Anthony Robbins, in his book 'Unlimited Power', elabourates upon the process of achieving goals.
The best rifle in the hands of an ace marksman in the world will be of little use unless there is a target to hit. In the same way we should know what we want in life. Merely acquiring skills and equipment will not do. They will remain mere acquisitions. There should be a goal and all our energies should be focused on it. There should be a clear mental image of that goal. Conditions should be created to put ourselves in top gear. Once this is done, the rest will fall into a pattern.
Anthony Robbins says, "People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals - that is, goals that do not inspire them." Half-hearted attempts at setting out what we want to do will lead us nowhere. It is as good as not having goals. Most people have inherent qualities which they have acquired from their parents, etc. but there are some others that belong collectively to the entire race. They cut across time, space and geographical boundaries. Norwegian lemmings, a type of rodent, behave in a strange fashion by courting a watery grave. No obstacle is insurmountable for them. They cross it and race towards the sea. Where there is sea today, there once was land. They fall into the sea and perish. It is a result race memory. Otherwise it is difficult to explain the behaviour of the lemmings. The same is true of the salmon which goes to breed to the same place where it had spawned. It even crosses waterfalls. (The salmon breeds in fresh water after crossing the seas.) Just like the lemming and salmon, man too has race memory.
Anthony Robbins writes about the 100th monkey syndrome mentioned by biologist Lyall Watson in his book Life-Tide, published in 1979. A group of monkeys on the Japanese islands were used to eating uncleaned food. Once, when a monkey belonging to a family cleaned some sweet potatoes in a stream, his action inspired the others to do it. There were 100 monkeys on the island. When one did it, the others followed. In an inexplicable manner, monkeys living on other islands acquired the same knowledge without any physical contact. This is attributed to collective consciousness by some scientists. One who is attuned properly can draw from this vast and yet rarely tapped source of collective consciousness. This adds to our mental resources and enables us to do better.
Even when equipped with all knowledge - individual, racial, sub-conscious, etc. - if there is no specific goal, nothing can be achieved. "Just as information filters to us from our unconscious, it may also filter in to us from completely outside of ourselves if we are in a resourceful enough state to receive it." Anthony Robbins suggests that there should be no hindrance in setting goals which he calls dreams and desires. A person should identify what he/she wants to be. That is, there should be positive thinking. Mostly people spoil their chances by imaging what they don't want to be.
"Limited goals," according to the author, "create limited lives." Thinking big is the solution to the problem. But that does not mean asking for the moon. In achieving the objective, one should be self-reliant and not dependent on others.
The outcome should benefit not only the individual concerned but others, too. To that extent selfishness is reduced. The mind, while setting goals, should roam free. A desirable thing for anyone is to prepare a list of things one wants to be, a time limit, an assessment of resources, constant review, what comes in the way of achieving the object, goal or dream. Then a model has to be chosen to follow as per the procedure already described in the previous articles. In order to achieve the goal, the individual should design his/her ideal environment or surroundings to achieve the objective.
What the writer suggests costs nothing. You have to exercise your brain and create a mental picture.
The vision has to be expressed in precise terms. Herein comes the vital role of communication. Anthony Robbins calls this exactitude in language or in communication. It is called the power of precision. In other words one should be sure of what one wants. All successful people have precise communication skills. We can get what we want by asking in precise terms. Any accident can reasonably be avoided if responsibility for a task is properly assigned in clear language.
All of us live in a little world of our own. Successful communicators try to enter other people's world by mirroring them. Mirroring means making somebody feel you understand him. It is a dynamic process. When the other person sees you behaving the same way as he does, he will feel you care for him. This has to be done in an intelligent way. All modes, vocal, auditory, kinesthetic, etc. can be employed. Successful mirroring will result in establishing a rapport with the other person.
If you want to put across a message to a person you should know something of how that person receives messages and processes them. Not all information is acted upon. The brain is like a computer. Software is necessary for a computer. Metaprograms are the software of our brain. They enable us to decide which bit of information is dull, interesting, a blessing or a threat. These mental patterns need to be understood if we are to enter a person's inner world.
It is normal human tendency to avoid pain and court happiness. This is done by moving away or moving towards something. Take reading for instance. Some people read since they do not wish to be branded as ignorant. They move away from that possibility by reading. There are others who are genuinely interested in reading good authors. They move towards reading and courting happiness.
