Larry King Live Weekend
Master Motivator Anthony Robbins Launches Peak-Performance Web SiteAired February 12, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
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LARRY KING, HOST: He's the man who can coach you toward a peak performance. He's master motivator Anthony Robbins. He's got a major announcement. He joins us in Los Angeles.
It's next here on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening it's always a pleasure to welcome Tony Robbins -- Anthony. What is your official name?
ANTHONY ROBBINS, PEAK PERFORMANCE COACH: Tony Robbins.
KING: Tony Robbins. We keep spreading Anthony Robbins. He's always Tony Robbins. He's of the great peak-performance coaches, maybe the best-known in the world. I have the pleasure of not only watching him work but appearing sometimes at some of his get- togethers, and they are incredible. I say this as a personal note, because I am going to ask some questions about him as well.
But tonight, we have a major announcement coming from Tony about something to be launched. What's the launch date?
KING: Tonight is the launch, OK?
KING: OK, what are we launching tonight?
ROBBINS: Tonight -- Well, I've been really excited over the years. I've had the privilege of now seeing about 300,000 people a year, and I have 35 million people get my tapes, and we have people from 70 countries that now participate, in six different languages. But the challenge has always been getting to the event, as you know, and it's great to do that. It's the cost. It's the time. It's the energy. And there's also a stigma...
KING: Hard to go to Hawaii if you live in (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Maine.
ROBBINS: Yes, or where they're once a year in Connecticut or wherever the case may be. So the obvious solution to that is the Internet. But it's one thing to offer Tony Robbins on the Internet. It's another thing to say least let's create the ultimate megasite, which we call Dreamlife.com, where you can take any dream you want, turn it into reality, where you can learn not only from Tony Robbins, but from anyone you can imagine, the very best in the field, in relationships, and finance and spirituality. And so what we did is we formed a company, and we took our company public, and it's been very successful.
But what we've done is we've created some strategic partnerships with The Learning Annex, for example, which you probably see in the streets of New York and L.A.
KING: See them everywhere.
ROBBINS: So anywhere you want to go, you can pick up one of these and say, I want to learn how to trade financially online, and I want to learn to strip for my lover, I want to learn another language -- we're the place to go. And we just began tonight with out first soft launch, and we had a chat tonight.
KING: What is the...
ROBBINS: It's called Dreamlife.com. And what Dreamlife is really about is everybody's dreams. I don't care who you are. Some people's dream is to create ultimate gardens, some people's is to become the president of the United States. Some want to make a billion dollars, some want to just have fun in their life or find a relationship that really works. The challenge is where do you go? The challenge for most people is that, if they find out something like this, they have to go someplace, and there's a stigma to going someplace and figuring things out, like there's something wrong. For a lot of people, they say going to these places mean peak performance, but not everybody.
So now 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365, people go on, and they can begin to be coached. We will help you ,for example, tonight. I'll do a chat, and this is available right after the show.
KING: ... just hit Dreamlife.com, and they can talk to you?
ROBBINS: Exactly. But then after that they can come to our site any time. And what we do is we personalize it. So you can come online and define what you want for your life, physically, emotionally, in relationships, your finances. Most people don't know where to start there. Most know what they don't want: I don't want to live away anymore. I don't want to be in this relationship. I don't want somebody I can't count on. So this will help you to define what you want, and then we give you a series of resources on how to change that -- classes, courses, live coaching -- and it's totally interactive, and it's on your timeline.
So unlike an environment where you're sitting, you know, responding to somebody else, you're totally in control of the process of improving any area of your personal/professional life. That's what it's really about. KING: How did you put this together?
ROBBINS: Well I've done this for years. I think you...
KING: Yes, but all these experts?
ROBBINS: Yes, I've had all the experts for years, because I've been kind of the aggregator in the business. You know, I have people -- I have the largest base of people from all over the world to come to see me -- and you have come to my events, as you know.
ROBBINS: We have 18,000 people at an event. And I try to bring the best of the best. So I have you on communication. I'll bring somebody like Donald Trump on deal-making. You know, and as we bring those people in now --- you know Donald is going to do a program for us on the art of the deal, and some people can say, wow, I can find out from the best of the best right now what I want. So I was doing that. But I was only doing it in a few cities, maybe 300,000 people in a year. Now millions of people per month can participate.
KING: This is where the Internet is and where it's going.
Would you tell me how you make money with this, if the person, he's just paying for his America Online or whatever, right?
KING: It don't cost him to punch Dreamlife.com, right?
ROBBINS: Right. There are two ways. Number one, we have advertisers, who want to be in front of people that are proactive in their life. This is a site for people that are not passive, saying, oh, I'd really like to change. This is for people that are kind of achievers or want to take their life to another level. So that kind of active person advertisers are interesting in. And then there are courses that can you pay. They're inexpensive -- $5, 10, $15, $20 type of courses you can do right now. They all have a money-back guarantee for people, so you can say, if I don't like, take it back.
KING: Is it very expensive to set this up?
KING: To set up a software program?
ROBBINS: It's not just software. What we really have is personalized programs. So it captures your goals, it captures your plans, and then it recommends what you can do. It keeps track and notes of what you've done for you. And then we have communities, because one of the challenges, Larry, is I want to lose weight, I want to stop smoking, I want to make a million dollars. I need to be in a community of people who think that way, who've already succeeded or failed, who can share with me also, not just taking the course I learned, but saying what happened when I applied that course? And so I think the community aspect is just as important. It's inspiration, it's content, it's coaching, and it's community.
KING: I'm a dumbbell. Can anyone with a personal computer tap into this?
KING: Bill Gates was on a couple weeks and explained this to me, how he united it all, and you can bring it all together, right?
ROBBINS: Right. That's what we've done for personal...
KING: No matter of what machine you have at home, you can type into this, and you can give me a question.
ROBBINS: You just go up to the Web.
KING: OK, and you'll be online tonight, OK, but I hit Dreamlife.com, and I might say, how can I what?
ROBBINS: Well first, it will ask you to take three minutes and define where you are in life, and it will say where are you on a 0 to 10 scale.
