Summary of the book “Unlimited Power — The New Science of Personal Achievement”: Thanks to neuro-linguistic programming techniques, you can improve every aspect of your life by practising a method that has worked for people who have overcome the struggles you are enduring.
By Anthony Robbins, 1989, 506 pages. Full title: Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement
Note: this is a guest chronicle written by Kevin Detem.
Chronicle and summary of the book “Unlimited Power”
Section 1: The modelling of human excellence
1. The commodity of kings
People who succeed in life have nothing more than others, unless you count their ability to choose how they react to things that happen to them.
- First you need to know where you are going and what you want. Having a goal in your sights is a fundamental pillar for success.
- Then comes action. When you know what you want, it is vital to act and to move towards your goal. Even if you get it wrong. If you do not take action, you will never know whether you are going in the right direction.
- The third step is recognising that the path you are on is going in the right direction.
- And a fourth step will be necessary to correct your trajectory and change behaviours that prevent you from moving in the right direction.
To move in the right direction and hold your course over time, it is important to adopt certain mechanisms, some fundamental traits.
You need passion, belief, a strategy to use your resources, clarity about your values and good energy. You also need bonding power when it comes to your relationships and mastery over how you communicate.
We will look at these mechanisms in more detail later.
2. The difference that makes the difference
The way you communicate with yourself is a double-edged sword. Auto-suggestion can turn into self-destruction or personal excellence, depending on what you do.
In search of change and personal excellence, the author turned to NLP.
The role of neuro-linguistic programming is to study the mechanisms that contribute to changing behaviour and to model these mechanisms. In other words, to make basic models that everyone can apply.
Humans learn by imitation, and through action. If you can apply these models of success to your own situation, you can change your life. Of course, this is on condition that you are regular and rigorous.
Whatever area of your life you would like to improve, you need to find a model to imitate. Then you adapt it to your situation.
With the help of Unlimited Power, you can create your own models.
To get results by imitating the models, you need to absorb:
- The belief system of the model,
- The way they organise their thoughts,
- Their physiology: physical behaviour has an influence on the way we think.
Compare the way you do things with the way your models do things. As we saw in the previous chapter, keep what works and change what is not going in the right direction.
3. The power of state
Our behaviour depends on the state in which we find ourselves and this state is influenced by internal representation and physiology.
Internal representation of an event can come simply by imitating a model. For example, I grew up in an environment where we did not talk much about our emotions. It was preferable to keep feelings bottled up to prevent conflict. Because of that, the way I handled situations of conflict, in fact even to this day, is to avoid them and keep my feelings to myself.
As a consequence of this, there is a risk that emotions will build up and one day rise to the surface in a situation that does not require this.
When it comes to physiology, the way you see things will not be the same if you are feeling ill as when you are feeling in good form.
We can consciously decide about the representation we make of reality. By understanding what causes certain states, we can control them. With training, we can even learn how to place ourselves in a desired state.
4. The birth of excellence: belief
Our beliefs influence our behaviour.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”“My Life and Work”, Henry Ford, 1922
Beliefs themselves can be influenced by five factors:
- Environment (social, cultural, family, etc.): if you grew up in a family for whom security and caution were all-important, then you probably never take risks in a natural way.
- Events: you probably felt more stressed when you walked around after the attacks in Paris, Nice or Brussels, or elsewhere…
- Knowledge: this involves seeking beliefs you can emulate through reading, for example by reading biographies.
- Previous results: if you have succeeded in one situation, there is a greater chance you will succeed a second time, because it already happened.
- Anticipated experience: visualising a successful experience in the future gives the brain the impression that you have already been through this, so you are capable of reproducing it.
The good news is that you can control and change your beliefs. By reading, listening and thinking, you can imitate the beliefs of people who have success in what you want to achieve.
Here are three fundamental questions to ask yourself:
- What are your beliefs about what you are and what you are capable of doing?
- What beliefs have held you back in the past?
- And what are the positive beliefs that can help you achieve your goals?
5. The seven lies of success
We do not know if what we believe is true or not. You need to be open to other beliefs. They may not be yours especially; you may even consider them to be lies. But this does not mean that they are false.
