Powerful Lesson From Tony: The Meaning Maker
If you're struggling with difficult times, as most of us are; this is one tool I learned from Tony that's been helping me a ton.
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What's up, everybody. This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to The Marketing Secrets podcast. Today, I want to go a little Tony Robbins on you if you're okay with that. We've been dealing with some hard things and something I learned from Tony about, man, eight or nine years ago has helped me and I want to share with you guys as well.
All right. So I'm not going to go to specifics, but I think everybody, especially in the last year, has gone through hard things, challenges, things that are frustrating. Things don't make sense. Things make you angry, things that make you sad. And it's hard. Anyway, I think for the most part, most of the stuff I talk about is the fun stuff and the exciting things. And I think that maybe the positives and the negatives of social media and all the things we do is that usually we share a highlight reel, which hopefully inspires people and things like that.
But there's also the other side we don't talk about as often, but it's there. And we've had a lot of, I think like everybody, a lot of ups and downs, especially over the last 12 months or so, but we recently had one that's been the toughest by far. Again, I'm not going to talk about the details at all, but as my family, I've been kind of navigating this and going through it. The one thing that keeps coming back to me is it's interesting. It's this thing that I learned from Tony Robbins very first time I went to UPW. So I didn't know how long ago it was. It was over 10, maybe 12, probably 12 years ago. Dang. Anyway, so that the time I was at UPW was actually, it was right after Jim Rowan had just passed away, which was interesting. And Jim Rowan was Tony Robbins' first mentor and he passed away and the event was like three days later.
And so we're at this event and of course, Tony starts talking about his mentor who just passed away. And he talks about how obviously how sad it was for them. And then he started talking about this concept and he expounded on it at other events I went to. He talked about the meaning that we attach to things. And it was interesting because so many of us experienced the same things, right. But the meaning that we attach to things is how we end up feeling and how we cope with things. Right? And so, for example, he said, when Jim Rowan first passed away, his first year, the first initial news and your mind automatically attaches a meaning to it, right? Here's the news, boom, here's the meaning and the whatever meaning is attached to it, that's how you feel about situations. He said, by default, the meaning he got was like, "Oh my gosh, my mentor died. This is so sad. Like I wish I could have talked to him. I wish..." And all these things. Right. And this was meaning is that this thing is so sad and so hard. And it's because of it, it was hard.
He's like, for the first couple of days, I struggled, I was really struggling, but he's like, as I stopped and I was able to sit back, I started noticing like, what was the meaning that I put to this? Like the, his death and like the meeting was man, I wasn't ready for him to go. You know, it was too early. all these things like, that was the meeting that my, that my brain by default attaches.
And because I was able to step away and become conscious of meaning that attached. I was able to think about well, what meaning would I like to attach to this event? I can change the meaning. And so he sat back and he said, "I'm going to change the meaning." And instead of saying, "This is such a horrible thing. I'm like going to change the meaning. It means like, man, I'm so grateful for the time I had with him. I'm so grateful things I learned from him, such an amazing man." And he lived such a great life, like how amazing it was. And so he shifted the meeting. "When I shifted the meaning, like the feeling was different. And I went from being sad to being like, man, this is such a, I was so grateful for this person."
And again this is just a tiny little shift, but so powerful. And as I've been experiencing dealing with things over the last little while, I've been trying to be more conscious of what things in my brain... What's the meaning that my brain attaches by default when an experience happens. And typically when it's a sad or a tragic or a hard experience, your brain defaults to like the worst thing, right. Boom, with slapping that label on, slapping that meaning. And if you can learn ow, to step back from the initial, what your brain quickly labels something on, you can shift things, right? Like for example, someone walks up to you and they slap you in the face. Like the meeting is going to attach like this person just slapped me. I'm going to slap them back and boom. And all of a sudden, like the scuffle happens, right.