KING: You're not interested in my name or anything. You're not invading my privacy. I can give you that if I order something, but if I don't order anything I don't have to give it to you.
ROBBINS: You don't have to do anything. But if you want -- at least not take a course; take a course, you would. But if you want to take what we call quick coaching session, you go on board, and it says, where do you look at you life? Where is it zero to 10 physically? Where are you? I'm a two. I'm a 10. Where are you emotionally? Where are you in relationships? And then it shows what your life looks like, in terms of a wheel.
Now if you were tens all around, you'd have a nice round wheel, or even fives, but most people are doing really well on their body and poorly on their finances, or doing greet in their career, but terrible with their kids. It's the nature of our focus. And so you have something lopsided. If we say to you now, this is the car, or the wheel on your car called life, how would your car run? Pretty bumpy. What if you try to go 100 miles an hour. You're an achiever. Now you really got a good chart.
So now we say, here, let's create a plan. Let's take your body first. Let's define what you specifically want. And we give you a list of things. Now why do you want it? Then we help you stimulate your action plan, and then we put deadlines on it and then we'll e- mail it to you, and then we'll say here are classes, courses, communities that you can connect with, who can help you get the job. So you don't have to work with Tony Robbins, or you can work with anyone you want, not just me. I'm just the person that says -- I've always been a person that says, I may not be the right person. I talk fast. I got these big gestures. I got big teeth. Maybe it's better for you as this woman to who's does it in a different way, maybe you need a buddy as you're going through this process, somebody who lives in another part of the world, in China, but is going through the same changes you're going through.
KING: How long does it take to set something like this up?
ROBBINS: Been working on it for two and a half years.
KING: Now tonight, when you go online, and they hit into Dreamlife.com, they can ask you questions about how this works. What's The Learning Annex's involvement.
ROBBINS: They are partners. We actually purchased the rights of everything, all these course. People are familiar with Learning Annex. There are millions of people who go to classes.
KING: Buy those newspapers everywhere.
ROBBINS: That's right, you see them everywhere. And now it happens -- I've often picked them up and said, you know, I'd really like to learn to do X, but I'm not going to be around on Tuesday, at 7:00, in the Valley. You know, so now, I can go online, and I can take that class online at any hour, 24 hours a day.
KING: Anywhere in the world watching this can do this?
ROBBINS: Anywhere in the world, anyone can do it. So it gives us -- it's kind of -- the promise of the Internet is right now 36 percent people of the in the U.S. today who have -- go home and use the Internet on their home are taking some form of class or course. The promise though is for most people, it's just business. Now this is not only your business life, it's your personal life as well.
KING: So this is -- it starts today, tonight, www.dreamlife.com, an expansion of what he is does with people at seminars. This is literally putting you at a seminar, very, very little, if any, cost.
KING: We'll right back with more of Tony Robbins. Again, that -- we'll be repeating it for you since it launches tonight, and he's going to -- following this program, he'll be on the Web site, answering your calls in the chat room.
ROBBINS: That's correct.
KING: I love that, www.dreamlife.com.
I'm Larry King. Right back with Tony Robbins after this.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Tony Robbins, peak-performance coach.
Let's get a chance to -- and his Web site starts tonight. We'll be repeating that www.dreamlife.com throughout the evening.
How did you start?
ROBBINS: My start?
KING: Yes, who were you? Where did you a come from? No, one day I turned on a television, you were sitting, talking to someone with Hawaii in the background. Where did you come from? Where were you born?
ROBBINS: I was born in downtown Los Angeles.
ROBBINS: Yes, I didn't think anybody was born in downtown Las Angeles, but I was. And I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, and I was just a kid -- I loved people, and I was always fascinated with, you know, what made the difference in people's lives, and the first motivation...
KING: You knew this is high school?
ROBBINS: Yes. I was the person everybody went to for coaching. You know, I was Mr. Results.
KING: Did you go college and major in psychology?
ROBBINS: No I did not. I started my first business right out of high school. I actually went to work for a seminar speaker, by the name of Jim Rome (ph), and by that point, I had already been working with people. I was the person. I'd read 700 books in the area of human development and psychology. I was obsessed, because...
KING: Do you know where that came from?
KING: You had personal problems as a kid.
ROBBINS: Personal challenges, family challenges, but also...
KING: Were you taller than other kids, bigger?
ROBBINS: No, I was 5'1" my sophomore year in high school, and now I'm 6'7", you know. So I tell the people the difference is personal growth, you know, Larry.
But I was in a position in my life where I had a lot of pain, did not like what I saw, and so I looked for answers, and there weren't a lot of role models. So I turned to books, and I figured. God, if someone took 20 of their life and they put it in a book, and I could absorb that in a couple of days or a week -- I took a speed-reading course -- then pretty soon, well, I might not have the same experience, but I'd know some of the basic knowledge, and I could use it. And so I'd learn something, and it would make a difference for me, and I'd naturally tell my friends about it, then they'd light up.
And to this day, that's what I lived for. I love to see people when there's that moment of recognition, when there's like a quickening of their spirit, where they go, wait a second, I'm not going to settle for this anymore, or wow, that makes so much sense, and so I became obsessed with finding the answers, organizing principles, like what is it that makes something work versus not work, whether it be in a relationship, or finances or your body.
KING: What did your father do?
ROBBINS: I actually had a couple of fathers, but the one that influenced me was a professional baseball player. I wanted to be a professional baseball player, but I was lousy.
KING: What was his name?
ROBBINS: Jim Robbins was his name. He played semi-pro baseball. And...
KING: Was he your stepfather?
ROBBINS: Yes, he was.
KING: You took his name.
ROBBINS: I took his name. He adopted me, And he influenced me, because I was -- at that time, I was into, like, what creates light? I would read the entire science book, Larry, in the fifth grade in one weekend.
KING: Were you a great student?
ROBBINS: I was a very good student. I'd read the whole...
KING: No college at all. Ever thought of going to college?
ROBBINS: Yes, I was planning on going to college, but my mom and I had an altercation, and I ended up on my own, and so that...
KING: You were out on your own at 18?
