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Do you want real and lasting change in your life?

This one of the best video’s I have seen about real and lasting change. Although this is 35 mins, their are some many great insights and learnings. You can see why Tony Robbins is one of the most highly paid speakers in the world. I feel this video is so important that I have summarised the key points as well as include a full transcript.

  • The secret to real happiness is progress
  • Change is automatic, but progress is not
  • If you want to make really progress, then you really got to look at your life in a different way
  • Two different kinds of motivation – Push requires willpower, and willpower never last and what will last is pull.
  • The bottom line of our follow-through comes down to our emotional intensity.
  • 3 steps to lasting change – have a Vision, strong enough reasons, review it and feel it every day
  • Lasting change is about raising standards
  • The strongest force in the whole human personality is this need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves
  • We live who we believe we are
  • Changing your life is a change in the inner game
  • Rituals are where the power is
  • Success people is not a overnight event
  • 5 step action plan for lasting change
  • Willpower doesn’t last, but rituals can last a lifetime.
  • There’s always two pains in life. There’s the pain of discipline or there’s the pain of regret.
  • No amount of money or accolades from other people can mirror the feeling of being proud of knowing you’ve taken back control of your life or you’ve taken a great life to another level.

Here is the transcript of the video and I have bolded the key messages –

Hi, it’s Tony Robbins, Happy New Year. Listen, how is your new year coming out so far? I know it’s early, it’s January 15th, and I thought I’d send you out this little video message, because you know what that day means don’t you? January 15th is the cut off. Statistics show that 95% of the people that actually made a New Year’s resolution have already broken it by today. That’s if you even made a resolution.

Now, if you’re the exception to that, I’m thrilled for you and I support you and I say keep rocking it, but if you’ve missed, maybe I could drop you a quick little message or two here that can help you not only recover but get way beyond just making some New Year’s resolution and make some real lasting change in your life. I mean, think about it. Most people don’t even make a resolution anymore.

Why? Because they’ve made them for years and years and years, and they know that they’re not going to follow through. After a while, who wants to disappoint yourself? Who wants to be upset with yourself? Why even bother to set a new standard for this year, you know it’s going to be the same as last year. If you’re the kind of person watching this right now, and you’ve actually opened this email and you haven’t shut me off already, then obviously that’s not you, so the question is, what is it that makes us even want to make a resolution?

It’s an interesting question. Why is it at the beginning of the year we have this tradition, but it goes beyond tradition, it’s something inside of us that makes us want to make things better. I think part of it is the calendar gives us this idea that we can have a fresh start, that we can start from fresh and have this great victory. It’s really, the calendar itself is quite arbitrary. It’s wonderful to use it, but if you didn’t use it effectively … Let’s use the calendar to serve you today. Let’s just see what does it really take to make this thing happen, because there’s no denying that inside of you, the only thing that’s going to make you happy in the year ahead and the decades ahead, it’s going to be having you have an experience where on a regular basis, you feel like your life is making progress.

If there’s one thing I teach, and I want to remind you of it, it’s really simple, getting things is not going to make you happy. That’s good news in a tough economy. It’s a good reminder. It doesn’t matter what you get. It doesn’t matter whether it be money or opportunity, all those things might excite you for the moment. Even a relationship, as magnificent as it may be, might be exciting for a while, but if you don’t keep growing, that relationship isn’t going to stay exciting.

The secret to real happiness is progress. Progress equals happiness, and if we can make progress on a regular basis, we feel alive, and that’s why at the beginning of the year we get this thing like, “Okay. I could have this fresh start. I could really do what my soul desires. I could expand, I could grow, I could improve, I could have lasting change, or maybe better than change, I could progress.”

See, think about that. Progress has an aliveness to it, doesn’t it? You don’t have to work at changing. People say all the time, “Well, I’m working on changing.” Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to work about changing. Change is automatic. Your body is going to change whether you want it or not as the years go by. No matter how hard you work, there’s going to be some changes going on there. The economy is going to change no matter what you want it to do. The weather is going to change. Relationships are going to change. Everything in life is always changing. We don’t have to work on change. Change is automatic but progress is not.

