Part 6 of the 10 things I wish I knew before I left Africa
It was a dark lonely night in the CBD of Sydney, Australia. Ever since I had moved over from Melbourne,every day pretty much rolled with the same monotonous tone. Me alone looking for work, Me alone looking for a home, listening to personal development tape after personal development tape after personal development tape. As was in my character, I had hope and a vision deeply embeded in my heart but my composure was the one of someone trying to keep his head down and his feet moving forward slowly but steadily
A few days prior I had seen a poster in a cyber cafe:
Tony Robbins coming to Australia! Call me to get cheap tickets!
Upon calling I learned that the tickets would cost a “cheap” price of 1,600 Australian dollars. As expensive as that was, I wanted to go, I needed to go. After all, Tony Robbins was pretty much the catalyst that got me to Sydney in the first place. It was when I watched his interview with Larry King that I learned that a decision is defined as, “ cutting yourself off from all from all other possibility.” That’s when I decided that I had been sitting on my lazy butt for too long and it was time for me to move to Sydney and begin making my dreams and visions come true and cut myself off from any possibility of doing otherwise. It was also Tony who I had been listening to night after night after jobless, homeless night.
So there I was in the middle of Sydney cybercafe at about 2 a.m. wondering how I would convince my parents, cousins and friends to give 1,600 dollars to attend a self help seminar. Before crafting what I intended to be my most eloquent and convincing email to date, I decided to check what my fans had written in to me.One of the emails was from an old friend of mine from Melbourne who I hadn’t seen in forever. His email was short and sweet, I paraphrase:
“I am coming to Sydney to attend Tony Robbins personal development seminar. I have a free ticket for you if you want it. Please give me the names of five people who may also want a free ticket and the ticket is yours.”
Every part of my being literally exploded. In the middle of the cyber cafe I stood up and just started shaking and buzzing with pure joy (not a very comforting thing to be doing as a black man in the middle of the city at 2 in the morning, but I digress).
When I attended his seminar, I was still homeless, I had since found a job and so was able to pay for food and transport to the event (I had to use the train because my car a.k.a my home had broken down near a golf course in the Northern suburbs of Sydney). However those three days shook me, moved me and inspired me to the core. When that seminar ended, that was pretty much when the idea of the Displaced African began to come to fruition. In addition to that, the fire that burned deep within me of what I could be got stoked and I got energy to keep going.
That’s just one of the reasons that I am a huge fan of Mr. Robbins. In addition to that Mr. Anthony Robbins:
1) Has Self-Discipline
As he is fond of saying, this guy pretty much turned himself around. He took himself from a self-destructive broke, overeating fatty to the place he is today where he is featured on Forbes as well as a plethora of other magazines. My favorite epic tale is when a man has a battle with his demons…..and wins!
2) Man of Multiple Disciplines
Tony Robbins has pretty much dedicated his life to discovering why some people succeed at enormous levels whereas most people don’t. He didn’t just limit himself to a single area such as sociology or anthropology or psychology.His travels mean that he has learned and teaches in the areas of peak performance psychology, health and nutrition, relationships, exercise, effective stage communication, changing habits and interpersonal communication among a host of other disciplines. Renaissance men are very rare in this day and age and I think Tony Robbins may very well be one.
3) He Doesn’t Brag About His Intellect
Now considering all his knowledge in a wide variety of areas, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that the man is an absolute genius. But you would never be able to tell. He always speaks to you in a language you can understand and strives to meet you where you are. He never tries to confuse you by using complex, grandiose language. Instead he helps you change your life while speaking a language you understand (He even swears during his seminars).
4) He Taught Me the Power of Modelling
If Tony had not revealed the idea to me, I never would have known about it. Once he did, it was so simple, I was surprised that I never would have thought of it. I have blogged about modeling in the past but in short:
If you want to succeed in any field of endevour, find people who are already succeeding there and copy their strategies.
Whereas success is much more complex than the above statement, tell me the above statement doesn’t make the road to success waaaaayyyyyy easier.
5) He Taught Me About the Power of One’s Mental State
Also in that category of things I never-would-have-known-but-were-so-simple-once
-I-knew-them-I-am-surprised-I-never-did: The power of one’s mental state.
Your behaviour is heavily affected by the mental state/emotional state you are in. When you are in a peak state (when you are in a state of flow) your decisions are of a much higher quality than when you are in a negative state such as depression.
Now I know a lot of you reading are thinking, “Well, duh!Of course when I am happy I act much better than when I am depressed.”
Well what Tony taught me is if you want to act right, simply get yourself in a good mood. He also reminded me that we are able to put ourselves in a good mood, or a peak state, at any moment in time, should we decide. Information such as this is HUGE! I can basically make myself act right by putting myself in a positive state at any moment in time. So simple to the point it’s almost unbelievable.
6) He is a Man of Passion
Living out here in the West, one of the things that drives me crazy is how this place can numb one’s emotions. When I look around, I feel as though so many people, myself included,are suppressing their emotions and instead putting on a social mask. Tony isn’t like that. Tony is exuberant, he is exciting. He speaks with his whole body and speaks with an intensity and definiteness of purpose that can’t help but suck one in. As a result, Tony is…..
7) The Best Speaker I HAVE EVER Seen Live
I have heard that the man is an obsessive compulsive perfectionist and I must say, having attended one of his seminars, it shows. Never in my life, have I had days go by so quickly and so many peak-emotional-highs in one day. He is a master of storytelling and an absolute gem when it comes to moving us emotionally to action. In my future I see myself maybe doing a little public speaking: take a little dash of Tony Robbins and mix it with a dash of Erwin Mcmanus and there’s no telling where I can go.
Until then….be blessed, bless others and live with passion (Trademarked by Tony Robbins),