Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievementby Anthony Robbins
This book will show you, step by step, how to achieve the extraordinary quality of life you desire and deserve. It will give you the knowledge and the courage to remake yourself and your world. Unlimited Power is a guidebook to superior performance in the age of success.
Chapter 1: The Commodity of Kings
“Success is not an accident. The difference between people who produce positive results and those who do not is not some sort of random roll of the dice.”
In the past, only kings and dukes had the resources to lead nations, almost unlimited power, and unmistakable authority, but these times have gone. Today each of us has the potential to be whatever we want. Our lives are no longer dictated by heritage or titles, instead, our future is what we make of it.
We hold great power through our ability to act. By acting, we produce results. Note that our actions (and inactions!) always produce results. By doing nothing, we also produce results; however, the results might not be what we desire. Therefore, we have to be conscious of our behaviors and actions. To be successful, we have to take action. This is something that can be developed; you do not have to be born with it.
An aspect of this power is communication skills. These skills are not only important when working with others but also with ourselves. Good communication with other people will improve your social, financial, and emotional life. How you interpret what happens around you can provide real happiness, joy, ecstasy, and even love.
We are in charge of our emotions and are responsible for the states we are in. For example, depression is the result of specific mental and physical actions. We adopt a specific posture, the tone of voice, and interpret what happens in our lives in specific ways. By changing our actions, we can immediately change our emotions and behaviors.
There are seven fundamental character traits that lead to success: Passion, Belief, Strategy, Clarity of Values, Energy, Bonding Power, and Mastery of Communication.
A billionaire was asked about success. He replied that the recipe is simple: we need to specifically decide what we want, how much we are willing to pay to make it happen (paying doesn’t only refer to money; you can pay in other ways such as time), and pay it.
Actions to take
Chapter 2: The Difference that Makes the Difference
“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.”
All people have problems. The difference lies in how they cope with them. Some see a personal test and future opportunities, others let their problems destroy them and dominate their lives. More important than what happens is our perception of it.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of the impact verbal and nonverbal language has on our nervous system. The ability to produce results is based on our ability to direct our nervous system by communication to and through the nervous system. Thanks to NLP, we can direct our brains to optimal states and to action.
By modeling how people we admire direct their nervous systems, we can produce the same results that they do. Modeling is not something new. We learn to speak, develop social behaviors, and learn to set up companies through modeling. When we understand the basics, we can improve and develop our skills.
There are three basic ingredients that have to be repeated to reproduce human excellence:
1. Person’s belief system. When we think that something is possible or impossible, we send that message to our brain. There is a saying: “Whether you believe you can do something or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” So if we model a person’s belief system that says there are no limits, we also eliminate anything in our way
2. Person’s mental syntax. This is the way that people organize their thoughts. They use different codes. When we unlock them, we have access to model ourselves after their best qualities.
3. Physiology. The body and the mind are connected. That is why when we model someone’s physiology—the way they move, breathe and make gestures—we put ourselves in a similar state. In this similar state, your behavior is similar, and you can produce similar results.
Actions to take
Chapter 3: The Power of State
“We can represent things in a way that puts us in a positive state, or we can do the opposite.”
Our behavior is a result of the state we’re in. We are able to cope with unresourceful states if we are conscious of them. Unfortunately, most people don’t control their states and simply let them happen.
If we made a list of the most desirable things, feelings such as love, joy, happiness, and respect would be listed. But these are only states, and remember, our states are up to us, not our circumstances. Even states dealing with money—I don’t mean pieces of green paper or numbers in an account, but what money represents, like freedom, security, confidence, or purchasing power (what makes us happy)—are controllable. So what we want are particular states.
Depending on the state, we produce different types of communication in our brains. The key is to control this communication through internal representations or our physiology.
NLP states, ”The map is not the territory.” The map represents the territory more or less precisely, but it is not the territory. It is the same with experiences, events, and everything else around us—they are just our interpretation filtered through personal beliefs, attitudes, values, and metaprograms. So we don’t know the true state, we only know our subjective interpretation. However, we can modify these interpretations to put ourselves into a motivated and resourceful state.
We cannot change our external circumstances, but when we are in the appropriate state, we have a better chance of using all of our resources effectively.
Actions to take
Chapter 4: The Birth of Excellence: Belief
“They can because they think they can.” —Virgil
Belief works like a filter for our perception of the world. Our beliefs are responsible for our internal communication. When we believe in something, we put ourselves into a specific state. Belief is very powerful. It can help us or limit us. It works like a placebo, if you believe that something works or helps, then it will.