Here are seven “lies” that are beliefs collected by the author from people who found success:
- Every event happens for a precise reason and it has to serve us: we need to decide on the way we respond to an event that happens to us.
- Failure does not exist, only results exist. When you think about failure as being a result and not a failure, you defuse the emotional charge attached to it.
- Whatever happens, take responsibility for your actions. You are responsible for the way you react to the things that happen to you.
- You don’t have to understand something to make use of it. And, you need to distinguish between what you need to understand and when it is not necessary.
- Human beings are your greatest resource. We succeed better when we respect other people.
- Work is a game: by putting as many positive emotions into work as into a game, you are more likely to encounter success.
- There is no lasting success without commitment. Once you have defined your goal, you need to be fully invested in it.
This list is not exhaustive. Some will work for you, others may not.
We are free to separate ourselves from our negative beliefs and replace them with positive beliefs like the ones we have just seen.
6. Mastering your mind: how to run your brain
Now we get to a more practical aspect. The author suggests some NLP exercises that will help you to change your internal representation of past events. You can do this to reduce or increase the effect.
With your eyes closed, think of a memory you have, in every detail. The more use you make of your senses, the better. If it is a positive memory, try to amplify the images (for example the clarity), the sounds, the physical sensations or the smells. By amplifying these senses, you give more importance to the feeling associated with the memory.
Similarly, if you want to reduce the pain associated with a negative memory, you will try to remember the sensory details of the event, and then diminish them. For example, try to darken the mental image or make it smaller, turn down the volume, soften the physical aspects…
The more precise the visual, sound and kinesthetic details, the more successful the experience.
Another interesting idea shared in this chapter is to realise that what is pleasant and unpleasant is learned, and can therefore be changed.
By seeking to understand how your feelings work rather than what causes them, you can change them.
For example, a person who was depressed explained to the author that they were feeling depressed. Rather than asking the person why they were suffering, the author asked how they went about being depressed. In other words, what mental images or physical actions bring about the feeling of depression.
The causes are often external, so these images and actions can be changed from inside.
7. The syntax of success
The syntax of our actions is the way we organise them. It is like a recipe that asks you to add ingredients in a specific order.
The way we act depends on a strategy, a syntax that is made from our senses, both internally and externally.
Your experience can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic.
Imagine a piping hot, golden waffle, crisp on the outside and melting on the inside. Perhaps you feel like eating a waffle now.
What happened was that the short description created a visual external (Ve) stimulus because you read my words. Then you perhaps imagined yourself eating that waffle in your mind. This is visual internal representation (Vi). After that, you said to yourself “Hey, I’d love to go out and buy myself a waffle.” That was your inner voice. Auditory internal (Ai). Finally, you want it so badly that you go out to see if there is a waffle stand nearby. You took action: this experience is kinesthetic external (Ke)
Your strategy of syntax is Ve-Vi-Ai-Ke. If for example, instead of saying “I’d like to go buy a waffle”, you simply felt your stomach growling, the Ai would be replaced by Ki or kinesthetic internal.
The main idea in this chapter is that, if you understand your own strategy or that of another person, you can more easily communicate with yourself or other people.
You will know what syntax triggers a reaction.
8. How to elicit someone’s strategy
To find out someone’s strategy, “simply” observe them. Every gives enough clues, through their eyes, words or body, about how they communicate.
Whether you are more visual, auditory or kinesthetic, you are not boxed into a single category. Having said that, you do have a dominant system.
That is the system we are going to identify by observing another person. Depending on their eye movement, you can get an idea about another person’s dominant method of communication.
For example, if I ask you to remember your ring tone, your eyes will probably glance slightly to the left.
In most people, remembering something triggers this kind of eye movement.
In the same way, when we remember an image, our eyes move up to the left. (What colour are the buses in your town?)
When it comes to visual and auditory constructed, in other words imagined, it will be to the right.
And for kinesthetics (sensations and feelings), these movements will be down and to the right…
NLP tells us that these are inverted for left-handed people.
To discover someone’s strategy, they need to be in an “associated” state. This means that we will try to get them to relive a situation, and ask them to precisely describe it using visual, sound and kinesthetic criteria.
By noting which stimuli have the greatest impact on their state at the time of the situation experienced, we can get an idea of their strategy.