ROBBINS: At 17. And my mom and I are super-close now, and she's probably the most powerful and positive influence in my life, but at that time, she was a positive influence, too. She kicked me on my butt and...
KING: No brothers and sisters?
ROBBINS: Younger brother, five years younger. Younger sister, seven years younger.
KING: Are they successful people?
ROBBINS: Yes, they're very successful people. I think my mom did a pretty good job.
KING: What was your goal? Was it financial? What was your goal? ROBBINS: No, I just the love experience of I think honestly receiving love by helping people.
KING: You get more than you give, right?
ROBBINS: In the beginning, you know, you give it all. But what happens is I as more than willing to give, give, give. I love it just to see the excitement.
But at this stage in my life, the greatest gift -- people say, are you wealthy, I say my kids make me wealthy. Another is, I walk out of the studio an average day, a dozen, two dozen people come up and say, you changed my life, and they might be an executive or it might by be a child.
KING: Do psychologists say, this guy may step over bounds here? He's not a professional, he certainly is a motivator, but he's saying do this, not that, and he the might lend people to go the wrong way?
ROBBINS: Well, I've trained more than 10,000 psychologists and psychiatrist in 70 countries. I mean, I've developed very specific techniques that they use. They head psychiatrist at Bellevue, wrote the introduction to my second book, and said, this works, use it here, this man has really developed tools that make a differences. So but my focus is not on -- I don't believe people are broken and have to be fixed. I believe that, you know, our focus on the past causes us to live there, and what we need to do instead is decide what we want now.
Finding something to blame your problem on doesn't do any good. What you focus on, you get. I was -- the other day I was at a spa, and there was a woman there who was the life of the spa. You know, a lot of people go up there, and you know, mope along, and some people there are just trying to relax. She was amazing. We were all in the jacuzzi at one point, and I said what makes you tick? Why are you excited? Why did you come to this spa? You seem like already rejuvenated. She said, well, I have a brain tumor. And I said, really? She said, yes, they told me I have nine weeks to live. And the whole place gets quiet. And I said, boy, you have an up believable attitude. How could you -- She goes, I use your tapes. I said, lots of people use my tapes. They don't have your attitude lady.
She said no, but there's something you said that I really believe. She said I believe it's not how long you live, it's how you live, and she said the focus on death to is to create it. I might as well just die now. They may be wrong. I'm going to do everything I can do, and I'm going to enjoy every moment I'm here, and I want to die with a smile on my face if die, and I live want to live fully, with a smile on my face while I'm here. And then you see somebody else who is so angry because they didn't get the special on their Jack in the Box burger, you know.
KING: What was the first thing Tony Robbins did on his own that was successful. What did you -- all right, you worked with this other guy for a while, right?
KING: Then what? What did you do on your own? How did you get your start as Tony Robbins?
ROBBINS: I became the most successful person in this company at 17 18 years old. I would go...
KING: At this seminar company.
ROBBINS: Yes. I would go to insurance companies, stock brokerages, and I would convince them to his program. And I would give speeches to do that.
KING: Was he very good.
ROBBINS: He was fantastic, still is. I just saw him recently, but then gradually, I became a broker. I promoted everyone else. I filled their seminars. I was so good at getting people to make a decision, because I believed so much. I believed...
KING: You were a seminar broker.
ROBBINS: That's right. And then eventually, I became better than most of the people I was promoting.
KING: When you did your first one on your own?
ROBBINS: On my own? When I was 23 years old. I'm now 39.
KING: Where was it?
ROBBINS: It was in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
KING: How'd you get people to come? They didn't know you.
ROBBINS: I got on a radio show, and I talked about creating change, and a psychiatrist attacked me, and made my career.
KING: How many people came?
ROBBINS: The first one we had, like, 65 people, and then gradually I did -- I guess a 500 people showed up.
KING: We'll ask Tony Robbins discovered the infomercial. Again, his Web site launches tonight, www.dreamlife.com.
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Tony Robbins. So you started the seminars. They started to grow. These people -- how did you come to the infomercial?
ROBBINS: Well, I started -- I built my career by getting results. I challenged traditional psychologists and psychiatrists, said give me your worst patient, we'll handle him right here, now. I was a real rebel. So I took somebody with a lifetime phobia, one of the first ones that had been treated for seven years, and I took the psychiatrist's patients, in 15 minutes, wiped it out.
KING: What was the phobia?
ROBBINS: It was a snake phobia. And it was easy to demonstrate, because this woman go to sleep at night, and she would dream that a snake would come and bite her on the face. It was so real, she had adrenaline go through her body, and wake up. Been treating her for seven years, three to four visits a week, took me 15 minutes. And then I wrapped a snake around her at the end. And a phobia is an uncontrollable response to fear, so I looked for another way to expose millions of people. I was doing it, and I saw these infomercials, and I was like, these are disgusting; get rich quick without doing anything. They were insulting. And I thought, you know, if you did something quality, and if the kind of people who've I helped were actually going to speak up, I think you'd reach a lot of people.
But I honestly didn't realize it would be as big as it was. I mean, we sold almost 35 million tapes.
KING: Well, who did the first infomerical with you? What personality did you use?
ROBBINS: Fran Tarkenton. This is the person who was my host.
KING: Famed football player, he was your host.
ROBBINS: Yes, he was my host.
KING: And you decided to have someone sit and question you, right? It was in Hawaii, right? Was it Hawaii?
ROBBINS: Actually, no. It was at my home in San Diego.
KING: OK. Did that click right away?
ROBBINS: It did actually. It was the very -- it was the most successful...
KING: It was one of the first infomercials.
ROBBINS: It wasn't one of the first, but it was in the early days actually. And then gradually, because of that, everybody from the Quincy Joneses, the sports stars, the Andre Agassis, the President Clintons, they got exposed to my work, they began to listen to it, or they'd hear from other people. And when people see someone of that stature, who really gets results, in sports especially, like when I worked with the Kings, and they went to the Stanley Cup, and they gave me so much credit.
KING: You talked with the team, right?
