Tony Robbins and imperfectly perfect


I watched a new Netflix document about Tony Robbins called “I am not your guru“. From the get-go it was obvious that his very outspoken style and message is bound to raise thoughts. And at least in me it resonated in a positive way. But I’m a hundred percent sure without googling that this guy has to be a controversial character.

The topics which this life coach tackles in his almost trance-like seminars are all too familiar. He says that by helping others he receives a more in-depth meaning for his own life. This is the answer he gives when asked the question “why”. This is often the default answer from those who seek to help others. Those who have had a tough childhood or early adolescence have the urge (often even pure need) to assist other people. One has to remember though, as taught by my favorite teacher (psychology lecturer) at Oulu UAS, that prior personal experiences do not turn anyone in to a good helper and they are far from any sort of requirement to become one. However, I believe that genuine and sincere will and motivation to help others is something which isn’t easily formed without a subjective experience. To go through the “extra mile” for someone. To be able to “resonate” to someone else’s story.

Scars of life

While watching this document I found numerous connections to occupational therapy e.g. in the form of one meaningful and straightforward theory, Psychosocial Frames of Reference.

We all carry our own “scar tissue of life”. Nevertheless, problems tend to cultivate us. They are our gift, but only if we recognize them and find ways and courage to overcome them. I know that I wouldn’t be the Milan I am today without all those events that I have come across in my life. When I glance myself in the mirror, and go in to the deepest caves of my soul, I can realize that I’m the sum of my history. At that precise moment I can reach perfect gracefulness towards myself, accept myself, as I am imperfectly perfect. I am me. I am unique. And so are you.

We must say those words to ourselves, repeatedly, as amongst our ordinary lives we tend to forget them so easily. Unconditional love and acceptance, who of us would not have craved them and still craves, but as an adult the most important source for them is your own mouth and the way you speak to yourself.

So why is it so hard for many of us to be graceful to ourselves? I claim that the answer most often lies in our childhood’s relationship attachments (and thus Psychosocial Frames of Reference). Father and mother, the most important beings in the cosmos for us all. And who else coaches them to be our parents than their own fathers and mothers. It’s easy to become a father or a mother, but where do they teach how to be a good parent? Who in us is the one who really dictates our own demands towards ourselves? I leave this question open and continue on this topic in my laterblog posts.

Summa summarum

Tony Robbins will stay in my mind as an interesting character who goes in his own ways and who’s honest to himself. He picks out one person at a time from the crowd, hands him a mic and then confronts that person, head-on, straight to the face. And he has a point while doing that. I share this school of thought although I’d use less swearwords and more “foreplay”.

At times the going gets a little cheesy. For example a scene shot at backstage where an assistant uses a dropper to put two squirts of some juice in to this guy’s mouth, after which he hops on a mini trampoline for a few bounces, waves his hands in the air like in body combat and then goes on to the stage. At this point I laughed out loud. But when you cut through the fat there is a hard bone underneath. It’s just covered under a grandiose show and a price tag of 4 995 $. And you have to be patient to see it.

I warmly recommend seeing this document. Besides, what do you have to lose except maybe a teardrop or two. It has the power to genuinely move you (if you just let it) even though the document is made out of an uncritical point of view.

Heal the boy and the man will appear.”