To reach a desired state, an individual needs an external stimulus, such as a picture or a sound, followed by several internal stimuli.
Do you remember what we saw in the previous chapter?
We are seeking to identify the external and internal stimuli on which the communication strategy of the individual we are speaking to are based.
Therefore, we will need precise information about the visual, sound and kinesthetic sub-modalities used in the mental representation, in other words very specific details such as light, colours, rhythm, tone, temperature and texture.
For example, to motivate someone to do something, you need them to mentally relive an experience from the past, bringing back the images, sounds and sensations that they experienced.
By identifying these data, and by observing which system is dominant for this person, you can awaken their motivation in a new context.
This also works for love! In the same way that you have your own strategy to awaken motivation, you have a special one for love. One person will feel loved if we look at them in a certain way, another if we say something to them.
As we have seen up to now, access to a desired state involves syntax and internal representation.
But as we already saw at the beginning of chapter 3, physiology also plays its part…
9. Physiology: the avenue of excellence
A few years ago, I went through a period of stress and fatigue related to my work. I chose to ignore it until I suffered from several bouts of lumbago in the space of a few months.
The body and the mind are interconnected.
An emotion and internal representation can bring about physiological change. The opposite is also true.
For example, stand up straight, head high and shoulders back. Breathe deeply, feel your lungs and your abdomen fill up with air, then exhale. Take a few steps. How do you feel?
Our physiology alters our beliefs, and vice-versa.
Coherence between the verbal message and body language is also important. If I ask you how you are feeling, and you tell me: “I’m doing great”, with your teeth clenched and your eyebrows furrowed, I may not believe you.
Similarly, if you say: “I’m going to make it”, but you picture yourself on the edge of a precipice, chances are you will not make it.
If you imitate the physiology of someone you admire, you will be able to feel the emotions you require to achieve the desired state.
Physiology depends on a set of internal choices that change your posture and tone of voice, among other things.
But there is another aspect: what fuel (or food) you put into your body…
10. Energy: the fuel of excellence
Seven key principles are necessary to obtain powerful physiology and maximum energy. On condition that you put them into practice, of course.
Setting yourself a 30 day challenge, for example, is one good way to test a new routine and see if it works for you. And if you are sceptical, there’s nothing like trying something out in order to confirm your opinion or change your mind.
These seven principles are based on “natural hygiene”. Here they are.
Oxygen is essential to blood flow and lymph movement, which is necessary to eliminate toxins.
Most of us do not attach enough importance to the way we breathe. Deep breathing and physical exercise are the best way to stimulate lymph draining.
Good oxygen intake keeps cells healthy and avoids the build-up of cancer cells.
The exercise suggested by the author involves breathing in deeply for 1 beat, holding your breath for 4 beats and exhaling for 2 beats. For example – 2 seconds – 8 seconds – 4 seconds. Or 4 – 16 – 8.
Repeat this cycle 10 times, 3 times per day.
The body is composed of 70% water. That is why we need to feed it 70% water!
The idea is not to drink as much water as possible in one day, but to choose foodstuffs that are rich in water, like fruit and vegetables, sprouted grains and salad…
The water in your body is the best means to eliminate toxins. If they build up, then disease appears.
The food we eat has its own requirements in terms of digestion.
Starchy foods need a basic setting, while proteins prefer an acidic environment to be digested.
The problem is that these environments cancel each other out and this slows digestion down or even stops it. Imagine the fermentation that occurs in your digestive tract if the work is interrupted for several hours in the pipeline.
The key point is to only eat one type of food with low water content at each meal. For example, meat or potatoes. Do not combine them, or all your energy will go into digesting your food.
This is not a secret. To be in good health, you should not eat too much.
If you follow the three principles above, your body will be in better condition and you will not feel the need to take in a lot of food.
If you want to eat a lot, make sure that you eat food that contains a lot of water.
Fruits are mainly composed of water and fructose. Fructose turns into glucose, and this feeds the brain.
It is easy to digest fruit, on condition that the stomach is empty when it takes them in. If there are other foodstuffs, then the fruit will ferment.
