or some danger, if you want to call it that. Everybody knows it. We have medical professionals on site and they take care of people. It’s aloe vera and some blisters, they go away, right? I’m not making like it’s no big deal, but it’s not a big deal. And this happened to me five years ago in San Jose, where somebody was driving by and saw some people coming out, called 911 and said there’s all these people burning here.
It became this story overnight that all these people had burned at this fire walk. It went around the world in the news cycle – the 24/7 news cycle where people don’t have – they don’t reporters out to interview, they just copy the same story and do the same thing over and over again. They said people were hospitalized. Not a single person was hospitalized. None of it was true. Fox News – it took four weeks, but Arianna Huffington has been to our events, so she put a reporter on this who actually went out and investigated, went to the hospital and found out no one was hospitalized, found out it was all bullshit. So they wrote a story and my lawyers actually worked and got Fox News, believe it or not, to do a reversal and they apologized and said it was incorrect.
Then a few weeks ago, I’m Dallas and the same exact thing. Somebody who doesn’t know what’s going on calls 911 and says you’ve got to send ambulances, there’s hundreds of people burning. Nobody was hospitalized. Five people wanted additional attention. They looked at it, saw they were fine and released them. They’re all in the seminar the next day. But everyone, my email box, my texting, everything’s filled with people all over the world saying I’m so sorry about what happened to you and what happened at the event, and nothing happened at the event.
So you can only imagine. Not this was not truly 90 seconds, so that’s why I’m telling you this one. This one was like 30, 40 minutes, because every time I thought it was done, another thing came in. But here’s what I did eventually, I got myself back to this process. There is a set of scientific studies that show that when your mind and your heart – your heart actually has hormones that affect the way your brain functions. It’s not just your brain affecting your heart; they interact. When they’re in alignment, human beings are able to resolve internal conflicts.
Often the conflicts we have are between our conscious and unconscious mind. Between our mind and our heart per often as an example. If I were to put electrodes on your brain and your heart, as you well know an EEG and EKG, we could see that they’re both in your normal state pretty jagged up and down and they don’t look anything like each other. But if all you do is put your hands on your heart physically and anyone listening, let’s go ahead and do this right now in a second. But I’ll first tell you what we’re going to do.
You put both your hands on your heart physically and you feel your heart. You put all your focus in your heart. You breathe into your heart. You feel gratitude for two minutes, where you think of three events in your life you feel grateful for and you step in and feel it. At the end of two minutes, you are in what I call a beautiful state because I can look at your EEG and EKG and it’s dramatic. First, they aren’t jagged, they’re rounded, but what’s mind boggling and I’m sure you probably know this Tim, they literally sync up. They become identical. They look like they’re tracing each other.
When that happens, it’s not just your mind. I always tell people, “You get in your heard, you’re dead.” Your mind is great for strategy, but it’ll never make you enjoy your life. It’ll never let you enjoy the taste of an apple because it’ll go, is it organic? Where did it come from? Versus your heart, which can bring the juice of anything back to you. So what really I’m trying to do with everyone in this situation is I’m trying to show them how to line these up. It’s really easy.
If you want to do it right now and you want to test that it works, let’s do this. Tim, you can do this with me if you’d like to.
Tim Ferriss: Sure.
Tony Robbins: Think of a situation – you might not have any in your life, Tim, you’re so crazy in this area and so on top of it, but most of us have situations where there are, for all of you listening, a place where you have some unfinished business.
Tim Ferriss: That’s the story of my life, Tony.
Tony Robbins: Okay, well probably a story of all our lives, right. That’s just being human, right? But it’s a place where there’s something that you should’ve handled and you haven’t handled with a person or situation. It stresses you out and so what we tend to do is focus on other stuff because we don’t want to have to deal with that because it’s stressful. It’s painful. And so think of something that on a 0 to 10 scale, where 10 is totally stressed out and 0 is not at all – pick something that’s unfinished business in your business or personal life, something or someone, and it’s at least a 7, 8, 9 or a 10. Just so you can see that this really works. Now by the way, there are hundreds of ways to do this. I’m just going to give you this one because we can do it in two minutes, all right? So I’m hoping – Tim, do you have one by chance?
Tim Ferriss: I do.
