Thursday, February 18, 2010

Awaken the Giant Within, a book by Anthony Robbins

I´m finally reading Anthony Robbins, 26 years after first seeing him in an infomercial on TV. All I saw then was a 23-year old flashy-smiled king of hype. Since then, every time I heard his name, I cringed. I´ve always tried to lead a life of self-improvement, however, and with experience and age, I have become open-minded and mellow. Tony Robbins has after all, built a multi-million dollar motivational empire, and it doesn´t hurt that he is now a weathered middle-aged stud that looks like he stepped out of the cover of GQ magazine.
What have I found so far in Awaken the Giant Within? Well, to be honest, the book is poorly written, redundant and has plenty of filler. I thank the stars that I´m a speed-reader! Properly edited and slashed to a fourth of its length, it would be – at least for me – an excellent read. It is surprising to know the high standards required to break into publishing, and yet a book that has sold over a million copies seems not to have been revised so far. It does not hold up to the standards of excellence that the author stands for.
Technicalities aside, Awaken the Giant Within does give practical pointers that, if applied, will work. When a self-help book “doesn´t work”, it has to do with the reader not doing what it takes to put the ideas in practice. Don´t I know – not only do I read self-help books, I also write them (smile).
The one concept that I take away from Robbin´s best-selling manual, for myself, is his explanation of how when you are driving a race-car (not that I plan to ever drive one) that is skidding, if you look at the wall in fear, you will most likely hit it. If, however, you manage to keep your eyes on the road ahead (your goal) even as you lose ground, you tend to get back on track, because your hands will follow your focus. And so it is in life. Sometimes, all we need is to grasp one simple concept that will help us redirect our efforts and catapult us to success. This was my eye-opener.
Even if circumstances cause us to skid in the opposite direction of our main goal temporarily, if we keep our eyes on the goal no matter what, eventually we will be on course again. If you read the book or have seen Tony Robbins live, I´d love to hear your impressions.

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