Tony Robbins is without a doubt one of the best motivational coaches of all times, his advice has helped presidents, corporations, athletes, artists, and even a princess. Through the years he has traveled the world not only coaching those who required his advice but also helping people in need through his foundation built on the memory of an act of kindness that marked his life when he was a child.
Here is a brief story of Tony’s life, a true motivation life. I hope you enjoy it.
Anthony J. Mahavorick was born in February 29, 1960 in Los Angeles. His mother was a very influential figure, not so his father. They got divorced when he was 7 years old, at that time they asked Tony to choose with whom he wanted to stay and of course he didn’t say a word because he was shocked and his parents assumed that he wanted to stay with dad but the truth was he really wanted to be with his mom.
His mother remarried and wanted Tony back, so he moved to live with her, two years later his mother got divorced again, and got remarried for the third time to Jim Robbins a former Major League baseball player who had become a struggling salesman, the family had very little money.
One Thanksgiving Day, (Tony was 13 years old) they didn’t have enough to celebrate because they couldn’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner but to their surprise somebody left a package with food at the door so they were able to enjoy Thanksgiving, and such an act of kindness had a tremendous impact in Tony, on that day he made himself a promise that one day he would be successful enough to help others in need.
Jim Robbins was a major influence to Tony, they bonded through their love of sports; Tony dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. Mr. Robbins played a big factor on keeping Tony’s confidence level high. Tony, his brother and sister, changed their last names to Robbins.
When he was in 9th grade, Tony realized he was not going to make it as a baseball star, he decided that instead of playing he was going to write about it, so he wanted to write for the school paper, he was thinking big instead of covering local school teams he wanted to cover the professional leagues, and found out were the sport stars hanged out, and with the help of his very attractive mother managed to get access to them. He got an interview with renowned journalist Howard Cosell and this interview was mentioned in Los Angeles Times, Tony was thrilled. Few months later a TV station offered him a reporting job and of course he was ecstatic, he felt like he had reach his dream but sadly his mother didn’t support this idea, she thought he was too young for all that and made him leave everything because she said she needed him at home. At 15 the young Tony was forced to be the man of the house.
When he was 16 something dramatically changed his life he grew 10 inches in one year, he was noticed more, all the sudden people looked at him in a different way even at school and he decided to run for student body president; later doctors found out his growth was caused by a tumor in his pituitary gland creating high levels of growth hormone. Tony was known around school as “Mr. Solution”, the highlight of his campaign was a speech he gave about why he wanted to be president of the school and this had a tremendous impact among students.
At age 17, on Christmas Eve, he left home with nothing. He went to a friends house and stayed there trying to figure out what he was suppose to do, then he called an uncle who owned a cleaning business asking for a job as a janitor because he needed money to eat and pay $50 a week for a room at his friend’s house. He got the job and was cleaning banks at night taking a bus 14 miles each way, finishing everyday until 3:00 am.
He didn’t sleep much, often exhausted slept at school until one day a counselor asked him what was wrong so he explained his situation and cried. The counselor suggested him to leave school, she said he was an honor student and had enough credits to graduate. Tony was shocked, that was the last thing he wanted to do, and school was his only source of joy so he felt he was being forced to leave something he loved.
His mom asked his uncle to fire Tony because if he thought he can do it on his own he shouldn’t have his uncle helping him. After getting fired Tony looked for a way to support himself and found an add on the newspaper for a sales position promising $500 a week and that was a lot of money for a 17 year old, the ad said no experience necessary. He applied for the position, got the job and started selling music club subscriptions door to door.
He proved to be a natural salesman; he did well to support himself living in his own apartment. One day he was with a client working on his sales pitch and the client told Tony “you have so much talent, you can use your skills to change people’s life”, his client told him about a famous motivational speaker named Jim Rohn who’s seminars were attracting thousands, the man invited Robbins to be his guest at a seminar and Tony was thrilled about it. On that evening he knew this was his field. At the end of the seminar he approached Rohn and asked him for a job, Rohn gave it to him.