Eat fresh fruit on an empty stomach, or drink freshly squeezed juice. Only eat other things after ten or twenty minutes. This gives the fruit time to go through the stomach and release sugar into the intestines.
The protein myth
We do not need as much protein as we think. And we do not always find protein where we think it is.
Proteins are the body’s final source of energy, behind the glucose from fruit, vegetables and sprouted grains, starch and fat.
Protein is not just found in meat. In fact, meat is the worst source of protein you can find. It is not a question of quantity, it is a question of health!
Meat is rich is uric acid, which is responsible for gout and kidney stones. The body cannot easily evacuate this acid and one piece of meat is enough to create excess uric acid in the body.
Protein is also found in dairy products, and they have just as negative an effect on the body as meat.
It is better to find protein in vegetables, and they also provide the calcium the body requires.
Vitamins and food supplements.
Vitamins in tablet form are isolated from their natural environment and do not act in an optimal manner on the body.
It is preferable to take them in living form, in fruit and vegetables in particular.
The author suggests trying these principles for a period of time to see what works for you. He guarantees that you will feel the difference.
Personally, I took on this challenge for 30 days. It costs nothing to try. You have everything to gain.
Section two: The ultimate success formula
11. Limitation disengage: what do you want?
If you get into a taxi and you do not give the driver a destination, you will never get where you want to go.
We can efficiently use our personal resources when we have a goal. Success comes from the goals, projects and plans that lead to it.
Knowing what you want in life gives you direction. It can lead to material, but also intangible results. On condition that you have a clear picture of the goals you want to achieve.
The authors suggests five rules to follow in order to set a goal:
- Say, using positive terms, what you want and not what you don’t want.
- Precisely describe your objectives using sensory information.
- Make things so that you can measure your results to know what stage you are at, and if you have arrived.
- Keep in control. Your goals can only depend on you.
- Your goals must be beneficial, both for you and for other people.
To accomplish an objective in the outside world, you need to first represent that success internally. Do not be afraid to step beyond your limiting beliefs.
To do this, here is an exercise that may take some time, but is worth it.
- Make an inventory of everything you want to be, do and have, without worrying about how. Write down everything that comes to mind for 15 minutes, no limitations, in every aspect of your life.
- Estimate how much time you need to achieve each objective on the list. Whether in the short- or long-term, there is always a first step and a last step.
- Choose the four most important goals to achieve over the coming year and write down why they are important.
- Always follow the five rules we saw earlier in this chapter. If some goals do not follow these rules, then change your goals.
- List the internal and external resources that will help you achieve your goals.
- Consider in detail the occasions when you have successfully made use of these resources.
- What kind of person do you need to be to achieve these objectives? What qualities, aptitudes, values and behaviour do you need to adopt? List everything here.
- What limiting beliefs are holding you back from reaching these goals?
- Make a step by step plan of action for your four main goals, with the first action to put in place starting today.
- Find three models, whether or not you know them personally, who have arrived where you want to go and can inspire you.
- Describe in detail (using your senses) your perfect day, once your goals have been achieved.
- Define your ideal environment.
Our brains need a precise project in order to move us towards a goal.
If you do not have a project, you will be part of someone else’s project.
Tony Robbins suggests doing this exercise several times a year, to reassess the situation and to add new goals.
Finally, make a list of all the goals you have already achieved and that made you happy.
12. The power of precision
The language we use has an influence on how we think, and therefore on our beliefs.
Whether we speak to ourselves or to another person, precise communication is important.
If you want to get something, “simply” ask for it.
In achieving your goals, you may need to ask for a favour, or advice or some tips. Often, asking for something is considered to be a sign of weakness.
Here are five rules to ask for anything without feeling as though you are begging:
- Your request must be specific and detailed. What do you want exactly, how much, for when, how…?
- Ask someone in a position to help, not someone who has nothing to offer you.
- Find something you can do for that person in return. A service, interest…
- Be convincing. If you are not sure of yourself, the other person will have doubts too.
- Ask until you get. Pivot, adjust your strategy and ask different people. But do not stop until you get what you asked for.
Precision will prevent any incorrect interpretation. Here is some advice to eliminate any suppositions and become more precise.
