Lifestyle

Date With Destiny: Key Lessons From This Tony Robbins Seminar

Last week I traveled to Palm Springs, CA for SIX long-ass days with Tony Robbins for Date With Destiny – a seminar he holds only once a year in the US. After UPW (read about my experience at his Unleash the Power Within seminar), I was pretty excited to learn even more about tearing down limiting beliefs and re-evaluating values to live the life I desire. I read his book, Awaken the Giant Within, and I have to be honest and say that this seminar essentially goes over the same key elements that are in the book. I did gain some other insights and burned about 5000 calories jumping around like a crazy person, but if you want to save yourself $5k (yes, that is the price of this thing), just pick up the book and do the exercises yourself. With that being said, here are some of the main things I took away after 6 days of watching Tony Robbins scream and getting way less then my much needed 7 hours of sleep (since the days went anywhere from midnight to 2am. Seriously).

1. Who’s love did you crave as a child and what needs did that result in?

This was a key lesson early in the seminar – did you value your father or your mothers love? What kind of person did you have to be to get the love and approval of that person? If you had to be very strong and supportive for your depressed mother, or never talk back and get perfect grades for your militant father – you are likely still living the pattern of having to be that kind of person. You also created “needs” you met with certain behaviors that resulted in you feeling good. Tony breaks these needs down as follows:

tony robbins human needs

Myself, like many other people, valued certainty and significance at the highest level. When these are your main driving forces, you likely seek situations where you can control things and where you can feel important or special. Most of my decision making and behavior had the motive of gaining these two things in my life – so even though we may say that the target we are after is more money, losing weight or an amazing relationship – these are all just vehicles that we use to meet our real needs. That’s why you can have all the money in the world or the perfect body and still be miserable, because what you’re really after isn’t being met (which for all of us is ultimately to feel loved).

Tony teaches that although valuing these needs the most may have served us up until this point in certain areas of our lives, they could also be holding us back. Therefore, he asks the question “what do your top two needs have to be now for your life to transform for the better, and if you made this change, what would transform in your life?” For me, putting love and connection in the place of significance and replacing certainty with growth was what would help build the life I most desire.

2. What is your primary question in life?

This was a very valuable activity for me. What is your primary focus in life? What do you find yourself consistently focusing on? You believe that if you live by this question that you’re fulfilling the purpose of your life. You believe that your question leads you to ultimate opportunity or success. If you don’t live by this question, you believe that you will be in massive pain, because you believe that your identity is tied to the question.

My OLD primary question was “How can I prove that I am capable and worthy?”

I felt that if I did not make something big of my life, or if I wasn’t hugely successful that my life would have been wasted. I felt that I would never feel accomplished or respected. The upside of this question is that it has kept me driven, and keeps my standards for  myself at a high level. The downside is that putting so much pressure on myself runs the risk of never quite being enough. This question, as you can see, was driven by my aforementioned needs of certainty and significance.

My NEW primary question is “How can I appreciate myself even more in this moment, and how can I appreciate God (or The Universe’s) guidance even more right now?”

The new question helps to put me in a better state, reduces anxiety, and gives me the feeling of calmness that comes with knowing that I am being guided in the right direction, and how far I’ve come in life is proof that I am in fact capable – and I need to appreciate that even more when I start to get into a negative head space.

3. I AM… whatever you attach after the end of this statement is what you’ll become

Tony had us do incantations – a phrase or language pattern that is said out loud and with an engaged physiology – generally after jumping around and always while standing tall. He believes that these are the most powerful tools available for conditioning new beliefs because they are an active use of neurology and physiology. He says that just knowing better will not make you better – you must SPEAK what you wish to become, and with so much emotional intensity that you truly believe in what you are saying. We screamed our incantations repetitively and were encouraged to scream them out during a run, before going to bed or when you wake up. While examples he gave were long and rhymed, I simply chose “I AM CONFIDENT – I AM COURAGEOUS – I AM DETERMINED”, because these are all of the things that I will need to possess in order to live the life that I want for myself. I’ve been trying to do them aloud as often as possible, which is generally when I remember and when I am obviously not in public.

