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What We Do What We Do by Anthony Robbins at TED 2006

A TED Talk A Day, Day 39: This one is an oldie from almost 10 years ago, but is still a goodie. The effervescent Anthony Robbins talks about what really drives us, and essentially compresses many of his core ideas into this talk. Even a decade later the concepts he covers remain relevant and useful.

A note for those who have listened to Anthony Robbins speak before: you might realise, as I have, that he often speaks about a very small number of topics, but boy does he know speak about those topics superbly and fluently. This talk is no different, so there will be many themes that come up that you would have heard elsewhere.

  1. We often think that people act out of self-interest but that is not always true; once emotions get in the way, they act differently.
  2. If we understand what drives us, we can both contribute more, and also understand people better and overcome the challenges that are facing us.
  3. There are two master lessons: the science of achievement, and the art of fulfilment.
  4. The science of achievement is how to take the invisible and make it visible.
  5. The art of fulfilment is about appreciation and contribution, but there are no fixed answers to how to achieve these.
  6.  Most people think biography is destiny — the past equals the future. But this is not true, there are examples of people who have gone through difficulty and achieved great things; and there are people who have been given everything but ended up nowhere.
  7. Decision is the ultimate power. The decisions we make can change the course of our lives. We make 3 decisions every moment of our lives:
    1. What am I going to focus on?
    2. What does it mean? This produces an emotion in us.
    3. What am I going to do?
  8. When people fail to achieve something, they tend to blame resources: time, money, technology, contacts, experience, management (the Supreme Court…)
  9. But often the real reasons are resourcefulness: creativity, determination, love/caring, curiosity, passion, resolve.
  10. Emotion is what drives us, and also what stops us. If we are fun and playful enough, we can get through to others.
  11. The invisible forces that shape us:
    1. in the moment: state;
    2. in the long-term: our world view/model of the world.
  12. Our model of the world has 3 parts:
    1. What are we after? These are needs, not just goals and desires.
    2. What’s our  map? These are our belief systems that are telling us how to get those needs.
    3. What’s our fuel? This is emotion, and they can all be categorised into 12 key emotions.
  13. The six human needs:
    1. certainty – we want to be comfortable and secure. This can come in many ways: developing a skill, smoke a cigarette, giving up, etc.
    2. uncertainty – we can’t live in total certainty, because we get board. We need variety and surprise.
    3. significance – we need to feel important and unique.
    4. connection & love – we get this through intimate relationships, family, friends, pets, even a connection with nature.
    5. growth – we need feel like we are always improving
    6. contribution – the secret to life is about giving to others.
  14. People get excited to contribute once they get to experience it, not talk about it.

Suggested action step: I better more aware of my decisions and decide better. Decide for the things that truly matter to me, that allow me contribute, that fulfil my needs and the needs of others in the best way possible.

Where the magic happens

(Originally published Feb 4, 2014.)

Lately I’ve been running up against a wall of I-don’t-knows.

I feel like I don’t know what I need to do to move my life forward; I feel like I don’t know how I can grow the business we’ve started. There are all these things I’ve started but no longer sure how they’re helping anymore, if at all.

Ever been there?

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