So I had the great privilege of spending about 5 hours on the receiving end of a Tony Robbins’ smack down yesterday. No, it was not a one on one situation- I’m not nearly that cool- but he does have a way of making you feel like he’s talking directly to you!
If you don’t know who Tony Robbins is, you’re not doing your life right! I’m just kidding, but seriously. I don’t know if it’s the books I read, the links I click or big brother just listening to my conversations, but Tony Robbins’ advertisements are all over my social media, and if you’re in any kind of personal growth in your life, he should be on your social as well.
Sidebar: Please tell me y’all are in personal growth!! Please say that I’m right when I assume that as adults we all know that school is never out for the pro, and it is our responsibility to demonstrate a life long journey of learning for our kids, our peers, our friends, THE WORLD! Please tell me, Readers, that you get what I’m putting out right now!! If you’re still one of those folks who thinks personal growth is a lot of woo woo, please give this link a click and check out ‘What Do We Know? With Wen and Whit’ where we talk about the importance of this very thing!
Okay, now that we’ve covered that… Tony Robbins is the leading life/business/personal/professional coach there is, was and is to come. He’s intense, to say the least (did I mention he talked for 5 hours straight?), but he’s brilliant and I could write a million blogs about what I learned in that 5 hours (and I just might).
But here’s the biggest perspective shifting question I took away from yesterday:
What if… you could change everything about your entire life- your business, your relationships, your parenting, your job, your future- if you could just change your energy?
Well, Tony suggests that’s actually EXACTLY how you change your life, and after 5 hours, I tend to agree.
What’s more is, at our small group on Wednesday night (the night before I spent the day with Tony and his friends) we talked about the sin of irritability. It was a very revealing discussion for me, because I- perhaps like many of you- tend to jump right on in to a state of being annoyed faster than a lamb can shake it’s tail. Are you with me?
For example, Wednesday (before this discussion at small group), I was feeling rushed doing my make up and the kids kept asking for a snack, even though they had quite literally just finished lunch. It was on the third or fourth report of utter starvation that I came a little unhinged and began a rant about starving kids in Africa. Not my best parenting moment. I was annoyed. And I was unloving. In our small group we discussed how irritability is NOT a way of being loving. Now, getting angry and disciplining or directing or discussing something calmly, even if you’re mad, can absolutely still be loving. Discipline can be one of the more loving things we can do for our kids- our heavenly father certainly disciplines us- but being annoyed and irritated… that’s just not a good look.
So when Tony started talking about energy and the power of it as well as the power we have OVER it… I had to think that maybe God was trying to really drill a point home for me, and maybe you need to hear this today too.
Tony suggested that we can change our energy- we can actually control it- in an INSTANT if we’re intentional and we use one of these two energy changing methods:
- Change your physiology! Stand up, jump up and down, smile, yell in excitement, laugh! It might sound strange (and trust me, it is! We might have done it dozens of times yesterday) but it absolutely works! You can’t be annoyed or frustrated or tired when you’re jumping up and down, cheering. But hey, if that doesn’t work…
- Change your focus. This one works 100% of the time if you’re controlled enough to do it. But that’s the tricky part. Anyone can take instantaneous control of their body by standing up and jumping around, but can we just as easily take control of our thoughts and change them? That one is a bit tricky, even for those of us who practice it daily.
Where your focus goes, energy flows. If you’re annoyed and you’re focused on the thing that annoys you, you’re only going to move MORE into that state of annoyance. But if you’re able to just focus on something else- maybe something that makes you laugh, or feel grateful, or feel excited- you WILL be able to change your energy! (Again, trust me, we may have done it a time or two with Tony).
In another example, there are a million ways to greet someone, right? You can be exciting and rush up and hug them, you can shake their hand and make eye contact, or you can be shy, withdrawn, and avoiding. The act of greeting is the same, it’s the energy inside you that changes! (Yes, we also practiced many different ways of greeting and observed the differences in our body language and facial expressions).
Tony talked about how being in a state of happiness- or a similar positive or high energy state- is unarguably the best state to be in. No one would willingly choose to be unhappy over happy (and if you would, that’s something you need to gain some serious perspective on, right?), and so he asked us: Why is our happiness so cheap? Why do we give it up so easily? Why do we give the control over our happiness away to everyone else?
