Sunday, September 5, 2010


Tony Robbins has a wonderful show on NBC called Breakthrough.

It takes you inside the lives of people and you can see the stagnation there. Sometimes it's a couple that has lost sight of compassion and communication with each other, and as a result, their marriage and their children are suffering. Or it could be a traumatic incident that has left someone emotionally and mentally paralyzed. Tony is there to jumpstart them and ask the probing questions and push them to their mental limits to get them to change their lives for good.

He says something time and time again that resonates with me. Whenever someone on the show says "I can't" out of defeat, Tony immediately replies, "If you can't, you must."

This is my favorite line.


Anything that can bring you to your knees - for you to conjure that pesky word 'can't', is ABSOLUTELY something that needs to be dealt with NOW. Long conversations of denial aside, if the word 'can't' is in the conversation, then that's an alarm. It's going off loudly, and before you let yourself believe it's a false alarm, knowingly create a habit of commitment. Out of all the people in the world, make the commitment to yourself the strongest.

So when you start to say "I can't" after looking deep in your heart and you find it's something you have wrote off reflexively, excavate for the root cause. Why did I say I can't? Uproot those fears, and ... do the one thing you just said you can't do.

Picture it: You're up against a mental wall. You just admitted defeat in one of the ugliest acceptable words of all mankind. Your nervous system is screaming for you to choose the 'flight' response, and the resources left in your body are fulfilling the only request you have room for. To not think, but just to do, do the thing that scares you. Pushing through the fear, the nervousness, the cracked voice, the shaking in the limbs, and the justifications that would make any public relations guru jealous, you exert the mental strength to do it. It's done. And you start to think about what just happened. How incredibly sexy is it when you can be your own hero? Sexy does not have to be "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound". It is when you can recognize your Kryptonite, and do it anyway.

Imagine that kind of liberation. Believe in your ability to 'WOW' and no one stands a chance to push you off the pedestal that is yours. If you can wow yourself, you can wow the world.

If you weren't yourself, would you be challenged by what you saw? If you can't surprise yourself, how do you expect others to be surprised by what they see?

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