Book Summaries

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

By Anthony Robbins

Awaken the Giant Within

Awaken the Giant Within is a Tony Robbins classic bestseller. Written in 1992, it provides a readable overview of many of the early NLP Techniques (repackaged as Neuro Associative Conditioning)

Check out Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! at Amazon

The root of all problems is behavior. Emotional states drive behavior. Our moments of decision shape our destiny. It’s not what we do occasionally that matters but what we do consistently.

The three principles of change

  1. Raise your standards and what you demand of yourself.
  2. Change limiting beliefs about how things are and what’s possible.
  3. Change your way of doing things by modeling someone.

Five areas of mastery

Emotional Mastery

Just about everything we do is to change how we feel. People can disconnect from their emotional states. We try to avoid emotions because we don’t know how to control them.

Six steps to emotional mastery

  1. What are you really feeling.
  2. Acknowledge and appreciate your emotion.
  3. Get curious about the message – fear may be about needing more preparation.
  4. Get confident.
  5. Get certain you can handle it today, rehearse handling it in the future.
  6. Get excited and take action.

Physical Mastery

  • Health and fitness are not the same.

Relationship Mastery

  • Focusing on what you want in a relationship not on what you fear.

Financial Mastery

  • What causes scarcity in your life?
  • We often have debilitating emotions around the scarcity of money.
  • The key to wealth is to become more valuable.
  • Resources you’re not using.
  • Wealth is created by distribution.
  • Spend less than you earn and invest the difference.
  • Linking pleasure to financial success.

Time Mastery

  • Time is a mental construct and the result of our mental focus.
  • You lose track of time when you don’t focus on it.
  • Time seems to crawl when you are constantly checking your watch.
  • The most powerful way to compress time is to learn from other peoples experiences.
  • What are the leverage points? How can we do more with less effort?


It’s what we do consistently that shapes our lives. Committed decisions are powerful. Make a commitment to long-term results.

Three decisions that control destiny

  1. What to focus on.
  2. What things mean to you.
  3. What to do to create the results you want.

Five factors that underlie our decisions

  1. Core beliefs and rules — what will lead to pain and pleasure.
  2. Life values.
  3. References — comparisons.
  4. Habitual questions.
  5. Emotional States – enhance or stop action.

Changing what something means changes the decisions you make. Nothing in life has any meaning except for meaning you give it.

Values control the way we make decisions. All decision-making comes down to values clarification. Values evolve through lifelong conditioning – punishment and reward. Our results are the accumulation of a host of small decisions>


Our generalizations (based on our interpretations) drive our beliefs.

  • Feeling of certainty.
  • Number or intensity of the references that back them up.

Changing beliefs

  • Creating doubt about current belief.
  • Associating massive pain to the old belief.
  • Questioning the belief.

What would I have to believe in order to feel powerless?

Neuro Associative Conditioning

This is a useful expansion to the work on NLP Anchoring

  • If you stop using the pathway, the connection weakens.
  • Any consistently enforced pattern will become automatic.
  • Changing what means pain and what means pleasure.
  • Our usual strategies to stop bad feelings – drugs, alcohol, shopping.
  • Motivation — variable schedule of reinforcement.
  • Ability is not solely responsible for good or poor performance. Your state of mind and body at the time affects your behavior.
  • Every emotion has a specific physiology.

Using Empowering Questions

People empower or disempower themselves with the questions they ask. We often ask questions that create doubt. What are the questions you fail to ask?

Questions accomplish three things

  1. change what we focusing on and how we feel.
  2. change what we delete in on.
  3. change the resources available to us.

If you keep asking questions, you are going to be uncertain

Success Vocabulary

If you adopt someone else’s words, volume, tone and intensity you begin to adopt their emotional patterns also.

Our words can allow us to intensify or diminish any emotional state. A spirited debate has different rules than an argument. We redefine experience by the words we use. For example, the MX missile was known as the peace keeper.

The Power of Metaphors and Stories

When we adopt a metaphor, we adopt the limiting beliefs that come with it. For example, life is a battle. What are the metaphors we have for life, marriage, work and business?

Creating a Compelling Future

If you have a big enough why, you can always figure out a way to achieve it. Our beliefs about what we are capable of achieving limit or enable us.

Getting our goals

  1. Set the goal.
  2. Develop the plan.
  3. Take massive consistent action towards your goal.
  4. Our quality of life along the way is vital.

Create a master plan for achieving goals in a number of areas. Brainstorm, expand and develop goal in each area. Rehearsing and progressing in small ways will make them real.

What skills, abilities, attitudes and beliefs do you need? What kind of person do you need to become? Spend 90% of the time focusing on a solution and only 10% on the problem.

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