But if this is a slap in the face, you stop, you like, what's the meaning? Why did they do that? What's the purpose of being like, "Oh my gosh, the person slapped me because they thought that... Whatever." And it's like, you come back. No, no, wait, let me explain and you can diffuse the situation. You can change it by shifting the meaning that you're attaching to it. And something that Tony talked about later, it was a date with destiny, he talked about becoming a master meaning maker. So what's the meaning you're going to attach, like making the meaning. And so you start dissociating yourself from like the thing that your brain immediately attaches and saying, "Okay, experience happens. It's stopping." What's the meaning that you choose to apply to this situation, this event that just happened. Right?
And now you apply different meaning. And it's like, "Oh." And I know for me, like man, especially social media and all social media triggers all of us, right. Where you see something, you see somebody post something and all the triggers start happening and you start firing your brain. You want to like, duh, unleash your wrath upon them in the comments. And what I've been trying to do really quickly is stop and looking and saying, "Okay, I'm going to assume that this person has really good intentions when they're posting. I may not agree with it but I do agree that most people do things out of good intentions, even if I feel they're misguided or whatever, but they have good intentions." Right? I believe politically, people on the left and the right and in the middle and all sorts of all that they say, everyone's acting out of good intentions.
They're all doing what they think is right. Even though I think some people are completely wrong, it doesn't matter. They think I'm completely wrong. Right. And so it's like when they post something, I have the meaning of like, "Oh, they're evil, they're bad." Like that's the initial default that has come back saying, "Wait, wait." Instead, what if I attach the meaning that person has the good intentions. And I may not agree with them, but they're doing the best based on what they think is right. Right. And then we see, it's like how people parent, how people vote, how people, all these things. And it's tough because we want to fight. We want to be right. What I've been trying to do a step back and not default comment, not default fight back, but instead come back, say, okay, the meaning attached to that person's comment, it's not that they're dumb or they're wrong or they're whatever. It's just like, that person thinks that they're doing what's best for them. They have good intentions. I love them for the fact that they're doing their best based on the knowledge they have.
And it's hard. I'm going to tell you, it's hard. I'm sure all you guys struggle with that. But for me, it's what I'm trying to do for a lot of reasons. One is it's keeping my sanity on somethings. Number two, it's helping me to be happier through these hard times. Right. Something tragic and horrible happens, it's okay, there's different meanings we can attach to this. It's not fair. It's why did it have to happen? Why did we... All these things or can make man what's the blessing, what's the shift? What's the thing we can change. And so I know it's not an easy thing. This is not something that's going to be like, Oh cool. I'll just start applying different meetings by default. But I do promise you that in most situations, our brains will slap the worst possible meaning on every situation.
And if we can look at that and stop and pause and become conscious of it and step back and say, "Okay, I'm going to choose a different meaning. This is the meaning I'm going to attach instead." Is that this person confused, they slapped me because they didn't know who I was. They thought I was the wrong person, or they didn't understand the situation. Let me step back instead of punching them back and escalating this thing into a blood bath, which is actually fun. I'm all for fighting, but... I'm just kidding. Instead is come back and say, "Well, okay, they attached the wrong me. That's why they did this thing. Let me try to help them understand."
I didn't, and coming back, we have an argument, I wasn't trying to be rude. This is the meaning that I attach to this and this is the reason, and this is why. Anyway, I hope that helps.
I'll share this with my mom this last week. So obviously there's this whole, in the COVID situation, there's all these things, the vaccines. And my mom and I have very differing opinions on the vaccine and what you should do and what you should not do. And I'm not going to get political or talk like ... It's up to everybody individually, do your own research and figure out what's right for you. Right. But my mom and I definitely have different opinions on it. And she's very strong at one side, I'm very strong in the other side. And so we had this conversation and, in a spot where I wanted to get defensive and I wanted to try to point out my point of view and, try to prove through all my facts and all the logic and reasoning I have. I'm sure she wanted to do the same thing. When she told me and I was able to understand, she's doing this based on what she thinks is best for her and her best intentions. And I have to let her. I have to respect that. That's her decisions. It's not my decisions. And if I want her to love and respect my decisions, I need to respect hers.
