It’s a four day immersive event that lasts 12 to 14 hours per day. You dance a LOT… You sing a LOT… You yell a LOT… and it is one of the greatest experiences in the world of personal development.
I just got back from this event a couple weeks ago, and it was once again transformational for me. I came back feeling elevated, empowered, and eager to tackle the next big things in my life.
Is This a Cult?
So, the first question you may be asking, “is it a cult?” The short answer is no. I did not see any Kool-Aid being distributed throughout the convention center. But I can understand how the aforementioned dancing, screaming, and apparent deification of Robbins may naturally lead one to suspect a cult, but alas, I came away with my brain sufficiently free from washing.
Seriously though, UPW delivers on the promise to ignite transformation. And I wanted to report on a few things that I experienced at this event – my second in person event and third total – that were most meaningful to me.
My heart is my strength when my brain is weak
This revelation occurred to me as Tony started a meditation asking us to be grateful for our hearts. That simple ask led me to think of how often my heart has been with me through my life. All of my experiences, ups and downs, triumph and tragedy, my heart continues to beat. Even when my brain is overwhelmed, even when I’m afraid, even when I’m sleeping. It is the one constant in life that stays with us all the days we spend living. It doesn’t judge me for bad behaviors like my brain does, it just keeps beating in my chest with power and grace. This may not seem like a life transforming revelation, but this small realization changes my perspective on just about every achievement that I have in my life. It makes me feel an abundance of grace, which leads to gratitude. The action I took home with me from this is to include in my Morning Method a gratitude exercise where I express thanks for my heart. I resolve to take care of my heart because the stronger it is, the stronger I become.
If we don’t prime ourselves, we are being primed
Nature abhors a vacuum, so when we don’t take care of ourselves, and our mental strength and well-being, outside influences will do that for us. The solution? A morning priming exercise that allows us to take control of our own empowerment. I’ve been practicing a Morning Method for many years now, but the added layer of knowing that if I DON’T prime myself that I WILL be subject to outside influences made it all the more necessary to reinforce that habit.
There is tremendous power in community energy
This is where the cult thing becomes an issue… The reason that events like this may seem like a cult is because it is basically rooted in the same type of psychology. Charismatic leader creates a powerful message -> Charismatic leader delivers that powerful message to a community of people -> Contagious energy ensues… both good and bad. This is why it’s important that use that energy for GOOD. At a Tony Robbins event the energy is empowering, and instead of gravitating that energy toward a single figure (like the cult leader), the empowerment is internally focused. It’s a freeing experience. The key is to surround yourself with that good empowering energy as much as possible, and bring it into the world.
It’s Important to Have a Massive Action Plan
A lot of times at these events, I get the impression that some folks do “personal development” on themselves as a full time job. There’s not a lot of action to add value beyond the event. Of course there’s value in making yourself feel good – and Tony Robbins is great at helping his audience achieve that – but without taking action after the fact, UPW would be the equivalent of a very long, very expensive weekend at the spa. The important thing we should get from something like UPW is not that Tony Robbins creates this energy in us, it’s that we can create this energy in ourselves… at will. And if we can do that as effectively as we’re being conditioned in a Tony Robbins event, we can deploy it in the world with tremendous effectiveness. So instead of jumping right into the next personal development thing, spend some time really getting familiar with the transformation that just occurred. Give it a test drive in the world. See how much you can level up from this experience. Then, when you’re good and ready, do the next thing.
Unleash the Power Within is an event that brings together the elements of empowerment, community, and energy in a way that few events ever do. It is like a rock concert, and Tony Robbins like the rock star. Yet what we, the audience, get from it is not just entertainment. It’s transformation… if and only if we bring the right attitude to it, and we commit ourselves to the task of taking massive action.
Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Is it for people that want to achieve great things but are hampered by their fears or perceived limitations? I would say unequivocally YES.
I do plan to get myself to UPW again soon, but in the meantime, I’m going to take my new, more energetic, more certain, more growth oriented self out for a test drive.