There are different sources of belief.
1. Environment. If we grow up in a supportive environment, it is much easier to believe that life is positive. If we grow up in poverty, most likely we will see life as a hard path. What is important is that success breeds success and failure breeds failure. Therefore, we should try to stop the cycle if it doesn’t support us.
2. Events. Events can have a huge impact on our lives. But they are still only experiences. What is important is how we present them to ourselves.
3. Knowledge. Experiences give knowledge, but there are also other ways to gain knowledge such as reading, lectures, watching movies, and talking to others. When we have a wide knowledge base, we can break out of our set ways of thinking.
4. Past results. If we achieve success once, we start believing in ourselves and it is much easier to repeat this success. We already know how! If we fail, we should learn from it. Failure doesn’t define us.
5. Creating the experience we desire in our minds. This works like past results. If we do not have enough supporting events, we can imagine supporting events and experience positive results in advance. In this way, we put ourselves into a productive state.
Actions to take
Chapter 5: The Seven Lies of Success
“The world we live in is the world we choose to live in, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
No matter how strong our beliefs, we should always be open to other possibilities and concepts. There are seven beliefs that can be very useful.
Everything happens for a reason and a purpose, and it serves us. Every adversity brings some opportunities and benefits, even if it contains a painful lesson. It is up to us to convert a negative result into a positive outcome.
There is no such thing as failure. There are only results. The result can be negative, but it only means to try again using different methods. We do not fail. From negative results, we can learn and gain experience to produce better results the next time. Believing in failure is poisoning our mind, which puts us into a negative state.
Whatever happens, take responsibility. We generate our experiences in life. We do this through our actions, behavior, states, and thoughts. We can control them, so we are responsible for the quality of our lives.
It’s not necessary to understand everything to be able to use everything. We should determine the balance between use and knowledge.
People are your greatest resource. Only as a team with a common purpose can we build something big. The most successful companies know this, which is why they treat their employees with respect and dignity.
Work is play. Only when we love what we do are we fully committed and motivated.
There’s no abiding success without commitment. We can achieve success if we do everything that is in our power and “whatever it takes.”
Actions to take
Chapter 6: Mastering Your Mind: How to Run Your Brain
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” —William Shakespeare
We are able to change our state whenever we want. It is just a matter of control. It is not necessary to go through lengthy therapy to deal with trauma or depression. Changing your internal representation from a negative to a positive one is a much faster and more effective way of moving on.
There are two ways to change your internal state: through behavior or through belief. This change is brought about by changing your physiology or internal representations. We can change our internal representation by modifying it or replacing negative ones with positive ones. To do this, we need to know how to change our visual, auditory, and kinesthetic submodalities to the desired ones. Depending on the person, their importance is different, but one of the most important distinctions to make is whether the image we represent in our mind is associated (we see it through our own eyes; we hear and feel it in the first person) or disassociated (we experience it as if we were watching ourselves in a movie).
We can associate with or disassociate from anything we want. What is important is to do so consciously and to find a balance.
Actions to take
Chapter 7: The Syntax of Success
“There are no right ways or wrong ways—there are only effective or ineffective ways to produce your desires.”
Completing the same actions will produce the same results unless we take into account the syntax of the actions. The sequence of actions plays a huge role. It is like the combination to open a lock—if we don’t input the numbers in the right order, they don’t work.
Through the sequence of the signals provided to the brain, we determine the meaning of the experience. Syntax determines how we put together what we experience externally, and how we present it to ourselves internally.
There are strategies for motivation, making purchasing decisions, love, and attraction. The specific order of specific stimuli achieves a specific outcome or state. We can use this knowledge in many fields such as advertising or modeling the results of successful people.
Actions to take
Chapter 8: How to Elicit Someone’s Strategy
“We forget that the map is not the territory. It’s only how we see the territory.”
When we want to put someone into a specific state, we have to follow the elicitation strategy pattern. First, we have to ask them to remember a time when they were motivated, resourceful, felt loved, or whatever state we are trying to elicit. Then, to determine a strategy to get to that state, we ask clear questions about the syntax of what they saw, heard, and felt. Finally, we look for the submodalities of the strategy (pictures, sounds, and feelings). Understanding someone’s strategy is the key to success in many areas such as sales.
Actions to take
Chapter 9: Physiology: The Avenue of Excellence
“If you would be powerful, pretend to be powerful.”
