Anthony Robbins: Notes from a Friend Book Summary





The book is divided into 11 different lessons that act as tools to truly assist the reader in making change happen.

LESSON ONE FEELING OVERWHELMED…HOW TO TURN IT AROUND – in this lesson the author urges us to understand that our past does not equal our future. When we try a new approach, we try our best, yet we still fail to reach our goal, often we fear trying again because we want to avoid the pain that is associated with it. And nobody wants to fail again. Nobody wants to give his or her all, only to be disappointed. But according to the author, what matters is not yesterday but what is done right now. So many people are trying to drive into the future using a rearview mirror to guide themselves! They will crash. Instead one must focus on what can be done today to make things better.

The key to success is to decide what’s most important to you and then take massive action each day to make it better, even when it doesn’t look as if it’s working. The author calls it Personal Power. It means being persistent in taking action: Every time you do something, you learn from it, and you find a way to do it better next time. We must constantly remind ourselves to focus on what we want, to focus on solutions instead of problems. We must focus immediately on the actions we can take today, even if they are small ones. No problem affects ones entire life, even though it may look like right now. Do not be shut down by fear of failure, follow the advice of the Nike Ad Just do it.

LESSON TWO THERE ARE NO FAILURES – This lesson is all about believing that even though things may look impossible now, they can be turned around. All of us have problems, disappointments, and frustrations, but it’s how we deal with our setbacks that will shape our lives more than anything else we do. No person, no disappointment is worth committing suicide over. Life is always worth living. There’s always something to be grateful for. We must learn to remember that GOD’S DELAYS ARE NOT GOD’S DENIALS, that there are no failures, that if you try something and it doesn’t work, but you learn something from it that can help you be more effective in the future, then you’ve truly succeeded. SUCCESS IS THE RESULT OF GOOD JUDGEMENT. GOOD JUDGEMENT IS THE RESULT OF EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE IS OFTEN THE RESULT OF BAD JUDGEMENT. Hence, we must keep at it. If we keep striving to make things better and we learn from our “mistakes”, then we will succeed.

LESSON THREE THE UNSTOPPABLE YOU: DECISION MAKER – “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Anthony Robbins, Author. We all have the power to choose. Ultimately, it’s our decisions & not the conditions of our lives that determine our destiny. If we sincerely want to change our lives, then we’ve got to make some new decisions about what we stand for and what we’re going to do…and what we’recommitted to. A real decision is made when you cut off any other possibility except what you’ve committed to do to make it a reality, when you will not look back, when you will not even consider the alternative of giving up. When you make a real decision, you draw a line. You know exactly what you want. This kind of clarity gives you the power to do even more to get the results you’ve decided to go for. Over here, example of Soichiro Honda: founder of the Honda Corporation, the maker of Honda cars and motorcycles is cited. Mr. Honda never allowed tragedy, problems, challenges, or the twists and turns of circumstances to get in his way. In fact, he often decided to see some of the biggest obstacles in his way as mere hurdles in the race to reach his goals. He decided that there is always a way to succeed if you’re really committed!

Mr. Honda had the following key formula to success:

  • He decided what he wanted.
  • He took action.
  • He noticed whether it was working or not, and when things weren’t working out,
  • He kept changing his approach. He was flexible in the way he went about things.

Was Mr. Honda Lucky? Maybe, because LUCK meant to him as Labor Under Correct Knowledge. It is not where you start out but the decisions you make about where you’re determined to end up that matter.

LESSON FOUR BUILD YOUR BELIEFS AND…BLAST OFF! – There is a force that controls all your decisions. It influences how you think and feel every moment you’re alive. It determines what you will do and what you will not do. It determines how you feel about anything that occurs in your life. That force is your beliefs. As soon as we have a belief, it begins to control what we can see and what we can feel. Beliefs can affect your life and the lives of those around you. Beliefs are very powerful, so you’ve got to be careful about what you choose to believe, especially about yourself.

Most people treat a belief as if it’s a real thing, when it is actually nothing but a feeling of certainty about what something means. If you say you believe that you’re intelligent, all you’re really saying is, “I feel certain that I am intelligent. That sense of certainty allows you to tap resources that help you act intelligently to produce the results you want. We all have the answers for virtually anything – or at least we have access to the answers we need through others. But often our lack of belief – our lack of certainty – causes us to be unable to use the capacity that resides within us.

