The event that changed Tony Robbins’ path

Tony Robbins is an author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. He grew up in North Hollywood, the eldest of three siblings. He described his home life as “chaotic” and “abusive”.

“I had to protect my brother and sister, so I became a practical psychologist just out of necessity.”

At 17, Robbins worked as a janitor after school. On the weekends he helped people move house, to make money to help his family. On one house move, he cheekily asked the landlord, a family friend:

“My dad said you used to be such a loser, and how come you’re so successful now?”

The landlord told him that he started to turn his life around after going to a Jim Rohn seminar, which he described as “a man takes everything he’s learned in 20, 30 years of his life, and he pours it into like four hours.”

One week, Robbins decided to do something different with his earnings.

“I made this big decision to spend a week’s pay ($40) to go to Jim Rohn’s event, and I sat there and I was mesmerised. And that’s what started the game for me.”

Robbins described Rohn’s approach as captivating, and said it captured what he was trying to get from life at that exact moment.

“[Rohn] gave me a way of looking at life that allowed me to not ask life to be easier, but to ask that I be better. He got me to realise that the secret to life was to work harder on myself than my job or anything else, because then I’d have something to give people. And he really shaped me.”

One conversation, one event, one realisation. Sometimes that’s all it takes to change someone’s path.