Top 5 Books Tony Robbins Thinks You Should Read
Tony Robbins is the author of
Over the past 30 years, millions of people have seen a Tony Robbins presentation, listened to one of his audio lessons, or read one of his books.
In his career as a life coach, Robbins has worked with a wide range of powerful people, including President Bill Clinton, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones.
We spoke with him recently and asked him what books he recommends to anyone, regardless of where they are in their career.
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neuroscientist and psychiatrist who survived three years in concentration camps during the Holocaust. In 1959, he published his meditation on what separated those who were able to find the meaning that helped them survive from those who gave up. "Man's Search for Meaning" has gone on to sell over 12 million copies around the world.
"I don't give a damn how rich you are financially or how abundant you are with your family or love, we all experience extreme stress in our life at some point," Robbins says. "It's the ultimate equalizer. If it's not you, it will be someone in your family, and so the ability to find meaning in the most difficult times, I think, is one of the most important skills of life, and there's probably not a greater example than that book."
The British author James Allen predates Napoleon Hill ("Think and Grow Rich") and Dale Carnegie ("How to Win Friends and Influence People") as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His most influential work is "As a Man Thinketh," published in 1908.
Robbins says he's read it more than a dozen times and often gives the book as a gift because it's concise, easy to read, and profound. "It's the whole concept of understanding that your thoughts really, truly shape everything in your life that you feel and experience," he says.
Ray Kurzweil is Google's director of engineering, a vocal futurist and transhumanist, and one of Robbin's good friends. His book, "The Singularity Is Near," details his theory that humanity will reach a point of "technological singularity" by the year 2045, a point from which machine intelligence progresses so rapidly that it exceeds humanity's ability to fully comprehend it.
Robbins sees Kurzweil as something of a prophet. "I believe anticipation is power, that if you are going to have a great life, you don't want to react to everything," he says. "Where the world is going and what technology is leading us to in terms of the evolution of humanity is an incredibly valuable thing to understand."
Neil Howe and the late William Strauss are largely responsible for the way Americans think of themselves as members of a particular generation, such as Baby Boomers and Millennials. Their 1997 book "The Fourth Turning" is a good introduction to their generational theory.
Robbins says that he finds the theory to be motivational. "It helps people understand that winter is going to come, but winter isn't forever. Winter is always followed by spring. And it's how to take advantage of whatever season you're in," he says.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is the father of the Transcendentalist movement that developed in the US in the 1820s and 1830s. It is founded on the belief that people are inherently good and are at their best when they are self-reliant and individualist, free from the corruption of society.
Robbins says he was hugely inspired by Emerson's essays on the subject when he was beginning his career as a coach. "Self-reliance is a theme all human beings, especially those living in the Western world, have to fully understand if they're going to do well in a world that's changing constantly," he says.
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