12 Lessons from Spending 1,447 Hours with Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is a legend and an icon in so many ways. His powerful seminars and the  impact they have had on my life dramatically shifted my personal, and professional paradigm forever.   Over the course of the last three years, I’ve attended 18 of Tony Robbins’ events and spent at least 1,447 total hours studying the legend himself.

Countless influential world leaders, Hollywood A-listers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and tens of millions of others have been deeply impacted by his work.  He’s heavily impacted some of our favorites, including Tim Ferriss, Oprah,  Hugh Jackman, Serena Williams, President Clinton, even Pat Riley’s showtime Lakers back in the ’80s.

I could write a 10,000 word article just about who he’s impacted, but that wouldn’t help you catch a glimpse of his transformative principles. I am doing a two part series on his impact. First on my personal life, then a second article on how he’s impacted my businesses.

Tony Robbins helped me make major breakthroughs that will forever change the trajectory of my life—breakthroughs that will have increased my net worth 10X or more in five years and that have elevated my personal relationships to another level. If that statement seems a little over the top to you, you should know that it’s actually an understatement.

There’s so much to cover, so I want to break it up into six personal lessons and six business lessons. So let’s dive in, starting with six personal takeaways.

Six Core Human Needs

Through his work with people at all economic strata, all religions, and nearly every circumstance in life, Tony discovered that there are really six core human needs.  How we align them and how we pursue fulfillment of them determines much about our life satisfaction.  Here they are in no order of importance:

  • Significance is the desire to feel important and recognized. We desire to be significant to the world and to be acknowledged for what we’ve contributed. If it’s your first or second human need, as it was for me, you may be living for the acclaim and recognition of others, which for me led to less happiness, hence the need for a shift.
  • Certainty is the desire to feel stable or that we can rely on certain things to happen that are predictable and reliable.  I board a plane with a sense of certainty that I will safely arrive at my destination. I enter into a romantic relationship with a certain expectation and hope of certainty that my partner will honor our relationship and I’ll do the same.
  • Uncertainty is the need for variety in our lives. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have this need. It doesn’t mean we’re all daredevils, but we all long for a bit of variation to keep our lives from becoming stale.  Some have a huge need for variety, others less so.
  • Love and Connection is the need to feel connected to other people on a deep level. This goes without saying, but love and connection remains one of the most fulfilling needs, if not the most.  To the core of who we are as humans, we long to give love and to feel connected to others—humans, our pets, our purpose.
  • Contribution is the need to make a difference and to contribute to the world. When we make a difference in the worl, that gives meaning and depth to our existence.  There’s a deeper and more profound joy when generosity is a core element of how we live.
  • Growth is the inner ache to push ourselves to become new or greater. When we grow, we feel happy. We feel alive.   Think of how alive a young child is when he’s discovering the endless variety of things as simple as the animal kingdom.  Or how we sometimes fondly reflect on high growth seasons of our lives and realize they were among the most fulfilling.

One of the biggest things I took away from Tony during my first Unleash the Power (UPW) Event was that significance, at that time, was my top need. I was working and living more out of my ego and desire to impress others, and that’s unfulfilling. I had to make a shift to create greater fulfillment.

In the years since then, growth has become my priority. Need, love and connection my second, and contribution my third. This has led to more joy and more creativity as I’ve started new businesses with terrific people.

For the greatest level of fulfillment, if I can ensure either love and connection, contribution, or growth is my number one need and one of the other two is my second most important need that I’m striving to fulfill, I’ll experience a much higher level of happiness and fulfillment.

Create Environments of Love and Joy

Going to a Tony Robbins event is like being in a rock concert filled with the love of a Christian revival movement.  There’s really nothing like it; so energetic, fun, heartwarming and stirring. That’s why as long as I can, I will go to at least one Tony Robbins event a year.