Our physiology transforms our way of thinking and behavior. Many scientists believe that vitality and depression are choices (although usually unconscious). We can easily change our state to be more positive by adopting a straight posture and acting confidently. When undertaking challenges, we should be mindful of our physiology. Adequate breathing, muscle tension, behavior, and gestures affect your state of mind. It is worthwhile to look at successful people and those in positions of authority to watch how they behave. Then, try to mimic their movements, posture, or gestures.
Actions to take
Chapter 10: Energy: The Fuel of Excellence
“The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.” —Benjamin Disraeli
Our psychological well-being closely depends on our physical state. Any changes that we want to make in our lives should begin by taking care of our body. By following the six rules listed below, we can achieve incredible results.
1. Healthy overall breathing. Healthy breathing fully oxygenates the body and stimulates the electrical process of each and every cell. A healthy bloodstream with effective lymph and immune systems depends on deep breaths to produce the movements that stimulate them.
2. Eating water-rich foods. Our diet should consist of 70% water-rich foods. It is often recommended that individuals drink 8-10 glasses of water per day; however, water contains chlorine, fluoride, minerals, and other toxic substances. It is much better to eat fruits and drink fresh-squeezed juices. The amount of water consumed should be dictated by thirst.
3. Effective food combining. You should not eat starchy carbohydrates and protein in the same meal. Eating incompatible food combinations wastes our energy.
4. Controlled consumption. Usually, we eat much more than we need. By cutting down on the amount of food we intake, we can increase our life span.
5. Effective fruit consumption. Fruits are most effectively digested on an empty stomach.
6. Reducing protein consumption, especially by eliminating milk and limiting other dairy products. Excess protein consumption leads to excess nitrogen which causes fatigue. Too much protein can cause osteoporosis, the softening and weakening of bones. If we are worried about calcium intake, we can eat green vegetables, sesame butter, or nuts to increase our intake.
Actions to take
Chapter 11: Limitation Disengage: What Do You Want?
“If you don’t have your own plan, someone else is going to make you fit into their plan.”
Writing down our goals is an invaluable opportunity. A study from 1953 shows that only 3% of students write down what they want to achieve. Twenty years later, the research was continued. It showed that those 3% of students had earned more money than the other 97% combined.
This is why it is so important to spend 1-1.5 hour to formulate your desired outcomes, put them into the Ultimate Success Formula, and model people who have achieved what you want to achieve. It is a powerful tool, but the crucial thing is to WRITE DOWN your goals, not only to imagine them.
Actions to take
Chapter 12: The Power of Precision
“Words can be walls, but they can also be bridges. It’s important to use words to link people rather than divide them.”
A trait common to most successful people is precise communication skills. By using precise language, they are able to move people in useful directions and gain correct, accurate, and useful information. By asking intelligent and precise questions they benefit twice: they define goals and achieve them.
The language we use is full of generalizations and assumptions with no specific meaning. The use of the precision model and patterns to avoid generalizations can improve communication skills.
Actions to take
Chapter 13: The Magic of Rapport
“The friend who understands you, creates you.“ —Romain Rolland
Rapport is crucial to successful communication. Through it, we can enter somebody’s world, form a bond, and feel as if we understand each other. Some are born with this skill, and others can learn it.
It is said that opposites attract. It is true that to build rapport, we need similarities. Differences can be set aside only if most of our ideas, interests, beliefs, and habits are in common.
We can create rapport by creating and discovering things we have in common through the process of mirroring. Here it is important to mention that communication between people is transmitted mainly through body language. Our communication is accomplished 7% through words, 38% through tone of voice, and 55% through body language (facial expressions, gestures).
So the most powerful part of communication is not words but body language. We must keep this in mind when mirroring people.
Everyone uses all three representational systems. No one is only visual, or auditory, or kinesthetic, but most of us do have one dominant system. It is much easier to develop rapport when we know someone’s primary representational system. People from each group use some phrases more than others and their way of speaking is different.
Visuals use phrases such as, “This is how it looks to me,” or “I just can’t picture myself doing that.” They speak fast and breathe high in their chest. Their tone of voice is high-pitched and nasal.
Auditory people speak in a more modulated and balanced manner. They often use expressions like, “It sounds good to me.”
Kinesthetic people speak slowly and pause between words. They like using phrases such as, “It doesn’t feel right,” or “I’m just not in touch with things.”
When we mirror everything about another person, it is as if he/she has found his/her soulmate. We do not have to have mirror everything to create rapport and make a bond. We can start with mirroring another person’s tone of voice, some gestures, and using similar expressions.
