Tony Robbins’ Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness — and, of course, The Pressure Paradox ; )


“Hard days are the best because that’s where champions are made!” ~Gabby Douglas

By: Martin Grunburg

First, if you’re familiar with my thoughts on mastery and learning, then you’ll understand how it is we are upon this topic again. ; ) If not, I recommend you listen to this podcast episode to learn why I will revisit the same lesson dozens and maybe hundreds of times.

The other day, I was randomly flipping through Tony Robbins’ Unlimited Power and found myself reading Chapter XIX, Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness.

His insights and commentary here are extremely fascinating. First, are these really the FIVE KEYS? I’m not doubting him, I’m just asking. And, “WOW!” If these really are “The Five Keys,” then they take on a very interesting and powerful light (so to speak), particularly as viewed through the prism of pressure and, of course, my most recent book, The Pressure Paradox.

For “fun” let’s keep the idea of pressure top of mind, and as you read through Tony’s Five Keys to Wealth and Happiness, ask yourself if the idea of pressure is related to any of them.

KEY #1: You must learn how to handle frustration.

KEY #2: You must learn how to handle rejection.

KEY #3: You must learn how to handle financial pressure.

KEY #4: You must learn how to handle complacency.

KEY #5: Always give more than you expect to receive.

Interesting, isn’t it!?

So how many of Tony’s “keys to wealth and happiness” are you able to associate with pressure? One or maybe two or three, right?

Obviously, the one called “financial pressure” is a bit of a no-brainer.

What bout frustration? Isn’t frustration (an emotion) a symptom of either internal or external pressure? If I get laid off, aren’t I going to be frustrated? If a goal or project doesn’t go as planned, won’t I feel frustrated? Aren’t both of these examples of feeling pressure in some way (key distinction) before the emotion?

What about rejection? Also an emotion, and I will ask the very same question: Isn’t rejection a symptom of either internal or external pressure? Both frustration and rejection are personal emotions that result from pressure. If I submit a manuscript to a publisher and it gets rejected, won’t I feel pressure? If I’m subjected to outside judgement or ridicule? Pressure.

Let’s just skip “financial pressure.” Pressure is part of the name.

Next, what about the idea of complacency? Isn’t that just the ABSENCE of pressure?

Brian Tracy likes to say that “Comfort is the great enemy of success.” BTW: That is an important distinction. He’s NOT saying it’s the enemy of success, he’s saying it is the “GREAT” enemy of success.

Complacency is another way to say or infer “comfort,” which again is the absence of pressure. If this sounds like a reach to you, here are Tony’s own words: “Many people try to avoid pressure, yet the absence of any tension or pressure usually creates a sense of boredom and the lackluster experience of life that so many people complain about.”

If you’re keeping score at home, we are now four for four when it comes to pressure as a core idea and subject relating to Tony’s “Five keys to wealth and happiness.”

And, of course, there is one last, fifth “secret.” I love “secrets”. ; ) “Always give more than you expect to receive.” Now, can you see any correlation here with this fifth secret to the idea of pressure?

Do you want more time?

Well, think about it this way: In physics, what happens when there is an action or a motion? Isn’t giving an action?

Hopefully, we’re familiar with Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, formally stated, “Newton’s third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.”

So, what happens when you are giving more than you expect to receive? Aren’t you creating a motion or a force in one direction? Doesn’t this, in its most basic, physical terms, create pressure?

Here’s the physics formula for pressure. Pressure = Force/Area  P = F/A

To give more than you receive is to create a force…to create a push — a motion. Then, this force (pressure) outward must create an equal and opposite reaction. The reason this works (although Tony doesn’t mention this specifically) is because of Newton’s third law; perhaps more often in the world of personal development it’s called “The Law of Reciprocity.”

My favorite hippies just call this Karma.

Bringing it all home!

To me this just proves and reaffirms the idea that PRESSURE is essential to our well-being and success — to the formation of a life well-lived. In fact, a key thesis within The Pressure Paradox is that Pressure is essential to three key factors in our life: our productivity, performance and, interestingly, our peace of mind.

Until next week,


P.S.: If you’re thinking I’m crazy (“How in the world can pressure be essential to our peace of mind?”), well, first, you’re not alone. Second, it’s helpful to recall the definition of equilibrium (yep, more physics). Equilibrium is the equal offset of pressures, not the absence of pressure. When pressures are equally offset, we find equilibrium, balance and harmony. ; )

So, there you have it! Without of course being a “formal” endorsement from our buddy Tony, he’s certainly telling you that “you must learn how to handle PRESSURE,” and again, there just happens to be a book dedicated to that very understanding. ; )

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