Somewhat unbelievably it’s been near enough a month since I last blogged, where I wrote about my TOGAF9 total immersion experience. It’s been a hectic few weeks for me both in and out of work hence the delay in this post. Previous readers will remember my series of blogs about my experience of Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within event and back we are with an overview of day two. Exactly 51 days have passed since then, so my memory of the experience is slightly faded but definitely present – thankfully I made some notes 🙂
It’s probably worth mentioning that day two (along with day four) is delivered by one of Tony’s associates. This is due to the accumulated stress on his vocal chords, which if you’d attended a day of UPW would completely understand. Especially considering he’s been delivering these events for decades! To put it into perspective by the end of day one one of my friends had lost her voice, by day two I too had a distinctly croaky tone…
The bulk of day two was delivered by Joseph McLendon III, who I’d highly recommend checking out on YouTube/Amazon. Such a great, entertaining personality (think Chris Tucker and you won’t be far off!) which enabled his delivery to be very effective, and memorable… Check him out!
I just couldn’t write a post about day two without including this term! One of the unique memories I have from UPW (and will never forget) is Joseph’s “way” of creating a peak state, shifting energy and engaging the audience… By shaking one's ass!! In no other environment will you ever experience over ten thousand people shaking their backside to some very predictable (I don’t need to list them) tracks. What I will say though is that this simple “act” was very effective in lifting the mood, creating energy and shifting state. Next time you feel fearful, down, tired or otherwise less than optimal… just give it a go and…
NOTE: I accept no responsibility for the repercussions of shaking one's ass in the workplace 🙂 … Disclaimer done!
So after that little fun diversion (see, I bet even reading the last paragraph brought a slight smile), it’s time to cover off the more serious parts of UPW day two…sorry!
One important characteristic of any successful self-development endeavour is to create change that lasts. Change that lasts is what enables transformation like growth, that has the ability to create the extraordinary life I described in post 2, whatever that means to you. Short term change will provide a boost, but if after a week or a month old habits are back worse than ever, progress has not been good. Three statements (mantras if you will) for creating lasting change are as follows. These are useful to align yourself and help you commit to achieving change:
- It MUST change now
- I MUST change now
- I CAN change now
Creating lasting change is closely linked to belief systems that we all have, more often than not that are conditioned in us from our upbringing or society as a whole. Deciding to make a change that goes against what you’ve always been told or have always done can be difficult, but recognising beliefs – especially limiting ones, is beneficial in this process. Once we start to see our belief systems for what they are we are able to make decisions that in some cases go against them, if necessary – rather than just accepting them by default.
A couple of great power quotes I took around beliefs from day two:
“The past does NOT equal the future… Unless you LIVE there.”
“A belief is a perceived feeling of certainty about what something means. Unfortunately these beliefs are often learned from people who not overly successful.”
I’ll be discussing limiting beliefs in more detail when I talk about the “Dickens Process” in the day three post, but for now, the key is to recognise how our beliefs and the ability to create lasting change tie together…
Joseph described three steps for lasting change which are as follows:
- Get Leverage – By applying leverage to a change you wish to make, the chances of making it last are greatly increased. To get leverage we should think in terms of the following:
- Failure to change now = massive, immediate and unbearable levels of pain. We must amplify the pain level to feel the absolute necessity to make the change, whatever that might be.
- Change now = massive, immediate and extraordinary levels of pleasure. We must realise and cultivate the value in making the change, buy into it wholeheartedly and commit to making it happen.
- Interrupt or annihilate the limiting pattern – Patterns (or beliefs) are the thought process we adopt that shapes our behaviours, which in the case of limiting beliefs, constrain what we can achieve. By breaking that pattern, we no longer buy into that way of thinking which paves the way for us to embed the desired change.
- Create a new empowering pattern and reinforce it until it is habit – By replacing a previously held limiting belief with a new and empowering one, we are able to shift our mindset/perspective to one which is more positive and conducive to development. Purely trying to remove a limiting pattern won’t create lasting change, the void needs to be filled with something empowering to support growth and expansion.
One example could be someone trying to lose weight. Previous limiting beliefs could be “I can’t control my eating” or “I’m just meant to be big.” Applying the three step process could work as follows:
- Get leverage by considering (and exaggerating) the physical pain of not changing, which could in this example mean facing a significant health issue or disease due to increased weight gain. Conversely making a change and losing the weight would result in increased happiness, confidence, vitality and health.
- Interrupt the limiting pattern by breaking the cycle, taking control and making changes to the types and amounts of food consumed, and BUY IN to the fact that actually, changes can be made.
- By replacing the limiting “I’ll always be overweight belief” with an empowering one such as “I have a healthy weight and am vital” perception shifts for the better. Equally reframing the “I can’t control my eating” to “I have full control of what I eat” will also serve as a great supporting mechanism for making lasting change.
This is of course a simple, personal, non-career related example. The same three step process can be applied no matter the desired change however. One final quote that really brings this home…
“Change is never a matter of ability. It is always a matter of motivation.”