Tony Robbins: You don’t have to tell me the content. Okay, perfect. And no one else has to tell us the content. All right. Everyone if you would, just for a moment, and I don’t have any music in the background, which I do to enhance this normally, but let’s just do it. Put both your hands on your heart and physically breathe deep into your heart. As you’re breathing deep in your heart, feel the strength of your heart. Feel the power of your heart. Feel the beauty of your heart. What are you proud or grateful that your heart has guided you to do or to give or to feel or to enjoy?
Feel the strength of your heart. Breathe into it. Feel the blood flow, the oxygen. Feel grateful for your heart first. Because think about it, you didn’t have to earn this heart, it was given to you. You didn’t have to prove your value or your worth.
You didn’t have to accomplish anything. Something loved you enough to give you the gift of life. As long as this heart is beating, you have that gift and you live. It beats 100,000 times a day. It pumps blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. They put them end to end, they go around the earth twice at the equator. That’s what’s inside every one of us and you don’t have to think about it. What a gift.
So as you breathe in your heart, feeling your powerful heart, I want you just for a moment – we’re going to think of three – but just think first of one event in your life, one experience, one moment that you could feel so grateful for if you wanted to, a magic moment, a sacred moment, a sexy moment, a beautiful moment, a loving moment, any moment that really you could feel grateful for if you wanted to right now. Then step into that memory for a minute. Like step in your body as if you were there. See what you would’ve saw then as if you’re there or hear what you’d hear back then.
Breathe the way you were breathing back then. And if you fill up with that sense of gratitude for that moment, how do you smile when you feel so grateful or so thankful? What’s the look in your eyes? How do you breathe? What’s the look on your face when you feel really, really grateful? And just fill it up, fill up with gratitude. The reason we use gratitude, by the way, is the two emotions that mess us up most are anger and fear. You can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously. It’s the antidote. You can’t be fearful and angry simultaneously.
So fill up with the gratitude and now think of a second moment you could fill truly grateful for and again, breathe deep in your heart, feeling that power. Just think of any other moment. It could be from your childhood or adulthood. It could be last week, it could be today, it could be ten years ago. Any moment that you could just truly feel like that was grace, that was magical, that was beautiful, or that was magnificent.
Something that gives you the feeling of tremendous gratitude if you really focused on it. Breathe it, feel it, enjoy it. Fill up with gratitude. Then finally think of a third moment you could feel truly grateful for. Step in it. See it, feel it, be there. Feel the gratitude. What were you so grateful for? What are you grateful for? And then maybe throw one extra one in. Think of a coincidence. We all love when life happens for us and not to us. We love coincidences because we didn’t do anything. Something happened for us.
You were going to do one thing and you met somebody that you developed a partnership with or became a friend or a lover or the love of your life or maybe a business opportunity came from a coincidence. Or an insight came from a coincidence that’s been so valuable in your life. Something you’re grateful for. What’s a coincidence that led to something you’re so grateful for?
Feel the gratitude for that. Was it a coincidence or were you guided? Hmm. Now as you breathe in your heart. You’ve been doing this for about two minutes. Keep breathing, keep feeling it, feeling grateful. Let’s use this state to solve the problem state. So the easy way to do that is to keep breathing your heart. Stay out of your head; in your heart. Think of that situation that’s unfinished business that’s stressed you out in the past, but keep breathing in this beautiful state and ask yourself this question: all I need to focus on in that situation, all I need to focus on, all I need to remember is what? Your heart knows.
All I need to focus on, all I need to remember, all I need to do in that situation is what? Your heart knows the answer. All I need to focus on, all I need to remember, all I need to do is?
Your heart probably knows the answer. I’ve done this a million times. Not every one of you, but in a normal room, I’d say raise your hand if you’ve got that answer and 98 percent, 99 percent of the people usually do, even with this simple technique. You know what to do, what’s next. What happened for you, Tim?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, no. I did get a lot of clarity. Quite frankly, even if I didn’t get the clarity in the problem, just the state shift – and this is something, of course I’ve been to Unleash the Power Within, just the – we don’t have time to necessarily dig into right now, but just the state/story strategy, as opposed to the other way around, it’s just so … and it’s very easy for me to forget, just because I’m so hyper-rational and I like to depend on the brain, on the mind for strategy, but if as I remember, and I’m just paraphrasing here, you put it if you’re in a negative state or a frazzled state, you only see the problem. You only see the problems, you don’t see sort of the space in between.