If you want to make really progress, then you really got to look at your life in a different way. You got to say, “I got to take control of this process and not just hope it’s going to work out like people do who make a resolution” because really isn’t that what they’re really doing at the beginning of the year? They’re saying, “Well, here’s my resolutions for the year,” and they really basically tell you their wishes. It’s their wish list. It’s what they hope it all comes together, and then they call it a resolution, but they don’t know what a resolution is.

When you resolve something, to have a resolution is to resolve it. When you resolve, this is how it’s going to be. That’s when you cut off any possibility except the thing you’ve committed to. It’s like the old adage. If you want to take the island, you burn the boats, because when you burn those boats, there’s no going back. You’re going to find a way to make things work. Most people, they’re stating what they hope will come together, and if it doesn’t happen, then they’re disappointed, but they’re not too disappointed because they’re not too vested.

What does it take to successfully create a lasting change in your life, to not only have New Year’s resolution you follow through on but really have a lasting change? Well, the first step for lasting change is very much like making a New Year’s resolution. Fundamentally, it’s the same. The first step is you got to have a vision. A vision for what it is you really truly want, not what you think you want or what you should have. I mean, what are most people’s New Year’s resolutions? I’m going to stop eating sugar. I’m going to stop smoking. I’m going to lose 10 pounds.

The problem with that is it’s not very inspiring for most people. It’s not telling you what you’re going to get, it’s only what you’re not going to do. It’s kind of hard to have you move forward with that. A vision is about what you’re here to create. A vision that really works is one that excites you. If you say, “Well, my resolution, my goal, my outcome for this month this week, this year is to lose X number of pounds,” that’s okay, but it’s not very compelling. It has to be a compelling vision. It has to be something that has the power to pull you, not something you have to push yourself to do.

Well, there are two different kinds of motivation, push requires willpower, and willpower never last. What will last is pull. Having something so exciting, so attractive, something you desire so much that you have a hard time going to sleep at night, you get up early in the morning to a rocket and take it to the next level. That’s what you’re looking to create, and that isn’t easy to get, but one of the reasons we do seminars and events, we say, “Why do that? Why not just read a book or something?”

It’s because when you get in an environment where you’re with people that are being put in a peak state, like when you’re going into a sporting, if you watch a sporting event at home, it might have a certain level of excitement, but when you’re in a stadium with 50,000 people, suddenly, it has a whole different level of intensity, and we feel that. The bottom line of our follow-through comes down to our emotional intensity.

In a different state of mind, you’re going to come up with a much better and more exciting vision than if you’re sitting in the couch going, “Okay, what are my New Year’s resolutions for this year,” and you’re doing it the morning after the New Year has started your little inebriated and the football game is on the background, probably not going to have the power of focus there, probably not going to have the power, the energy to create something that’s going to pull you for this year, and you got to do that. It’s got to be a vision that’s compelling, something that you know it’s going to be a gift to make sure that it happens.

Also, along with that compelling vision, you got to have strong enough reasons that you’re going to follow through when the going gets tough. That’s one of the biggest things missing for most people. They say, “This is what I want to do.” It’s not very exciting. It’s not very compelling, but most importantly, they don’t have strong enough reasons to push themselves through what’s going to be necessary to get that dream, to get that goal or lasting change when the inevitable challenges come up.

When you’re starving, hungry and you’re trying to go on a diet, right? When you got no time and you’re stressed out and you haven’t worked out still, and that’s what you’re supposed to do. When the economy gets tight and what you thought you’re going to do doesn’t work, and so you give up on the goal instead of finding another way to get there. You don’t let the fear take you over if you got strong enough reasons. Those reasons can be positive or those reasons can also be negative. They can be, if I don’t do this, this is going to cost me, and if I do, do this, this is what I’m going to gain in my life.

Reasons come first. Answers come second. If you’ve got a compelling vision and you got strong enough reasons that will push you through the tough times, you’re going to do things other people don’t do for lasting change. Instead of collapsing, even if you get off-target, you won’t go, “Oh, I blew it,” you’ll get right back on target, make the lasting change, make things happen. I know you’ve done this in many areas your life, just think about it again. I’m not teaching you something really new here today. I just want to remind you what your soul knows. You got to change. You got to improve, and you got to go through a simple process fundamentally to make that progress for lasting change.

