Tony, Im sorry. I was wrong. I now get it.
I have been aware of Tony Robbins for many years, he was often someone that would pop on UK shows, presented to appear almost evangelical with his business and lifeskill musings. The money he charges was always part of blurb that accompanied the footage, and it was always a suggestion that he was the one getting rich rather than those who were paying for the knowledge to get themselves untold riches.
I enjoyed his interviews on the Tim Ferriss show, and when Netflix recommended his new film to me I begrudgingly gave it a try....and he overturned all the preconceptions I had about him. I had assumed he was a Derren Brown type character - don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Mr Brown and have thoroughly enjoyed his live shows, but he is a performer that lets you aware that its an act, rather than try and sell the story as though he believes it himself.
Bit by bit I started to get it. He is a monster of a guy - physically and personality wise - and seeing his preparation for the event, how much he put into it, and the impact it had on people, was a fascinating reveal on the true nature of his live events.
A standout moment for me in the film was when a couple whose relationship was struggling were featured. Tony asked the guy to "roar like a lion", and when he did, he absolutely nailed the impersonation. I found this interesting, as I had fully expected him to try and be feeble, and to then get encouragement before perfecting it on his second or even third attempt, but to get it right first go in front of an audience that big, really caught my attention. Perhaps it was the energy in the room and the atmosphere that had been created, maybe it was his desire to make the relationship work, maybe it had be edited to miss out the warm up roars, either way, out of the whole film it was the moment that stuck with me.
The price of attending these events does put me off (at the moment), but the film has changed my perception and I have since bought a number of his books. Hopefully the learnings will benefit fte.
MD & Co-Founder of fte