Tony Robbins: That’s correct.
Tim Ferriss: So, yeah, that’s a tremendous exercise. That’s great.
Tony Robbins: You know what it is? It’s taking the power of your incredible cognitive capacity but bringing in the infinite capacity of the heart, which changes, it changes the state, as you said. In a different state, you get totally different answers. Beautiful states of being, we want to cultivate them. So two minutes, put your hands on your heart. Breathe. Think of three things you’re really grateful for. Fully associate and then think of what was bothering you and what you need to resolve and just go, all I need to focus on, all I need to remember, all I need to do is what? And you’ll get your answer. That’s just one technique, but it works so easily and it works for most things.
Tim Ferriss: Since it reminds me so much of my in-person experience with you at the event – of course, we’ve met outside of the event – but I wanted to ask you a question that’s going to segue into a conversation about the doc – because I actually watched – I was very honored to get to the doc before it came out publicly.
Man, talk about – and I feel like good films, whether they’re fiction or documentaries tend to do this, but there are a lot of moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s a very emotionally powerful film. How has Date with Destiny evolved over the last say decade or so?
Tony Robbins: Oh, that’s interesting.
Tim Ferriss: And for those people who don’t know, what is Date with Destiny?
Tony Robbins: That’s good. Well, you mentioned earlier Unleash the Power Within, which is my four-day, weekend seminar that we do for 8,000 to 10,000 people. I love if you make any comments because I hope that some of your listeners will come join us. I know you’ve had a great time and we can share that. But Date with Destiny, I see about 200,000 people a year in 12 to 15 countries. Some of the countries I go two or three times, like Australia, London and so forth. But I only see 2,500 people on Date with Destiny.
I only do one event in the United States once a year there and do it in December, usually in Florida. It is six days long. I do one in Australia also, but in the US only one time. Six days long, 2,500 people.
People do 10, 20 pages of homework. I read it all. It’s an experience designed to help you to uncover what controls every thought, feeling and emotion of your life. Every thought, feeling and emotion. What you do, what you don’t do is controlled by your beliefs, your values and your rules. Most of us did not consciously pick most of those. We adapted them to our environments and to the people we were trying to please. So our life is a reflection of us and a lot of conditioning. This allows you to open it up and say I am now the conditioner. What is it that I truly want most from my life at this stage of where I am today? Not ten years ago.
What’s in the way? How do I remove it and what do I need to replace it with deep in my nervous system? Not just in some thought pattern, but literally in the way my nervous system functions. We do this six days and nights. It goes 12, 13 hours a day. Joe Berlinger, who is an amazing two-time Academy award nominated and two time Emmy-winning, two time Peabody-winning documentarian, he’s done some amazing films.
I saw Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, which is a brilliant film about these guys going through a new stage of life and hating each other and how they’re going to break through and intervene. He also did one called Paradise Lost, which was three films done over two decades, where he got three men who were innocent off of Death Row. That’s the kind of guy he is. But he’s seen the worst side of life. I met him. We have a mutual friend who created the show Billions. Which as an aside, if people have seen that show, the woman in that show is the coach to the billionaire hedge fund guys. I trained her. A lot of those things are actually things I really do. Her sex scenes I did not train her in, but the other stuff …
Tim Ferriss: You don’t do the domination and the stilettos?
Tony Robbins: No, the domination – those weren’t my stilettos, but the rest of it’s there.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, Brian Koppelman, right?
Tony Robbins: Yeah, you know Brian. That’s right.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Tony Robbins: So Brian Koppelman introduces us and this is 2012. I just sense here’s this beautiful man that I had so much respect for and he wasn’t fulfilled. Perfect example. He’s like got all these Academy awards. I mean, if you’ve gotten three people who are dying off of Death Row, what else can you do in your life to have value to feel like your life is worthwhile?