ROBBINS: I didn't just talk. I worked the with the individual players, and turned around the performance in a day and you could see the difference. What's great about sports and business is that it's not "guruish" issue, and you can see this is absolutely real, the performance is there. So that became my calling card really. And as that grew, my reputation grew, and so the process from that turned into coaching, royalty, business people.
KING: Tell me, you couldn't make the hockey player better than his skill? Right, if he skated at 32 miles an hour, you couldn't make him skate 34 miles an hour. So what do you do for him?
ROBBINS: Eight percent of performance at that level of business or sports is psychology, 20 percent is mechanics. They know the mechanics. You know, Wayne was over at the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the other day, Wayne Gretzky, and we were talking about those days and things I did with him, because he had some blocks. He had the skill, but it was psychology was blocked. When people get in a downward spiral, they have difficulty breaking that pattern.
KING: So you can't make their skill better?
ROBBINS: No. I can break them out of the pattern that's keeping their skill from being better. They already have the skill, I think. I'm not giving you -- I didn't give Andre Agassi his skills.
KING: They didn't make it to the National Hockey League without a skill.
KING: But something is blocking it. And a lot of that -- as Yogi Berra would say, 90 percent of this is half mental. It is mental, right?
ROBBINS: It is mental.
KING: And what do you do to break through?
ROBBINS: What you have to do, is you have to break the pattern. You have to find out what they are doing at their best and get them to contrast that to what they're doing now. So there's something they're doing physically, something they're doing mentally.
You'll find -- for example, I worked in the United States Army, and I did a pistol-shooting program for them. They had spent 10 days developing a program that took four days. I went to the general and said, I can turn -- cut any training program you have in half and increase the competency. I was a young, brash kid. He said, great, we'll pay you if you increase the competency. If you don't, we won't. So I said, great. So I worked with this group of people, and I got the best shooters in the world, and I had them come and fire, and I'd stop them at each step: What are you doing in your mind? What are you doing physically? And I saw what they did in common. They didn't even realize they were doing. And I took people doing, you know, poorly and contrasted them. It became very obvious, and I developed a system, using the very best tools, modeling, right -- success leaves clues -- for the new people. Took one day for them to qualify 100 percent of the people versus four days to qualify 70 percent the people.
And so the colonel wrote a letter to the general saying, this is the first breakthrough in pistol shooting, you know, he said, in 25 years. So that built started to build my confidence, my reputation, my identity. But also if you take people that are doing well and you catch them while they're doing well -- people call me at two ends. They call me when they're starting to drain, and they really want to get things going, or they call me when they're at the peek of it and they want to keep momentum going. The people who don't call me are in between, kind of comfortable: I'm not really happy, but I'm not unhappy enough to do anything about it, a kind of no-man's land. But people that are beginning, or people that struggling or people that are succeeding, they call me; the in between don't.
KING: That athlete that rises to the occasion. That's a lot mental, isn't it?
ROBBINS: When you say mental, it's emotional. Emotion has power. Everything you do, from getting married, starting a business to pulling pack, is all emotion.
KING: They want the ball.
ROBBINS: They have the hunger, or it depends on the emotion. Some places you've to be in a peaceful state. You can't be so hungry in golf, or you'd be terrible.
KING: Or batting baseball.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Tony Robbins. His Web site is underway tonight. He'll be in a chat room right after this show.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Tony Robbins. If you've ever been to a Tony Robbins performance, and I've been to some -- where do you get your incredible enthusiasm from? I mean, your energy level is beyond -- I mean this complimentary, "berserko." Working with Tony Robbins, when you stand backstage, I was standing with Donald Trump at Anaheim, saying can you figure this guy out? I think he's going through the roof. I'm a little worried about his health. I think he may lose it here. Where do you get that?
ROBBINS: Because I believe in living with passion. You know, I think in this kind of environment, you've to modulate, because you'd go this guy is crazy. But if you've got a room with 18,000 people in an auditorium...
KING: But what does that do for them when you get them to stand up? Come on, let's hear it! Clap! Let's clap again. ROBBINS: I sit down and say OK, what do I want for my life. Let me see, I'd like a better relationship. What this does to your nervous system is it makes it so you'll never do anything. People say we're in the information age. We're not. The information age died a long time ago. We're in the age of entertainment, because emotion -- remember, people remember where they were when Kennedy was shot.
KING: For some case, with me, every night this show goes on, I could be tired at one minute to go on, but something...
ROBBINS: You go into a state.
ROBBINS: So what I'm showing people is how to go into peak- performance state. And the way you do it -- you just demonstrated it. You do it with your body. You don't do it with your mind. If you go OK, I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy, your brain goes B.S., but if you use your body in a direct way, it changes the way your body actually functions. For example, when you smile -- stupid, simplistic like this -- but to the point where you have those crows feet on the side of your eyes, it stimulates. It takes the muscles in your face, and it stimulates the blood flow and the neurotransmitters that make you feel good.
KING: That's when things happen.
ROBBINS: Immediately. So what I have people do is I have them go into this peak performance state, and most people haven't moved, jumped, clap, danced, anything like that in so many years, they forgot what it feels like to be alive. I don't believe in positive thinking where you go to your garden and say, there's no weeds, there's no weeds, there's no weeds. There's weeds there, and they're going to take your garden. But you have to first get into a state of determination, or courage or passion, because courage unused wanes. Passion unused doesn't get stronger; it drifts away. Faith you don't employ doesn't get stronger. And so our lives -- we talk about the quality of your life. It's your emotions.
I saw I you earlier when Chance came in here, and you got this big smile. You weren't sitting here looking like this, you know. Your hole body shifted. So you can wait for things in the world to shift your body, or you can shift your body so your world changes. And what I do is show people that, how to change you, what we all your physiology, the way you focus.
KING: How do you keep your thing going? Your doing -- you'll do something on a Tuesday night that you just did on a Saturday night. I've got a different guest every night. If I had the same guest every night, I don't think I could live with that, OK. How do you keep it up like a great a teacher? How does the great teacher -- it feels like it's his first lesson.
ROBBINS: Well, it's like, how does the great singer get up and do the same song, you know, and they do it 25 minutes later.
