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March 1, 2010
Can Walking on Coals Unleash Your Personal Power?

A few months back, I invested in a trip to Chicago and spent four days with peak performance coach Tony Robbins.

If you don’t know Robbins or his work, he is worth knowing. He grew up in a household with little money, often experiencing holidays with no food and a rotating door of four absent fathers.

His career took shape in the early 1980s as he walked on the beach, 40 pounds overweight, listening to the tune “Barracuda” and feeling a big change was needed.

At the age of 19, after working with other legendary speakers like Jim Rohn, Robbin's path of success included conducting seminars, radio shows, writing books, and coaching.

Wikipedia reports Robbins earned more than 30 million dollars in 2007, and he has coached Serena Williams, Donna Karin, and Greg Norman, just to name a few. If that’s not enough, this spring NBC picked up eight episodes of “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins,” a reality show that follows Robbins and participants as they battle personal challenges.

I’ve been a fan of Robbin’s for years. I’ve read a few of his books and seeing him live was an item on my wish list. This year I decided I was going to do it.

A while back, I saw Robbins on NBC’s “Today” show. The segment touted his Web site, so I checked it out and signed up for his e-mails.

I receive them often but not on an obnoxious schedule. They’ve always been inspirational and have a deliberate business purpose. Most include a video of him, which I’ve found to be a great way to disseminate information and sell product. I’m definitely going to start using video when Oddpodz relaunches in few weeks.

Robbins sold me. The last e-mail video message mentioned his upcoming Unleash the Power Within™ event to be held in Chicago.

I signed up, and not just as an attendee. I purchased a Diamond class ticket for an additional $1,000. Why spend the extra bucks? Because, I deserve it (which sounds like a "Saturday Night Live" segment with Jack Handy), and if you are going meet other high achievers, it shouldn’t be in the nosebleed section.

The extra fee was well worth it. Not only did I meet a ton of very cool, got-it-going-on people, but I think the choice seating and no-wait entry zone is the only way to go.

By far this event was one of the most enjoyable, inspirational things I’ve done in my adult life, and I would highly recommend it to people looking to take their lives to next level of success and happiness.

The event was held at the Radisson in Schaumburg, Illinois, which is one of the nicest convention properties I have visited. It is very contemporary; hip, and energizing.

It attracted over 3,000 people from 18 countries. It was four days packed of incredible content, inspiration, and networking.

Tony was completely amazing. His nonstop energy and conviction were invigorating, and the fact that he and I were born in the same year and same month was my magic connection. I have to admit, there were moments during which being his age made me feel like a slacker.

Then I had a dose of reality. I am definitely not a slacker; I just need to amp up my standards and goals a bit this year.

All four days were extremely intense. There was lots of jumping, yelling, dancing, and loud music, and tremendous energy flow.

I learned some fascinating methods for controlling the mind and managing the body, and there are sessions that the wussies should not apply. Breaking old and bad patterns is personal. While the event includes a big room of people, the exercises are very intimate.

If you ever take this journey, wear running shoes and bundle up. The room is frigid. In fact, I heard they kept the temperature at 58 degrees to keep everyone alert and focused. It worked for me.

The first day Robbins introduced human concepts about how most of us live and wanted us to embrace our values and needs, to create the results we have. He then walked though those same situations and demonstrates how people can achieve different results by breaking old patterns, changing their story, and mastering a deliberate, strategic state of psychological and mental being.

While none of this is new, breakthrough science or even a foreign language to most, it is presented in a way that can alter one’s thinking and beliefs and produce meaningful change.

My mind was in very good place when I arrived in Chicago. While the economy has challenged all of us, I had a good year and continue to make excellent progress on my road to higher success.

My agenda in attending this event was twofold: to observe a fellow master speaker and business authority and to further develop my success package. I took away both.

As many of you know, part of Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within™ program is the infamous fire walk.

This is where sane humans prance across several yards of smoking-hot, burning coals, while their fellow higher achievers and some tribal drummers chant on, and most don’t burn their feet.

Including me.

I’m not disclosing all the details, because the ultimate experience comes from participating in the journey; but I will tell you, it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had.

Being with thousands of complete strangers, in brutal 37-degree, raining-and-windy, freeze-your-ass-off weather and achieving this scary-as-hell task was remarkable.

Some highlights Robbins teaches:

  • Fear is the universal poison, but ways exist to leverage it and manage it to achieve happiness and success.
  • Your past does not equal the future unless you choose to live there.
  • The one word to sum up success is progress.
  • Your mind and body are amazing success and happiness alleys. Master them both.
  • Proximity is power.
  • Start now. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

So, did my fire walk experience unleash more of my personal power?

Stay tuned and you’ll see for yourself.

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Karen Post, aka The Branding Diva®, is an international branding expert, consultant, and speaker. She has been featured in a broad range of media outlets, including Bloomberg TV and radio, CBS's "The Early Show," The New York Times, The New York Post, NPR, Fast Company, and The Boston Globe. She is also the author of Brand Turnaround (McGraw-Hill) and Brain Tattoos: Creating Unique Brands That Stick in Your Customers' Minds (AMACOM).

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