But I could feel he was turning 50, he wasn’t there. So long story short, I invited him on Date with Destiny. He’s told me since that he couldn’t understand why he went. He said, “I’m not a seminar guy. I’m not into any of this stuff. I’m skeptical. I’m pessimistic. I see the worst side of life.” But something inside of our conversation intrigued him. I got him there and within two hours, he wanted to run. He was trying to get out of the building. He just said, “I can’t take this energy and this jumping and this music and people want to talk to me and they want to ask me personal questions.” He goes, “I’m just not made for this.”
He called his wife and said, “Tony’s such a nice guy and he invited me here, what’s my exit strategy? I can’t do six hours more. I can’t do six minutes more of this shit.” She said to him, “Honey, there’s a reason you were pulled to do this. You never would in a million years. You won’t even take a six-day vacation. Why don’t you stay at least one more day before you bail?” The next day, we did this process where I had everyone reclaim – I asked people what their earliest memory is.
Then I have them reclaim the memory before that that you don’t realize is there. When you do, it releases what was holding you back. He woke up, opened his eyes, flooded with tears. He said he hadn’t cried in 20 years like that and felt this incredible relief. He said, okay, I’m in, I’m going to play full out. And then at the end of it, he saw how cinematic this was. These interventions are pretty dramatic. Suicidal ones, people that are so successful and miserable. All these things. And so he came to pitch me on it, thinking I was going to say yes and I said no for two years because I just didn’t want to disrupt the environment.
I didn’t want to disrupt the people there. Because I have cameras, but they’re long-distance lenses, only so you can see the person’s face on a giant screen with 2,500 people, so you get to be fully associated. But somebody doing a documentary with a camera in your face is a different game. So after two years, he said, “Look, what if I came in and if you think it interferes with their experience, you end it, it’s my loss.” I said, “If you’re willing to take that risk, then I’m willing to do it because I just can’t let it disrupt the people.” And I was also skeptical. How are you going to take six 13, 12, 14-hour days and put it in less than two hours?
But that’s why he’s got the Academy awards and he did a phenomenal job. We had 500,000 people join us just on Facebook Live on the day it came out after they watched the film for Q&A. It was just like the response to it has been greater than anything we could have ever imagined.
Tim Ferriss: I’ve had a number of friends reach out to me to recommend that I see the doc, which of course I appreciate. I will say also for those people listening who don’t have a lot of exposure to Tony or maybe have misconceptions. The most common thing I’ve heard from friends who’ve seen the doc is, I thought Tony was X and now I think about Tony totally differently. I think it’s very hard to appreciate some of your unique abilities and tools without seeing some of the interventions, for instance. It’s a very different, visceral and powerful experience. So I certainly recommend it.
I’ve already recommended it and watched it very early on and just love this. Where can people find the doc, I Am Not Your Guru? Where’s the best place for people to check it out?
Tony Robbins: It’s on Netflix now. It’s in 190 countries already translated. So we’re pretty thrilled about the exposure that we’ve had around the world. But I just want you to know, I didn’t make the film so people would understand me more. I want me to have a transformational experience. What Joe did so brilliantly is it’s like a concert film. He drops you – he’s the fly on the wall and you actually get to enter that event and experience what it’s really like. Just like a great movie, when you watch the characters, you feel what they feel. Well, you feel these characters as they’re transforming and it has a transformative effect.
I was just in New York the other day and there was a woman who stood up after the premiere and she was crying and she just said, “I just have to tell you, I’ve been laughing and crying this entire two hours. She said, “I have Stage 3 cancer and I just had given up. I was coming here and I thought, who the hell is Tony Robbins? What the hell is this bullshit?” But a dear friend dragged her there and she said, “I’m going to heal.” She goes, “I’m in one million percent. I can’t even tell you the transformation.”
I just got back from Traverse City, Michigan. Michael Moore calls me up and he saw the film. He used to think what I did was B.S. He didn’t know me personally, he just thought personal development and anything of that nature is just all a lie, it’s all B.S. He called up and said, “This film effed me up. This changed me. This made me a better person. It made me a better filmmaker.” He’s put this in writing. “A better filmmaker, a better person.” He said, “I think this film will save lives,” and so he asked us if we’d fly out to Traverse City for his film festival, which we just did the other day.