For many people, the process of mirroring looks unnatural and manipulative. But in fact, when we build rapport with someone we already do it unconsciously. Now we have a tool to do it intentionally.
Once rapport is developed through mirroring, we can start gradually changing our posture, gestures, and way of speaking. If the bond is made, the person will unconsciously follow us, and we can lead the conversation. This tactic is very often used by salesmen.
Actions to take
Chapter 14: Distinctions of Excellence: Metaprograms
“Metaprograms give you the tools to make crucial distinctions in deciding how to deal with people.”
To talk to people and be understood, we need to use the right key. Metaprograms are the keys to the method by which someone processes information. People cannot pay attention to everything. They delete, generalize, and distort information. Metaprograms provide the structure that determines what we pay attention to. If we understand this, we can effectively communicate.
The first metaprogram—moving toward or away. Our behavior is based on the urge to gain pleasure or avoid pain. Some people are excited about what might happen, others are more cautious and choose familiar actions. Some people, when speaking about what they expect from a relationship or work, say what they want, others say what they do not want. That is why depending on the group you are speaking with, you need to use a different key to convince them. For example, when you talk to a teenager you can say, “When you study well, you can choose which college you want to attend,” or, “If you do not study well, you won’t get into your dream college.”
The second metaprogram—external and internal frames of reference. Some people need suggestions from outside, for others the most important thing is what is in their mind. For example, for some people to know that they did a good job, they need praise from their boss. Others just feel that they did well, and that inner feeling is all they need. You can convince someone by saying that many people think something similar or saying, “You’re the only one who knows that it is the best way.”
The third metaprogram—sorting by self or by others. Some people are concerned mostly with themselves, others think more about the welfare of the group, team, etc.
The fourth metaprogram—matchers and mismatchers. Some people look at things that they have in common, while others create differences. On one hand, we prefer to build rapport with matchers, but mismatchers are also valuable. In the business world, their critical and analytical observations are very helpful.
The fifth metaprogram—possibility or necessity. Some people do something because they must, while others look for possibilities and excitement.
The sixth metaprogram—the person’s working style: independent or cooperative. Some people have problems working with others, and others feel the best when they are a part of a group.
We can master communication skills by using several metaprograms together.
Metaprograms can be used on two levels. First, to communicate with others. Secondly, to change and develop ourselves. We can change our metaprograms through Significant Emotional Events or we can consciously decide to do so. We should remember that we are not our behaviors. Metaprograms give us the possibility of personal change.
Chapter 15: How to Handle Resistance and Solve Problems
“The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without a struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is called intelligent non-aggressiveness. This is called mastery of men.” —Lao-Tsu, Tao Teh King
To communicate effectively, we need flexibility. Each person is different, so the way we talk to one person can be perfect but the same strategy won’t work with another person. That is why we should constantly adapt our verbal and nonverbal behavior.
When we communicate, we cannot resist. It is much better to find points of agreement instead of opposing someone’s views and then redirecting communication. Also, when we talk we should avoid certain words and phrases that create resistance and problems such as, “certainly,” “undoubtedly,” etc. It is much better to use “and” instead of “but.” Using “but” can indicate that what was said before is irrelevant.
Very often our behavior is defined by patterns. We are depressed, unhappy, or have unhealthy habits or addictions. It seems to us that it is very hard to stop the negative behaviors or feelings. The truth is that it is very easy. Through conscious and consistent awareness, we can break unwanted patterns right away.
Actions to take
Chapter 16: Reframing: The Power of Perspective
“There are multiple meanings to any experience. The meaning is whatever you choose to emphasize, just as its content is what you choose to focus on.”
Reframing means putting the best frame on any experience. We are able to change our representation or perception about anything and, therefore, change our behaviors or states. Our brain decides if the situation is bad or good. But we can see situations from different points of view and deliver different meanings of the same situation to our brains.
There are two ways to alter our perception: context reframing and content reframing. Context reframing is when we take something that seems to be bad and find a positive meaning. It is often used in cartoons and fairy tales. For example, Dumbo’s big ears gave him the ability to fly. Content reframing is when you see the exact same situation from a different point of view. For example, a talkative child can be irritating in class; however, on the other hand, he is very smart or well-read and has many things to share.
Reframing is not a type of therapy. It is more a metaphor for potentials and possibilities.
Actions to take
Chapter 17: Anchoring Yourself to Success
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” —Theodore Roosevelt
Consciously or not, some situations, sounds, and things put us in good or bad states (for example, a song that we associate with a specific experience). We can change our internal reaction to these triggers and consciously create new results.