Tony left his job at the music company and started work for Rohn promoting his seminars to businesses all over Los Angeles, he became one of the best, a quick learner and his income was remarkable for his age at 18, around 1978 he was earning $3,000 a moth, and returned to his high school for graduation, he was nervous because his mother was going to be present; they talked and after many tears his family was reunited
In 1979 he was offered a promotion by Rohn to run his own office, he worked harder than ever, making about 100 calls a day but there was no time for social life. At just 19 years old Tony was making about $10,000 a month. He had grown up thinking money was going to making happy always remembering the day when his family was able to celebrate Thanksgiving Day because a stranger left food at their door.
A gap was starting to form between his friends because he was different to them, it seemed like his friends were some how jealous of his success. Tony felt his success was making him lonelier than ever and fell into a depression. He didn’t know what to believe in, he lost his direction and started to sabotage himself. He was missing meetings; he gained 38 pounds, his business fell apart.
Later he moved into a small apartment, Tony became a hermit, spending all day watching soap operas. One morning he forced himself to go out and started to run along the beach thinking about what had happened to his life, why he had hit rock bottom, broke, fat, and alone, and he was only 21 years old until day while sitting at the beach looking at the waves he decided to take control of his life, once he did Tony would packaged what he learned and sell it to millions.
A year after, he had undergone a remarkable transformation, at 22 he was holding self improvement seminars, he had attributed his restored self esteem to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which he learned from it’s co-founder John Grinder, by then an obscure scientific technique, and Tony added his own wisdom and his own hype, believing that success comes from your state of mind, and created what he called Neuro Associative Conditioning.
At his seminars Tony came up with walking through fire, which later became his seminars signature, he convinced people that by using their minds they can overcome their fears and do anything like walking on fire, and helped a lot of people to overcome their problems.
By 1984, at 24 he was on the rise reinventing himself as a self help guru. He was living the American dream showing others how they could do the same. His seminars were booked months in advance, reaching larger and larger audiences. He appeared on TV and performed his signature walk on fire, this drew more attention and even Life magazine did an article on Tony.
But success went up to his head; he bought himself a castle in San Diego he could barely afford it, until he met a literary agent at one of his seminars that talked him into writing a book to spread his message, with her help they published a book, and “Unlimited Power” became a publishing phenomenon quickly becoming a best seller translated into 13 languages.
In 1991 he published a second best seller “Awaken the Giant within” by mid 90’s Tony’s messages had made him a multimillionaire. He was invited to hang out with presidents and heads of state such as Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterrand; he also worked as sports motivational coach coaching famous athletes like André Agassi.
Tony also became part of Hollywood coaching celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenneger, Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Pamela Anderson, Quincy Jones, Erin Brockovich and Anthony Hopkins; even princess Diana received Tony’s advice. With fame also came controversy and he was heavily criticized about being just a salesman of personal enthusiasm facing multiple lawsuits around the country.
In late December 1994 while vacationing in Aspen he got an unexpected phone call asking him going back to work. It was President Clinton calling to ask Tony to come to his retreat in Camp David for a meeting; Clinton said he needed a fresh point of view for his next year’s plan.
By the end of 1997 Tony was making millions for advising high power clients, he also signed an exclusive deal with AOL to take his message into the internet. Tony has become counselor to millions revealing his secrets of success.
Loyal to his promise Tony created “The Anthony Robbins Foundation” started by giving out bags of groceries to poor families at Thanksgiving each year. The organization now feeds more than 500,000 people each year worldwide during Thanksgiving, Easter and December holidays.
Inspiration, education and training are also delivered to disadvantaged people in society.
According to its website, the foundation has programs in more than 2,000 schools, 700 prisons, and 100,000 health and human service organizations. His foundation is committed to make a difference in the quality of life for children, the homeless, the prison population, and the elderly through its various programs.
By: Rolando Ponce de Leon
From multiple online sources