I’ve reclaimed my destiny! I’m gradually plugging myself back into the real world after my Date With Destiny experience. Having spent over six years at Microsoft, I’ve gone through a half-dozen personality tests, goal setting other skills assessment programs. Going into this seminar, I thought I knew myself, what drives me and my life goals pretty well.
I wasn’t sure to expect. I certainly didn’t think anything in my life was broken. I don’t have a crumbling marriage or strained relationship (I am in fact single). I am not in debt. I have a job (and a damn good one at that). I am living in a great place. I am in good physical health. I was mostly looking forward meeting other motivated people, and perhaps refining my life goals a bit.
I got much more than I bargained for.
The level of intensity that was really unbelievable. My typical routine involved a 7-8am wake up, followed by a quick workout (30 minutes jogging while nose breathing, and some weights at the hotel gym). The sessions started anywhere from 8:30-10am depending on the day. Things wrapped up somewhere between Midnight and 2am. There were rarely any breaks. If you had to use the bathroom, you just ran out and came right back! You packed snacks with you to eat. Despite the rigorous schedule, I had an incredibly high level of energy, and was really alert for the entire time. Perhaps they were pumping oxygen into the room to keep us all awake?!?!
From a nutritional standpoint, I love these events, because almost everyone is eating healthy food. Tony teaches (or should I say pushes and guilt-trips?!?!) people to adopt a vegan diet. I met many who decided to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet during the week. On the second day I sat next to a raw foodist. He had more food with him than you could imagine and nd insisted on feeding everyone within reach. Of course, I didn’t mind :) .
I didn’t have a drop of coffee all week. I just ate lots of raw nuts (Brazil, almond and cashews), apples, pears, salads, carrots, avocados, Vega Whole Food Meal Replacement drink and an occasional noodle soup from the Chinese place down the road (on the rare occassion when we had a break). Funny enough, I weighed myself yesterday after the seminar ended, fully expecting to have lost 4-5 pounds. However, my body-weight was the same as when I left, but I had 3% less body-fat! I don’t know how that is possible given that I didn’t eat that much….but my body seems to be doing just fine.
What did we do all day?
For those of you who haven’t been to a Tony Robbins seminar…let’s just say that you are never sitting for more than an hour at a stretch. The room is setup like a rock concert, with massive projection screens, a big stage, and a sound system better than most big dance clubs. There are frequent partner or group activities, and random games and clowning around to get you out of your head. Examples? Get in groups of 4 and select one person to jump in the middle and dance like Britney Spears. Get in groups of 5 and massage one person at the same time. Get in groups of 2, face each other and dance like a crazy person. I think you get the point! All the while, music (really good music I might add) and videos are played in the background.
In terms of format, each day had a different focus, where we learned and applied specific tools. There was an introduction day. A relationship day. An integration day. A transformation day, and so on. Each day has a stacking affect on the previous days. After the first few days I was clueless. The material didn’t have much of an impact on me. However, by the fifth day when we began to integrate the material together, things starting to click in a big way.
The material is based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, that Tony has modified and customized during this interactions with over 3 million people over the past 30 years. He also pulls material from other areas; including Indian Meditation, Spiral Dynamics and Ken Wilbur’s teachings. The great thing about Tony’s seminars, is that they are always evolving. As new techniques are discovered, they are incorporated into the mix.
Also, since the event was quite large (2500 people) we were split into teams of 50 people. Each team sat together each day, and had breakouts at the beginning of each day. My team was absolutely outstanding (Go Team 12!!!). I made a dozen lifelong friends through this process. Successful businessmen. College students. People in strained relationships. People in loving and happy relationships. A 20 year old professional poker player. A nightclub owner. A tax attorney. A criminal defense lawyer. Yes, we had quite the mix of people! Just developing these relationships made it worth attending in my opinion.
So what did I learn?
The point of the seminar was to define who you are and your core values, identify areas where changes are needed and take massive action to integrate the required changes into your mind and body. The process was incredibly intense. It was the most emotionally intense thing I have ever done. I suppose the best comparison is the way I felt in the final mile of the marathon during my last two Ironman Triathlons….not how my physical body felt…but how I felt emotionally. Lingering Sorrow, fatigue and incredible euphoria all at once. Imagine that feeling prolonged over six days and you are getting a taste of what it is like.
I will be writing a series of articles in January recapping my key learning’s from Date With Destiny. There is just no way I could it all justice in a single post. At a high level, the biggest insight for me was just how powerful emotions really are. We experience them during points of significant achievement or severe loss, but rarely are able to harness emotional strength on a daily basis to live a more courageous and fulfilling life. This is a strength that the physical body or the intellect can never match. There is no way I could have made this level of progress, this fast, on my own.
Since the seminar ended yesterday I have already begun to notice my body responding differently to emotional triggers in daily life. Things that would normally create frustration or anger do not have the same effect on me. A few dietary and behavioral addictions have also disappeared.
So far so good!
So I step on a plane (again) in a few hours, bound for India. It will be the first time I have visited in 13 years. After the past week at Date With Destiny, I can only imagine how fulfilling the next three weeks will be. I don’t expect to do any blogging during the trip. I hope that you have a safe and happy holiday season. Talk to you again when I return in the new year!