Valid question, don’t you think!? I hadn’t quite thought of it like that. My kids, in the example above, weren’t even being that ridiculous in comparison to the laundry list of behaviors they could have been exhibiting… why did I let go of my happy state so quickly? And for so little? Don’t you think it’s worth throwing up a little protection around that happy state? The Bible says we are to be slow to anger… but we’re not! Not even close! The littlest things throw us off! And we don’t gain a dang thing by being in a negative state- actually the opposite is true, we stand to lose quite a lot.
So all this to say, here is what Tony’s challenge to us was and in turn, my challenge to you: Write a letter to yourself and to two people you respect explaining WHY you are going to CHOOSE to be happy in your life. You don’t have to explain HOW you’re going to be happy (I just told you how- you’re going to intentionally shift and control your energy), you’re just going to tell whoever it is in this letter WHY it will benefit YOU when you make the decision to be happy in your life- no matter the circumstance.
I find this SO compelling because we live in a culture where being a victim is POWERFUL. I’m so sorry to say it this way, and I don’t mean it to be offensive but rather a perspective that I challenge you to shift, or at least consider. If there is ANY kind of incentive in this world for someone to FAKE being a victim, we have to recognize that we- as a society- have given TOO MUCH power to the state of being a victim.
Now hear me on this one, and remember that we’re all going to be happy in our life, right? YOU are responsible for the enjoyment of your life. YOU are. It is NOT someone else’s responsibility. If you’re offended, it’s your issue, not the person who offended you. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING JUSTIFIED AS A VICTIM, this is the hardest part to understand. There are terrible things done and said to people every single day, truly terrible things, and I’m not here to minimize that. But the truth is, the same evil act can be done to two people and they can each go off to live very different lives from that point forward. One can DECIDE to stay in a state of victim, feeling wronged, justified, sad, broken, afflicted, etc. And they’d be right to feel that way, but it sounds like a pretty crappy state to live life in, right? Surely they’re losing a lot by staying in that state. The second person might go on to live a perfectly happy, peaceful life where no one would even guess that such atrocities were ever committed against them. Does it mean that they weren’t victims in that moment of offense? Of course not. It just means that they CHOSE not to stay in that state of victim.
Give up on being a victim. Decide to change your state. Decide to be happy!
What if it actually is… that simple?
So here is my letter to y’all, because I couldn’t decide on just TWO people I respect, and I most certainly respect all of you, so here we go…
Dear respected friend,
I am choosing to be happy in my life because God is good and He has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. Each day, I wake up in an amazing bed, where blankets and heat keep me warm in the winter and air conditioning and God’s breeze keep me cool in the summer. I choose to be happy because God has gifted me with a functioning body- arms, legs, hands, thumbs, eyes, taste… the whole sha-bang- and He’s placed me on the earth in a time where I can follow Him openly and share my talents in business, in motherhood, in ministry, in writing, and wherever the heck else I want. I am choosing to be happy in my life because whenever I want it, I can turn on a faucet and cold, warm or hot water is on demand- as much of it as I want. I can shower whenever I want, even if I’m not that dirty! And although the water might be perfectly good to drink, I can even choose to drink bottled water or some other form of more purified water just because. There is air in my lungs and sun on my skin and NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO ME, God has granted me the beautiful blessing of free will, and I can decide exactly how I respond and react to each thing that happens. I will CHOOSE to be happy and content, whether I have much or little, because it doesn’t serve me, God, or absolutely anyone around me- enemy or friend- when I chose any other state but happiness. When I feel unhappy, or any other state of suffering- victim, annoyed, depressed, discouraged, defeated, wronged, justified, tired, busy, sick, terminally ill- and I know I will feel these things because I am human and life happens, I will CHOOSE to change my state and I will shift my energy because I don’t want to spend my life suffering. If today is my last day, I want to be happy. If today is my last day, I want people to remember me… happy. Because today could very well be my last day, I don’t want to CHOOSE anything other than happiness.
I hope y’all feel called to join me on this energy shifting adventure. I know it’s not going to be easy- as a matter of fact, I’ve already failed about a dozen times this morning- but I’m quite certain it will be worth it; Worth it for the people who I have influence over (note: we all have influence over people), but most of all, worth it for ME.