First step, vision is compelling. Second step, make sure that they’re strong enough reason to follow through. Third step, you got to review it and feel it every day. I mean, anything … Have you ever had this happen in your life, has there been anything in your life that you’ve ever wanted so badly, you were so desirous of it, you had such a hunger for it that you couldn’t stop thinking about it? It could’ve been a career move. It could have been when you’re a kid, a car. It could have been a relationship. It could’ve been anything, but you were obsessed. You wanted to make this happen. You want to attract this to your life.

You just wanted something, and you don’t even know how to get it, but it was so compelling to you. You kept thinking about it every day, envisioning it, imagining it, feeling it, and then stuff happened, and suddenly you started to attract people or situations to your life and it just came together, like you don’t even have a total plan. It was just that it was so a part of your focus with so much intensity and emotion so often that it sensitised you to notice anything that could get you there.

There’s a part of your brain called the reticular activating system. For short, we call it the RAS. That part of your brain determines what you notice in the world, and it’s really important because when you set a goal, when you get really clear in a vision, there are strong enough reasons and you review it enough, then it becomes a part of you. That part of your brain says, “Anything that relates to this, I need to notice.” It’s like, did you ever buy a certain kind of car or maybe a certain outfit and suddenly you see that car everywhere, those outfits everywhere? You know the cars were always around, but why do you see it now? Your RAS knows this is important. This is part of my world now.

Similarly, when you really get clear and it’s compelling and you’re reviewing it every day, got strong reasons, you’re reviewing it every day, and you’re feeling it, the brain becomes incredibly acute at noticing anything to get you to move forward, and so that’s the power of this. What do people do with their New Year’s resolution? They come up with something they kind of want. It’s not a compelling vision. They don’t really have strong enough reasons, and they never review it again until they notice that they broke what they said they really want to help make happen, because they didn’t really resolve. If you resolve, you got the vision, it’s compelling, you review it daily, and you feel it, you envision it and you experience it. Simple as it sounds.

Now, ultimately, what is this really about? Ultimately, if you’re going to have lasting change in anything, you’re really talking about just raising your standards. I mean, I always tell people, if you want to lasting change in your life, I’d give it to you in three words, boring as it sounds, raise your standards. What does that mean? Corny as it sounds, raise your standards, well, thank you for the breakthrough thought Tony. I’m glad I wasted my time watching this little email of you, but think about it. Lasting change is different than a goal. You don’t always get your goals, but you always get your standards.

Maybe what’ll help you is to think about it this way. I try to explain standards to people with a different set of words. Think of it as everybody in life gets their musts. They don’t get their shoulds. Think about it. Most people have a list of shoulds. Don’t you have a list of shoulds, things you should do, you should follow through on? I should lose some weight. I should work out more. I should make more calls. I should respond more rapidly to my email, whatever. I should get into the office earlier. I should be more confident. Whatever your should list is, people love to have their should list be met, but it’s like New Year’s resolutions. If it does, it’s really exciting, but if it doesn’t, which is most of the time, it’s a little disappointing but you know it’s not going to happen.

When you decide something is a must for you, an absolute must, when you cut off any possible, you say, “I’m going to find the way or I’m going to make the way.” Human beings, when they resolve things, when they make a real resolution inside themselves which is they raise the standard and they make it a must, they find a way. Think about in your own life. Haven’t you had some area of your life where you raise your standard and your life has never been the same?

Maybe at one time in your life you smoked cigarettes or you did something and you did it for years and you kept trying to change it, trying to change it, trying to change it, and kept telling yourself, I should, and then one day, something happened, something just clicked you over, something took you over that tipping point and inside yourself you said, “No more.” It was a very, very different experience, wasn’t it? Something inside of you shifted and what was a should became a must and you’re never going back.

