Sunday, July 17, 2016

Becky watches the Tony Robbins documentary, weeps as profusely as a newly-birthed babe

I've been quite ill for the last week and a half (fun fact: I've gotten two shots in my butt in the past seven days), and thus have been walking around looking like something out of a zombie apocalypse movie. But despite finally being on the mend, today I look worse than ever, and that's because I spent two hours of my life yesterday leaking my eyes out over the documentary Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru. Should I be admitting this in public? Absolutely not. But Tony Robbins has inspired me to say things to an audience of strangers that I would normally shut up about.

I read some reviews that criticized the film (now streaming on Netflix) for its worshipful view of the self-help guru it focuses on. Which is a fair point. But there was something deeply moving about watching the emotional exposure of a group of people desperate to change their lives. The honesty surrounding their pain was refreshing and, for reasons I can't entirely attribute to the various medications I'm on, caused me to cry a lot. I don't know enough about Tony's techniques to comment on them, but I can't deny the genuine passion that underlies his mission to alleviate suffering, and oh, how much different the world would be if we were all motivated to relieve people of their burdens instead of adding to them.

Of all the things in the movie though, the single thing that resonated with me most was the subtitle of one of the chapter titles: "Push will wear you out." I was in Portland much of last week on a work trip, and before I left, I pushed very hard to get a lot of things done at my job that, honestly, someone else could have done. It makes me feel important to do things at work on my own, to make it known that people can rely on me, and "feeling important" is something I haven't had in any job prior to this one, so it's something I chase.

But it's a lie. Things may be different if I weren't there, but nothing would crumble, nothing would cease without me...and even if it did, so what? When I got home from Portland, I called my parents and my mom said, apropos of nothing (and everything), "You're too damned responsible. Your dad and I think you should go rob a bank."

I doubt it'll go that far, but I concede her point. And that's why the documentary made me weepy, I think. The people who go to Tony Robbins conventions are, by and large, responsible people who spend their lives trying to do the right thing. They aren't fuck-ups. But even overachievers - maybe especially overachievers - occasionally benefit from a metaphorical slap upside the head.


  1. Ooohhhh take good care of yourself - and let me know if you want to rob a bank, I'll be right there with you. Could need some extra pennies ;)

    And make sure to take a good rest from work and not let it wear you down. It is not worth it and no one will ever thank you for it.

    I love Tony - in a sense ... I have been to his Unleash the Power Within in 2000 here in Germany. It was great.
    And thinking back all those years, I sometimes think that subconsciously I kept pushin g because of the firewalk. Subconsciously I knew what I am capable of... and though I might have forgotten that and been to those dark places where I thought I can't do it one more day, something kept me going.
    Being where I am now and working on changing my life brought me back to Tony and the likes - and it reminded me of the powerful thing I can do. So if I can walk over fire, I can walk through this life or?!?!?!?!?

    The answer remains to be seen ;)


    P.S. Have to watch the documentary once it is available here.

    1. I had no idea you'd seen him! I think you'd really like the documentary. They didn't show the firewalk, and I'm not sure if it's because they didn't do it in the seminar that they featured or if there just wasn't enough time to show everything in the length of a movie. But it sounds like he had a really positive effect on you, and I'm going to say YES, if you can walk over fire, you can definitely do anything!! :D

      And you're very right about work. On top of Americans being crazy about work anyway, there's definitely a culture in my work environment of overworking, and it's something I'm trying to remain conscious of, especially since I have a tendency to work myself into the ground even without any added social pressure...

      Please let me know what you think once you see the documentary! I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)