Unlimited Power - Critical summary review - Tony Robbins

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Unlimited Power - critical summary review

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Career & Business, translation missing: en.categories_name.emotional-intelligence and Self Help & Motivation

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 0684845776

Publisher: Free Press

Critical summary review

Are you constantly feeling down? Do you have a big dream, but don’t know how to make it come true? No need to worry, there are ways to manipulate your thinking and increase your chances of success – and this knowledge can be used by anyone. 

First published in 1986, the principles outlined in “Unlimited Power” retain much of their relevance today. So get ready to learn all about training your brain for happiness and success!

Becoming successful

At the young age of 36, Steven Spielberg was already one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, with major films such as “E.T.” already under his belt. How did he get there? His story is quite an extraordinary one. He knew he wanted to make films when he was just 13 years old, and his life changed completely when he went on a tour of Universal Studios at the age of 17. Near the end of the tour, he even snuck off and managed to talk to the head of editorial.

Emboldened by this first look into a world he wanted to belong to, Spielberg started dressing up in a suit and a briefcase and started hanging out on the Universal lot, talking to anyone in the film industry he could meet. A couple years later, at the age of 20, he suggested an idea for a film, managed to get a contract, and was allowed to direct a TV series for the next seven years!

We can all be like Steven Spielberg. We can make our wildest dreams come true. All you need is the specialized knowledge on how to achieve ultimate power. Ultimate power means creating the things you want, while producing value for others in the process. It means changing your thoughts and actions with “Optimum Performance Technologies.” 

Only effective action can transform your life. Central to it is the ability to communicate effectively – with yourself and with others. Internal communication is the way you feel, or how you picture something. External communication is any signal you send out to the world, and can be either verbal and nonverbal. When you master the art of communication, there is nothing you cannot do.

You can control your mental state just as much as you can control how you communicate with the world. It is your choice how you want to see life. It doesn’t just happen to you, you play an active part in interpreting the events in your life. Your outlook on life is created by you, and how you choose to see it has a tremendous effect on how successful you can be. 

There is no such a thing as failure, for example, just what you make of it. A failure is achieving something that you did not want, such as a bad test result, or a failed relationship. But you have still created a result, an outcome. And that is what makes successful people different from the rest – they simply do not believe in failure.

To become successful, follow Robbins’ Ultimate Success Formula. First, you must know your precise goal. Define what it is that you want. Then, take action. Don’t hesitate if you want your dreams to become reality. Finally, evaluate the outcomes of your actions. Are they getting you where you want to be? If not, you might have to adjust them again. Even when your actions do not immediately produce the results you want, use the experiences to learn and improve. 


Have you ever found yourself admiring someone and thinking that you could never be like them? Well, you can be. Each and every one of us has the power to create the person we want to be.

This can be achieved through modeling. One way of becoming successful is by studying what others are doing. Results are achieved through physical and mental actions, so if you can manage to exactly replicate these actions, you can achieve the same results. Most decisions we make are based on three senses: visual (sight), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (touch).

To be able to replicate actions precisely, you must pay attention to so-called submodalities. These are the smallest, most precise building blocks that create the human experience. For example, to fully understand a visual experience, you must already have knowledge about the colors, the brightness, and whether the picture is moving or stationary. 

If you manage to precisely see how another person behaves, and how they came to be where they are, then you can model their behavior and become successful as well. Modeling saves time to get to your goal. Let’s say you want to have financial success. Find someone who already has that kind of success and replicate their actions. If you want to have a fulfilling relationship, find someone who is already in one and copy their strategy. You can achieve anything through the process of modeling, even with little to no previous experience or knowledge. 

Training your brain

Modeling is a powerful way to create more or less instant success. And in general, you can train your brain to achieve anything you want through Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP).

Our actions are governed by emotions, and our emotional states can be either enabling or paralyzing. Confidence and love are enabling states, while frustration, anxiety or depression are paralyzing states. Being paralyzed means being unresourceful, and unresourceful behavior does not lead to success. 

So what can you do when you are in an unresourceful state? No need to give up or despair, since it is possible to change the state you are in, with a few easy tricks.  

Every state is defined by certain submodalities. For example, a depressed state usually entails a hung head and a lax body posture. Take the example of a young boy the author once helped. The boy was unmotivated to go to school, and his lack of motivation was visible in the tension in his biceps, as well as the boy saying certain words to himself in a certain tone. 