I plan on attending my 19th and 20th events this year.  Being in these types of environments shifts your emotional home base, which shifts everything about how you approach life. Plus, you learn how to create more of those environments outside of a Tony Robbins event.

One of the powerful little habits is what he calls, ‘Magic Moments.’ Tony and his wife, Sage, share magic moments at the end of their days with one another and it helps build gratitude.

At the end of the night, you reflect on what was amazing about the day—what was a magic moment for the day. Then, you just stacke your heart, your mind, and your spirit with all these stories of joy and gratitude.


There’s hardly anything in the world that is more powerful than to start your day off with gratitude and to live with gratitude. Tony himself has undergone a big shift in the last 10 years to shift towards gratitude and toward learning to live in a beautiful state.

Now, I start my day off with a little meditation exercise focusing on three things I’m grateful for. It shifts my whole energy. Focusing on so much good that’s happening in my life. One of the key things he likes to talk about is, “What if life is happening for you, not to you? What if pain is a gift from above?” 

It’s something thought leaders like Tim Ferriss  and Lewis Howes have now adopted into their life patterns more deeply as a result of Tony’s own shift.

Masculine vs. Feminine Energy & Appreciation for the Different Sexes

At my first Tony Robbins seminar, while recovering  from a broken relationship, I realized I needed to make a shift in many of my core needs. One such shift that needed to happen concerned shifting from of my feminine state to my more masculine state. When I made the shift, I acted with much greater confidence and strength and it immediately made a difference romantically.

At Tony’s Date with Destiny and Platinum Partner Ultimate Relationship event, he dives into what makes a great long-term romantic relationship. One of the core aspects is maintaining appreciation for each others uniqueness, part of which is living out of your core energy. When you do this, you are happier, more fulfilled and you keep your polarity with your partner.

Succinctly stated, there is usually something beautiful and mysterious about the person you fall in love with. And they’re usually quite different from you. Often we end up expecting them to become more like us over time, instead of appreciating and admiring them for who they are. Men want their woman to be more like them and the woman wants her man to be more like her. What we once deeply appreciated, we now expect and no longer appreciate.

What if you traded your expectations for appreciation? How might staying as appreciative of your significant other as you were during your early stages of dating change your long-term relationships?

*Tony learned a lot of this from Allison Armstrong at understandmen.com. I highly recommend her courses as they have been a game changer for many friends and their relationships.


If I lead my life asking myself, “How can I give? How can I add value?” and, “How can I contribute?”, the dynamics of my entire life change. This includes friendships, relationships, and business. I quit tying myself so tightly to an outcome.  It’s a timeless principle that  pays dividends externally and internally.

Internally, I live with a  more generous heart, a more creative spirit and a more open mind as I am looking constantly for ways to add more value.  Externally, others recognize my generosity and desire to impact, so my respect and reputation in my community tends to rise.

The Power of Aligning Your Core Fears to Your Destiny

On day three of Unleash the Power Within (UPW), you tackle your three core fears in a process that he calls Transformation Day.  For some of us, those fears have been handcuffing us—forcing us to live below our ability for decades.  My three core fears were:

  1. I would never find my soulmate.
  2. I would live beneath my potential and never become the world class entrepreneur that I felt I could be.
  3. I would never become the leader I felt I was called to be.

At the end of day three of UPW, the opposite of my fears felt deeply like they were my destiny.  I had this sense of certainty that I would find my soulmate, whom I have now met three and a half years later.  I felt free to fully run after my desire to be a world class entrepreneur and I was resolute and committed deep within my core to step up and become the leader I knew I could be.

Since that first UPW, my joy has increased tenfold, my confidence has grown tremendously, and the impact I’m making in people’s lives has expanded 10X, which is most satisfying of all.

In terms of the impact on my business, my net worth and gross income more than doubled  in my first two years and is poised to do so again.  Even better, I came to really step more fully into a deeper level of creative freedom and impact in my work, so my work has become more like play and even more fulfilling.

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