This article reviews my Date With Destiny experience from way back in 2006. I want to give you an inside look at the powerful transformation that can occur in just seven days. The experience was so meaningful that I returned to Date With Destiny in 2012, this time with my wife!
I no longer recommend or apply the techniques Tony Robbins (and his team) used to create personal transformation. I’ve found that there are far more effective ways to live a great life and improve one’s performance at work. Nothing against Tony, but I’ve moved on.
For posterity’s sake, I’m sharing below my experience from my first trip to Date With Destiny, unedited and written in the days immediately following the event.
My DWD Experience from 2006
I’ve reclaimed my destiny!
I’m gradually plugging myself back into the real world after my Date With Destiny experience. Having spent over six years at Microsoft, I’ve gone through a half-dozen personality tests, goal setting other skills assessment programs. Going into this seminar, I thought I knew myself, what drives me and my life goals pretty well.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t think anything in my life was broken. I don’t have a crumbling marriage or strained relationship (I am in fact single). I am not in debt. I have a job (and a damn good one at that). I am living in a great place. I am in good physical health. I was mostly looking forward to meeting other motivated people and perhaps refining my life goals a bit.
Transformation can be exhausting!
The level of intensity for the week was really unbelievable.
My typical routine involved a 7-8 am wake up, followed by a quick workout (30 minutes jogging while nose breathing and some weights at the hotel gym). The sessions started anywhere from 8:30-10 am depending on the day. Things wrapped up somewhere between Midnight and 2 am. Long days!
There were rarely any breaks. If I had to use the bathroom, I just ran out and came right back! I packed snacks to eat. Despite the rigorous schedule, I had an incredibly high level of energy and was really alert the entire time. Perhaps they were pumping oxygen into the room to keep us all awake? 🙂
From a nutritional standpoint, I love these events because almost everyone eats healthy food. Tony teaches (or should I say pushes and guilt-trips!) people to adopt a plant-based diet. I met many who decided to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet during the week. On the second day, I sat next to a raw foodist. He had more food with him than you could imagine and insisted on feeding everyone within reach. Of course, I didn’t mind!
I didn’t have a drop of coffee all week. I just ate lots of raw nuts (Brazil, almond and cashews), apples, pears, salads, carrots, avocados, protein shakes and an occasional noodle soup from a Chinese place down the road (on the rare occasion when we had a break).
Funny enough, I weighed myself yesterday after the seminar ended, fully expecting to have lost 4-5 pounds. However, my body weight was the same as when I left, but I had 3% less body fat! I don’t know how that is possible given that I didn’t eat that much….but my body seems to be doing just fine.
Agenda for the week
For those of you who haven’t been to a Tony Robbins seminar…let’s just say that you are never sitting for more than an hour at a stretch. The room is set up like a rock concert, with massive projection screens, a big stage, and a sound system better than most big dance clubs. There are frequent partner or group activities and random games and clowning around to get you out of your head.
- Get in groups of 4 and select one person to jump in the middle and dance like Britney Spears.
- Get in groups of 5 and massage one person at the same time.
- Get in groups of 2, face each other and dance like a crazy person.
I think you get the point! All the while, music (really good music I might add) and videos are played in the background.
In terms of format, each day had a different focus, where we learned and applied specific tools. There was an introduction day. A relationship day. An integration day. A transformation day, and so on.
Each day has a stacking effect on the previous days. After the first few days I was clueless. The material didn’t have much of an impact on me. However, by the fifth day when we began to integrate the material, things started to click in a big way.
The material is based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques that Tony has modified and customized through interactions with over 3 million people over the past 30 years. He also pulls material from other areas, including Indian/Yogic Meditation, Spiral Dynamics and Ken Wilbur’s spiritual teachings. The great thing about Tony’s seminars is that they are constantly evolving. As new techniques are discovered, they are incorporated into the mix.
Also, since the event was quite large (2500 people) we were split into teams of 50 people. Each team sat together each day and had breakouts at the beginning of each day. My team was absolutely outstanding (Go Team 12!). I made a dozen lifelong friends through this process. Successful businessmen. College students. People in strained relationships. People in loving and happy relationships. A 20-year-old professional poker player. A nightclub owner. A tax attorney. A criminal defense lawyer. Yes, we had quite a mix of people! Just developing these relationships made it worth attending in my opinion.
The ultimate point of the seminar
The point of the seminar was to define who you are and your core values, identify areas where changes are needed and take massive action to integrate the required changes into your mind and body.
The process was incredibly intense. Without question, it was the most emotionally intense thing I have ever done. I suppose the best comparison is how I felt in the final mile of the marathon during my last two Ironman Triathlons….not how my physical body felt…but how I felt emotionally. Lingering sorrow, fatigue and incredible euphoria all at once. Imagine that feeling prolonged over six days and you get a taste of what it was like.
Enough learning to last a lifetime
There is just no way I could cover all the learning from Tony Robbins Date With Destiny in a single post. At a high level, the most significant insight for me was just how powerful emotions really are. We experience them during points of significant achievement or severe loss but rarely can harness emotional strength daily to live a more courageous and fulfilling life. This is a strength that the physical body or the intellect can never match. There is no way I could have made this level of progress this fast on my own.
Since the seminar ended yesterday, I have noticed my body responding differently to emotional triggers in daily life. Things that would normally create frustration or anger do not have the same effect on me. A few dietary and behavioral addictions have also disappeared.
Life is great, and I’m optimistic about what the future holds.
That attitude itself is worth the price of admission.
If you are curious about attending, check out another article I wrote with insights that can help you get more out of attending Date With Destiny.