I mean, I probably laughed harder than I ever have in my life hearing his tell the story of what this film did to him. So we’re really pleased. It’s free. Go on Netflix, it’s free. If you’re in 190 countries anywhere in the world, and I know my followers are all over the world and so are yours. You can go on Netflix and if you don’t have Netflix, you can join for, I think free for the first month or $8.00. But you get everything for it. So we’re excited to have this available for everyone.
Tim Ferriss: Just as a side note, because you mentioned the crying. I’m not much of a crier and never have been, but man. I won’t spoil it by giving too much context, but the intervention with the Brazilian woman – that completely knocked me on my ass. There’s so really, really powerful moments and transformational moments in the doc. So I recommend everybody check it out. Tony, I want to let you get back to your day. Is there anything else that you would like to share with people? Any parting thoughts or anything else that you might want to add? Oh, actually, there are two maybe quick things we could touch on. You mentioned your breakfast but never came back to it.
Tony Robbins: Oh, yeah, thank you for that. You were reading my mind. I want to close that loop.
Tim Ferriss: And then also with your financial partner, if there is a particular website or service available that people should check out or that is going to be launching, if you want to mention that.
Tony Robbins: Sure. If you would like to have a second opinion, like someone to look at your finances for you, they’ll do it for free at creativeplanning.net.
As I said, they do like a home office for someone who’s not a multi-billionaire. They literally look at every aspect of it. As full disclosure, so you understand, I’m a member of that team, so if you join, I benefit in some way from an SEC perspective, but those are – I just want you to be clear about that. But I could’ve teamed up with anybody. As I say, he’s been rated No. 1 three years in a row by Barron’s. No one’s done that in history. No. 1 wealth manager. So he’s a phenomenal guy. As far as the other piece, the reason I was telling the story was two-fold. I don’t give up, right? So I left off with now I’ve got spinal stenosis and they tell me I can’t do anything. I’m going to doctor after doctor.
I find a guy in Australia who says with 100 hours of hyperbaric oxygen at two levels deep, 65 feet below, you will see changes in the spine that people say are impossible. Because the new science shows that you get 800 percent more stem cells released in the body when you do this. It goes to the parts of the body that need to be healed or that are inflamed and starts to heal them. He sent me some MRIs for me to look at – before and after’s.
It looked like magic. So I said okay, I’m doing this. I’ll fly to Australia, I’ll see this guy. I’ve got to work on this. I’ve got so much going on with my nervous system. He says to me, “Tony, before you come, I want you to do these inflammation tests so I can see if you have any sidokines and he’s kind of describing there. So I go get a blood test and while I’m there a man says to me, “Do you want to do a metals test while you’re here?” I said, “Well, what metals?” Like mercury, lead. I said, “Well, I had my amalgams out 25 years ago, so I don’t think it’s a problem but why not? Let’s do it.”
That metals test came back. The doctor called and he said, “I must speak to you, it’s an emergency.” He wouldn’t leave a message. So I finally call him. He said, “Mr. Robbins, we measure mercury on a 0 to 5 scale. If you’re 3, 4, 5 you’re in danger, you’ve got to get it out of your nervous system.” The said, “The most I’ve ever measured in a human is 75. You’re 123.”
Tim Ferriss: Wow.
Tony Robbins: I was dumbfounded. He said, “Are you losing your memory at times?” I was like, I hadn’t even told my wife this yet, right? Because I thought I’ve got to figure this out.
I said, “Yes, it’s been happening on stage.” He said, “Look it up. A lot of people are misdiagnosed with dementia when really it’s mercury poisoning. It’s just your short-term memory. It’ll come back once you get it out, as long as there’s not long-term damage.” I said, “I can’t tell you, you made me breathe a level I can’t even tell you.” He said, “In addition, how exhausted are you?” I said, “I don’t think I’ve ever felt more exhausted in my life. I couldn’t figure it out. I know I’m working my tail off, but I’ve always worked my tail off.” He said, “Tony, it literally disrupts inside the,” what do you call it? Inside the cells.
Tim Ferriss: Mitochondria?
Tony Robbins: Yeah, the mitochondria. So that’s the factory of energy in the body, right? So you literally are having your energy depleted out of your nervous system. He said, “You can have a cardiac arrest from this experience, especially at this level, even if your arteries are clean.” He said, “We have to get this out.” So I’ve been on this massive detox. The reason I’m sharing it is all this shit I went through not being able to breathe and sleep, torn rotator cuffs, spinal stenosis, it all seemed like the worst things that could happen in your life.