Is there an area like that in your life you can think of? Again, did you ever smoke cigarettes? Did you ever eat a certain way, drink a certain form alcohol, and then finally saying no more and you just don’t go back and, notice this, it doesn’t really take any willpower anymore? Somewhere, when we make this click, when we make something a must, we attach ourselves to it. It becomes part of our identity. One thing I have learned in the last, gosh, 33 years of working with people from now over a hundred countries, 4 million people, is human beings absolutely follow through on who they believe they are.

If you said to me, “Well, I’m really going to work hard to stop smoking, but I’ve been a smoker my whole life and I am a smoker,” I know your days are numbered. You’re going to be back smoking cigarettes again, because we all act consistent with who we believe we are. I tell people, the strongest force in the whole human personality is this need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves.

If you define yourself as somebody who is really conservative, you’re not going to be crazy and act nuts unless you’re really drunk or something, and then you could say, “It’s the alcohol,” when it’s really just you finally getting permission to be yourself. The alcohol is your excuse. If you’re a really crazy person, you act crazy, outrageous, playful. You don’t act conservative because it’s not who you are.

Very often people say, “Well, I can’t do that. I’m not that kind of person,” and I always say to people, “Really? When did you define yourself? I mean, really, how many years ago did you come up with what you could and couldn’t do in your life? How many years ago?” Most people, if they really look at how they’re living their life today, it’s based on a set of standards, a set of beliefs that they made choices about 10, 20, 30 or more years ago. I mean, very often, we made decisions in our youth or very young about what to believe, about what we were capable of, about who we are as a person, and that becomes the glass ceiling, if you will, that controls us.

There’s a corny metaphor but it’s true, I remember one time, I was with my family at the circus and there’s a person there and they had this big giant elephant. You look at this elephant, and they take this little rope, put it around the elephant’s neck and they drive the stake into the ground. I mean, you look at this and you know that elephant could rip down the entire tent with almost no effort, and yet the elephant doesn’t struggle, doesn’t try. Why, because the elephant is conditioned. They take that health and condition the elephant when it’s a baby elephant. That’s how they train them. When it’s a little baby elephant and it doesn’t have the power yet, they put a big rope around it and they drive this huge stake in the ground. The elephant fights and fights and fights, and one day, finally, that elephant decides, “I’m not capable of pulling this out.”

Once that becomes the definition of an identity of anyone, an elephant in this case, they don’t even try anymore. It’s just who I am. That’s how it is. That’s just the way it is in my life. I’d like to ask you to take a look at any place you’ve got a limitation. Ask yourself, when did I decide to accept that limitation? You may not even see it as a limitation. You might see it as just that’s who I am, but so often in our lives, we’ve adapted to be a certain way so that we don’t fail or so that people will like us or respect us, but it’s not necessarily who we are.

Joy comes when you’re spontaneous. It’s really hard to be truly happy when you’re not being yourself, and most of us have no clue who we are, and so a big part my work, if you’ve ever been to an event you know, is to get people to do things spontaneously without thinking, because that’s when the real you shows up. That’s when the energy comes alive, and when you do that, when you start to connect to your true nature, suddenly there’s energy available for you to set a higher standard for what you want in your life. That’s what this is really all about. Lasting change!

When I talk about standards, when I talk about shoulds versus musts, think about your own life. I know there have been areas in your life where some point in time you just shifted and you raised the standard and your life changed, because whatever people have their identity attached to, they live. We live who we believe we are. That’s just how it works. I’ll give you an example. Look at your physical body. Your physical body today is an absolute reflection of only one thing, not your goals not your desires but your standards, the identity you have for yourself. If your standard is you’re an athlete, then there’s a certain amount of strength, a muscle tone and energy that’s available in your body on a regular basis because that’s who you are, and so you do whatever is necessary to maintain that identity.

Again, the strongest force in the human personality is this need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves, because if you don’t know who you are, you wouldn’t know how to act. Once you lock in on that identity, your brain finds a way to keep you there. If you say, “Man, I’m overweight, I’ve always been overweight, I’m big-boned,” and that’s the story you got, then you’re going to always find a way to get back there. That’s your settling point. That’s your identity. That’s where things lock in.