We can create anchors for ourselves and others like Pavlov produced the dogs’ reactions to the bell. The first step to generate an anchor is putting a person into the specific state we wish to anchor. The second is to give a specific and unique stimulus at the peak of that state, such as pressure on the shoulder in the same spot each time. Then we must repeat the process several times.
Anchors play a significant role in business marketing and advertising. We are put into a positive state and then the product is placed.
It is very important to be aware of anchors because they can be positive or negative. Some are responsible for additions or the states and behaviors that we would like to avoid. The good news is that we have the ability to eliminate or replace them.
Actions to take
Chapter 18: Value Hierarchies: The Ultimate Judgment of Success
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” —Abraham Maslow
Each human being has his/her own values and hierarchy. To be happy, we need to follow them. A person for whom family is the most important value, won’t be satisfied without it. Even winning the lottery or having a fast-growing career won’t make up for a lack of family. If two values that are equally important to us are mutually exclusive, we create an internal conflict (like spending time with family and working 12-hour days with business trips). As many of our values are unconscious, it is very important to make our own hierarchy of values.
When we talk about people’s hierarchy of values it is very important to clearly define what this means for them. For example, two people can say that “fun” is at the top of their values. However, one person may understand this to be drugs, parties, and irresponsible behavior, while the other understands “fun” as going to the mountains and climbing. For a third person, “challenge” and “peace” are at the top of the hierarchy, but to him, these words mean climbing in the mountains.
In a business, if we don’t know our employees’ values (so we don’t support them), we can lose them or they may never be fully involved. When properly used, values can change motivation and behavior.
Values are not constant. They change during our lives, sometimes radically, but more often slowly and unconsciously. Once in a while, it is good to review them and adapt them to the current situation.
To feel fulfilled, we need evidence-based procedures. This is fine if they are possible to meet. However, if we believe that being financially stable means a salary of $300,000 per year, most of the time we will be unhappy. There is nothing wrong with having high goals, but it is much better to make them reasonable or at least to set some intermediate targets. To avoid inner conflict, we can change our evidence-based procedures by reframing the experience, our perception, or by manipulating the submodalities.
Actions to take
Chapter 19: The Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness
“Affirmation and positive thinking are a start, but they’re not the full answer. Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. Affirmation with discipline creates miracles.”
To have a happy and wealthy life, you should follow these five rules:
1. Learn how to handle frustration. Frustration can change positive things into negative ones. It can kill your dreams and motivation. Long-term success is impossible without the discipline of frustration. To handle stress and frustration, we use NLP techniques. We can change them into opportunities.
2. Learn how to handle rejection. Too often a fear of rejection limits us. Always ask yourself, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” If you would behave and act differently than you do now, why not try to live without being afraid of rejection? Rejection can make us stronger.
3. Learn to handle financial pressure. Money can lead to greed, envy, and deceit. But it can also lead to opportunities. We should know how to earn, save, and give money away. If we are financially stable, we can help others. This gives value to others and to ourselves.
4. Learn how to handle complacency. Comfort can stop growth, hard work, and development. We should never judge ourselves through comparison to others. Instead, we should judge ourselves based on our goals.
5. Always give more than you expect to receive. Giving guarantees true happiness.
Actions to take
Chapter 20: Trend Creation: The Power of Persuasion
“In a world full of persuaders, you can be one, too, or you can be someone who gets persuaded.”
Advertisers are masters of persuasion. They show us pictures that put us in a receptive, elevated state and at the peak of this state, they anchor us with their product. Then they repeat it many times on TV, in the newspapers, or on the radio. We have a choice: we can act on commands given by others (people we know, media, politics) or we can direct our own lives.
Some people think that persuading is negative. But, we should remember that if we do not influence others, they will influence us and our families’ lives. We are responsible for it and for doing it right. We have the power to change our world for the better.
Actions to take
Chapter 21: Living Excellence: The Human Challenge
“Changes lead to more changes. Growth leads to more growth.”
We should ask ourselves which direction to head in and where we will be in 5-10 years. Then honestly answer whether we will be satisfied with that future.
By being focused on others, we help ourselves. It is worth it to be a two-quarter person. If we have doubts about whether we should give one or two quarters as a tip, we should always choose the larger amount. For us, this is not a big difference, but for someone else, it can be. In return, we receive something much more valuable: a positive feeling instead of remorse. In a better state, we can create more good.
As we have already unlimited power, we should take charge and act.
Actions to take
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