Avoid generalisations. When you use “all’ or “never” in a sentence, you may be wrong. Perhaps you have already said to yourself: “I was never good at maths” or “politicians are all corrupt”.
All? Never? Are you sure? Stop and question yourself when you use these words.
Here are some other suppositions used when making generalisations that you should correct using precision oriented questions:
|“I can’t…”||What would happen if you could?|
|“I should…”, “I have to…”||Who is forcing you?|
|“I shouldn’t…”||What is stopping you?|
|Names, or “we”||Who is “we”? Who or what in particular?|
|“Too…”, “Too expensive”||Compared to what?|
- How do you know what you know?
- Who is making you say what you say?
Prefer “how”s to “why”s.
The power of precision relies on the capacity to ask the right questions, the ones that define your objectives.
13. The magic of rapport
Differences create differences of opinion. Points in common create rapport.
To facilitate communication with another person, you need to create feelings of rapport.
To do this, NLP talks about the “mirror” process. It means that you imitate the posture and gestures, as well as the voice of the other person. Discreetly, and without parodying them of course.
When a person resembles you, you tend to feel friendlier towards them. And you can learn to control this resemblance, and therefore the friendly feelings.
People who do not get along generally highlight their differences, even when they have many things in common.
In the previous chapters, we saw that internal representation depends on sensory information. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic stimuli (or even taste and smell) trigger internal reactions.
More visual people generally talk fast and breathe high in their chest. Auditory people have deeper breathing and a more balanced and regular voice. Kinesthetic people speak slowly in a low, deep voice.
This information is not exhaustive. By twinning your behaviour with that of the other person, in particular on the basis of their sensory preferences, you can create a friendly rapport and improve communication.
This also works with education. Teachers who are happy to pass on the theory without creating a rapport with their students find it harder to transmit information.
Students learn better when the teacher is able to enter their world and show them that he or she understands them.
Of course, this behaviour is not set in stone. It needs to be adjusted. This subtlety is what makes effective communication possible.
14. Distinctions of excellence: metaprograms
To improve communication and persuasion, we need to take the way other people process information into account.
These “keys” that are used by everyone to interpret data are called metaprograms.
They are useful in interpersonal communication and in sales, even when communicating with yourself.
Increase pleasure or avoid pain
The first metaprogram determines the other person’s willingness to move towards something or move away from it. For example, you eat cake in the afternoon because you want to try the new pastry shop. But it may be that you are only eating it to avoid feeling hungry.
Curious people who like to take risks will tend to move towards what interests them. Cautious people are more inclined to act to protect themselves from something.
Internal and external frames of reference
You consider you last action, your last project to be a success.
But how do you judge that success?
Perhaps you need to hear a compliment from someone… In this case, your frame of reference is external.
If you know deep down that you have succeeded, without anybody telling you, your frame of reference is internal.
This metaprogram separates internal and external judgements.
If the other person’s frame of reference is external, you will use social evidence and approval of others to convince. If it is internal, you bring up something they know already or their own experience.
Being interested in yourself or in others
Some people act in their own interest, without worrying about that of other people.
But there are also people who act in other people’s interest.
For example, if a doctor is turned towards their personal interest, the patient may feel that they are not being heard. That doctor would be better advised to turn to a career in laboratory research, where their personal interest will be satisfied. Leave a place in the surgery for someone who is interested in others.
Associate or differentiate
If you are faced with a group of objects you need to compare, you can do it in two different ways depending on your metaprogram.
You will associate objects based on their similarities or you will see nothing but their differences.
Associators find it easier to creation relationships because they see similarities, and remember what we said about the mirror process above – we are attracted by resemblance.
Differentiators create differences and find relationships more difficult, but they are of precious help when it comes to seeing things that others do not. They can help associators to avoid many traps.
Strategy of persuasion
This involves discovering the sensory blocks that the other person calls on, and how often he or she needs to receive stimuli.
How many times have you needed someone to prove something to you in order to be convinced? Perhaps you are never convinced?
Some people only need some proof of loyalty or love, for example, to be convinced. Others will never be completely convinced and will require constant persuasion. Whether you want to prove your friendship or sell a product, even if they already bought something from you.
Possibility and necessity
This metaprogram differentiates between people who are attracted by new things and people who are only interested in what they already know.
