On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your stress level right now? As entrepreneurs, we rarely complain about our circumstances, but we do feel a tremendous amount of stress when things are not going as planned.
In his latest best selling book, Unshakeable, Tony Robbins explains that "the human brain isn't designed to make us happy and fulfilled. It's designed to make us survive. This two-million-year-old organ is always looking for what's wrong, for whatever can hurt us, so that we can either fight it for take flight from it."
And yet, we know deep down that survival isn't enough. Sure, when our businesses are struggling, there's very little else we can think about. Suddenly, that two-million-year-old brain kicks into high gear as you battle through whatever stands between you and the success you are committed to achieving.
The Secret to Living an Extraordinary Life
In the past, I've shared some profound wisdom that I have received from Tony Robbins including:
How to Retire Rich,
Creating Magic Moments,
How to Increase Your Productivity by 200%,
Eradicating Your Limiting Beliefs, and a
Roadmap for Transformation
And while all of this wisdom has positively impacted my life in so many ways, there still once simple truth that Tony Robbins states so eloquently in Unshakeable:
"The secret of living an extraordinary life is to take control of the mind, since this alone will determine whether you live in a suffering state or a beautiful state. In the end, it's all about the power of decisions. Our lives are shaped not by our conditions, but by our decisions."
This is truly profound when you unpack what he's saying here. Author Viktor Frankl, in Man's Search for Meaning explained it this way:
"We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation - just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer - we are challenged to change ourselves."
Turning a Personal Tragedy Into a Triumph
I was struck by both Tony Robbins and Viktor Frankl's deep understanding of the meaning we give life's events. The same event can mean so many things to so many people - even unspeakable tragedies such as what Viktor Frankl experienced in the Nazi concentration camps.
"What I've come to realize is that the single most important decision in life is this: Are you committed to being happy, no matter what happens to you?" asks Tony Robbins. "To put this another way, will you commit to enjoying life not only when everything goes your way but also when everything goes against you, when injustice happens, when someone screws you over, when you lose something or someone you love, or when nobody seems to understand or appreciation you?"
In his seminars, Tony Robbins uses Nelson Mandela as the shining example of this philosophy. Here's a man that was in jail for more than a quarter century of his life. If someone wrongfully incarcerated you for 27 years, you'd have ever justification to be bitter, resentful, hateful and depressed. Instead, Nelson Mandela studied the language of his captors and planned how he would use his personal tragedy to bring global attention to apartheid and oppression everywhere. He rose above his personal tragedy and turned it into a triumph at a global scale.
Said another way, in life you have two choices: Better or Bitter. You can't control what happens to you (or your business), but you can control how you feel and how you respond. In Unshakeable, Tony Robbins shares the secret of living an extraordinary life by showing you how to take control of your mind. What you focus on, you feel. And when it comes to financial stress, there is nothing quite like the extreme emotion most of us have experienced when a market crash occurs.
Living an extraordinary life is about ending the mental suffering you feel when events outside your control occur. Because, as Tony Robbins puts it, "life is just too short to suffer."