When you are in a certain emotional state, take precise note of how this affects you emotionally and physically. How do you feel?  What is your body posture? How is your breathing pattern, fast or slow? Knowing what each emotional state looks like for you allows you to manipulate your feelings towards something you hate doing, by attaching the submodalities of pleasure to it.

Of course, you need to practice and repeat the process, it doesn’t happen overnight. To achieve lasting change, try using the swish pattern. This will make the process automatic for you:

Make a mental image of the behavior you want to change.

Now create an image of yourself having achieved the desired change.

Finally, let the second image overlay the first, so that an automatic triggering mechanism is established. To send positive signals to your brain, accompany this swishing process by saying “woooosh” out loud.

If you keep repeating the swish pattern, you will effectively change the way your brain works in the long run. 

Reframing and anchoring

Signals have different meanings, depending on the context. Think about the sound of footsteps. Probably, taken out of context, they incite no reaction whatsoever. But what about hearing footsteps in your house in the middle of the night? That likely induces a feeling of fear.

Similarly, anything you experience in life will have a different meaning for you, depending on the frame you put around it. Nothing has an inherent meaning. Optical illusions are a great example of how changing your perspective can completely change what you are looking at.

The art of reframing allows you to overcome traumatic experiences and thus achieve personal change. There are two ways in which you can reframe your experiences: context reframing and content reframing. 

Context reframing means taking a bad experience or situation and seeing how it can be beneficial in different circumstances. Take the story of Rudolph the reindeer, as an example. The other reindeers made fun of his red nose, but eventually, it helps them find their way in a dark night and he becomes a hero.

Content reframing means changing what a situation means to you. Take the example of an army general who, instead of saying that his troops were retreating, told them they were advancing into a different direction. If you are upset by something someone said to you, you can use content reframing and imagine them saying these things in the voice and tonality of your favorite singer.

Similar to signals, the world around us is also full of anchors: these are stimuli that are linked to certain states. A flag will, for many, hold strong connotations of patriotism and pride, for example. 

You can utilize the process of anchoring for your personal development as well, since it is an incredibly effective technique to channel your subconscious reactions. To do so, first put yourself in the state you are wishing to anchor. Then, use a specific and unique stimulus during the peak of that state. As a somewhat silly example, you could trigger someone to laugh by anchoring the stimulus of squeezing their ear and making a particular sound at the same time. You can use the same principles to make yourself more confident, for example.

Communicating effectively

The key to unlimited power is being able to communicate effectively. So how do you do that? Effective communication means being precise. If you are able to accurately articulate exactly what you want, you are bound to be successful.

Language in the modern world consists of a lot of fluff, such as exaggerations or generalizations. One of the author’s conversations is a brilliant example for that: in one of his seminars, one of his clients came up to him telling him that the seminar was too expensive. The author replied with, “Compared to what?” Eventually, through asking a series of questions, he elicited exactly what it was the client wanted from the seminar, in order to make it feel enjoyable and worth his money. 

Another way in which we often use imprecise language is by making assumptions about internal states. For example, describing someone as looking tired, instead of saying exactly what they look like. Only lazy communicators make assumptions.

Successful communication happens when you not only manage to use precise language, but also to build rapport with the person you are speaking to. Rapport means entering the other person’s world so completely that they feel a strong common bond with you. And since other people are the most important resource to achieving what you want in life, being able to create a common bond is an essential skill. 

If you use the skills developed in the previous chapters correctly, you will be able to build rapport with other people more effectively. One way of doing so is by mirroring their gestures and posture. This will make them feel understood, without you even having to say anything.

Another way of successfully influencing others is by finding out what kind of person they are: do they respond to touch, images, or sound? Knowing this will, for example, allow you to successfully adjust a business presentation to that person’s needs.

Final Notes

Internal and external communications are the key to success. You can use Neurolinguistic Programming to train your brain and to change the way you see the world – and the same principles can be used to influence others to help you on your way to success.

Tony Robbins has made a name for himself as an internationally successful motivational trainer, so learn some of his lessons by reading “Unlimited Power.”

12min Tip

Make a list of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic words and observe people’s reactions when you use them.

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Who wrote the book?

Anthony Robbins is an American life coach, author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. He had a rough upbringing, left home at 17 years of age, and did not attend col... (Read more)

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