Dear Alexander #004: Achievement vs. Fulfillment (Tony Robbins)

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure in life. The worse advice you can get is ‘go achieve all your goals’. Most people do that and they go, ‘is this all there is’? … what you have to find out is what’s going to fulfill you.”

Robin Williams was a ‘master of achievement’…

“Everybody comes to Hollywood with big dreams but this guy did it.

He wanted his own TV Show — he did it.

He wanted the number 1 show and people said ‘no way’ — he did it.

He wanted to have a beautiful family — he did it.

Then he said he wanted more money than he could spend — he did it.

Then he said, this isn’t enough, I want to make movies not just TV Shows — he did it.

Then he said I want to win an academy award for not being funny, his number one skill — he did it.

He said he wanted to make the whole world laugh and love him and he did it.

And he hung himself…hung himself in his own home leaving hundreds of millions of who loved him, but most importantly his children and wife.”

How do you explain that?

“I’ll tell you how you explain that. The worst advice a person ever got that achievement was more important than fulfillment. It’s the biggest fucking lie on the planet. And if you get it, if you wake up to it, you can actually have a life that is so rich and so beautiful. But the only way you can do it is you gotta understand this brain inside our heads is a 2 million year old brain. This 2 million year old brain was not designed to make you happy, it was designed to make you survive. Whenever you’re suffering that survival software is there, and the reason you are suffering is because you’re focused on yourself — you’re obsessing on yourself.” — Tony Robbins

There’s a reason you got chills the first time you heard Tony Robbins echo this story. You realized he’s right. You realized a part of you is chasing achievement. If you become inattentive and lazy through the journey and achievement of your successes you have the potential to go down an empty shallow path that leaves your pockets deep, but your heart and soul empty. To attempt to mitigate that suffering here are 3 thought patterns to be conscious of.

Suffering comes from 3 thought patterns:


“If you are in a situation where you believe that someone did something, the government, your friend, a coworker, your kid — whoever, and because they did that, you lost an opportunity, respect, or you lost anything — that illusion of loss is the place we suffer, and it is unconsciously (even when it’s not conscious) because we’re obsessing about ourselves.”


“If you did something, I did something, you failed to do something as my friend, I failed to do something for you and as a result either of us starts thinking — we have less respect, less love, less joy, less opportunity — less something, you’re going to suffer. You’re going to manufacture those emotions that make you ‘crazy’.


The worst thing is when you start thinking, ‘because you did this’ or ‘because I did this’ — because of that, we will never have something again, then people get crazy inside. The antidote to that suffering is appreciation. It’s getting outside of yourself and finding something to appreciate because we get so upset about everything and anything. Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole life changes in a moment”

If you stay aware and grounded to the ‘why’ behind your intent you will maneuver through the art of fulfillment and achievement with grace and effortlessness. It’s okay to want nice thing’s. It’s okay to want other’s to like, respect and admire you. Know when you’ve gone to far and check yourself when you’ve stepped over the line. Your life will be a constant effort to balance the two extremes to find your equilibrium between achievement and fulfillment. You may stray ever now and again, but I have a feeling you’ll always come back to your peace.



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