Tony Robbins: Priming Yourself for Success

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

What exactly is “priming”? How can moving your body help you induce a desired emotional state?

According to Tony Robbins, priming is creating your desired state of mind by stimulating your body. For instance, if you want to improve your focus, you could lean forward; if you want to feel happier, you could force a smile.

Here’s how you can control your mind by controlling your body, according to Tony Robbins.

Tony Robbins: Control Your Mind by Controlling Your Body

According to Tony Robbins, your mental and emotional states are closely linked to what your body is doing. For example, someone who’s afraid will probably be tense, have an elevated heart rate, and breathe quickly and shallowly—these are all physical responses to the emotion of fear. However, the connection goes both ways. This person can bring his fear under control by relaxing his muscles, sitting up straight, and taking slow, deep breaths; a physical state associated with calmness and confidence.  

The same goes for any mental or emotional state: You can create the state you want by recreating the physical cues that go along with it. Just as your body naturally reacts to what you think and feel, your brain naturally reacts to what you do with your body.

(Shortform note: Recent studies have confirmed a link between physical cues and mental or emotional responses. Psychologists hope that they can take advantage of that connection to improve patients’ mental health—for example, they might be able to trick patients’ minds into thinking that upsetting situations are actually happy or pleasant by having them smile at stressful stimuli.)

According to Tony Robbins, priming can help you influence your emotions with short-term bodily mastery, as explained above. However, a major part of taking control of your life is through long-term bodily mastery—or in simpler terms, physical fitness. A strong body is a source of endless energy, both physical and mental; you can use that energy to help you accomplish your goals.

Some Benefits of Fitness

Regular exercise has many proven health benefits—both physical and mental—of which increased energy is only one. Some other benefits include:

Better sleep. Tiring yourself out with exercise helps you to get higher quality sleep at night, which in turn helps you feel rested and focused during the day. 

A stronger heart. Exercise boosts cardiovascular health, helping your body adapt to stress more easily. In other words, physical exertion won’t feel so tiring anymore, and you’re more likely to have energy left at the end of the day. 

Improved mental health. People who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and addiction; in fact, exercise is often recommended as part of an addiction recovery program

In short, a strong and healthy body helps promote a strong and healthy mind.
Tony Robbins: Priming Yourself for Success

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Tony Robbins's "Unlimited Power" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Unlimited Power summary:

  • How to harness your thoughts and beliefs and turn them into purposeful action
  • How to find even greater success through cooperation and leadership
  • How you can use your successes to help others and improve the world

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.