Has anyone seen the Netflix documentary about Tony Robbins? It’s called “I am not your Guru.” If you haven’t, I suggest you do. It is incredibly powerful.
I have been a fan of Tony’s for decades. He is one of, if not the, most well known “self help” Gurus in today’s world. And for good reason. I have read most of his books, subscribe to his blog and follow him on social media.
But this documentary shined a whole new light on my vision of him. There were things that were shocking to me, like the fact that he drops the “F-bomb” frequently. I’m not shocked by the F-bomb, just shocked that he uses it. In my decades of following him I had never heard that. It actually increased my respect for him.
See, one of the things that I have learned from his teachings over the years was how powerful the spoken word is. The words you use on a daily basis give insight as to what is going on in your brain. You can even determine what learning modality you rely more heavily on. For example, if you say “I hear you” more frequently you are probably more reliant upon the auditory modality. By comparison, if you say “I see what you mean” you are probably more visually based.
I have always used this knowledge in my communication with people. I’ve been a police officer and a fitness coach for 26 years. My job, in both regards, is heavily built around effective communication. Language usage gives me insights into the thinking patterns of whomever I am dealing with. It helps, tremendously!
Another tool that I learned from Tony is the “pattern interrupt.” A pattern interrupt is a stimulus that interrupts a thought pattern thereby allowing a change of mental state. In the documentary you see Tony use this technique in the first 3 minutes of the film. He is interviewing a man who is saying that he is suicidal. Tony, upon seeing the body language, facial expression and tone of voice of the young man start to become depressed, immediately points to the man’s footwear and says “Why do you want to kill yourself? Is it because of your red shoes?” The guy looks at him as if to say “WTF?” Then he smiles. Guess what? No more depression. No more suicidal thoughts. There is only a smile and laughter. Depression and suicidal thoughts cannot exist when there is smiling and laughing. What an incredibly powerful moment. If you get the opportunity to watch this film, pay attention to the man’s body language, facial expression and tone of voice. It will shock you.
So, I guess I just want to pass on these two techniques so that you can benefit from them in your own life. Use positive language, always! When someone asks you how you are doing, respond by saying something positive. “I’m fantastic!” “I couldn’t be better!” “Outstanding!” You will be surprised at the effect it will have on you and thereby on everyone who comes into contact with you.
And, use a pattern interrupt. When you find yourself “turning dark” use a word or action that will interrupt that downward spiral. It can be anything that gives you power or makes you happy. Make it a word that is meaningful to you.
In closing, I just want to give you a personal story. Yesterday I had a phone conversation with my coach and friend, Daniel DiPiazza. He was taking time out of his busy day to help me with a project I have been working on. At the end of the conversation he says “I appreciate you, man!” What? You are taking time out of your day to do me a favor and YOU appreciate ME? That made me feel like a million bucks. You and I can do the same for those around us. Words are POWERFUL!!!!!