 If you see somebody who is in really great shape, you ask him, “Do you work out,” you know the answer, yes. How often? They’ll tell you, three times, four times, five times a week, whatever. In a seminar, I’ll ask people, “Who here works out at least five days a week? Stand up,” and you look around that room and you know that they work out five times a week because you can see their body. You don’t just get a result without some kind of action, without some form of ritual, ritual meaning actions you do consistently.

Now, do you think that those people that are out there working out five days a week, do they have more time than you do, or I have, or anybody else? Of course not. Is their life less busy? Of course not. It’s just a must for them. They must work out that way, and they had made that turn, and their life changed. I’m not saying you have to work out five days a week. I’m just saying, whatever you really want, wants don’t get met consistently, standards do, whatever you identify, this is who I am, and so it’s not so much about changing your identity as it is expanding it.

Deciding that instead of your goal is to lose 10 pounds, which is not compelling, what if your vision was to get back to my fighting weight? This year, this month, this next 90 days, I’m going to transform my body. I’m going to take on a new challenge. I’m going to find some technique or strategy. There’s a million of them that can refrain myself where I want to feel younger, stronger, more vibrant than ever before. Here is my reasons, because I want the energy to really make my life work, because it’s tough out there and I want to be stronger than I’ve ever been before. I want to go in front of the mirror and if I’m naked not you know what a laugh. I want to look there and take a good look and go, “Yeah, I’m proud of whatever I see there.”

Whatever it takes, something is going to make you laugh, smile. Something is going to tease yourself, but something is going to move you to another level if you identify yourself in a new way and you own that every day and that becomes the standard of how you live, you’ll find the way to make that standard real. Money is the same way. Think about it. It doesn’t matter what’s happening “in the marketplace.” People that make money find a way to make money no matter what. Don’t they? I mean, most people’s standard is to pay their bills, so that’s what most people find a way to do even economic times get tough. Most people, that’s their absolute standard, to find a way. Some people’s standard is pay their bills most of the time, and so most of the time they do.

Some people standard is not just to pay their bills but to take care of their family and maybe even some of their friends, and they find a way. In fact, you know some people may be in a family where they don’t have enough money, they barely have money to pay their bills, they work their guts out, and then somebody, their mother, their father, or somebody else, their sister gets ill, and there’s not enough money to take care of it. Nobody else has money and family. They don’t either, but they find a way to get that money to take care of their mother or father, don’t they, and pay their bills. They never could do it before, why? The situation made them raise their own standard.

Not everybody does that. Somebody else in the family might have money and still not take care of their mother. It all comes down to the inner game my friends. Lasting change is a change in the inner game. The outside world, you can’t control, but you have absolute control over this one if you learn the dynamics of what shapes you, and identity is one of those simple, clear fundamental basics that if you start to shift it, everything else will shift in your life as well. Some people, by the way, have to have more than enough money to do what they want, when they want, where they want with whomever they want, contribute the way they want. If that’s their must, they find a way.

I know that sounds overly simplistic, but it’s true. Somebody once said, “You can take all the money in the world out of the hands of everybody, out of all the wealthy people in the world who are really successful, give it to other people, it wouldn’t take too long, those people will have it back in their hands.” It’s not because they’re manipulative. It’s because they have a standard. Some of them are manipulative. Don’t get me wrong, but they got a standard of what they’re going to find a way to make happen.

I’m just simply saying to you, take those three magic words and live them, raise your standard. If you really want to do it, then I’ll take the most important secret. Have you ever done this? Have you ever told yourself you’re raising your standard? Okay, I’m going to go make this happen. I’m going to go make this much money. I’m going to transform my kids. I’m going to create the ultimate relationship of my life. I’m going to transform my body, whatever it is, and then you don’t have strong enough reasons and you don’t use it, you don’t follow through. It’s because you didn’t back up your standards with what makes those standards real and that’s rituals.

Rituals are where the power is. Whenever we do our Robbins Results Coaching and we say, “Robins equals results,” the way we get results with people, it’s the same way if you listen to my Ultimate Edge programme or back in the old days, Personal Power, or if you went to one of my seminars, you know what I do, is I take these huge challenges you got and we break them down to little bite-sized steps, little things you do each day that after you do them, you get so much momentum that it’s easy to succeed. You’re not overwhelmed. You have this victory day after day after day on little things.

