FREE PSYCHOTHERAPY THURSDAY: Tony Robbins -itis The need for magic and gurus

Posted: September 16, 2010 in FREE PSYCHOTHERAPY THURSDAY, Uncategorized
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To order a Duffy book, click on one of the covers to the left.

Tony Robbins is the uber hip guy with the big teeth that is the king of the late night self improvement infomercial.

Supposedly, he’s been a consultant to President Clinton and all sorts of Hollywood B and C listers. I still remember levaL Burton doing a testimonial for Robbins in the ’90s. It might have been Levar’s only acting gig of that decade.

Man, look at the choppers...

What does Robbins sell?

Well, I’ve read the books and listened to some of the tapes. He says to set goals, change your attitude, decide specifically what you want and map out a path to get there.

There’s nothing wrong with that. it’s pretty much what every self-help book says to do in slightly different ways.

Why is Robbins so immensely popular, successful and rich.

Because humans like to believe in magic.

We want to believe that a charismatic bloke will change us instantly. We want to believe that our issues and problems have some sort of spooky Freudian origin that need a barely understandable solution from someone who spent way too much time in school. We want to believe that things aren’t our fault and that some dramatic intervention by a guru can release us.

Listen to the tape, wear the bracelet, take the medication, supplement, vitamin or herb. Lay off the gluten, the carbs, the processed meat, take the fish oil, read Oprah’s Secret, shuffle the Tarot cards, get in the downward facing dog, do a triathalon…

None of it is magic. There is no magic.

Change is hard work and takes discipline.

Do this, save the money and look less ridiculous:

Look at your life and the results you’re getting.

1. Decide what you want to change.

2. Be clear why you want to change and what will happen if you don’t.

3. Act against your old tendencies no matter how uncomfortable you get. When you fail, try again.

4. Do it until it becomes ingrained.

5. Realize that uncomfortable emotions pass and life does not guarantee you 100% comfort and pleasure.

Actually, it is the basis of my new 20 second CD collection available only with your purchase of The Magic Dehydrator and The ShamWow. Watch for the infomercial.

  1. michael rivest says:

    Dear Mr Schreck: I would like to order your :20 CD collection and Magic Dehydrator / ShamWow, and am looking forward to the changes they will surely create in my life.

    Having tried everything short of going to Lourdes, I’ve come to believe that even the “personal responsibility” era in which we reside is mistaken and reflective of our post-Enlightment arrogance. We live in a random universe. While we may ever-so-slightly influence the big issues of health, love, happy marriages, and well-adjusted children, these are largely matters of luck. In the 16th century the spirits ruled our fates, today “we do.” We need only make better “choices.” If either of these views were correct, believe me, I’d know by now.

    Gimme your new CD and electronic devices. At least I’ll have something to do while awaiting my precipitous drop into the existential void. BTW, Albert Ellis couldn’t hook of the jab, so what could he possibly know with his rational-emotive crap.

    Sincerely, Michael “I Broke My Knuckle On Your Head the Last TIme We Sparred, You Pencil-Necked Geek” Rivest

    • tjs9261 says:

      Post-enlightenment arrogance–how dare you!

      “Largely matters of luck” yes.

      The view we take of those matters is within our control, no?

      Realistically, the existential Blackjack dealer isn’t often fair but more often random. When bad stuff happens it is likely people will be wounded.

      How they deal with the wounds is within their control, no?

      Simple doesn’t mean or even imply easy.

      Is your assertion that when bad things happen that the individual has no choice in how to respond?

      • michael rivest says:

        haha, okay, all kidding aside. I think a more intelligent way of making my point (I hate it when you do this to me,Tom. haha) might be like this…

        In the realm of “bad things” happening, you are right – to a point. If someone loses a job, or develops an illness – choosing how to respond is typically within the person’s control. But often, choices only appear to be so to the one making that observation (although it’s usually less an observationa, than a judgment). No one (be very careful and thoughtful before you disagree) CHOOSES to be in pain, or to be poor, or to be in despair. Only the most Marie Antoinnette among us would say to those folks, you know, “buck up.”

        To the middle class, the poor make “bad choices.” Yet to upper socio-economic folks, don’t you think they look at us similarly? oh, yes, I forgot, we call them “snobs.” Choice is, in this instance (I have many more), a modern day delusion. How about people in jail – do they really “choose” to be there? And addicts… Tom, has your work really taught you that all those who fail to recover “choose” to become sick and die, torment their families, and pass on pathology to everyone who loves them?

        No I think, instead, we’ve yet to be able to situate this stuff intellectually. We know it’s not evil spirits, or character failings (at leat most of us know that), but in the last 50 years, we’ve lit upon “choice.”

        50 years from now, I’ll have more company in this opinion.

      • michael rivest says:

        BTW, I still would like a Magic Dehydrator/ShamWow

      • tjs9261 says:

        I’m not sure we’re that far apart. Life sucks then you die.

        Working toward change is hard and often excruciating. You’re not saying it’s not possible are you?

        I am NOT in the let’s piss on the little guy because it’s all his fault tribe. Peoplea re given raw deal–no question.

        You’re not suggesting it’s impossible to change are you?

  2. Amy says:

    I remember reading a writeup in the news not long ago about a motivational speaker (can’t remember if it was Robbins or someone else) who required the participants of his workshop to run across a hot bed of coals. Several of those people ended up in the hospital with third-degree burns on their feet and sued.

    Personally, I think that if you were stupid enough to run across a bed of hot coals, you deserve the burned feet… dumbass!

    I agree with all you said about personal responsibility. Transformation comes from the inside out, not vice versa.

  3. Jan M says:

    Tom – not CDs. Make it an online download instead. You make more money that way – I mean people can get help quicker.

    Can’t wait for the informercial. Will the sham-wow guy be co-hosting it with you?

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