Most of us never take the time to design our life. In a documentary called “I Am Not Your Guru,” we get a look behind the scenes at Tony Robbins event called ‘Date With Destiny.” The long and short of this event is that you need to take time out to decide what your life is about.
The movie is shown through multiple interventions where Tony attempts to hear a problem that someone is having and then help them to change in the moment. These series of interventions that are a main part of the movie create a powerful story about how we can all change our life. Outside of the interventions, we get an inside look into Tony’s private life.
What’s ironic is that he was once in the same position as the subjects displayed throughout the movie. It’s this familiarity that has given him the tools to help people. The message the documentary delivers is that once you know what beliefs and values control you, you can literally redesign you.
Below are 10 life lessons we can learn from I Am Not Your Guru:
1. Your body language and tone of voice tells us everything
During the movie, we meet two characters that show their true colors through their body language. Before they have even begun to answer Tony’s question, the audience quickly figures out that they are not sincere.
It wasn’t the words these two characters Lance and Hali said, it was their body language and tone of voice that was a dead give away. In the scene with Hali, Tony teaches us that when something is honest and painful, then the right decision must be made no matter what.
As a result, Tony shocks everyone by telling Hali to call her boyfriend and dump him. He doesn’t make the decision for her but uses her body language to help her see the real situation.
In your own life, are you avoiding making the tough decision and lying to yourself about anything? If you are, it’s time to stop living with a lack of passion and make the tough decisions.
2. The best teachers come from the darkest places
By far, the best part of the entire movie is the intervention done with a young woman named Dawn. She stands up to tell everyone at the event that she is suicidal. Tony immediately tries to break her pattern with a joke. When she begins to share her story of being raped every day from the age of six, and watching the same thing happen to her family, you can’t help but cry your eyes out.
The look on Tony’s face as Dawn tells her story is unlike anything I’ve seen from Tony before. He is greatly disturbed, shocked, and for the first time in his career, struggling to find the answer initially to her problem.
The solution is found when Tony reflects with the audience about how his mum beat him up when he was a kid. He looked at what he did in his own life and then decided to do the same for her. Tony realised one thing; the best teachers come from the darkest places.
He had come from the same dark place as Dawn. Out of her horrible story of rape and the immense pain she carried on her back from her suicidal family, a teacher was born. The situation that Dawn went through makes no sense which is what made her crazy.
Tony tells her that the way to make sense of the situation is to make sure it stops with her – to become a teacher to others. To reshape Dawn’s identity, Tony calls her a miracle and within a single moment, she realises that she has a purpose and she was put on this Earth to do good.
The situation doesn’t stop there; Tony then agrees to give Dawn all the training that he’s got so that she can help people. The giving doesn’t stop there, by the end of the event Dawn is given more than $100k USD to help other people in her situation.
“When you’ve gone to the deepest darkest places you can lift people to the highest places” – Tony Robbins
3. Our entire lifetime changes in a moment
When someone says it took ten years to make a change, what you find out is that change happened in a moment. It took you ten years to get to the moment where they said never again. Our entire life changes in a moment. This is called a breakthrough, and you can do it multiple times.
Change is temporary until you deal with the thing that created the problem in the first place. For the change to work you have to be energy rich. Use your voice and body to keep finding a way to increase your energy level. At a high energy level, you will get entirely different insights.
4. Our minor problems are masking our massive problems
We all have small problems in our life that we want to get rid of. In the movie, a young girl called Sienna tells us about her problem with her diet and eating at the right times. In the beginning, this challenge seems quite small, but as Tony digs a little deeper, we learn how small problems are often masking much bigger problems.
When Tony asks why she is doing all of this for and keeps drilling down to what is creating her world, Sienna reveals that it’s her dad’s drug problem that has affected her the most. Tony points out that we all have problems except we think we shouldn’t have them.
Without problems, there is nowhere to grow from and nothing to drive us forward to make better decisions that will change our model of the world. What this story in the movie shows us quite clearly is that we focus on the little problems like diet so that we can stay away from the big scary problems.
5. Blame people for the good and the bad things
It’s not hard to blame people for all the things they do wrong, but as Tony says in the movie, “you have to blame them for all the good as well.” This sentence carries with it so much power to overcome almost any conflict with another person.
At the seed of the idea is that the bad things people do to us have a positive effect. For Tony, his mum beat him when he was a child, and he blames her in a good way for this because it allowed him to become who he is today. Without the child abuse, he may not have had the drive to change the world in the way he has.