If you had want to Ultimate Edge, I’m sure you learned about the hour of power or the 15 minutes to be able to be fulfilled or 30 minutes to thrive where you literally just condition your body and emotion with a couple little rituals, so it doesn’t matter what’s going on in your world, you feel that strength and it’s not fake, it’s not some pump up. It’s coming from inside you, and it works. Rituals define us. See, all the results in your life are coming from your rituals. They start with a standard, and then the rituals that follow it up.

For example, if you are where you want to be physically, you have very different rituals than if you’re not where you want to be physically. If you’re overweight, you and I both know you got a different ritual than if you’re physically fit, completely different. You get up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do if you’re fit? Your shoes are there. You roll over. It doesn’t matter how you feel, you put on your shoes, you lace them, you start walking, or whatever that ritual is. If you’re overweight, you roll over and you have a very different ritual. You might roll over several times to turn the alarm clock off. You go in and get your mocha smocha, whatever special coffee you stop by at Starbucks, where the case may be. You have your nice sugar muffin. It’s supposed to be really nice for you. Whatever you do, it’s a different ritual.

If you have a great passionate relationship, you have very different rituals in how you come home than if you have a lousy relationship, where you come home and the first thing you do is you’re tweeting somebody or you’re emailing or flipping on the news or you don’t even come home. What are the rituals? Whenever I study people that are successful, what I look for is what’s the standard they hold himself to, and then what are all those little rituals add up, because think about it, success and failure are not giant events.

They don’t just show up. You don’t just suddenly become successful or suddenly have this cataclysmic event that makes you fail. It may look that way, but failure comes from all the little things. It’s failure to make the call. It’s failure to check the books. It’s failure to say I’m sorry. It’s failure to push yourself to do things physically that you don’t want to do. All those little failures day after day come together until one day, some cataclysmic event happens and you blame that. That event happened because you missed all the little stuff. Do you agree with me?

Success, by the way, is not some overnight event. It’s all these little things. Success is having a vision. Success is making it compelling. Success is really seeing it and feeling it every day with strong enough reasons. Success is feeling the sense that I’m here to grow and I’m here to give something to the world more than just myself. Success is caring about other people. Success is calling and saying I love you in the middle of the day for no damn reason or sending a note. That will change your relationship. Have a ritual of something funny, playful, or a surprise you do.

How many relationships are dead today because they have no surprise rituals anymore? You need to have some rituals, some cool things you do that nobody else does that gives you a better life than anybody else has, all the little stuff. That’s where success comes from. In business, it comes from delivering more than anybody could imagine. All those little things add up. People go, “Wow, that’s who I want to do business with.” It’s true in any area of your life. If you look at somebody who’s really successful you think, “Wow, I mean, they’re so amazing, they’re such a genius,” you got to dig underneath and you got to remember something. People are rewarded in public for what they practise for years in private.

Myself, in my business, people say, “How do you get up and speak and you of no notes, and you go for three days and nights, and the room is like everybody wired. It’s incredible. It’s like a rock concert. How do you do that? How do you have that confidence?” It’s not confidence. It’s experience now, but I did so much behind the scenes and I still do to make things right. I mean, how many people would know that since the time I was 17 years old before I walk onstage, still do to this day, wouldn’t need to do it but I still do it, I never walk out there without being in an absolute peak state of mind.

There are days where my back is hurting, my throat was hurting, or I may have had a challenger, or my father passed away, and I still got to deliver for these people because my standard is give my all every time, everyone has to be better. Talk to anybody who’s been to events for five, 10 years, some of our trainers, and they’ll say, “I don’t know how he does it. He always finds a way to make it better.” That’s not an ego thing. That’s a standard in me. I have to find the way and my ritual though is I prepare, I think, I got the new information, I figure out how to put something across better, what do people need? I spend time with our customers.

I see what’s going on, and before I get onstage each time, I have this little ritual to put myself in a state of mine. I did it starting 17 years old, I started doing it. I say, “I now command my subconscious mind,” and I say this out loud, several times, this little phrase, set of phrases as an incantation to kind of condition my mind and body. I’d say, “I now command my subconscious mind to direct me in helping as many people as possible today by giving me the strength and the emotion and the humour and the brevity, whatever it takes to show this person and help this person change their life now.”