If you are more likely to be influenced by possibilities, you will tend to try new experiences, and you are happy to change your habits. You are attracted by new challenges.
However, if necessity is what guides you, you are motivated by what you need. You accept what you find, as long as it responds to what is truly necessary. You prefer things that are permanent and regular.
Way of working
Do you function better on your own or as part of a group? Or perhaps a little of both? Taking an interest in the way other people work is also a way to better communicate with them.
Some people prefer to work alone, with no supervision, in an independent way.
Others have a strategy of cooperation and want to share responsibilities.
A third working strategy is said to be that of “proximity”. In other words, you prefer to work with other people while taking responsibility for the task. It is a combination of the first two.
The metaprograms developed above do not constitute an exhaustive list.
For example, we can also separate people who are guided by their feelings from those who prefer logical reasoning.
Some people are more interested in precise data, others in more general concepts.
Some people like to begin things, but become bored after some time; others need to go all the way.
There are many metaprograms that you will need to discover for yourself by communicating with others. And by observing yourself. The first step towards change is awareness.
15. How to handle resistance and solve problems
Problem solving requires flexibility. Two principles of flexibility can reduce resistance and improve confidence while reducing conflict.
The first proposal is to set up a point of agreement instead of a battlefield. Seen that way, it sounds like common sense. But in reality it’s not always easy.
To do this, a simple exercise (although not necessarily easy) consists of replacing the “but…”s with “and”s when you are talking to a person with a different opinion to yours.
What goes before a “but” is cancelled out by it. Answer the other person by saying: “Yes, you’re right, but…” amounts to saying no, you are not right, that you have a better opinion.
Instead answer: “Yes, you’re right, and…”. This way, you open the door to a point of agreement. You improve listening and mutual respect.
You also reduce the other person’s resistance and improve your chances of persuading them.
The second principle consists of breaking patterns and creating an element of surprise.
If you are faced with someone who is complaining about their lot who expects you to agree and use the same sad tone, then try to respond with some humour.
The element of surprise, especially with humour, can break down the beliefs on which we depend and take back control over our behaviour and emotions.
16. Reframing: the power of perspective
Restructuring patterns and changing behaviour requires finding a positive side to every negative situation.
You can change a pattern in terms of context and in terms of content.
A negative situation can be seen in a positive manner in a different context. For example, the singer Scatman John had a stammer since childhood. What was a handicap in his social life became his distinguishing marker, his brand. It helped him to sell millions of records.
You can also reframe a pattern by changing the significance of the content of a single experience. For example, Thomas Edison invented the incandescent lamp after thousands of attempts. Most people, these fruitless attempts would have been considered failures. For him…
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”Thomas Edison
Reframing patterns requires changing how you perceive things. You can see more advantages that inconveniences in the same situation.
To change your behaviour or that of another person, you have to find out what needs are being fed by the behaviour. Then you have to find new behaviour that can feed the same needs, in a way that is more beneficial than the first.
We are responsible for the way we react to what happens to us, and for the behaviour we adopt to respond to a need.
When we become aware of this responsibility, we have the keys to change what needs to be changed.
17. Anchoring yourself to success
We can change some behaviour and trigger other behaviour at will, whenever we want, using anchoring points.
This is a technique from NLP that consists of creating a sensory anchoring point that will trigger a desired feeling.
An anchoring point can be a squeeze of the shoulder, a word spoken in a certain way or even a smell…
You must have noticed that some songs have the power to make you sad and others to motivate you.
For example, I took part in a seminar on financial independence a few years ago. There were several breaks during the day. At the end of each break, to invite people to return to their seats, the same song was played over the loudspeakers.
To this day, when I hear that song, I feel motivated and I remember some visual and sound sensations I experienced over the course of that weekend.
That song is an anchor for me.
In the same way, a pinch on the arm, a particular smell or special noise can bring back a situation and the sensations associated with that memory.
These anchors were created unconsciously. By identifying how the process works, NLP suggests creating anchors consciously.
There are four keys for effective conditioning:
- The anchors are more effective when you are in an intense state.
- The anchoring stimulus must be synchronised with the intense state. And the sensations must be at their height at the moment you create the anchoring point. If it is too early or too late, it may not work.