And so it was able to turn something that had probably a conversation that would have turned heated, frustrated, and probably burned some bridges for awhile into something where it's like, "Look, I love you and respect you, and I'm going to let you do what you feel is best. I'm going to do what I feel is best. And we can still love each other, respect each other."
And the meaning is not like, "Oh, this person's dumb or they're wrong." Or they're whatever you want it by default want to attach to the situation, which makes me want to come fight and, and argue and all sorts of stuff. It shifted back to like, no, instead of that, the meaning is going to attach that this is what they feel is best for them. And I love them and I want them... And maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. Maybe I'm not wrong. I don't think I'm wrong, but it's their opinion. It's what they think is best for them. And so I'm going to love them and respect them for that and support them and just pray for them. And that's kind of it.
So, anyway, I know this is a little different podcast episode, but I just wanted to give you guys that tool because something that's been helping me a lot, especially the last week or so.
And yeah, it's just so as we're navigating these difficult times, any tools we can use help and learning about meaning and how to create your own, becoming a master of creating your own meanings, I learned from Tony a decade ago now, something that I'm using more and more, and it's been super helpful for me. So I hope that helps. Remember that your brain is going to slap a meaning on it. By default, it's going to be the worst possible one that's going to cause you to want to fight or flight or whatever that thing is. It's like your job to consciously stop and pick the meaning, pick the meaning that serves you the most, not the one that's going to cause the most turmoil in your life. And when you shift the meaning, it's just shifts the energy, it shifts the focus, and it can change your destiny.
So hope it helps you guys. I appreciate you all. Thanks for listening. If you haven't studied everything Tony's ever put out, please do it. It'll make you better. It'll make you happier. It'll make life so much more full. I promise you, it has been for me. I'm grateful for him and his teachings. And that said appreciate you guys and good luck learning how to attach your own meanings to things. Thanks again. We'll talk soon.
Hey, this is Russell again and earlier today I recorded the podcast about meaning and I just been thinking a lot about that over the last little bit. And just wanted to jump back in real quick and just add a couple more thoughts just for those who may not, maybe it didn't connect with yet because I wasn't very good at giving examples. I'm thinking more about, like some examples. I think about meaning in my life that I attach. For example, when my kids do something on my attach, like, "Oh, like I'm a bad dad because of that." Or my kids are lazy or all these different things we may attach, and a lot of times we beat ourselves up or beat other people up because we're attaching these meanings to different experiences and things that are happening. When instead of saying again, "Oh, I'm a bad dad." It's like, Oh, my kids are just, they have a lot of energy or I need to, how do I better explain this to them so they understand that importance of it or whatever that thing might be. Right. It's just shifting that, that meaning away from a lot of times the blame on us or blame on other people or opinions or judgments on other people to have more love and respect and understanding that everybody's kind of trying their best.
And so I just want to kind of add that in there. I was thinking also I shared the conversation a little bit with my mom and I. And it's interesting because on her side, she's sharing me her thoughts and she's so emotional because she's scared for me because of my decisions. And I'm very scared for her because of her decisions. And so we have the same underlining fear for each other. Yet, we have the opposite beliefs on the topic. And so it's tough. And it's hard when both people are trying to do the right thing. Right. And so coming back and when the meaning becomes like hey this person really loves me and they really care, and this is their choices and that's what they feel is right. And I have to respect them. And I love them for that.
I'm just like, I'm hoping that they will do the same thing for me. It's just shifting those meanings. So anyway, I just want to kind of add that in there for anybody who's trying to make it more real for themselves and think about it. Think about the times in your life, when you feel guilty, I'm a bad mom, I'm a bad dad. I'm a bad boss. I'm a bad employee. I'm a bad worker. I'm, all the guilt that we take on ourselves because we all do it and shifting that meaning, it's something different.
So anyway, there's my addendum to the end of the podcast. I hope that helps shed a little bit more light. Anyway. Thanks for listening. Appreciate you all and we'll talk soon.