Possibility versus necessity decides a person's actions. You may buy something because you need it and not whatever is available is accepted. A person who is motivated by necessity is interested in what is known. He looks for choice and options.
There is another way of improving our lot. That is through changing the content. What appears as a disadvantage may become an advantage. This process is called reframing. Once, drilling for oil was considered less profitable than farming. People thought so much of rich farmland was being wasted. But that perception changed with the change in lifestyle when transport through vehicles became an important part of our daily life. The same was the case with a trifle item like sawdust. It was considered a waste product which was absolutely useless. Mounds of it were left unattended after logs had been sawed. One day a genius discovered that applying glue and pressing the sawdust with it he could get Presto Logs. He became a multimillionaire and used up all the sawdust. Bottled mineral water has become a thriving industry. This change in perception is due to the entrepreneurial spirit of a few individuals. Reframing means changing the mental perceptions.
However bad or sad an experience, by reframing it and giving it a positive touch, we can learn from it. There are some people in this world who do not consider death as a loss. They consider it a higher place of existence and are happy, unlike most others.
In every period people have had values. The quality of life in any age depended on those values. What is true of people is equally true of individuals. Of course, people's system taken collectively is reflected in society. Taken at the individual level it shapes one's life. It is also true that some of these values change.
That impact of values on an individual is tremendous. They mould the behaviour and personality. One need not be learned or grown up to have values. Even children can have them. A child who wants to play with other children has either to blend its values to those of others or make others change theirs. Otherwise the group won't play with that child. This dilemma goes on throughout life.
If somebody wants a promotion, he has to be on good terms with the boss, however impossible the boss is. Otherwise he has to look for another job. In plain terms, either you bring your values in line with those of the boss or quit. In order to deal with others, you should know their value system. A correct understanding of one's own value system or those of others makes for a smooth life.
First of all, a person's scale of values has to be ascertained. This can be done by constantly questioning him/her as to what is the most important thing in a value. Then we can think of a chain of graded values. People with shared values can form lasting friendships.
On a higher plane, religion provides the ballast to one's values. Where Hinduism is concerned, there are certain eternal values enshrined in dharma- a code of life. Because of their universality and antiquity, Hinduism is called the Sanatan Dharma - the eternal religion. These principles mould people's lives. Epics like the Ramayan and Mahabharat, the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and great holy sages provide the touchstone for people to test their character and moral values.
Success is a Process
Success, according to Anthony Robbins, is not something of a mountain peak to be climbed. It is a process and a way of life. The power you have should be used in a responsible and loving way. There are five keys to wealth and happiness. The first is to know how to handle frustration. In the same manner you should know how to handle rejection. On several occasions we get a "no." By looking at the positive side of what we think is a bad situation, we should put the best possible construction and get on with the work on hand. The third key concerns money. In an illuminating sentence he says that, "The only way not to have financial pressure is not to have any finance." But that is not always possible in today's world. Learn to earn, save and give. Seventy per cent of the earning should be spent on oneself; of the rest, 10 per cent should be given away to others, 10 per cent to reduce your liabilities and the remaining 10 per cent should be invested. The fourth key is never be complacent after you get what you want. If one wants to grow, one should not be too comfortable. The last recipe to success is give more than what you expect. That is the way of all good men. "Go on giving" is Anthony's advice. Don't stop. You have to do the work properly. The soil won't give you anything for free. You have to sow the seed, nurture the sapling, and then it grows into a tree and yields fruit. What you have, you share with others. That is what religion teaches.
Thanks to science and technology the world has become a global village. But man's behaviour is such that it turns neighbours into strangers. But not all men and women are bad. The silent majority who just watch bad ones can be made to do their bit for the good of the world. This can be done through mass persuasion. TV and other instruments of communication are mighty engines of change. If the message is properly conveyed, it can change human behaviour, which according to the author is the source of good or evil in society.
The attitude of people can be changed in the same way as that of an individual by changing states and internal representations. Take the case of tobacco. The statutory warning which is conveyed through the mass media changes the representational system of people. They think twice before touching a cigarette. Similar is the case with war and other forms of violence.
The concluding chapter of Anthony's thought-provoking book could be an effective footnote to the Gita. "Be a doer," he exhorts. He is not satisfied with mere acquisition of knowledge on how to have a better tomorrow or to improve the quality of life. He wants that learning to be spread through action. That knowledge and what it leads to is the common property of all. Such knowledge should therefore benefit all.