Who is Anthony Robbins?

Anthony Robbins (born February 29, 1960) is an American self-help writer and professional speaker for over 30 years. He became well known through his infomercials and bestselling self-help books, Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement and Awaken The Giant Within. The first edition of Unlimited Power was published by Fawcett Columbine (Ballantine Books) in 1987.Robbins writes about subjects such as health and energy, overcoming fears, persuasive communication, and enhancing relationships. He also became well known in America and internationally through infomercials promoting personal development audio programs and motivational seminars. His audio programs, seminars and self-help products featured Neuro-linguistic programming and Ericksonian hypnosis which he studied at the start of his career. Robbins seminars also used firewalking as a metaphor for overcoming fears and limiting beliefs. Later, Robbins combined his skills and techniques with other methods claimed to effect personal change.

Personal life

Robbins was born in North Hollywood, California. He was raised in Azusa, California and attended Glendora High School. His parents divorced when he was seven years old, and his mother later remarried twice and was quoted as saying “Tony could never shut up even as a child” and that “he drove my husbands away with his big mouth”. Tony took on the surname of Jim Robbins, his first stepfather.

In 1994, a routine medical check revealed a tumor in Robbins’ pituitary gland. Robbins explains in Personal Power that the tumor was actually an adenoma that had infarcted several years earlier. Due to the pressure of the adenoma on his pituitary gland, he had circulating levels of growth hormone several times higher than what would be normal for an adult his age. This had resulted in a subclinical manifestation of the disease known as acromegaly, which doctors told Robbins was responsible for his remarkable growth spurts as a teenager, as well as his large hands and feet (he is 6 feet 7 inches (201 cm) tall). After consulting with multiple physicians, Robbins decided not to have the adenoma resected, as it was not causing any clinical manifestations.

Robbins was married to his first wife, Becky for 15 years. The marriage ended in divorce in 2001. In a 2001 CNN interview, Robbins said it was difficult to end his marriage to Becky Robbins, saying it was the toughest decision of his life. He said that he also knew if he stayed with her, he’d be ruining her life and his, but mostly hers. Robbins makes similar comments about his first marriage in his recent Ultimate Relationship Program.
In June of the same year, he married Bonnie Humphrey (now known as Sage Robbins).

Career and ideas

Robbins started his career promoting seminars for Jim Rohn, and then started teaching neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) after learning it from NLP co-founder John Grinder.

Grinder encouraged Anthony Robbins to look into the firewalking experience. In 1983, Robbins located Tolly Burkan and learned how to firewalk from him. Robbins then added firewalking to his seminars, which enabled him to gain media coverage and launch his celebrity status. Robbins later began to teach Neuro-Associative Conditioning (NAC) and “Human exploitation Psychology”.

In his Awaken the Giant Within book, Robbins says that the difference between NAC and NLP lies in the use of the word ‘conditioning’ instead of the word ‘programming’. The word ‘conditioning’ implies that the subject has greater responsibility for his or her own change, as opposed to being programmed by someone else.

At the start of his success, Tony Robbins lived paycheck to paycheck in the self development business and struggled to pay his $15,000 a month mortgage on his castle home (mentioned in Unleash the Power Within).

Anthony Robbins calls himself a peak performance coach rather than a motivational speaker. He tries to find out what people do when they are at their peak and then help them access that peak state whenever necessary. He believes what he does is more effective than providing temporary motivation.
Robbins also conducts seminars, including his four-day Unleash the Power Within (UPW) seminar (Of the four days, Tony is only there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Live, and Monday is video based.), and his Mastery University, which includes Life Mastery, (which is now also a video based presentation with a Robbins Facilitator, although Tony still conducts this program live as well), Date With Destiny, and Wealth Mastery.

The UPW is also known as his firewalk seminar, during which the participants walk barefoot over hot coals at the end of the first evening. The aim of the seminar, demonstrated in the firewalk, is to illustrate that the main quality shared by those who achieve greatness is the ability to take action (‘Personal Power’). Robbins’ philosophy asserts that fear often holds people back from achieving what they want with their life, and that fear is a more powerful motivator than desire or attraction. Walking safely on burning coals (with the correct preparation of the coals, and instruction of the participants) requires no special physical skills, you simply have to have the courage to brave it. Applying that same principle to other aspects of life can empower the individual to attempt tasks he or she would previously have considered impossible.

Mastery University is promoted at the UPW seminar. Life Mastery, espouses Robbins’ ideas about what makes for a healthy lifestyle, and has in the past featured guest lecturers including Deepak Chopra and John Gray. Date With Destiny, the only Mastery event at which Robbins is present for the entire event, is said to be designed to help participants align their values so that they are not in conflict, but rather are aligned with the participant’s individual goals. Wealth Mastery teaches concepts which believers feel can facilitate financial wealth.

In 1997, Robbins initiated his Leadership Academy seminar, in which he invites participants to learn the skills he uses, with the stated goal of the program to enable the participant to “create an identity for yourself as someone who can help anyone, no matter what his/her challenge may be.”

Beginning in 2006, Robbins has appeared at several The Learning Annex Real Estate Wealth Expos as a headline speaker. He also appeared as a featured speaker at the 2007 Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference.His talk is among the TOP TEN TED TALKS.

Robbins promotes a mainly vegetarian and vegan lifestyle and endorses the views of Robert Young and Natural Hygiene practices regarding the need for an alkaline diet, in which proteins and carbohydrates are consumed separately. In recent events, he has included fish into his diet plan, citing the need for omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids in a complete diet. He has also praised John Robbins’ book Diet for a New America.

Anthony Robbins Foundation

Robbins is the founder of the Anthony Robbins Foundation, which proclaims its mission is to empower students, help prisoners to improve their lives, organize food drives, and fund Robbins’ summer “Discovery Camp”.According to the website, it has “products and programs in more than 2,000 schools, 700 prisons, and 100,000 health and human service organizations. The 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.” Charity Navigator gives the foundation an overall rating of three out of four stars.

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