Awaken The Giant Within - Book Review

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Anthony Robbins Standing on Water
by Martin Schoeler for Fortune


Contents:

About the Author

The Goal of the Book

Unleashing your power

Taking Control - The Master System

The Seven Days to Shape Your Life

The Ultimate Challenge - What One Person Can Do

Final Words

Main Thinking Points

Side Note

Feedback







About The Author

Tony Robbins, an absolute giant in the self-help space as well as in his stature, with his gargantuan height of 6 foot 7 inches due to a pituitary tumour.


Tony started learning about this field at the young age of 17 by attending seminars hosted by motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn and began to promote them. Since then, Tony has released a plethora of hugely successful books, one of them being Awaken the Giant Within.


Tony has grown his career not only through his publications of books but also by being a motivational speaker, doing private coaching, and hosting exclusive events. Many attendees come away from these with a refreshed feeling of being enough, feeling loved, and getting that extra push of motivation and inspiration to progress their life.


With such a portfolio of great work and adoring fans, this book has a lot to live up to...



The Goal of The Book

Awaken The Giant Within book cover
Book Cover

It seems to me that Tony’s main goal here is to empower his readers into understanding that they have control over their lives and that it is their responsibility to make the changes in their lives.


This book gives you tools that allow you to better yourself and numerous other aspects of your life, including our “mental, emotional, physical, and financial destiny.”


There is an obvious dedication from Tony to improving these four main areas of your life, and you can feel this energy being exuded in every chapter.


The book is split into 4 sections which are all brimming full of useful strategies that have been created to aid your personal growth, but you take responsibility and actively use them.


With that said, be sure that you work on all the exercises that have been incorporated into Awaken the Giant Within as these are going to create the most profound impact on your life compared to idle-mindedly flicking through the pages.



Unleashing your power

The first section of the book, Unleash your power, shows us the control or ‘power’ we truly have over our lives, that things don’t just happen, that we don’t have to feel a certain way, we can carve out our own happiness and our own success from the world around us! We have the power to shape our destiny! The decisions WE make decide OUR futures.


There is a lot of focus here on inward reflection and helping us understand how our

internal dialogue and perceptions can be altered by changing how we speak to ourselves, the questions we ask, and the vocabulary we use.


Actually, as we're on the topic, one of the most profound parts of this book for me was Tony’s ‘transformational vocabulary.’


I found that I could alter my emotions very rapidly just by assigning different words to them. For example; instead of thinking I was bursting with rage and anger, I could lower my intensity by telling myself that I was just a little bit peeved. I practiced this a lot and found that it consistently lowered my negative emotions and enhanced my positive ones.


Try it!


Next time you think you hate something, just change your mental dialogue and instead say that you just prefer something else. Change feeling nervous or fearful to feeling curious.

Try it for yourself and see how it changes your life for the better!


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We also get enlightened as to how it is the questions that we ask ourselves that shape the perception that we have of the world around us.


Think about it for a second, if you’re asking yourself what there is to love about someone or something, you will find the positive things that exist. However, you can also find the negative things if you choose to look for those. Choose wisely...


“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” -Dr.Wayne Dyer

This enlightened me to the truly powerful resource that is our brain. The benefit to all of this comes from understanding that whatever we look for we will find.


Once we know this we can begin to utilise the power of asking intelligent questions so that our brains can find intelligent answers to those questions!


Tony compared this idea to a lens of a camera. Our camera has the ability to look at and photograph anything, but we have to choose where we focus our lens and what part of the picture we choose to look at.


This really inspired me to take more control over my thoughts and to try and focus my lens on the things that really matter in my life.


Tony does an astounding job towards the end of this section at getting you to think about and set big-minded goals, stating that


"big goals create big motivation" -Tony Robbins

Thinking like this really opens your mind to great possibilities that are out there and pushes you to visualise the quality of life that you can attain by working and achieving in the areas that you set for yourself.



Taking Control - The Master System

This section is used to hone in on your ability of knowing who you are and what you want from your life.

Two red and yellow darts missing the bullseye on a dartboard
Image from Unsplash - By Engin Akyurt

This comes at a perfect time in the book as it is hugely important to have a crystal clear understanding of what you want to achieve as, without it, you don’t know where to aim, and your shot could go just about anywhere.


Tony helps guide us in finding the values that we want to move towards and also those that we want to avoid.


This is especially helpful for decision making as it allows us to clarify the kind of person we are and also the kind of person we don’t want to be. This means that when making a decision, we can quickly decipher which course of action would take us towards the person that we want to be.


He goes on to demonstrate to us how having conflicts in these two areas can lead to both self-sabotage and indecision. For example; If you have a moving towards value of success in business but you also have a moving away from value of rejection, there are going to be some issues as to be successful in business, rejection is guaranteed. Rejection is a part of the journey.


