I’ve recently been re-reading Awaken the Giant Within and have found the experience to be nothing short of eye-opening. I originally read it in book version over 10 years ago and it’s lessons are still relevant. Here are a few of my recent (re)discoveries.
Robbins has his own breakdown of “hot spots” or “areas of life”. Focusing differing amounts of attention into each of these areas means improving them, and thus the quality of our lives as a whole. The breakdown also carries on into task management, as it allows you to direct greater amounts of your time towards each of these areas. They are:
1. Emotional Mastery
“Virtually everything we do is to change the way we feel – yet most of us have little or no training in how to do this quickly and effectively… too many of us leave ourselves at the mercy of outside events over which we may have no control, failing to take charge of our emotions – over which we have all control – and relying instead on short-term quick fixes.”
We haven’t talked too much about controlling emotional state at AE yet, but what Robbins is referring to is the ability to exercise state control – how to motivate yourself, how to reframe situations so they aid you, and how to redefine things at a core level so that negative emotions push you forward instead of causing you to stall.
2. Physical Mastery
“Take control of your physical health so that you not only look good, but you feel good and know that you’re in control of your life, in a body that radiates vitality and allows you to accomplish your outcomes.”
The key point in this sentence is having a level of physical health that allows you to accomplish your outcomes. It is fair to say that most people don’t consider that their physical health can help or hamper their productivity and work, but it does. We’ve talked about the idea of energy management before, but let’s extend it further with a small challenge:
What if you could extend the working capacity of your physical body to the point where there is no limit to the amount you can accomplish in a day?
3. Relationship Mastery
“[Discover] what you value most highly, what your expectations are, the rules by which you play the game of life, and how it all relates to the other players.”
Robbins is stating here that life is a game to be played, but one in which the rules of the game are determined by ourselves and the people we interact with. If we change the rules, we can change the end result of the game being played.
In more practical terms, our social relationships have a huge force multiplication effect on our ability to work and get things done.
4. Financial Mastery
“Learn how to change what causes scarcity in your life and then how to experience on a consistent basis the values, beliefs, and emotions that are essential to experiencing wealth and holding on to it and expanding it.”
This isn’t our area of expertise at Asian Efficiency, but the area of Financial Mastery lines up with what we usually refer to as “Wealth” or “Finances” when we break down areas of life.
5. Time Mastery.
“I’m talking about actually taking time and distorting it, manipulating it so that it becomes your ally rather than your enemy.”
OK, so this sounds a bit like science fiction.
What Robbins is referring to is manipulating our perception of time – through controlling the need for instant gratification, and by “creating time” through using habits and long-term consistent actions to create results. We also like to refer to this as Discipline, or Self-Control or Willpower. We’ve talked about the concept in articles and newsletter before.
“What is procrastination? It’s when you know you should do something, but you still don’t do it. Why not? The answer is simple: at some level you believe that taking action in this moment would be more painful than putting it off.”
This is a great definition of procrastination, and implies that there are two paths to beating procratination:
- Overcoming it using short-term brain/body hacks.
- Rewiring the brain in the long-term using discipline and “time mastery” as above.
The Importance of State
“The difference between acting badly or brilliantly is not based on your ability, but on the state of your mind and/or body in any given moment… your behaviour is not the result of your ability, but of the state that you’re in at this moment.”
Robbins really emphasizes the importance of our moment-to-moment states and their ability to help or hamper us. We haven’t written directly about the importance of state, but a lot of the strategies, techniques and mindsets that we have taught are designed to help optimize your baseline state over time – putting you in a better “state” more of the time, which in turn, means that you’re more productive, more of the time.
You can grab Awaken the Giant Within right here.
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