It is important to note that we can develop beliefs about anything if we just find enough legs to support them. You can choose what to believe about yourself, and these beliefs will determine the actions you take. The important thing is to choose beliefs that support you and give you hope and energy.

LESSON FIVE WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET – the fastest way to change how you feel about anything is to change what you’re focusing on. It is very easy for anybody to slip into lousy feelings. And that is where it is crucial to control your focus. Even if things are tough, you’ve got to focus on what you can do, on what you can control. Or you could focus so intensely on the future you’re dreaming of that you get excited about it in advance! That will give you the energy to start making things happen.

There are unlimited things people can notice, but too many of us focus on what’s terrible, on the things we can’t control. And as soon as people lose control, they zero in on exactly what they want to avoid – and they connect with it. Instead we must steer our focus in the right direction. You must focus on where you want to go. The reality is that whatever you focus on you move toward. You and I must make sure that when problems come up we focus on solutions, that we focus on where we want to go instead of on what frightens us. Whatever you think about most you’ll experience

LESSON SIX QUESTIONS ARE THE ANSWER – The best way to control your focus is through the power of questions. Do you know that asking the right question can actually save your life? Clearly there are several factors to it, but one different question is all that it takes. And ask for it over and over, with expectation, certain that you would receive an answer. Ask questions that could give you wonderful answers.

The author suggests some questions to solve problems. According to him, these questions prepare him to look up for and find solutions whenever a problem comes up.

The Problem-Solving Questions are:



  1. What is great about this problem?
  2. What is not perfect yet?
  3. What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?
  4. What am I willing to no longer do in order to make it the way I want it?
  5. How can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want it?

The author suggests that if you have trouble answering any one of these questions, use the word could. E.g. what could I be most happy about in life right now?

The author also suggests that you ask yourself a specific set of questions in the morning when you get up and another set of questions at night before going to sleep. According to him, this will setup for feeling great all day and also end the days on a high note.

The Morning Power Questions are:

  1. What am I happy about in my life right now? What about that makes me happy?How does that make me feel?
  2. What am I excited about in my life right now? What about that makes me excited?How does that make me feel?
  3. What am I proud of in my life right now? What about that makes me proud? How does that make me feel?
  4. What am I grateful for in my life right now? What about that makes me grateful?How does that make me feel?
  5. What am I enjoying most in my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
  6. What am I committed to in my life right now? What about that makes me committed? How does that make me feel?
  7. Who do I love? Who loves me? What about that makes me loving? How does that make me feel?

The Evening Power Questions are:

  1. What have I given today? In what ways have I been a giver today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. How has today added to the quality of my life? How can I use today as an investment into my future?

According to the author, these questions have been lifesavers for him. They will help you to change your focus – and thus help you to change your life. Once you know how to ask empowering questions, you can help not only yourself but others as well.

Most of us realize that the way we feel emotionally affects the way we feel physically. But few of us realize how powerfully the reverse is true: when we are moved physically, we are moved emotionally too. The two cannot be separated. We must realize that emotion is created by motion.The way we move changes the way we think, feel, and behave. Movement affects our body’s chemistry, including everything from more physical activities (such as running, clapping, or jumping) to the smallest movements in the muscles of the face.

The author states that moving in the same way that someone else does, you’ll start to have very much the same feelings. Suppose you are a star quarterback and you’ve just made the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. How would you walk? Would your head be down and your shoulders slumped over? No way! You’d be strutting! Your whole body would say, “I’m the greatest!” Would that change how you feel and what you do? No doubt about it.

How can you feel this way every day? Find those who are successful and model the physiology of their confidence: their gestures, their breathing, their walk. Better yet, model the physical movements that you use yourself when you’re in a peak state of mind or emotion. You’ll find that this is not just a game but a way of tapping into the amazing intelligence that is built into every cell in your brain and body. You sow the same seeds of movement and breath, and you will reap similar rewards.

And as long as you’re meeting role models of confidence, success, and happiness, don’t just notice their physiology but also begin to listen to them, listen to the structure of their language.

