It’s what you practice in private that you will be rewarded for in public. – Tony Robbins
Picture this. A chirpy Italian lady wrapped up in a robe is energetically moving her hands up and down, breathing loudly at 7am in the morning.
No, this is not a cheap B-movie power move. This has been me for the past seven days, rhythmically breathing, visualising and practising gratitude as taught by self-development master Tony Robbins. My platonic relationship with Tony Robbins started over 8 years ago when I would march out in nature listening to his audio-cassette program.
I can safely say, at the time it changed my life. It prompted me to leave my job and start my solo career and thriving business. Since then, I think I have slowly developed a much less vocal admiration, yet I have come back to Tony time and time again when in need of help and guidance.
Last month I was recording a podcast for our very own show when my guest recalled his morning routine for me. He mentioned he started following Tony Robbins’ priming routine.
Obviously, I recognised my old pal Tony straight away, and I asked him to share it with me. I am no stranger to morning rituals.
Indeed, creating a morning ritual is the perfect way to start your day.
What is priming anyway?
One way to define priming is “the act of taking time to adjust your thoughts and emotions so you can live your life in your peak state.”
This is a principle well-known in psychology, involving repetition, emotions and perception among other things.
Priming is aiming at mastering your emotions as it prompts you to take a breath and control your thoughts through specific exercises. So far, so good.
Priming takes into account the principles of NLP and what Tony Robbins fans would know as better thoughts/feelings.
A lot of priming is due to the questions we ask ourselves during the day, especially first thing in the morning.
In a fascinating Harvard research, a short questionnaire, which included either a question about their gender or ethnicity, was taken to measure the math test scores of Asian American women.
Those who were asked to identify their ethnicity scored 11% higher than those who were asked to identify their gender and 5% higher than the control group (who didn’t have a question about their gender or ethnicity before the test).
This is just to prove the impact of our thoughts on our overall performance. Since every day we need to perform in life, setting ourselves up for success seems the most logical thing to do.
Tony Robbins priming routine
So there I am, ready to follow Tony’s voice through the next 13 minutes.
Breathing: I start by sitting down, my hands up in the air. I then start vigorously pushing the hands down, up and down again, breathing what yogis may know as the fire breath. Fast breathing in and out, for three sets of ten.
Gratitude practice: After this it’s time to think about three things I am grateful for. Instead of writing them down, I’ll visualise them with my eyes closed, taking time to relive each moment (a very important step). I personally decided to focus on things that happened to me in the past 24 hours, big or small they may be.
Healing light: Now comes the part that’s like a blessing or a prayer. Tony talks you through a coloured light coming down and filling your body, healing anything that needs to be healed – body, thoughts, emotions, feelings. After this healing light goes through and strengthens you, Tony asks you to send all the energy you’ve gotten through your healing and strengthening out to others.
Visualisation: Last but not least, think about three outcomes or goals that you want to achieve today (or this week). Once again, you are asked to step into each one of them. What would achieving them feel like? Place yourself in that position of achievement and celebrate that feeling of completion.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. – Tony Robbins
Is priming for everyone? Probably not. Yet, it’s a powerful tool to create structure and positive drive in your mornings.
Adding movement and the breathing work definitely helps me waking up and getting ready to start my morning practice. All it takes, really, is 15 minutes.