4. Reordering your values

To figure out your values, you can ask yourself the simple question, “What is most important to you in life?” It is going to end up being what you value most – the emotional state that you most desire. You may answer “family, love, money…” but love is really the end value you’re pursuing, where family and money are just the means to trigger that emotional state you desire (for example, love, security, respect, happiness). The lesson here is that often people are so busy pursuing means values like money that they don’t achieve their true desires (end values). Personally, my highest values were security, connection and independence. This is very evident in how I live my life. I am very careful with my money, so that I have financial security, and it also allows me independence. BUT these same values could be holding me back in other aspects of my life. For example, I don’t take risks with my money or in business which holds me back from opportunity. Also, my strong need for independence could hinder me because I need to be able to accept assistance and not be so prideful. I won’t even get into how this has messed with my personal relationships.

The question, then, is what values need to be highest on your list in order to create the life that you desire? What values do you need to move down on your list or add? For me, I removed security and replaced it with growth. I kept connection and added playfulness (because I could use more fun in my life) as well as courage (to take risks). I removed independence completely and also added passion.

Tony makes an important observation, and that is that anytime you have a difficult time making an important decision, you can be sure that it’s the result of being unclear about your values. Reordering values was very important for me to get a clear understanding of what I need to be more open to in my life and the habits and patterns that I need to release. Easier said than done, but having the opportunity to acknowledge things like this are the first step in being able to make changes.

5. What are your rules?

After figuring out our values, Tony explained that we all have created “rules” – which are beliefs about what has to happen in order for us to feel as though our top values are met and we feel good. For example, for someone to feel loved by another person, one person’s rules may be, “we must be able to have intimate conversations, there must be plenty of affection, and they must tell me they love me at least 5 times a day.” While another person’s may be “caring for and appreciating one another.” Which of these two people will feel loved more often? Are your rules perhaps stopping you from experiencing feelings of happiness, love, or success more frequently?

When you structure your life in a way where your happiness is dependent on things you can’t control, you’re bound to experience pain.

With this in mind, Tony had us recreate our rules to make these positive emotions easier to experience every day. For example, “I will feel connection anytime I communicate openly with others OR anytime I notice the warmth and good in others.” Most of us have created so many ways to feel bad and only a few ways to truly feel good – so you could be living a very successful life and feel like you’re a failure if your using impossible rules for yourself. The point here is that if you want to start feeling more positive, healthy emotions – change what needs to happen for you to feel good so that it’s not so damn hard to be happy.

There were many more aspects to this seminar, but these were my main takeaways. He did a full day on relationships, a bunch of interventions and people cried pretty much all day long. I’m not even kidding – people opened up and got extremely emotional. At the end of it, we all made a pretty board with our life mission, our new values, primary question and incantation. This was mine:

date with destiny

 

So there you have it. I’ll leave you with some quotes and messages from the seminar that I thought were pretty important:

> The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the level of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.

> If you have pain in any area of your life, it is a call to grow.

> It’s hard to love yourself when you’re not being yourself.

> Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.

> You cant be fearful and grateful simultaneously.

 

Now do your move! Say YES! (My Tony people will get that reference).

75 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing, Ashley. You provide some very good insights and takeaways from the seminar. Well done!

    • Thanks Mike – hopefully I just saved a few people 6 days and $5k!

      • Maritza Contreras says:

        Thank you for sharing your experience, however, I believe in the value of living the experience on my own $5000 for my
        grow is worth it 100%.

      • Hey Ashley, I was thinking to go to Goldcoast in australia to attend this event. You input over here is truly appreciated. I think you just saved me 1000s for Aus dollars. Cheers. I would want to have a workbook that they provide even for UPW event is it possible??

    • I’m reading one of Robbins’ books right now and heard someone reference this seminar as being particularly good. Thanks for providing the excellent summary.

  2. I loved his damn seminar UPW so much I’m taking my wife this year! I was googling date with destiny reviews and found you went, I am debating if I am going to buy DWD for both us! Reading your review now :)

  3. Also, you never mentioned if it was worth the $5k investment (to you personally) !

  4. Thank you very much hopefully will guide me .

  5. Thanks for sharing Ashley.

    I found your review right after speaking with a representative to attend “Date with Destiny” in December.