- The stimulus must be exceptional. Not a simple handshake or a glance, for example. That is too mundane. You need an unusual stimulus, such as a pinch for example.
- Repetition of the stimulus also plays an important role. The more a stimulus is repeated, the better it anchors. For example, at a funeral, if each person who comes up to you touches you at the top of your left arm, there is a good chance that you will feel the same sadness in a different situation when someone touches the top of your left arm in the same place.
This process is even more effective if it is accumulated. If you repeat the same stimulus in several different situations, in the same state, there is a better chance that it will become an anchoring point.
For example, if you experience three different situations that give you the same intense sensations, and you perform the same stimulus at the height of the sensation in the different situations, the anchoring has a better chance of working.
The goal of an anchoring point is to change a negative behaviour or feeling into a positive behaviour or feeling.
Section 3: Leadership: the challenge of excellence
We follow rules when we measure our successes and failures. Rules that guide our choices in every area of life.
18. Value hierarchies: the ultimate judgement of success
These rules form a value system. They are not always conscious. Becoming aware of them allows us not only to have control over them, but also to better understand other people and better understand ourselves.
Our family and school environments played a fundamental part in the unconscious construction of our values, through a system of punishment-reward. If you respect the values of your parents and teachers, you will be rewarded. In the opposite case, you risk punishment.
Another way that we construct our value system is by imitating our heroes.
Our values come from a number of sources. Understanding your own values and those of others can resolve many conflicts. And you don’t have to share other people’s values!
Our values are not the same in every aspect of life. For example, you can favour trust in the field of relationships and money in the professional field.
Here are some questions to help you find out your own values and their hierarchy:
- In one area of your life (couple, parenting, work, health, etc.), what is most important for you? (Answer X)
- Why is it important? (Answer Y)
- Why is the answer to the previous question important to you? (Answer Z)
- Between X and Y, what is more important?
- And between Y and Z?
The last two questions can establish a hierarchy and show which value is the most important.
If you cannot distinguish between the importance of two values (for example Y and Z), ask yourself which of the two you prefer to never feel. If you tackle the problem from the other side, you should get a better idea.
To understand your value system even more, you should follow a checking system.
It is simple: what needs to happen to know if these values are satisfied?
For example, two people can share the value of freedom while having a different idea of what it means. For one, freedom will be checked if they achieve financial independence. The other, it will be checked if they can behave in the way they want, without any reference to money.
On the other hand, two people with different values can have a similar checking system. For example, if happiness is your supreme value, and happiness means behaving the way you want, you share this check with the person in the previous example.
People with similar values but different checking procedures may not get along, in the same way that two people with different values but similar checking procedures can become firm friends.
To improve self-knowledge and your relationship with others, you need to become aware of your values, those of others and the checking procedures for your values.
19. The five keys to wealth and happiness
Despite all the tools on offer up to now, there are still obstacles to personal transformation.
Every locked door has a key. Here are five keys to help you move more easily towards success and happiness:
1. Handle frustration
It is impossible to eliminate frustration. But if you can control it, you can transform a harmful negative attitude to self-discipline into a positive force.
2. Accept refusals
One of the main causes of inaction and procrastination is the fear of a negative response. We are afraid to hear the word “No” and we do not dare to ask.
By learning to feel comfortable with a refusal, we are no longer scared to move forward.
You all probably know the story of J.K. Rowling. She was turned down by dozens of publishers before becoming the billionaire author she is today thanks to Harry Potter…
3. Handle financial pressures
If you know how to earn, spend, give and save money wisely and intelligently, you hold a key that will save you from many problems.
Giving and saving a percentage of what you earn before you cover your mandatory expenditure allows you to overcome and control financial pressures and the resulting tensions.
4. Never allow complacency to set it
When we compare ourselves to others, our motivation to change is temporary, because once we get past our “competitors”, we no longer seek to grow.
Comparison leads to complacency, as well as a taste for gossip.
However, if we compare ourselves to ourselves and our own goals, we can only seek to improve without needing to feel superior to others.
5. Always give more than you expect to receive
When you give with the hope of receiving, you will often be disappointed. This is because you expect something else and you also cast off responsibility.
