Anthony “Tony” Robbins (born February 29, 1960) is an American self-help author and motivational speaker. He became well known through his infomercials and self-help books, Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement and Awaken The Giant Within.
Robbins writes about subjects such as health and energy, overcoming fears, persuasive communication, and enhancing relationships. Robbins began his career learning from many different motivational speakers, and promoted seminars for his personal mentor, Jim Rohn. He is deeply influenced by Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Robbins’s work has been featured in major media including Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, Life, GQ, Vanity Fair, Business Week, Tycoon and Success magazines, the CBS Evening News, NBC News, ABC’s Prime Time Live, Fox News, CNN and A&E, as well as newspapers, radio programs, and Internet media worldwide.
Robbins has been mentioned or featured in 15 major motion pictures, including a cameo role in the hit movie Shallow Hal. In 2007, he was named to Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100 list.
His programs have reached over 4 million people from 100 countries around the world.
Robbins was born Anthony Jay Mahavorick in North Hollywood, California and later moved to Azusa, California, where he attended Glendora High School. He says that he lived in a small low-rent apartment in the Los Angeles area during his early twenties and dreamed of living in a mansion. In 1984, as his career began to take off, he bought Del Mar Castle for $1.7M. He sold the property in 1988 for $3.25M.
Robbins began his career promoting seminars for Jim Rohn. According to Robbins, Jim Rohn taught him that “happiness and success in life are not the result of what we have, but rather of how we live. What we do with the things we have makes the biggest difference in the quality of life.”
Later Robbins began his own work as a self-help coach. He taught Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Ericksonian Hypnosis after training with NLP co-founder John Grinder. In 1983, Robbins learned to firewalk from Tolly Burkan and began to incorporate it into his seminars.
Tony Robbins has published two best-selling books, Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within.
Unlimited Power, published in 1987, discusses the topics of health and energy, overcoming fears, persuasive communication, and enhancing relationships. One reviewer called the book “uplifting and idealistic” and references its “dynamic enthusiasm.” Another describes Robbins as “a persuasive communicator who spends more linage on step-by-step details of his recommendations than in self-boosterism.” Another reviewer said it’s “too wordy” and “reads like a transcript of a series of talks.”
Other reviewers dispute the book’s originality, pointing to ideological similarities with Maxwell Maltz, Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill, and Dale Carnegie. Some have criticized the chapter called Energy: The Fuel of Excellence which includes information on food combining, lymphology, and deep breathing to promote health. The National Council for Reliable Health Information wrote a critical review of the chapter and called his sources unreliable.
Awaken the Giant Within, published in 1992, was an expansion of his personal development techniques and strategies taught through a motivational self-help type approach. Robbins made the distinction between his techniques, coined as Neuro-Associative Conditioning as unique from Neuro-Linguistic Programming because the trademarked difference is defined by the application of “conditioning” to a newly learned personal development technique and/or skill or strategy rather than “being programmed” by someone else who has more power than the individual to make a change.