    The cost is now $6K + lodging, etc. When I expressed that was more than I could afford they offered me a reduced cost to sit in a room with a live feed..,

    I’ll take your advice and read the book first.

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely,

    Dave

  6. Is that cost for one person? I’m thinking about going but definitely can’t afford $6K for myself and my husband. And is it worth the cost?

    • I there – yes, that is approximately the cost. It’s very expensive. If you are self motivated and can read the book and do the exercises, I feel that that is very effective as well. Obviously it’s an incredible experience, but he repeats much of what is in the book.

      • Do you feel it was worth 5k to you personally even after reading the book?

        • Hey Andrew – I got so much out of reading the book and was a little disappointed that there was so many repeated lessons and activities at the seminar, especially for the price. I personally don’t think it was worth $5k to me, but it was absolutely worthwhile if that won’t put a big dent in your bank account.

          • sure if you have 3 billion in the bank account go to whatever seminars you want for whatever cost you want. BUT you have to realize that the TARGET AUDIENCE are people who CANNOT afford to pay this and WILL NOT get their money’s worth!

            You would be better off spending the $8k after lodging and expenses into a new business venture!! Then you will actually have some ROI!!

      • Which book are you referring to Ashley ?

        Tony wrote quite a few books

        • awaken the giant within!

          • Hi Ashley, I went to Amazon to look for this book… it’s only available in cd format. Is there also a printed book with the title: Unleash the Power Within or is it Awaken the Giant Within? I was planning to attend DWD this December but after reading your review and these comments I think I want to read the book first… just need to know which book it is! Thank you, Kelly

          • So Sorry! It’s awaken the giant within!

          • “Unleash the power within” is a set of audio CDs. Earlier in your post, you said the book is “Awaken the Power Within.”

  7. Loved UPW, too. Only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!

    Andrew – bring your wife to UPW – I am guessing you already did San Jose or Dallas. Then both of you can decide together! That would be a Tony comment. Big decisions – money, moving, etc – get made together 😉

    Nice break down of the event 😉

    Thanks! :)

  8. Thanks for the revealing review Ashley!
    I gets me wondering right away…
    Either I continue reading informative reviews like yours, and read his book to become really educated and prepared for the seminar.
    But like you say, the book talks about the same stuff as in the seminar.
    So maybe I should stop reading reviews, not read the book, and just go on the seminar. It then gets me in a state of no expectations, and I may benefit most from that.
    What do you think would be best pre-strategy to get the most out of the seminar?

    • I would read the book anyway. It’s always nice to go over some of the more impactful activities. At least now you know what to expect. I went in expecting more and perhaps thats why I was disappointed. It was a valuable seminar and I love Tony — I just wanted to give a heads up to people who maybe couldn’t afford the seminar and give my own review! Enjoy DWD!!

  9. Wow Ashley – Thank You,
    It was so nice to find your site and the very clear synopsis of the program. I am so grateful for your sharing.
    A wonderful holiday season to you

  10. Thanks Ashley, what a great read :) I’m a big Tony fan myself
    You seem like an awesome girl in so many ways, I really wish there were more people like you out there!!

  11. Moe Moe Monkey says:

    Thanks you so much Ashley,

    I was in debate about DWD but I’ll read and act on the book and save 5K. Thanks for helping me sweet friend! You rock.

    • You’re so welcome! The event is absolutely worthwhile… if you can afford it! Otherwise the book was THE game changer for me personally. Thanks for the comment!

  12. Thank you Ashley!!
    I am going to UPW next week in Chicago and have thought about DWD. How many people do they limit it to? Is it an intimate setting? Is Tony totally involved? It does seem like a lot of money but it also sounds like it could be life changing.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    • You’re very welcome! You will LOVE UPW!

      DWD is slightly less people, and you get Tony every day. Like I said, it had the same content more or less as the book, but Tony is Tony – so if you’ve got the money and you love UPW I would say go for it.