His hunger to end suffering for other people comes from his own internal suffering that he endured. This idea is a reframing technique that you can use to look for the good in every person. So, how can you start blaming people more for all the good they’ve done?”
“If you’re going to blame people for all of the #@!& then you better blame them for all the good too”
6. Going deep with people is what engages them because it’s rare
When something is true, your whole nervous system responds. We think that our Facebook friends are our friends, but there is no depth to these relationships. When people are taken deep, they are so riveted because it’s so rare.
“Most of us are unaware of the patterns that are controlling us”
7. Your relationship with your parents is the seed of everything
During multiple times throughout the movie, there is a recurring theme that I picked up on. This theme is that in almost every situation, a person’s parents have had a significant contribution to their view of the world.
Almost all challenges start with something that we have learned from our parents – both good and bad. Once we challenge these views we get from our parents, the change starts to begin.
8. Once you figure out your primary question, everything changes for the better
Out of all the lessons I got from the movie, this one was something that clicked with me straight away. Everyone has a primary question, and it’s the question that we ask more often than anything else. Tony’s original question was “How can I make it better?”
My primary question is: “how can I inspire people?” I’ve tried to inspire people through music, business and now, blogging. It’s all I care about, and it drives my entire life and every activity I engage in. Until now, I didn’t realise how much this question had driven everything I do.
During one scene, attendees at the Date With Destiny Seminar are asked to do an exercise where they add the words “I AM” in front of words that describe them the most. My new story after seeing this scene can be summed up in three words I AM INSPIRATION!!!
I Tim, see hear, feel, and know that I am inspiration, and I am passion.
I once did this exercise back in 2013 at Tony’s Unleash The Power Within Seminar, and I didn’t quite find my primary question. After revisiting the exercise while watching Tony’s movie, I finally figured it out. Whatever you do, try as hard as you can to uncover the question you consistently ask yourself.
For me, it’s never been about followers or fame because that never felt right. Yet, I always wanted to reach more people and couldn’t figure out where this thirst came from. Now I know. It comes from my primary question of wanting to inspire people. This was a real highlight of the film.
9. You have to visit the past before you can move forward
At any of Tony’s events, you can almost always expect an emotional “flood exercise” to occur. The point of this exercise is to look back at the past on events that carry a lot of pain. There are moments in our past that are holding us back, and in the movie, we discover that when we revisit them, we can make new decisions about what these moments mean.
Once you can let go of the past and find new meaning in painful events, you can move forward with a new found passion. To create these serious moments of change, you must flood your body with emotions.
This is done in the movie through Tony’s words, inspirational music, the lighting in the room, and the collective energy that is created when everyone at the event does this exercise at the same time.
To complete this moment, everyone put’s their hand on their heart. Having done this exercise at one of Tony’s events, I found that having your hand on your heart is incredibly powerful. It’s the beating force of our entire life, and it’s thumping changes tempo based on how we feel. Try it out!
10. Everything you seek can happen once you let it all out
The end of the movie is incredible as people release everything that has been holding them back such as; their fear, limitations, and their past. All the tears and the emotions are let out, and it becomes a time to celebrate. You see life differently, and you will never be the same again having watched this movie.
You live your new life through the stories and pain that transcended from the movie to your being. A movie has never done this to me before. Even though I knew the content well, the stories and the way images and sound were used, took me to a whole new place.
“Sometimes we have to go to the darkest places to find the light that is hidden – the light that’s always been there” – Tim Denning
It’s as if you are at the event in its entirety even though the movie is only two hours long. I have never had a documentary give me this feeling of being at an event before. It’s easy from the outside to think Tony Robbins is some gimmicky Guru, and this movie proves this theory completely wrong.
It shows Tony as a real person that genuinely wants to help and support people in their battles in life. Tony is
no stranger to struggle himself, and he shares this throughout the movie. He’s been through a divorce, he’s been through poverty, and he’s had his own family problems; the difference is that he is obsessed with using these challenges to help others through there’s.
Tony has had more success than any of us could ever dream of because he has removed himself from every single equation. He doesn’t need to promote his $5000 per ticket events because what he gives is worth far more than that.
Having been to a few of Tony’s events, I’ve seen first hand how the movie “I Am Not Your Guru,” can benefit everybody that is reading this blog post. As Tony says, “he’d have to be literally stupid after all of these years to not notice patterns of struggle and how to overcome them.”
Do yourself a favour and watch Tony’s movie with an open mind. Be prepared for massive lows and then for highs that you never thought were possible through a documentary. It’s time to see what’s next for you and shake off the cobwebs of the past. You’re incredible. I know it, and you know it. Anything is possible!