KING: The great actor in his fourth year of doing a play.
ROBBINS: Yes. For me, it's about commitment to the people you care about, which is the people who are coming to hear you. I mean, that's a must, not a should for me, and the other part is diversity. I might go work with a rock 'n' roll band that's got a challenge with a person on heroin, and then I'm working with a tennis player, and then I go do a seminar, and then I go and do a negotiation program, and then I go work with a group of CEOs, and then I coached one of the top financial traders in the world for the last five and half years. The guy made a half a billion dollars in a day, and I lost $50 million this morning, Tony. You know, I've got to be able to shift constantly, and that's what stimulates me. That's what I love about my job.
KING: Do you learn from failures, those who you helped that didn't work?
ROBBINS: I learn from my own failures too, of course, because it's only a failure if you don't learn anything, if you can -- and you know, Schwarzkopf taught me a long time ago, he said, you know, no organization, no individual can improve until they admit something's wrong, and most people can't admit something is wrong. When you admit it's wrong, you can now get enough hunger to change.
KING: Get a break and we'll pick right up on that. We're only halfway thought. And again, he'll be on the chat room right after this at www.dreamlife.com, as his own company, in cooperation with the Learning Annex, begins tonight.
We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Tony Robbins. Dreamlife is a public company, right?
ROBBINS: Yes it is.
KING: It's on the Nasdaq. So people can get involved.
KING: What do you do when you're down?
ROBBINS: Three things. The first thing I do is I get focused on why I'm doing what I'm doing. Because any time you get down it's because you don't have a meaning in what you're doing. It rarely happens for me honestly, not because I'm so great, but because I have this woman that came to about three of the seminars. She's so adorable. She's like 65 years. She was going for it, and one day. about the third time, she came up to me, and she said, Mr. Evans, I have to ask you a question. She said, I've been here in the morning, I've been here late at night, I've been here when I know your tired, I've been here when I know your body has got to hurt, she said. But you're always so up. How do you do that? And I said, well, probably because I attend all these seminars, you know, because it's like, when you put yourself in that state you...
KING: It's the morning, you're about to begin, and you don't feel like doing it. That's normal.
ROBBINS: That I don't really experience.
KING: Never have had it?
ROBBINS: No. I haven't felt that in 15 years honestly, because I'm trained, just like you are, and the way I'm trained is...
KING: But there are times I wish, you know, I'd rather be asleep, but then once it is happens.
ROBBINS: That's right. But it's not only once it happens, it's once you know it's about to happen, you have to step up. You have to step up.
KING: That's right. There is a bump.
ROBBINS: And that's what is about to be a professional. That's what it's about if you care about your family, or your friends, or your business or your career. And the value of being in this business -- I got in this business because I heard this man speak when I was 17. I said in order in order to have a successful life, you have to have principals. The best way to live them is make sure you have to, because are always looking for a crack in your armor, so they don't have to try, you know. And so I knew i wasn't going to be perfect, but if I put myself with the media's eye, which is very strong, I knew I'd have to walk my talk, you know, I'd have to constantly push myself, and that's valuable. It's the same reason why you play tennis against somebody who is better than you are rather than somebody who's not as good.
If they're better, then you have to be on your game all the time, you can't drop off. And then pretty soon, you're better as a result, and your life is better, and then you don't usually go back to being a poor tennis player.
KING: How do you feel about predecessors like Norman Vincent Peale, "The Power of Positive Thinking," Dale Carnegie, Eugene Letterman, "The Sale Begins When the Customer Says No." These are all major historic figures in the field of making you perform better.
ROBBINS: I think Norman Vincent Peale I got to meet when he was 92, and I spent good personal time with him, personal time with him. I was 32 at the time. I told my wife, I said, honey, only 60 more years of this.
KING: The most optimistic man I ever met in my life.
ROBBINS: And I said to myself, what are you still doing seminars for at 92? And he looked at me and he said, well, Tony, there's still a few negative people out there. KING: He's the most optimistic man I've ever met.
ROBBINS: He's amazing. But I love -- I'll you what was great about him. This is what I really believe. When people talk about him being positive, but he said you know, problems are a sign of life. He said to think that you want a life with no problems is to really basically say, I don't want a life. He said, if you woke up with no problems, you better get on your knees and beg for forgiveness, and say, God, don't you trust me, he said, because problems sculpt your soul.
He told me meet Gene Tunney one time when he was a boxer. (UNINTELLIGIBLE), right? He said, "Gene, how did you get those muscles?" And Gene said, "Do you really want to know or are you just asking?" And he said: I really didn't really want know. I was just asking. But he said, tell me. He said everyday I push against unbelievable amounts of weight, and that resistance builds this muscle, and Norman said, you know, Tony, I think God gives us problems as huge weights to push against, to sculpt our souls, to become one. And so he wasn't just some fuddy duddy who just said, oh, just be positive. He really had a spiritual message, which was, don't ask for it to be better. You get better. Make yourself better. Find what's better. I think that's a philosophy that's still useful today.
KING: When you see it in people who seem to have it without any, Tony Robbins -- how do you explain, for example, a Nelson Mandela. Spends all those years in prison, not have hatred, come back and lead a country.
ROBBINS: These are the people I'd go interview. Some of them I've had the chance to coach.
KING: Where do you thinks that comes from?
ROBBINS: If you look in their history and look at their backgrounds, there's a point in which they developed an identity for themselves as being a unique leader, a unique person. They did not follow; they led. They were unreasonable. If there's one quality of successful people, they're unreasonable in their expectations of themselves, not so much other people, but themselves. Unreasonable in what they expect, unreasonable in the demands they make, unreasonable in how much they give. He's completely unreasonable. And those are the people that rule the world.
For a woman to be on a bus many years ago and say no, that was unbelievably unbelievable for Rosa Parks, but that made her a leader; that was her power. And there are people who are willing to say no, not another moment, not anther, and those people have the power to change anything.
KING: Now how do you know the people who talk to you take it with them for tomorrow?