The author explains this key with a short analogy that I quite like: When you look at a field, you can ask it for all the fruit and vegetables you want, but it will not give you anything unless you put some work into feeding and tending to the soil.
Success is a long-term job, a process and not a result in itself. When you give without expecting anything in return, you will receive.
20. Trend creation: the power of persuasion
Mass communication, propaganda or advertising use many techniques of persuasion that appear in Unlimited Power.
Unfortunately, this is not always positive. For example, despite the complete absence of health benefits, millions of people want to smoke.
The principle is always the same: you are placed in an intense receptive state to anchor a stimulus that will trigger behaviour (a purchase in the case of advertising) or a desired state.
This process takes place unconsciously in most human beings.
Persuasion is everywhere, for better and for worse. We cannot ignore it. Whether negotiating about the choice of restaurant with friends or educating a child, you always need to influence the person’s decision.
When we are passive and unconscious of ourselves, we become people who can be influenced.
But when we become conscious and learn to use it, we can not only renounce the negative effects that persuasion can have on us, we can also change things in a positive manner.
The ultimate goal of Unlimited Power is to learn the skills needed to develop our own power and that of others, for mutual success.
21. Living excellence: the human challenge
Everything you have learned here will not change your life overnight.
You are free to put everything you have learned into practice, even with one small act at a time. If you begin, you may well get carried away on a process of ongoing change.
Anthony Robbins asks a question in three parts:
- What direction are you currently taking?
- If you follow this direction, where will you be in five or ten years?
- Is that where you want to go? Be honest with yourself.
If you are not happy where you are, you need to change something. And if you are happy; take a step towards the next goal.
Unlimited power is the capacity to reap the benefits and learn from your experience, successes and failures alike. And this involves action.
Find a team on which you can put these techniques into practice. Whether friends, family or colleagues. Surround yourself with positive people because the power is even greater when we act together.
The more you give without expecting anything in return, the more you will receive.
Conclusion of “Unlimited Power” by Anthony Robbins
I had a vague idea about neuro-linguistic programming before I read Unlimited Power. But not enough to have a precise opinion.
Olivier Roland often talks about being intelligently sceptical. Doubt, but try “just to see”. It is the only way to find out whether your scepticism was justified.
Now that I have finished Unlimited Power, I remain sceptical about NLP techniques, but I am convinced of the power that this book can have over personal development.
On condition that you put things into practice, of course.
There are many stories and anecdotes, and they are often necessary to help assimilate the raw information. The content of the book is dense.
I would have found it easier to digest the information if it had been broken into two volumes. Paradoxically, I cannot imagine the book broken into several parts. The techniques and explanations presented in Unlimited Power form a whole.
I think that the book Unlimited Power is a reference in matters of personal development, whether or not you are a fan of neuro-linguistic programming.
It you separate the techniques and strategies tackled from the NLP-specific vocabulary that may push sceptics away, anyone can use them.
If I had to summarise the founding principles of Unlimited Power in a few words, I would say:
All change begins with a moment of consciousness about the situation or the behaviour that needs to change. Next, creating goals is necessary to know which path to take. To go in the right direction, you need to act by imitating models at first, then correcting what does not work and starting the process again until you find success.
Key points to take away from the book Unlimited Power
- Discover a 5-step modelling process to emulate high-achievers.
- Improve memory and creativity by looking in the right direction.
- Use the right method of communication to ensure that your relationship lasts.
Strong points :
- A good introduction to NLP for the non-initiated.
- Extremely motivating
- Makes notions of success and happiness available to everyone
- You can feel the generosity of spirit of the author throughout the book Unlimited Power, especially in the final chapter.
- Some exercises are easy for anyone to put in place.
Weak points :
- Very dense
- Many chapters contain a lot of information and exercises, and you may feel a little lost sometimes.
- Many US references in the stories. It’s not a terrible weak point, but as a European, I don’t always get the reference.
- Some exercises may seem a little strange or even absurd for someone who is not initiated about neuro-linguistic programming.
My rating :
Have you read “Unlimited Power”? How do you rate it?
Read more reviews on Amazon about “Unlimited Power”
Buy on Amazon “Unlimited Power”