Awaken the Giant Within
Anthony Robbins
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Free Press (November 1, 1992)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0671791540
ISBN-13: 978-0671791544

It surprises me not one bit that this book has sold over a million copies.

Briefly, this book has, as its subheading, ‘How to take control of your mental emotional, physical and financial destiny.’

There are four parts to this book:-
Part 1 – Unleash Your Power
Part 2 – Taking Control – The Master System
Part 3 – The Seven Days to Shape Your Life
Part 4 – A Lesson in Destiny

Thereafter, each Part is divided into chapters and each one paves the way towards the final goal of teaching a person to have complete control over his/her life.

I must admit that I read this book after being introduced to some of the concepts Mr. Robbins teaches by Paul McKenna’s  Change Your Life in Seven Days. As such, I was not reading the words, neuro-linguistic-programming and some of the ideas expounded and examples shared for the first time.

On page 23, Mr. Robbins makes this challenge to his readers:

I challenge you not only to do whatever it takes to read this book in its entirety … but also to use what you learn in simple ways each day. This is the all-important step that’s necessary for you to produce the results you’re committed to.

I took up the challenge and began reading the book all over again and from the Foreword, written by Frederick L. Covan, PH.D., I gleaned this:

As the Chief Psychologist … I see so much human misery … in the “normal,” “healthy” staff that treat them. I also see the same unhappiness in the high-functioning, relatively successful people I treat in my private practice. Quite often, the pain and misery are unnecessary and finally end when the people take charge of their beliefs, feelings and actions in order to modify the process of their lives. Unfortunately, most of the time they don’t. They wait, then try to alter the bad result or, often, go to a shrink wanting just to complain about their awful life or in some way be “fixed” by someone else.


Although some of my colleagues are offended or surprised when I recommend the works of such a young man who doesn’t have academic credentials, those who actually read or listen to Tony come to agree. In addition to comprehensive, good information, Tony has a talent and a compelling style that make his material easy to grasp.

As I progressed through the book, I kept remembering this statement by Dr. Covan and images of people who made it a point to be miserable kept popping into my head. Also, I found that I was remembering all those times when I had been negative myself. The thing is, this time round, I knew how to minimise the negative impact this was having on my psyche and that was brilliant.


One of the most poignant moments for me, reading this book, was this passage on page 348:

For example, let’s say a woman’s highest values are caring and contribution, and she chooses to become an attorney because she once met a lawyer who really impressed her as being able to make a difference and help people through his work. As time goes by, she gets caught up in the whirlwind of practicing law, and aspires to become a partner in her firm. As she pursues this position, her work takes on an entirely different focus. She begins to dominate and run the firm, and becomes one of the most successful women she knows, yet she feels unhappy because she no longer has any contact with clients. Her position has created a different relationship with her peers, and she spends all her time in meetings ironing out protocol and procedure. She achieved her goal, but missed out on her life’s desire. Have you ever fallen into this trap of pursuing the means as if they were the end you were after? In order to be truly happy, we must know the difference, and be sure to pursue the end itself.

For so many years now, I have struggled with my decision to leave legal practice and pursue my dreams. This passage put into words my exact sentiments and I’m much happier just reading this book.

Mr. Robbins qualifications in this field come from devoting more that half his life to helping people discover and develop their own unique qualities and greatness. He has a special passion to make the world a better place to live by assisting individuals in capturing their destinies.

Mr. Robbins has presented his ideas consistently and with every new theory or concept, he has given a wealth of examples, ideas and shared his thoughts on them.

Where the terms become complex, Mr. Robbins takes the time to explain them in detail and where necessary, pictures, charts and props are used. There was never a time in reading the book when I did not understand what Mr. Robbins was trying to say.

I shall end this review by saying that this is a book I highly recommend that anyone who wants a change to take place in their life read. Also, I shall conclude by listing down many of the statements made by Mr. Robbins which touched me.

  • It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.
  • The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.
  • The only true security in life comes from knowing that every single day you are improving yourself in some way. I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.
  • It must be constant commitment backed up by action.
  • Once we effect a change, we should reinforce it immediately. Then, we have to condition our nervous system to succeed not just once, but consistently.
  • The first belief we must have if we’re going to create change quickly is that we can change now.
  • The greatest leverage you can create for yourself is the pain that comes from inside, not outside. Knowing that you have failed to live up to your own standards for your life is the ultimate pain
  • The difference between acting badly or brilliantly is not based on your ability, but on the state of your mind and/or body in any given moment.
  • Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.
  • You’ve got to be in a determined state in order to succeed.
  • My definition of success is to live your life in a way that causes you to feel tons of pleasure and very little pain
  • All that you really want in life is to change how you feel.
  • Plan for pleasure for each and every day.
  • Remember, ask and you shall receive. If you ask a terrible question, you’ll get a terrible answer. Your mental computer is ever ready to serve you, and whatever question you give it, it will surely come up with an answer.
  • A genuine quality of life comes from consistent, quality questions.
  • You and I have that same power at our disposal every moment of the day. At the moment, the questions that we ask ourselves can shape our perception of who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we’re willing to do to achieve our dreams.
  • Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.
  • It’s not just getting a goal that matters, but the quality of life you experience along the way.
  • What kind of person will I have to become in order to achieve all that I want?
  • All too often, the security of a mediocre present is more comfortable than the adventure of trying to be more in the future.
  • People will do more to avoid pain than they will do to gain pleasure.
  • The truth is that nothing has to happen in order for you to feel good.
  • Never assume when it comes to rules. Communicate.
  • Repetition is the mother of skill.
  • Limited references create a limited life. If you want to expand your life, you must expand your references by pursuing ideas and experiences that wouldn’t be a part of your life if you didn’t consciously seek them out.
  • Loss is imaginary. Nothing ever disappears in the universe; it only changes form.
  • Leaders are readers.
  • Expand your references, and you’ll immediately expand your life.
  • Everything in life happens for a reason and a purpose, and it serves us.
  • It’s the moments of our life that shape us.
  • The beliefs that we use to define our own individuality, what makes us unique – good, bad, or indifferent – from other individuals.
  • Your capability is constant, but how much of it you use depends upon the identity you have for yourself.
  • Time and again, researchers have shown that students’ capabilities are powerfully impacted by the identities they develop for themselves as the result of teachers’ belief in their level of intelligence.
  • The kind of person other people perceive you to be controls their responses to you.
  • We look at what we do to determine who we are.
  • Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.

I really recommend that you invest in this book.

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