ROBBINS: You don't know for sure. You know the look in their eye, their feeling. But the way you know is the letters you get, the people that stop you on the street every day. You know, the descriptions of what happened. I got off, and I started my own business, and at this point in my life, I don't have a day that I don't have a dozen or two dozen people if I'm walking anywhere near the public, where I hear a story from my grandmother, who's 74 years old, started a business doing sweaters because she listened to your tapes, and she's got these other grandmothers doing it, too. I won the contest for designing the coin for this Canadian coin, because I finally said you know what, this is my absolute fashion, and I can win, and I listened to your tapes, and I'm finally getting certain. I got in that certain state you said, and I wrote this thing. Or someone saying, you know, my whole life, I've been in a position where I've been fearful and I couldn't get up and speak in public, and now I can do it so easily by doing that little trigger you talked about, that little anchor.
KING: ... about making money.
No, not really. I mean, I think in the '80s, it was more about psychology. I think that psychology of people today, is how do you create and extraordinary quality of life? You know, how do you create a life that is really fulfilled. And the answer to that question, I think, is no not matter what you do, you have to make sure you're growing and you're got to contribute beyond yourself. Because you and I know, lots of famous people who have achieved everything, they're extremely unhappy, and you know, people who seem to have very little, and yet they're so happy. And I think the difference is gratitude. I mean, gratitude makes you wealthy. The minute you indulge in gratitude on a regular basis, the minute you flood yourself with that emotion, you will have no fear when you're grateful, you will feel no sense of scarcity, and you will start to attract amazing abundance to your life.
I met Sir John Templeton (UNINTELLIGIBLE) many years ago. You know, amazing man, multibillionaire, probably the first great investor before the Warren Buffets of the world, and I asked him, what's the see to wealth? And he said it's exactly what you teach, Tony. It's gratitude. When you are grateful, you are rich. When you are ungrateful it doesn't matter what you have, you have nothing in your life.
KING: Tony Robbins is the launching tonight Dreamlife on the Internet, www.dreamlife.com. Following this program, he'll be in the Web site. And you can use that company for anything.
We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: I know Tony Robbins, you help this less fortunate this Thanksgiving, the thing you're doing. But what about those whose life, you know, dealt a dirty deal? They were born with cerebral palsy. They're poverty stricken. Racial torment. Things that didn't have -- they don't have that same -- you know, the playing field ain't level. What about for those people? ROBBINS: There is no such thing as total equality in everything, and that's where your spiritual beliefs have to come in. You know, why is a child born blind? Why is a person into an environment the way it is?
I think the first thing you have to do is be grateful for where you are born and not take it to for granted. Most of us today, even those who are suffering at some level, have a greater life than the greatest pharaohs and kings of any time in human history. They didn't have the choice to have the food that we have, the cleanliness we have, to be able to travel, to learn, to look, to have an Internet. All things available, so much for free, so we live in incredible times.
But I think for those people, that's why we have our foundation. We fed 400,000 people this year at Thanksgiving. It started with feeding two people years ago.
KING: Feed there where? In homes?
ROBBINS: We would go to people who would normally not go someplace, who are never mother asked, and we surprised them, and we provide them some tools, some resources. The whole thing about not just give them the fish but teach them to fish. We're in the prison systems. We're in 125 prisons now. We're in 2,000 schools. And we go to places where people normally would not be able to access this.
And Dreamlife.com, the public company, significant segment -- I believe it's about five percent of the company -- is set aside by one of our biggest investors as a fund for mentoring. So the value of the stock builds that ability to have a base to help kids long term.
KING: Donald Trump said something in a speech, and prefaced it by saying, he knows you would disagree with this, but anger, revenge works for him. It's a good tool. You would disagree.
ROBBINS: Well, no, what he said was, get even. That was his motivational message.
KING: Get even.
ROBBINS: Right. And I said at the end of his talk...
KING: No bigger joy than when you get even.
ROBBINS: At the end of his talk, I said, this concludes the spiritual portion of our program. But, no, I think that nitty-gritty goals, you know, being angry if it's used properly can move people.
KING: I know athletes who have used anger to win.
ROBBINS: I've used it myself early in my career. That drove me. You know, I was upset with my mom, upset with, you know, unfairness, I was upset with society, seeing people not being treated properly. But after a while, I think you burn out. It starts to eat you alive. I think it's OK to use as a small dose. It's like, you know, if you're going to run a race car. You've got to have a little bit of that explosive mixture in there, too much and it just blows up, none of it and you don't have any drive.
So I think anger has its place. All emotions have their place, but when you overuse them they start to consume you. So I think he's right to use it to trigger yourself initially, but after a while that will burn out. You need to find something -- not that's just going to push you but something that's going to pull you, something that's so compelling, something that fulfills you so much that you don't do it because you have to, you do it because you love it. That's what my life's like now..
KING: Bill Gates told us last month that his goal was never money. His goal was always -- and still is -- find something new tomorrow.
KING: That fits in the with the software concept. Don't expand it into things you don't know...
KING: ... do what you know and work harder.
ROBBINS: Well, I think most people don't focus. That's why they don't succeed. They look at a million things. And when something gets boring they run to the next thing. They're dabblers. And if you look at anybody, whether it be a Nelson Mandela or whether it be a, you know, a Martha Stewart or whether it be a Bill Gates, there's somebody who's put their whole focus -- right? -- into something again and again and again. And I have 23 years of focus in this area. You've had 40-plus years of focus in this area. We could be lousy and we'd be good. We just have an experience base.
I tell people all the time, it's like tying your shoes doesn't talk any confidence, getting up for me to speak doesn't take any confidence. For you to do this doesn't take any confidence. It's just experience-based. But if you don't focus, you fail. And I think most people want the quick hit. So most people over estimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in a decade. And if you have several decades, like I have, or many, like you have, you tend to have some skill set, you know? You tend to -- you don't have to be too intelligent when you've been with about 3 million people like I have from all over the Earth to see there are patterns in human behavior and to know you can change them.
KING: Can everybody be happy?
ROBBINS: You have to work to not be happy, but we live in a society that trains us to constantly be in a position where we accept things the way they are.