I started that with a person when I worked with people one-on-one, and I would do that for 45 minutes driving in my Volkswagen to go serve and coach somebody for the first time. Now I don’t say that person, I say these people and I can go out in a room of 10,000 people and deliver for 50 hours, and I do it every time I come back onstage. It’s a ritual, a ritual going to into peak state. Peak states don’t just show up. They don’t interrupt you. Great ideas don’t interrupt. You got to pursue them.

I talked to Michael Jordan, I’ll never forget, at the peak of his career, and got to watch his final game, saw him backstage and spend some time with him. It was pretty exciting time. He’s the greatest basketball player, I think, that ever lived and has ever lived, and I asked him, I said, “What sets you apart Michael? What is it? Is it God-given talent, ability, skill? What is it?” He said, “Tony,” he said, “I can shoot you straight and you know it’s not me trying to act humble,” he goes, “have a lot of talent, a lot of God-given talent, a lot of skill. I’ve worked really hard,” but he said, “Really, it’s my standards.” He said, “Every day, I demand more from myself than anybody else could humanly expect. I’m not competing with somebody else. I’m competing with what I’m capable of.”

The magic formula, because most of us lower our standards, why, because who you spend time with my friends is who you become. One of the biggest reasons I started to go to seminars when I was like 17 is I had nobody around me as a great role model. I could read about somebody, but being around people, being in that environment was very different. Finding a way to go to work with someone who lived at standard life was very different. You get around people with low standards and you compete with it, you don’t need to compete with it.

It’s like, “Okay.” I mean, remember Jerry Springer? I don’t know if he’s still in the air, but I never used to get people on the show and I thought, “Where would he find these people, and why would people watch?” I’ll tell you why they watch. They watch these people. Well, my life so pretty darn good compared to that person. Look at them. You don’t have to change your life. All you have to do is find somebody with a lower standard and you’ll feel good about yourself, but if you feel that good feeling, it’s an illusion. The only thing that’s going to make you happy my friend, in this year or any other is to step up, it’s to raise the standards, it’s to discover what you’re capable of and feel that incredible power of pushing through whatever is holding you back and get to the other side of more of your true self. That’s what this game is all about.

Look at the best in the world in anything. Tiger Woods, what’s his vision? To win golf tournaments? No, to be the best that ever lived. That’s his goal. That’s his vision, but here’s what’s interesting, he backs it up with rituals. If you just have a vision and you don’t have the rituals, stop lying to yourself. His rituals are he started doing things nobody did before. He even started lifting weights. Golfers lifting weights? No way. He went out and he changed his swing when he was the best in the world, because he realised, in order to be the best that ever lived, he’s going to have to change his swing. If you know anything about golf, you don’t change your swing when you’re the best. He went and retrain himself, because he has different rituals than other golfers. Now many people are modelling his rituals to get better. It’s amazing.

You look at somebody like Michael Phelps, the 2008 swimmer, won seven, only two people, I think, in history, if I remember correctly, that have gotten seven gold medals in one session. Here’s a guy’s, he’s got number six under his belt and he’s exhausted and he’s going in for that final swim. I’m sure you remember. How does the guy win by one hundredth of a second? Do you think that was some massive skill that got him over the top or was it a standard that says, “This is who I am, I am The Champion and no one is taking us from me,” and somehow, in those finals milliseconds, hundredth of a second, he pushed himself just beyond his competitor.

You know about Michael Phelps, what allowed him to be able to push beyond that moment is his rituals. Go study the guy. Most people who swim have these unbelievable workouts. He does two and three of the workout sessions a day. All the other swimmers in the beginning thought he was insane. You’re going to overtrain. You can’t do that. It’s not physically possible, but he had a standard and the rituals to back it out.

