I arrived at the Anthony Robbins seminar quietly excited. This was Britain after all, and while the man may be a colossus in his home country, and I was indeed ready to 'unleash the giant within' (the seminar title, his words not mine), a certain element of reserve seemed not out of place.
My mood began to change when on arriving on the platform amidst a throng of people, I recognised a couple from my yoga class. 150 miles from home it was a strange co-incidence. Was this 'meant to be' I began to think? My curiosity was further heightened when on arrival at Xcel- a huge conference centre in London's Docklands. I was confronted with a multitude of some 10000 people (in fact 12,500 attended the seminar. We later found out a world record attendance for listening to one speaker at a seminar for 3 days); there was a buzz. The excitement was palpable. The heat is on, I thought, little did I know.
An e-mail received from my cousin on a lazy afternoon had prompted me into this. I was told that Mr. Robbins was a motivational speaker, and boy did I need motivating! Always priding myself as a 'go getter', the last few months had felt that I and the world around me had ground to a halt. Anything had to be better than this! Nor did I fully understand how things had got to this. Things weren't bad, they just weren't good. Get the picture? We've all been there.
'There's money in insecurity' my cynical inner voice squeaked as I observed all the people around me. All seemed very relaxed and smiling however, eager to get on with the day. Registration over, we took are seats, giving 'high fives' to the ushers who greeted us ,as we filed past, loud disco tunes blasting away. We took are seats and a marvellous adventure had begun.
Trying to recount in detail what transpired over the next few days would do yourselves and Anthony Robbins a disservice. I say go and see for yourself. Much has been written in the press --too American, hyped up etc. So what? I say, the man deserves all the success, money, and frankly whatever else he may desire.
Tony Robbins is a genius of marketing and in understanding human nature. Not only that, he has the ability to make you dig deep in ways you never thought existed. How? In my experience by re-wiring your hardware so that you understand your thinking better, in order to pre-empt future negativity and give yourself a fighting chance in life.
Is that a bad thing? At the end of day one, to the sound of beating drums I walked barefoot over red hot coals (along with the other 12 000 or so). On day two, we went telepathic. In groups of three, people who had never met, we read each others thoughts. On day three it got truly cosmic. 'Transformation day ' was just that. With the aid of spacecraft we re-engineered our memories and took flight. Sounds crazy? Yeah but it worked for me.
I waited a few weeks before writing the article to see if I was still convinced. Workshop took place on October 18th 2004. I can still motivate myself at will- in an instant. The feeling of well being is still with me, as is the burning desire to achieve excellence in life and live to the full.
Tony, thank you for letting me see first hand; the tremendous love and fortitude of the human spirit. By the end of day three, I couldn't care less about how and what had brought me there. A look at the multitude of beaming smiles around me, at the people finding every available space to 'shake their bodies down to the ground', at the laughter and self confidence all around was proof enough.
In one weekend what started as an individual quest ended in a collective festival. No hero worship here, just a celebration of life, love and self. This wasn't an evangelical quest to change the world; the world had already changed- as I caught the train back home.
Inspiration : Taking Charge
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Sam Azraq describes how he faced up to changes and offers advice to those starting on this path.