I was practicing beautiful state and because I was practicing that, had been practicing beforehand – this would have devastated me. Everything in my life seems to be done and I’m doing seven hours a day, six to seven hours a day of oxygen therapy, of detoxification, of Meyers into my veins, all the stuff that you’ve got to do to do this and still running my companies and being on stage and doing all the crazy things I’m doing, but because I was practicing it, I was able to separate the 9.9 pain from suffering. So I want people to get this. You can have pain without suffering.
The pain was off the charts. Hard to sleep, hard to move, hard to do anything initially. But what was beautiful was, I started realizing the suffering was the story I had. The story of why this happened to me. Will I ever get this out of me? Will I ever be able to play squash again? Get on stage again? Snowboard again? All that stuff that the mind wants to do because it’s so fearful and it’s trying to fight or flight, and I was just end it, end it, end it, end it and go, it’s just pain.
It’s just pain and I’m going to find the solution to this. I kept putting myself back in that. If I had not been practicing this before, it never happened. Also, if I had not had all these pain and problems, I wouldn’t have found out I have all these metals in my body and I’d be dead within a year or two. So the good news is I’m down to 32 from 123 and I think in the next 90 days I’ll have the rest of that out of me. I’m doing the oxygen therapy and I’m going to do stem cell therapy and I’m going to get myself back where it belongs. But I’ve been telling the story and sharing with everybody I know, all my friends to start with.
I’ve had three different friends with incredibly high mercury lead. One guy had rat poisoning in him. He used to work in the dental field and you probably know, dentists have the highest suicide rate in the world and part of that has to do with all the metals. We live in an environment that is toxic. You say where’d you get all that metal in your body? I told you before, all I eat was fish and the two fish I used to eat always were swordfish and tuna were my favorite. I’d have salad, swordfish and tuna, like clockwork. They live 75 years. They consume all the smaller fish.
They have 1,000 times more mercury in them and no one’s going to talk about this because the fishing industry would be killed by it. So I moved to land-based proteins for the most part with clean sources, something radically different than I’ve ever been in my life. I mean, I haven’t had anything of that nature since I was 17. But I want to be healthy and be alive. The world has changed so you have to adapt with it. So I really recommend anyone listening, get a metals test. It takes nothing. It’s a little bit of blood and know where you are because so many people are misdiagnosed with a variety of elements.
It’s these metals that are now so much a part of our environment and getting into our blood and pushed into ourselves, but you can get it out. There’s a man named Dr. Shade, by the way, you can look him out on the web. I think he’s one of the most advanced in this area. He has a Ph.D. in metal detoxification. He had a mercury problem himself. He’s come up with some ways that are less intense than traditional chelation.
Tim Ferriss: Shade spelled like S-H-A-D-E?
Tony Robbins: Yes, Dr. Shade. S-H-A-D-E. And he’s an expert in this area.
Tim Ferriss: Got it. I’ll check it out. Well, Tony, I want to let you get back to beating the various drums and the many missions that you have set before you.
Tony Robbins: Thanks, Tim.
Tim Ferriss: It’s always fun to talk and I really appreciate the time, as I’m sure everybody listening does. I certainly wish you a speedy recovery with the mercury.
Tony Robbins: Thank you.
Tim Ferriss: I do encourage everybody to check out I Am Not Your Guru. It’s time very well spent. Any final words, Tony, before we jump off?
Tony Robbins: No, just love you, brother. I feel like we’re aligned, we’re on the same path here. I’m such a big fan of your work and I’m so thrilled so many people get to hear you. I hope you continue to take care of yourself and you’re here a very, very long time, brother.
Tim Ferriss: Thank you. I really appreciate it. This was the conversation I needed. I was having a tough day and after the heart, after the 90-second exercise, I feel infinitely better already. So I’m ready to get back to it. I really appreciate it, Tony. For everybody listening, as always, you can find show notes, links to many of the things, if not all of the things, we discussed in the show notes at fourhourworkweek.com/podcast. Until next time, thank you for listening.
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