Here’s my final message to you, because I’ve gotten carried away. I was going to send you a five-minute message, but as you can see there’s no script here. It’s just me going a little crazy with you, but I want to really see you get what you want this year. Don’t let this year be like last, and if last year was great, still don’t let it be that way. Raise the standard. If your life is perfect and extraordinary, you darn well know you’re not going to be happy unless you keep making it better. That’s what makes us feel alive. It’s not what we get that make us happy. It’s who we become and what we’re able to give because we’ve become more.

That sense of contribution is what creates the deepest meaning, so here is my assignment for you, if you want one. If you want to go from conversation to some action, here’s a simple thing to do. What’s an area of your life right now that you really want to improve? What’s an area that’s important to improve? If your body is great, how about your career? Your career is great, how about your relationships, intimate one especially, or your kids, or your relationship with your Creator, the spiritual side of your life, or is it your finances?

Figure an area that really matters, decide on that area, number one, write down what your life is like in that area right now as specifically as possible. You might say, “Well, I’m 13.5 pounds overweight,” whatever the weight is, whatever the situation is, or “My body fat is like this,” or “I wake up exhausted in the morning,” and you write the truth of where you are right now, so you’re real clear, or “I’m not in a relationship I say I want a relationship, but I am not in one and I don’t seem to find them, all the good ones seem to be gone is my belief, and I really do want one but I don’t have it,” whatever your definition, or “I’m in a relationship, and God, I wish I wasn’t in a relationship, I’m planning my escape,” wherever you are, or “I have a wonderful relationship, we love each other but there just isn’t enough passion,” just write the truth of where you are, the area you want lasting change, but write how it is.

Then the second step is, and this you got to be really honest with yourself, what are the rituals that have put me there? Whatever results you’re getting, even if you don’t like the results, there are some rituals that are keeping you in that place. There are some rituals of what you eat or don’t eat, how you move or don’t move, how you sleep or don’t sleep. There are some rituals in the lack of variety or spice or energy or focus in an area. There is something you’re doing and it’s usually not one thing, it’s a bunch of little things, they kind of do consistently, whenever you think about getting in a relationship, whenever you think about working, whenever you think about money, you get yourself in a state of overwhelm. You start thinking about all the things you can’t control.

Just write down all the rituals you have, and then here’s the third step, what do you want? What’s your vision? Be really specific. I want to be in my fighting weight. I want to be the strongest I’ve never felt, whatever it is. Be specific, and then last step number four, what are the rituals that will get you there? What would you need to do differently each morning if you’re going to be that kind of energy, that kind of strength? How often would you work out? What days would you work out? What time? A ritual is something you do consistently, usually at a specific time so it becomes automatic.

Let me tell you something, willpower doesn’t last, but rituals can last a lifetime. I bet you have some rituals in your life right now you’ve been doing for years, even though some of them don’t serve you. I’m just saying wake yourself up. If you want a new year and a new life, you don’t need to start in January 1st, start today, start with this little video, and just begin to see what happens, and see how easy it is to just do a few little rituals. Don’t do them all, just do two or three new things, and you know what happens? You’ll get momentum, because once you discipline yourself in one area of your life, you feel yourself doing it in other areas as well.

I always say something that my original teacher taught me. I always remind people. There’s always two pains in life. There’s the pain of discipline or there’s the pain of regret. Discipline ways ounces, as my friend Jim Rohn taught me, regret weighs tonnes. You don’t want to have regret, so right now what do you want to have lasting change? What’s it really like? What are the rituals that got you there? That will take a little homework. If you’re not sure, ask the people around you, they’ll tell you what your rituals are. What do I really want in depth? What are the rituals that’ll get me there? Then get yourself to start a few of those actions and lock them in place.

If you make the lasting change in yourself, you’re going to be proud this year, and no amount of money or accolades from other people can mirror the feeling of being proud of knowing you’ve taken back control of your life or you’ve taken a great life to another level, because once you do that, you have something you can give other people, whether it be your kids or your friends or family, and ultimate that’s what life is about.

Thanks for listening. I don’t know how long I went here, but I hope this has been helpful for you. I just thought it’s a New Year and I want people to be able to truly create a new life, and until I see again, hopefully soon or get the chance to meet you, live strong and live with passion, and of course, God bless to you, Happy New Year.

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