  13. Appreciate the honest review Ashley. Just been watching one of Tony’s videos and googled the cost and found your page. Would love to go. Been to UPW and thought it was awesome. He did do a bit too much heavy sales at the end for DWD, but I guess we all have to make a living!

    I actually signed up (this was many years ago). But the next day it suddenly hit me that I was in fact potless, and that spending $10,000 (that was the cost of the ‘university’ at the time) wasn’t really a good idea.

    Little heads up to folk. He may seem like a great guy. And he is an amazing speaker. But his contracts are very dodgy, and definitely aimed at making it extremely difficult to cancel. I had literally one day to cancel! (According to the very small print in his contract) Which even at the time I thought was probably illegal. I also couldn’t do it by phone. It had to be via a letter and it had to be received in New York! Now,bear in mind the seminar was in London… I had to get the letter fed-ext to New York, or they wouldn’t have refunded it. Even then I got a call from one of their sales guys with the heavy sales pitch trying to get me to change my mind.

    All rather unpleasant if I’m honest. Not sure if the contract has changed since, but my advice would be to read it VERY carefully before signing.

    So under the touchy feely stuff it still ended up feeling like it really was all about the money for him.

    I’m curious. Did he upsell anything at the end of DWD?

    Still, the actual UPW seminar was great and I would certainly recommend it. (And have done. I paid for my sister to go because I want the best for her and wanted her to experience it). And I would actually like to do DWD at some point. For now though you have inspired me to read the book again. I last read it many years ago, and I certainly never did the exercises lol. Thanks for the candid review Ashley.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Stuart. DWD was great, but re-reading the book (which I also need to do) was just as valuable. He definitely did the upwelling at the end of DWD – even stronger than UPW. It’s a huge part of these seminars, and when you’re in that EMPOWERED INCREDIBLE state, all you want to do is say YES!! to anything he suggests. Definitely be careful if it’s not in your budget!

      • Yeah exactly…. “You willllllll comply… Hand me your wallet, breathe deeply and think of world peace… Sure thing Tony!”

        In all honesty UPW was great. I think you just have to keep your head screwed on straight and realise the guy isn’t the Dalai Lama. He probably got into it purely to make money. Many years on I’m sure he gets a kick from helping people, and so the pendulum has probably shifted a little. But let’s face it. If he really didn’t care about the cash then the seminars wouldn’t cost so much! He likes helping. I’m sure of that. But preferably rich folks lol

        What did he upsell to? What was the cost of that one?

        Always interesting to see how deep the rabbit hole goes!

        With regards to reading awaken the giant within again Ashley. Your review of DWD pretty much says that the book covered the same ground. Hence your slight disappointment (despite clearly liking it – as long as it’s a luxury you can afford).

        I did wonder if there were any big pieces or takeaways from your experience at DWD that, on further reflection, weren’t in the book?

        • Well I attended a couple of years ago, so I don’t really remember any other big takeaways other than what I shared in the post. The main upsells at DWD were the mastery classes and university (which I also purchased and then returned). I’d like to do UPW again – thats the one to go to.

  14. You just saved me some serious time and money. I feel like I owe you something. Good luck in all you do.

    • Thanks so much Ricardo. Again, DWD is still an incredible experience – this was just my opinion if spending that amount is difficult!

  15. after the UPW seminar i was really looking forward my second round TR by attending to DWD until i red your article. Thanks Ashley :) i would also reccomend you to check out Jim Rohn’s books and tapes who was Tony Robbins mentor.

    • Awesome – thanks so much I’ll definitely check him out. I definitely think that DWD is still an incredible experience, this is just my personal opinion for those who maybe can’t afford the hefty price tag.

  16. Woah! Really like this post! How is it going with the incantations? I’m really searching the internet looking for people who do this practice. I am so much looking for a good solution, I live the crowdy Netherlands and opportunities where I can run and scream in the open are very scarce (maybe at night). It’s hard to do this by yourself.

    • Search on Facebook for UPW groups. Some are hosted by people who crew the events. To crew an event (you are an unpaid volunteer who assist with microphones and room control and such) you must have previously attended the same event.

