Tony Robbins interview with Tim Ferriss - my takeaways


I’ve first heard Tony Robbins’ interviews sometime in 2016. I was fascinated: a great story-teller and he speaks about things that interest me — mood-states that affect behavior, and how to change your energy levels. Here are my takeaways from one of his interviews with Tim Ferriss. Each paragraph is a paraphrased quote from Tony followed by my comment in italics.

  1. You have to give to prosper. Even if you think you don’t have enough.

    That is something I struggle with as it’s not obvious to me why I should divert resources from myself. I’m going to speak with effective altruists (EA) and try and get convinced.

  2. Number one quality to foster is staying hungry, this will bring others along. How to do it? Be among people who are successful. You are who you spend time with. To be happy you need to grow.

    This is also something that is hard for me - by default I don’t value friendship that much. At least I understand the logic here and I’m making progress: meeting new people and starting (non-romantic) relationships with them.

  3. Failure is a part of life. It doesn’t need to stop you. It’s a stepping stone to success, speed bump. I know I’m going to fail, but it’s not failure if you learn something. We don’t value what we don’t fight for. Like cheating in video games. There’s no such thing as effortless approach.

    I did have a belief along the lines of “life should be easy”. And that was (and still is sometimes) a source of discontent for me.

  4. Money doesn’t change you, it magnifies what you already are.

    That is also why I think I should start donating now, and looks like that is what EA guys preach too (donate at least 1% to create a habit)

  5. The most important decision in your life is deciding whether you’re truly committed to being happy no matter what. You will experience extreme stress, no matter what. Life’s too short to suffer. Decide to be in a beautiful state. This brain is not designed to make you happy, it’s designed to make you survive. You have to work to be happy.

    See also Tim Urban about Social Survival Mammoth

  6. Highest experiences in life have this in common: there is some growth within ourselves (face fear, overcome something, etc) and some contribution beyond ourselves. Worst experiences are about only you. When you are suffering it’s because you’re obsessing about yourself. Something happened and you have less of something, or you lost something (love, money, significance, attention). Loss, less, never are the sources of suffering. All suffering is obsession with self. Snap out of your suffering. Stop expecting and start appreciating things outside of yourself: people, nature. You learn and grow from that. If you love, if you give, if you’re grateful - suffering disappears instantly.

    It’s a good a place to paste my favorite quote from a Haruki Murakami book cover: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

Later in 2016 I’ve decided to attend one of Tony’s seminars to get some of that energy from the man himself. I attended UPW London 2017 and it was like a giant rave with applied psychology and lots of hugs. I loved it.
After I go through my notes, I’ll post my takeaways from there as well.