LESSON EIGHT THE VOCABULARY OF SUCCESS: The specific words we use – controls the way we think. And the way we think controls how we feel and what we do. Words do have the power to change how we feel. That is why we’re so moved when we hear, even decades later, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. talking about his dream, or John F. Kennedy talking about what one person can do for an entire country. Words change the way we feel, and most of us have no conscious awareness of the ones we’re using as we communicate with others and ourselves. Feel “ecstatic” instead of just “okay”.Be “enthralled” instead of just “interested”. Feel “superb” instead of “all right.” Instead of feeling “fine,” feel “phenomenal!” You’re not just “determined,” you’re “unstoppable”!

LESSON NINE ARE YOU “UP AGAINST A WALL?” BREAK THROUGH WITH A NEW METAPHOR: Whenever you describe something as being like something else, you’re creating a metaphor. Metaphors are like symbols: a quick way to say a lot. People use metaphors all the time to describe how they feel about all kinds of things. E.g. “Life is a battle” & “Life is a beach” are two metaphors and two very different ways of looking at the world. What goes along thinking life is a battle? If you described life that way, you’d probably believe that people are always fighting one another. But if you said life was a beach, you might believe people could have fun together. When you choose a metaphor to describe your life or your situation, you choose the beliefs it supports too. This is why you want to be careful about the way you describe your world – to yourself or anyone else.

LESSON TEN READY…SET…GOAL! HOW SETTING GOALS CAN BUILD YOUR FUTURE – When people achieve extraordinary, seemingly impossible goals, they’re often assumed to have been “fortunate,” “in the right place at the right time,” or “born under a lucky star.” But research has shown that all of these greatest achievers and their incredible accomplishments began with the same first step: the setting of a goal. One must realize that achieving the goal isn’t half as important as setting it, then taking massive action towards its attainment. The reason we set goals is to give our lives focus and to move us in the direction we would like to go. The harder you prepare, the luckier you seem to get. All people who succeed dedicate themselves to continuous improvement. They’re never satisfied with just doing well; they constantly want to do better. These people break a goal into bit-size pieces, achievable “sub-goals” that lead toward the ultimate success they desire.They take immediate action to support their goals. And they also celebrate the achievement of each small step. This helps you to build momentum and develop habits that will gradually turn your dreams into reality.

Choose a truly inspiring goal, when you do that, you free the power within yourself to achieve far more than others imagine is possible. You give yourself an incredible opportunity to stretch and grow. Learn to set goals and determine outcomes. Learn to make a map of the roads you want to travel in your life. Figure out where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Be specific. The more detailed you are, the more empowered you are to create a result.

Finally “train your brain” so it knows that this goal is a happening thing:

  • Twice a day, sit quietly for a few minutes and think about your goal
  • Imagine that you have already achieved your goal. Feel the pleasure, pride & excitement of this fulfillment. See and hear all the wonderful details.

LESSON ELEVEN THE TEN-DAY MENTAL CHALLENGE – This exercise is to enable control of our mind by not allowing to hold one negative thought consistently. The rules are:

  1. During the next ten days, refuse to hang on to any crummy thoughts, feelings, questions, words, or metaphors.
  2. When you catch yourself focusing on the negative – and you will – immediately ask yourself questions to get you to a better place. Start with the Problem – Solving Questions.
  3. When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself the Morning Power Questions. Just before you fall asleep at night, ask yourself the Evening Power Questions. This will do wonders to keep you feeling good.
  4. For the next ten consecutive days, focus completely on solutions and not on problems.
  5. If you have a lousy thought question, or feeling, don’t beat yourself up. Just change it immediately. If you dwell on any of these for more than five minutes, however,you must wait until the following morning and start the ten days over.

This truly amazing Mental Challenge promises to give four things:

  1. It will make you see all the mental habits that hold you back.
  2. It will make your brain search for powerful, helpful alternatives.
  3. It will give you a tremendous jolt of confidence as you see you can turn your life around.
  4. It will create new habits, new standards, and new expectations that will help you grow and enjoy life more and more, every day!

CONCLUSION: The author urges us to forget about our problems for a day or two, look for someone else who is having a rougher time than you are right now, and assist that person in making it “just a little” better. Give someone a “little bit” of help, a “little bit” of support. All of this is to remind you what your life is really about and who you really are. It’ll fulfill the most noble and fundamental needs of human nature, to connect and contribute. It’ll transform you. So take the time…and give yourself the gift that comes only to those who give unselfishly. The better you are, the more you’ll be able to give to others. Better yet, go beyond just taking care of yourself. Create an extraordinary life – an ordinary life to which you’ve added just that extra little bit of dedication, commitment, and love.






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