  17. Thanks Ashley for the insight review. Really appreciate you taking time out for sharing the experience.
    I have listened and read Tony’s book for years now, planning to attend DWD this year. I am wondering after you have attended the event one year from now, do you still have the post-event high state feeling?Any suggestions for the preparation work prior the event? :)
    As I believe $5,000 is a significant investment, do wish to get the most out of it.

    Thanks
    Linc

    • Hi Linc –

      So sorry this is coming late, and I hope that you had an amazing DWD experience. Unfortunately, you do kind of lose the effects if you don’t continue to practice the mantras etc. I’ll likely do another UPW event as soon as I’m able to kickstart myself back into it!

  18. Ugh Ugh Ugh-I so wish I researched before i Jumped. I LOVED UPW-Never “spent” any time with Tony so I was huge fan from beginning-BUT I am slightly dreading DWD-I am sure it will be chockfull of cool insights and learnings-but its the long days-And the fact that I will be in Boca for the week and not have ANY time in the sun-or to have some evening wine at the bar-My question is, can I modify the program? obviously I will miss things (which is ok with me-i think) but looking back, did you see chunk of seminar you would have opted out of in exchange for some down time/rest/vacation? Like for example, would you have left at 10pm to sleep more?

    • Hi sorry for the delay! I think on the last day they do a lot of selling of the products and whatnot, so I think that I only attended in the morning and took the rest of the day off. I wouldn’t leave early – it’s generally later at night that things get really drilled in. I attended a few years ago, so it’s a little cloudy, but I do remember the last day being just a sales pitch.

  19. Johnny Imperial, Jr. says:

    Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing Ashley. You provided inspiring information we can implement in our daily lives today. I appreciate your time and efforts. Have a blessed day.

  20. Thank you TFM. I truly appreciate authentic people sharing their experiences. Your review was very helpful!!!

  21. Thanks Ashley! I’m considering going with my wife, but neither of us have been to UPW. Money aside, will this be overwhelming to start with DWD? I picked it because they are so infrequent and it looks like the deepest experience.

    I’ll admit, I’m very much into personal development, but she isn’t as in tune with it. At least not yet…

    • If this is the only seminar that you can attend, and you can afford it, definitely go for it. It’s overwhelming for everyone, but you’ll get a ton of value from it, and the two of you will likely leave a lot closer.

  22. Really great info Ashley! I’m attending UPW in Dallas and am considering DWD, altho I’d love it if he would do one on the west coast again!
    I’ll read the book again first tho – I’m motivated to doing the exercises if they’re similar to the event.
    Tony is really amazing and inspiring. Good for all of us!

  23. thanks for this Ashley…funny how after a couple of years your review is still so appreciated….I ended up attending UPW in LA last fall and it was amazing but I agree with you…it was a review of the book..but the book itself is life changing if your in that place in your life where it’s time for growth…I’ve decided not to attend DWD because I agree with everything you’ve said from your experience there…instead I reread the book and I encourage you to do the same…so much more is apparent the second time around….

  24. Ashley, Thanks for the review, it was wonderful of you to add your personal values and such, and makes it so much easier to understand. I had only been to UPW years ago, I guess before Tony wrote his book. I highly recommend anyone to get his book from the library and see if it is really for you. When I left UPW I was around a group of people who all wanted to go to his additional courses like DWD but many of them were like life coaches, and such, who could use the material (like neurolinguistic programming techniques that he taught) in their own business. I had no such aims and could not justify continuing on. They do at times offer a 2 for 1 discount or if you check out Faceebook there are times when some got a ticket and needs to sell it or they may want to buddy up on a hotel room to save on that expense. But it’s been awhile since I was involved with it, so I don’t have current info. Again thanks, Ashley!

  25. Great article, thanks. I’m going to UPW London this week. Amazingly it will be my 4th UPW! Is that excessive?!

    The firewalk is almost getting easy now although I probably won’t think that on Thursday evening when I’m in front of the coals!

    I’ve often thought about buying DWD but based on your article and feedback on this page I think I might skip it.