I don't think being happy all the time is the right answer. I think being hungry is -- hungry and fulfilled. What I mean by that is if you just are happy like this, like passable, you won't stay happy. It's like having a great meal. A great meal's good for a while, but if you sit at the table that for a few days it gets pretty stale. You've got to grow. You've got to contribute. So you need that balance of enjoying your life but still having enough hunger.
I don't care if you're talking to Jim Carrey or Arnold Schwarzneggar, you know, they have that hunger. Whether you're looking at somebody like Nelson Mandela, he has a different kind of hunger now. Or why did -- you ask Michael Jordan why he got out, he doesn't have the same hunger. After winning that many in a row, he needed a new hunger.
ROBBINS: Now it's golf, it's gambling, there's all kinds of other cool things. It's business for Michael. He's found a new hunger, something that keeps him alive. And we all need to thing the find that thing that keeps us alive.
And Bill Gates, he's got that hunger. That's why he's still there. It's not about the money.
KING: It is a hunger, Now, what about those who are passively successful? I mean, the bus driver who has a very happy life? He likes the wife, he likes the kids, he likes the two weeks vacation, he likes the bus, and he don't want to make $87,000 a year, he's happy with $52,000?
ROBBINS: There's nothing wrong with that at all. If he is happy, he's probably got something that's making him grow and mature, that he feels like he's contributing to these kids he's driving, he feels like he's contributing to go his family, he's stimulated by the conversations.
Remember I talked about the -- before I went on your show, we talked about those six needs. He's found something that gives him certainty but still uncertainty, a little variety. He's found something that makes him feel unique and significant. He's found something that gives him love, found something that gives him some growth and contribution. You can do it at any level that your life deserves.
KING: Let's talk about the hardest things to do with, and that's troubled kids. Would that be the hardest things to deal with? The kids of Columbine.
ROBBINS: No question.
KING: Had you melt them before Columbine...
KING: ... that would have been difficult, correct?
ROBBINS: I don't know if I would have been the absolute source to do that. I wouldn't say that. But I'd say...
KING: For anyone that would have been a difficult case, a child without a lot of life experience, troubled?
ROBBINS: I see it all the time. I had -- honestly, one of my own children went through that process. You know, having an environment of everything being positive and good and given to you is not a good thing either. So we can always find something. So one of my boys, he was off in Europe. He went to one of the finest schools -- I grew up poor. I wanted him to have the greatest thing. He wanted to go. The king of Amman's son was his roommate. They wanted to study Egypt, they fly to Egypt and climbed the pyramids. And he comes home a few years later 105 pounds heavier and emotionally and psychological screwed up -- my boy.
So I had to do a major intervention. And he's phenomenal. He lost all the weight. But more important than the weight is he has a psychology. And he had no esteem for himself because he hadn't earned anything, you know? He really -- it's hard. That's because it's -- I've tried to make sure that he earned it, but, you know, you've got a combination of parents and they have different points of view about how to deal with things. And pretty soon somebody learns they can get whatever they want.
But getting what you want doesn't make you happy. What makes you happy is when you push yourself -- like, this whole thing about self esteem, like, oh, I was told when I was a child I'm terrible. That's why I feel bad. You were told a lot of things. You didn't listen to your parents most of the time, why did you listen to that, you know?
The real truth of the matter is people could have told you, I love you, you're the greatest, all day long. You still feel lousy. You only feel good, you only have esteem for yourself when you do incredibly difficult things and you push yourself through it. And that gives you inner pride -- not ego, but pride. And that pride and that strength can get you to follow through on anything. And my son has that now. He has done that. He has his story, his experience.
KING: I'll ask you in a minute if you believe in the thought that there could be bad genes, just a bad kid.
We will be right back with Tony Robbins. Again, his Web site is under way, Dreamlife.com. And you can check in with him tonight, and he'll be in the chat room following this program.
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Back with Tony Robbins after this.
KING: We're back with Tony Robbins.
OK, is there a bad seed you think?
ROBBINS: I think certainly it's possible. People can have their genes messed up, but most of the time it's not genes.
KING: Something sent Hitler off, right? Something set him off.
ROBBINS: Well, I don't know... KING: As a baby...
ROBBINS: ... it was a gene. I don't know that it was a gene. I don't believe it's a gene. But I do believe in life there's nature and there's nurture. I mean, you see two children. They're born, I'm sure -- you have another one coming. They're going to be the same, from the same parents, probably raised in the same kind of environment, same amount of love, and one of them's got this outgoing personality and one's quiet as heck. There is definitely nature involved, but the nurture will shape how they deal with the nature. Does that person become violent in the way they deal with things or does that person take that feeling inside and look for a new answer? I don't know.
But I know that you can shape nature. There's no question. Not the way -- like, some people are just more dominant and outgoing, some people are more quiet. But both of them can contribute to society, both of them can be happy, both of them can have either a great garden or a great business. You can look at business people that are outgoing and business people that are quiet. You can look at educators that are quiet and educators that are outgoing.
So, the secret to life is learning to use whatever gifts God has given you and be fulfilled in the process by really growing and giving.
KING: Have you created a lot of Tony Robbinses? Are there people out who worked with you now out doing stuff?
ROBBINS: I don't know if they're Tony Robbinses. I'm not into the guru thing by any stretch of the imagination.
KING: No, but I mean, have you -- like, you were a young man who worked for a motivator.
KING: Have you had people go out from you to motivate?
ROBBINS: Yes, there are many people went out there who worked for me and people that went off on their own afterwards.
KING: Are there women motivators?
ROBBINS: Yes, there are. But you know what's interesting? We do these large events, as you know, and we have 15,000, 20,000 people come to these events -- I do about 15 or 20 of those a year -- and finding women that other women really want to come see who have a really large identity is one of the most difficult things. And we ask people for recommendations. And I think our society has, in the past at least, so recognized the man's achievements that very few women have gotten the attention they deserve, even in a society where everyone says, you know, this is supposed to be equal. And so it's a difficult task.