This can bring about a lot of internal turmoil so it is a good idea to get your values in alignment.


We then go on to learn the benefits that come with taking control of these values and embark on a journey to consciously decide for ourselves what we want from this world as well as what we don’t.


It is only when we take control over ourselves and what we want that we can begin to manifest these things into our lives to bring us the happiness that we strive for.


“Change your values and you change your life” -Tony Robbins

A profound remark that I recall from here is this; “Nothing in life can match the fulfilment of knowing you’ve done what you truly believe is the right thing.” And this is why knowing your values is so important because it is these values that determine what it is that you believe the right thing to be.


We also touch on the fundamentals of how we form our beliefs and how they are maintained by our life references.

Belief Table Diagram from Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within
A VERY sexy table

Tony makes the great analogy of comparing our beliefs to tables, where the tabletop is the belief and all the legs supporting it are our life references that back up this belief. These references are the building blocks by which our beliefs are forged or destroyed.


With this knowledge, we learn how to dismantle our limiting beliefs and build up empowering ones to replace them that can move us in the direction we want to go.



An interesting quote that I would like to mention from this section is;

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds" -Tony Robbins

I found the meaning of this to be that continuing with something that no longer serves you just because it has become habitual is foolish and will lead to the downfall of your mind.


You should consistently reevaluate your habits and your strategies to ensure that you haven't become complacent and are still working at your best.



The Seven Days to Shape Your Life

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Here is where I slowed down my reading to just reading each small chapter day by day and I recommend that you do the same.


I did this as I believe reading it in this way allows me to get the most out of this section as I could take in each chapter fully and actively participate in the challenges that Tony gives for each day of the week.


Every chapter highlights a clear and definite outcome for the day’s activities that you can most certainly achieve if you take the time to work through the strategies and exercises that are shown to us.



The Ultimate Challenge - What One Person Can Do

The last section of this book was a great addition.

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This section is different to the others in how it is not about teaching mastery of the self, but rather opening our eyes to a handful of the many challenges that face our world. (And even though the book was published 30 years ago, in 1991, these issues remain relevant today).


Tony explains to us why we should learn about the issues that face our world, why we should become knowledgeable about them and why we should take a stand, be a role model, and enlighten others to these issues.



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It is by these means that we can make a difference and make the world a better place.


Tony has a clear and obvious dedication to improving the lives of everybody he comes into contact with and that shines through in this book and in all of the content that he produces.


He challenges us to follow in that honourable dedication and to make the world a better place.



Final Words

This book is heralded in the self-help space for the drastic impact that it has had on its many readers from all around the world.


On top of this, it most certainly does provide A LOT of great information that can be quickly implemented to impact your quality of life.


One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it is a rather large book with a consistent flow of actionable exercises within it, so it will take you quite some time to get through. For that reason, I have accumulated some of my main thinking points that I have taken away from this book to give you some insight into what it has to offer:


Control your questions:

“Quality questions create a quality life.”

Ensuring that you’re asking yourself the right questions can be the difference between happiness and depression or between success and failure.

So be certain that you know that it is within your control to manipulate the questions you use regularly to manipulate your perception of both yourself and the world around you.


Pain and pleasure are the two driving forces of your life:

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you.”

Pain and pleasure must be used as tools that are manipulated to guide you in the direction that you want to go.


Make the idea of what you want to avoid so painful to imagine that you can’t even fathom doing it and then, make the thought of what you want to do fill you with so much joy and pride that you get filled with pleasure when you think of achieving your goals. That is a surefire way to ensure that you move in the right direction.


Visualise the emotions that come with your achievements to inspire yourself.


You can fastrack success by modelling success:

The fastest way to attract success into your life is by modelling someone who is successful in the field that you want to find success in.


So your job now is to locate a successful individual in your field and pinpoint their beliefs, strategies and behaviours that enable them to be successful.


Once you have done this, simply model them and success will come your way.



Side Note

As a side note, firstly, I urge you to work through all of the exercises within the book as they offer a lot of value.


With that, I recommend that you complete all of the exercises in a specific place ie; a notebook or a text file. This is so that you can easily look back over what you wrote to help you recount your learnings and use them to work through any problems that you are having in your life.


I also recommend that you take notes and/or underline impactful parts within the book so that you can easily find the most meaningful parts of each chapter simply by flicking through the pages.



Feedback

And that concludes my first ever book review! *Phew!* It has been a big learning process and I have enjoyed it!


I hope that it has proved to be valuable to you and maybe even helped you decide to add this book to your own arsenal of self-help literature.


Now, as this was my first time writing anything of this nature, I struggled with knowing what to include and how to structure this piece, so I would love and appreciate any feedback in the comments to help me improve my writing so that I can bring you better reviews and summaries in the future.


Thank you all so much for reading this far, I appreciate it hugely!

Have a wonderful day!


-Tiago



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