I would like to praise the information that Anthony Robbins presents in this book and share some of those points here.
Awaken the Giant Within is a self-development book, extremely well written and, above all, very practical, inspiring the reader to take action now! Robbins explains why – most of the people – has the giant within sleeping and clarifies step by step what we can do to wake it up!
Some of the main points focused are:
Pain vs. Pleasure
Pain = behaviour we wish to suspend
Pleasure = behaviour we wish to implement
Basically, in this chapter it’s presented the main reason why a lot of diets or plans fail. To be successful, one needs to change the way one sees certain behaviours and one must associate pain to the behaviour to be suspended and pleasure to the behaviour to incorporate in the routine. Only by doing so can we actually change the way we live and embrace new routines. For example, in a diet’s case: to associate pain to not being able to eat certain foods will only contribute to the failure of the diet. The key is to associate pleasure to the wide variety of healthy foods that we can choose to ensure a healthy life style and to have in mind that more than a diet, one is investing in a way of life. The way of life where we are the kind of person who makes healthy choices when it comes to food habits.
In this chapter, Robbins explains the emotional intensity and the practical impact of repetition. What we believe in is so strong that our nervous system experiences something as real, even if it hadn’t actually happened. For that reason, we must nourish ourselves mentally with powerful beliefs that contribute to strength us, regardless of what others may say.
Neuroscience has been proving that breaking limiting patterns of feelings and actions affects the way we behave (brilliantly explained in the this interview to the psychiatrist Ihuaku Ndukwe).
One of the tricks to enhance beliefs is to repeat them as much as possible. This will condition the new thinking pattern until it becomes systematic. For that reason, the moment in which we do the mental exercise is crucial. The new mental pattern has to be strengthen in the key-moments in which we would give in to old behaviours and actions, reinforcing the new mentality that we wish to embrace.
The Power of Questions
In this chapter, Robbins brings our attention to the power of the questions, meaning asking the right questions to ourselves takes us to solutions that relieve pain (associated to the previous behaviour). The author defies us to control long term pleasure by placing the right questions, because the questions we ask change the things we focus on and the way we feel. Therefore, changing the resources available to us and taking us to solutions.
The Importance of Vocabulary
In this part it is addressed the importance of the vocabulary for the supreme success! The impact of replacing negative expressions, especially when it comes to the description of emotions and the reinforcement of positive emotions with the power of words.
Robbins states that eliminating some negative words from our vocabulary is equivalent to stop feeling some negative states so intensely. Something that science has been proving with different studies on the energy field and the electric charge that some words or sounds contain, especially when it comes to diseases and/or medical diagnosis.
“If you don’t have a plan for pleasure, you will feel pain!” In this chapter Robbins is particularly brilliant, because he gives practical steps to encourage action at once.
1 – Make a list of all the things that make you change the way you feel, all the things that have the capacity to bring you joy and make you feel happier! This is the first step. It may sound unnecessary to write all those things down, because we have an idea in our head of what those things are. But I can guarantee – from personal experience – that making the list and having it around when needed, makes a huge difference in our lives and in the attitude we want to have towards challenging moments (and those moments will come).
2 – The moment we label something or someone we create an emotion towards that. The immune system responds to labels and, consequently, to words. This point is directly related with the Power of Vocabulary and how to choose well the words to express our emotional intensity will improve the way we feel. Robbins mentions the systematic language, the way we express with ourselves and with others and the huge impact that improving that verbalisation has in our long term attitude.
3 – Robbins brings our attention to the power of metaphors, how the creation of empowering metaphors may help guide our life in the direction we intend. Assuming control of the metaphors and using them as a guide about the way we face life.
In six steps, the emotional control described by Robbins consists in:
1 – Identify what you feel;
2 – Appreciate the emotions and recognise their utility;
3 – Be curious about the message that the emotion aimed to transmit;
4 – Feel confident about what you feel and face it as a lesson;
5 – Be sure about it now and in the future: learn with that lesson;
6 – Get excited and act: move forward towards the change!
The importance of being aware of the emotions we have now is what will open the door to change, because it will give us more self-knowledge and confidence. When we feel confident we are willing to risk.
The 10 Day Mental Challenge
This point consists of a mental diet that Robbins proposes. It lasts for 10 days and during that period we don’t feed negative thoughts. We become conscious of our thoughts as they appear and – at once – we replace those with other thoughts, avoiding to get attached to negativity and feeding it. The best way to develop faith, confidence and positivity is to practice it.
The Ultimate Challenge: What One Person Can Actually Do
In this chapter Robbins refers to something very important that I’ve been mentioned throughout this blog: food! How what we eat affects our physical, mental and emotional state and how we, as consumers, may have a direct impact in the world we live in. Each one of us can contribute to the change we want to see in the world.
Define Your Values
Define your values, define your rules. At last, maybe the most important point of all the book is to write your values, what you believe in, the way you want to live, your code of conduct. This exercise is extremely powerful, not only for self-knowledge, but also – and mainly – because it guides you through life and decisions. If you are plainly conscious of the values that guide your life in each moment, if you are able to consult them and read them again and again; that will inspire you and help you along the way, especially in challenging times. Once again, if we use the diet example, if a person has a goal to feel healthier and more confident daily, if the person reads daily the values previously written about food choices, that person will tend to act according to its own values, because it will be more conscious and motivated along the food choices that will be presented during the day.
For all these reasons Awaken the Giant Within is a book that I recommend because it’s not only inspiring as it may guide you making practical changes that will benefit and improve your life!
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