“I get the phone call when the fire starts, when — true story — the President of the United States calls me and says, ‘I’m going to get impeached tomorrow. What do I do?'”Barrett Brown
Tony Robbins is known to millions around the world as the high-energy, ultra-dynamic, inspirational motivator who teaches people how to solve their biggest problems and dramatically improve their lives. His books and audio courses have sold over 50 million copies world-wide. He has advised leaders in every capacity: world politics, international business, world-class entertainment, and humanitarian relief. His non-profit Anthony Robbins Foundation feeds over a million people in 9 impoverished countries every year.
In this classic dialogue, we begin to see how Tony Robbins actually works. If we’ve only known Tony from that genre of “get-rich-quick” infomercials, we now learn what a wide range of activities, sophisticated approach, and set of deep values he actually has.
Tony discusses his model of human needs and motivations, and his intervention strategy for change. From emotions to relationships to finances to physical health — Tony covers the bases. His model allows him to spot a person’s leverage points, identify their barriers to change, and redefine their challenges in a way that allows for the most effective action.
Trying to understand why people do the things they do and what are the true factors for human fulfillment, Tony discovered what he calls the 6 human needs. We are always striving to meet some combination of these needs. However, it’s the integrity with which we do so that determines whether we succeed and find fulfillment or, instead, only sabotage ourselves. And, importantly, our levels of fulfillment can show development over time, as our strategies evolve and our awareness deepens. The “6 human needs” are, briefly:
Ken reflects on the development of Tony’s work over the years, which began with a focus on self-mastery and success, and evolved into a whole-bodied, whole-person, relational, and even spiritual approach, with a focus on growth and contribution to the world. Indeed, there is a great love—of life, of family, of people—that inspires Tony’s work for human change. That same love shines through in this conversation with Ken.
In part 2 of the dialogue, Ken asks Tony, “What are the actual limits to the swiftness of transformation?” Exploring the nuances of the question, Ken notes that certain kinds of transformation seem to occur over longer periods of time, from months to even years. For example, you can’t become fluent in French in a weekend no matter how committed you are to learning the language; it will take several years of diligent study. But there do seem to be ways that we can accelerate this kind of growth, thereby achieving fluency in two years instead of four (for example).
As Tony explains, we need to completely redefine what we can “reasonably” expect to achieve in our lives. “What’s reasonable is completely controlled by the presuppositions of your map of the world, your Map of Meaning. The people that change society almost always are unreasonable people. Whenever someone says, ‘what’s reasonable,’ everything inside of me just starts to explode—forget reasonable! What I really would rather say is, ‘what is it that moves you?'”
In Tony’s own life, that motivating force has continued to grow, mature, and expand over the years. He shares that as a man in his twenties, he was dedicated to proving to himself that he could take any individual and help them achieve any goal in their life. In his thirties, he applied the same principal to groups of people. Now, in his forties, he’s working with organizations, and in his fifties, he plans to work with government. For Tony, his sphere of care and concern keeps expanding to a more comprehensive, integral embrace, one of the hallmarks of genuine development.
Tony comments that his sixties will be for his spiritual growth, but for now, “I don’t see a separation between building a billion-dollar a year business and the spiritual drive to contribute. Instead of going off somewhere to have that spiritual view, I think it’s something you have got to live each day….” From advising heads of state, to running five private companies, to spending time with his family, Tony’s day-to-day life is a beautiful expression of that deep desire to contribute and make a real difference in the world.
If all you’ve ever known of Tony has come from late-night infomercials, we invite you to take a closer look at a man whose vision for individual excellence extends far beyond the personal….
About Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, negotiations and organizational turnaround, he has served as an advisor to leaders around the world for more than 38 years.
About Ken Wilber
Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.