But I think if you look at when the women have the same needs the men have, but they also tend, based on genetics at different stages of life, to focus on things differently. And having a child is something no man can relate to. He doesn't know what it feels like to give up everything and put your total focus there...
ROBBINS: ... and it creates a different lifestyle and it creates a different stage of life and it interrupts the normal working pattern for many women. And so that's part of the challenge. It isn't just the media or men think a certain way or women think a certain way.
KING: Who's toughest for you to deal with?
ROBBINS: In terms of?
KING: Anything. What kind of person coming to you would you say, this is a challenge?
ROBBINS: I had recently a major Hollywood movie star's wife and son come see me, and they believed the son -- they had all the labels for the son, all the challenges the son had -- I wouldn't name them because then you'd know who it is and I want to be respectful and private -- but I had to first get the mother to understand that the labels are not helping the child, that we have to deal with this as a behavior rather than all these technical labels. And we can change the behavior. We can interrupt it, change it, shift it, which we did. But it took probably three hours to work on her and then an hour and a half to work on the boy.
KING: So she was pre-set as to what? She had ideas of her own as to what this was?
ROBBINS: Well, he had been diagnosed with a variety of diseases. Many of these symptomologies, many behaviors we have we now see as diseases. We've created an institutionalization of behavior now as a disease. And once it's a disease, it's not my fault. It's just something I have. I can't -- you know. And so it provides a need, an emotional need, because it makes us all comfortable, and it also means the person who's doing the intervention can't really change anything because that's just what it is, you know? You're treating a disease. I don't believe in that. I believe in changing behavior.
And I've been -- as successful as I am, I don't have a degree. You know, I've done this for 23 years with everyone from the president of the United States to the child, from the person who's got a 152 different personalities -- and I integrated them. Without wanting to I did that and watched Diane Sawyer follow them for a year and interview the psychiatrist a year later and say, OK, you've worked on them for 10 years, Tony worked on them for 20 minutes. The guy's been integrated ever since then. How do you explain it? Because this person is working from a dynamic of the past and certain challenges and certain beliefs, and I'm looking at what's in front of me and how do we change it.
KING: You're not denying Freud, though? You're not saying that what happened to you has an effect on what will happen to you. ROBBINS: No, but here's what I'm saying. You get to make the choice. Two people can have the exact same personal history, one decides to kill themself, one decides to go out and help everyone.
A child is born to a 13-year-old mother with no father. She's sexually abused many times before she's 13. She has a baby herself, she's pregnant at 13. Her baby is stillborn. She's sent over to juvenile hall -- and she becomes Oprah Winfrey.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Tony Robbins. His Web site is under way tonight. It is Dreamlife.com.
We'll be right back.
KING: Is there a danger, Tony, that the thing you're launching tonight, a Web site, people can call in from all over the world, type in, get help, is there a danger in that? That technology is going to run so far ahead of us that it will begin to control us where we become machine-dependent?
ROBBINS: That's an interesting question. I don't think we're machine-dependent. I think we're communication-dependent. We always have been. It's the competitive edge we have as a society. You know, you and I were just born without our mother, without some family, without some connection, we don't do so well. A snake might do well, a turtle might do well but we don't. So I think all we've done is create a technology that allows human beings to do what they do best: share, collaborate, communicate and help. As a result of that, the species, to grow and to expand in its consciousness and its awareness and its ability to contribute. And I think it's just an outgrowth of that.
But any tool -- electricity can light up a city or you can kill somebody. You know, the Internet can be used to organize groups of people that are very violent and it can be used to organize people that want to make the world a better place. What wins, good versus evil, that depends on your spiritual beliefs, I guess, your level of faith and also looking historically what occurs. Historically, it seems like good tends to overrule evil in the long term
KING: Nations are extensions of people. You think we'll see war end?
ROBBINS: I don't know about that, you know? I'm an optimistic person, but war meets a need. Sports is legalized war. You know, there is a need to compete, to dominate, especially to males...
KING: And to win.
ROBBINS: And to win, especially males, a need for significance. War could only disappear if we found a new way for males to be significantly competing that gave them the same level of intensity.
Women could probably end war. I don't know about men could end that. Or if we developed some drug that lowered that particular need.
KING: So you've got to -- you agree with Billy Graham then, you've got to change the heart before you change the war?
ROBBINS: There's no question, there's no question. It starts -- everything in our outside world, your finance, your emotions, your relationships, your happiness, your sadness, your frustrations starts on the inside. If you master the inside, you can master the outside.
KING: What do you do when you have anger?
ROBBINS: I -- honestly, I've trained myself so I don't go there because it takes a lot for me to get there. I can say that really honestly at this stage.
ROBBINS: Yes, really. Because what I do is you change what it means. I used to get angry at all kinds of things.
KING: You have road rage?
ROBBINS: No, because I have a simple rule. If you can't control it, why get angry about it? Now sometimes I'll catch it, but then I'll remind myself. I'll say, what does this mean?
KING: That's my biggest problem.
KING: If somebody -- the lateness, and airplanes delayed -- I can't control it, drives me crazy. If I can control it, it doesn't drive my crazy..
ROBBINS: I was in Fiji and I was with George Harrison, actually, and he was at my resort there. And we were having this conversation. And I was saying, you know, I always am so uptight that I want the weather to be perfect, you know? That's the way I used to be. And I said, you know, after a while, I can't control the weather. And it was interesting talking to him because his anger was about what he couldn't control, his fame. And then, you know, he's just been stabbed. And it blew me away because he had so much anger about it. I mean, we talked all day long and I thought at first he was over the top. And then when you listen to what's been done to him in his life -- because you think with such a gift -- that sometimes our strengths is our weakness, and learning how to deal with that's a part of life, too.
KING: Always a pleasure, Tony. Good luck with this,
ROBBINS: Thank you very much.
KING: Not that you'll need it -- he won't. Dreamlife.com, it's on the Nasdaq. It launches today in cooperation with the Learning Annex. And following this program you can go online with Tony Robbins. And it's Dreamlife.com. It debuts tonight. We thank him for being with us for the launch.
We thank you for joining us.
From Los Angeles, I'm Larry King. For Tony Robbins, good night.
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