    Maybe after 4 UPWs I should do one of his other events. I do get a lot from UPW and each time I go it reinforces things for me although I probably wouldn’t keep going if I didn’t live in London. It’s easier to keep attending if it’s on your doorstep.

    The inevitable hard sell will come on Saturday night but I’ll resist and use the money for other ventures. As someone said it could be put into a business.

  26. Hi Ashly, Tony Robbins is now on Netflix with “I Am Not Your Guru”. This documentary shows behind the scenes stuff of how Tony pulls off his “Date With Destiny” seminar. It’s almost two hours long and I found the film to be a great motivator.

  27. This helped me a lot. Thank u so much.

  28. Hi Ashley, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the DWD event. Have you watched the I Am Not Your Guru documentary too?

  29. Hello Ashley. Just came upon your article today. Great info, thanks a lot. How was UPW#2 in June? Would you recommend UPW over DWD? Why?

  30. Hi Ashley! Thanks for your post! I loved how you summarized everything so accurately and were able to pinpoint the strongest takeaways :) I want to pick your brain because I am dying to remember this. Do you remember the example Tony uses about someone waiting for a person that arrives late to a dinner to illustrate the “change your beliefs/change your emotions/change your life” theory? I’ve been dying to share this with friends but can’t remember the example in detail. Hope you do! Thanks for sharing your feedback in this blog!

  31. Ashley, how did the questions tie together into a cohesive transformation.

    Like when you ask yourself the first question and answer, then what? What does that tell you if you craved your fathers love or mothers,etc.

    How did these questions lead to transformation.

  32. I went to UPW and loved it! I am considering DWD which brought me here! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  33. Hi Ashley, thank you so much for the precious information you shared!
    I have a question though..

    How did you actually change and replace your values and needs?
    (not only consciously)

  34. Awesome post! I loved DWD…so much so that I went twice (first time I went I was single, the second time I went with my wife!). Appreciate your sharing your story, I hope it inspires others to check out DWD, or at minimum invest in a coach and/or Tony’s other materials.

    BTW- I wrote up a summary of my experiences on my blog here: http://raviraman.com/8-things-to-know-before-attending-tony-robbins-date-with-destiny/

  35. Thanks dear so very much for your detailed notes.I am huge fan of Tony and your notes have added more clarity towards implementation of these principles.
    Sanjeev
    India

  36. Ashley, i believe you have valid points, however reading something doesn’t always change your life, it just helps to feed your mind with positive food. Because of what Tony gives others does actually change their lives.His seminars change people and that is why people pay the big $ to go and see Tony, because they are ready to change. his advice and inspiration creates cause and effect… wouldn’t you agree?

  37. Jean-Philippe Martel says:

    Hey!

    I hadn’t the chance to go to DWD because I don’t have the money BUT watched it on Netflix. I know the experience isn’t the same but I can assure you, that with the level of compasison I have in me, I truly felt emotionnaly reveted to the documentary. I felt like I was there and I really felt sometimes that Tony was speaking to me.

    I wrote down what he asked did the exercices. I never felt so deeply alive and grateful sinec a long long time. The next day I went to my parents house and had one of the most reliving and beautiful conversations ever (thank God they are still alive). The same day I called my brother and sister and just told them how much I admire them and how much I love them( which I was afraid to do my entire life).

    I am 27 yo, got a back pain injury at 18yo, had a depressive childhood, never truly had a great relationship. Now, after coming across the name of Tony Robbins 2 weeks ago, having bought 3 of his books, after watching DWD and after making some important decision, I am more ready than EVER to take back control of my life and charge at it with everything I’ve got.

    After watching DWD I now have the goal to build a website to help people with depression and make a living with this. A new journey ahead and more excited than ever. I encourage you to read or watched ANYTHING from Tony Robbins.

  38. Does the $5000 include the cost of the hotel and food or is that just for the 6 day seminar?

  39. I’m a little late to the game but caught Tony’s documentary ‘I Am Not Your Guru’ on Netflix and became quite intrigued. Can you say (with it being 4 years since your date with destiny) that you’ve been able to shape your life in a whole new way using Tony’s teachings?

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