In My Week With Tony Robbins in Mexico, Here’s What Really Stood Out…


Christina and I just returned from a week with Tony Robbins.  We were at an intimate relationship program that he and his wife held in Cabo San Lucas, and I was providing Network Care for him during the program.  It was a transformational event and I want to share one of the many powerful distinctions that I brought home with me.

It’s a model Tony calls “State, Story, Strategy”, and here’s my version of it:

1. State

Your “state” refers to your physiology. Your entire biochemical/electrical/energetic system both affects and is affected by your state in any given moment. A lousy state is associated with low energy, fatigue, irritation, anger, frustration etc. A resourceful state is associated with a sense of triumph, peace, freedom, joy etc.

2. Story

American writer Muriel Ruckesyser said –

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.”

Your “story” refers to the meaning that you give to something.  Although most events and circumstances are outside of your control, there is one thing that you always have control over – what something means to you.

3. Strategy

Your “strategy” is your approach to doing something.  Strategy is vitally important because even if you do all of the “right” things, a mediocre strategy is still going to get you poor results.

State, story and strategy go together.

When your story is that you are the perpetual victim, your state changes.  Your tailbone tucks, your shoulders round, your energy drops.  Your strategy becomes that of a victim:  Avoid, blame, wish, hope etc.

But what if your story is that you have been “chosen”?

Steve Jobs had this story. He was adopted, and one day as a child he was crying because a kid had told him that his real parents had rejected him.  His adopted parents said to him, “Steve, you weren’t rejected you were chosen.”  It became a story that shaped his life.

What if your story is that life is a “battlefield”?  What state would you have to be in most of the time?  What strategy would you primarily use in life?

If your story is that being “loving” means acting nice, quiet, non-confrontational, sweet and gentle and your partner’s story is that being “loving” means being in-your-face, passionate and fiery, what do you think might happen?

How to Use State, Story and Strategy to Transcend Your Conditioning and Dramatically Improve Your Life

We interpret other people’s states based on our stories about what those states mean, then we come up with strategies for how to interact with them.

For most people, the whole process is happening unconsciously.  People react to the moment based on their blueprint – their story of the world, their state at that moment, and their conditioned strategy for that situation.

One of the keys to freeing yourself from your conditioning so you can live a more conscious and connected life, is to bring this entire state, story, strategy relationship to the forefront of your awareness and utilize it (Notice that it follows the process Discover, Transform and Awaken).

Here’s a powerful approach to doing it:

1. Wake Up! (Discover)

Get real, get honest, get clear. This means discovering the state that you are you really in and fully owning it.

Donny Epstein’s formula for waking up and discovering your state is: A.A.A. = Awareness, Acknowledgement, Acceptance.

You must first become aware of /experience your state fully without trying to change it.  Then, you must acknowledge where you’re at and what you’re really feeling.  Finally, you must accept what you’re experiencing fully, without trying to change it in that moment.

By doing this, you connect to yourself in a powerful, clear and authentic way.  With no struggle or effort to be somewhere, something, or somebody else, you can finally get “real”.  Transformation starts with getting real.

2. Raise Your Standard. (Transition between Discover-Transform)

Once you’ve A.A.A’d, there’s another step.  Tony Robbin’s calls it Decide, Commit, Resolve.

The process is simple.  First you make a decision:  You will no longer allow yourself to continue living the way you’ve been living.  The old story has go to go.  Then, you decide to raise your game.  You commit to set a higher standard and step up to it.  Finally, you resolve to do whatever it takes (yes WHATEVER it takes) to sustain and/or surpass that standard.

3. Breakthrough (Transform)

Once you’ve woken up, decided, committed and resolved to live a higher standard, it’s time to do something about it.  Tony calls this “taking massive action”.  Massive action is what creates breakthroughs.

To create a breakthrough you’ve got to be in a resourceful and connected state.  You might call it a “victorious” state.  Feel your power, your desire, and your passion and do something NOW!  Have the conversation, make the phone call, do whatever you’ve put off doing for too long.

Massive action reinforces your new state, while at the same time anchoring your new story and dissolving the old one.

4. Unleash Your Passion (Awaken)

Once you’ve dissolved your attachments to your old stories, rules and identity, it’s time to create new rituals that reinforce your connection to your authentic self and your deeper passion and purpose.

If you’ve been lowering your standards and living well below who you really are – whether it’s been because of your conditioned story, your habitual states of being, or a lousy strategy – massive action will have liberated a tremendous amount of energy for you to use to create a new life.

You’ll most likely need a new strategy to anchor your new story and help you sustain a more passionate and resourceful state.  The great news is, most of the time you don’t even have to come up with your own strategies!

There are tons of formulas for success in virtually every area you can think of.  Most people’s story and state just don’t allow them to find and follow the success formulas.

Get a mentor, read a how-to book, sign up for a course, do whatever it takes to create or adopt that new strategy for living the life you were born to live!

Find out more about how the Discover, Transform, Awaken process at the Well Being Center can change your life.


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About John Amaral

Santa Cruz Chiropractor Dr. John Amaral has helped thousands of people from over 50 countries transform and awaken to more meaningful and purposeful lives. Follow him on twitter at @johnamaral