Decisions and commitment to them
We all make decisions every day. Some affect only ourselves, others our families/friends and depending on our job role, our customers, colleagues or the staff that report to us. Moments of decision are where our destiny is created. Depending on the type and significance of a decision, they have the ability to completely reshape the future for ourselves and the people impacted by our decision. Decisions are not all created equal. The level of commitment we apply to the decision will influence the effectiveness of it, and the realisation of the desired outcome. If we truly want to achieve something and make a change, whether big or small, we have to COMMIT to the decisions we make and take action to achieve their outcomes.
Joseph had us perform an exercise to bring this learning home, which was to make and commit to two decisions. One of my decisions was to travel to 5 destinations I haven’t yet been to by the end of 2017, for a few days each. I made this choice instead of taking extended holidays this year, with the expectation that at least some of these trips would be alone. On that long Friday in April at the ExCeL in London, I committed to this decision and so far, have been fortunate enough to go to New York City as part of a recent work trip, which I am truly grateful for. I certainly believe putting that intention out to the universe helped attract this opportunity to me. I also have a trip to Sweden booked (alone) at the end of June, where I’ll spend 3 nights in Stockholm. Two weeks later I’ll spend 4 nights with my parents in the middle of their holiday (lucky them!) in Portugal. That then leaves me with just under 6 months to arrange two more trips, to achieve the objective I set out to when I committed to the decision.
I think this example helps demonstrate the power of committing to a decision and taking action needed to realise it. I’ve made various other decisions too (which I’ll reveal in future blogs) and am working hard to accomplish those outcomes too. If you want something, or want to make a change – make a decision, commit to it, believe in yourself – and go take action to make it happen.
Choose your peers
This principle is probably something you’ve heard of before but it is critical so I had to build it in. You may have heard the saying that “you are the product of the five people you spend most of your time with”. You have to give this consideration if you really wish to create rapid, yet sustained development/growth. It quite simply boils down to thinking about who we really want to spend our time with...
The objective here is to find individuals (or a group) that are playing at a higher level than us. If we are never in a situation where we are around people to learn from, that have achieved bigger and better things than we have so far, how can we learn and expand? By making an effort to spend more time with people that are at a higher level than we are, we have no choice but to up our game, stretch ourselves and grow – it’s unavoidable. In doing so, we are able to draw upon the experiences of those friends who have been there and done that, while challenging us to expand ourselves. Having people who are supportive is great and is very much needed, however equally important is having those on the next level or level above. These are the associations that by nature enable us to break through barriers and reach higher levels of achievement, success and ultimately fulfilment.
Ask yourself the question, who do I spend most of my time with? If you’re employed and living in the Western world, chances are the answer is your colleagues which depending on your team, your company and the staff there, may be a good or bad thing. If you’re surrounded by people that are unable to “pull you up” to higher levels of achievement, focus more of your time outside of work to associate with people who can. When you ask yourself this question you may find that you don’t have many people around you that are playing at a higher level and that’s ok... If you can recognise this and want to change it, you can do so.
A bit about rapport...
One section I found really beneficial late on during day two was one of rapport. This jogged some memories from an ILM Line Management course I did many years ago, relating to the fact that when we communicate only 7% is verbal, with the rest from non-verbal. The way we speak, hold our bodies, make silly hand gestures (we all do it!) are all examples of non-verbal communication. The fact that this accounts for the vast majority of how we converse with one and other makes it very important in my book – and subsequently peaked my interest.
Rapport is key for any social interaction whether business, personal or otherwise. The key take-home for me was the importance of establishing rapport, especially in situations where I don’t already have a connection with (or know) someone. By consciously thinking during social interactions on how to accelerate the creation of rapport, we can turn that potentially long-winded process into minutes and achieve much more from the interaction. For instance in a business meeting if it takes us 60 minutes out of 90 to build a good connection, we only have 30 minutes to really get our message across. If however, we build that connection in 5 or 10 minutes we have much more scope to do so, which is naturally an advantageous position to be in…
We can develop rapport by subtly mirroring the person we want to build that subconscious, non-verbal connection with. By observing their actions (this could even be from a distance) and mirroring them, we will establish a connection much quicker, compared to just focusing on our words alone. This YouTube video from an old UPW explains this very well, so I won’t replay the messages here, feel free to take a look if you’re interested in this.
Since UPW I’ve been much more aware of this and have adopted some of the types of mirroring. I’ve had some very successful meetings as a result so can hand on heart say this too is a valuable tool to have in the kit…
Day two was an awesome surprise. At first we were all a little miffed at the idea of no Tony, but after an hour of Joseph and his somewhat hilarious delivery, all was forgotten! We came away just as empowered as after day one and saw it as a great change in dynamic which certainly kept the energy levels up. If you’re thinking of attending UPW and are put-off by Tony only being around for two of the four days all I can say is don’t be, you won’t be disappointed.
Ciao for now, it definitely won’t be four weeks until the next one!