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Invest Well. Live Well: The power of success

My wife, Erin and I recently attended The Power of Success conference in Vancouver, which attracted more than 4,000 people. The main draw was a four-hour session with Tony Robbins, one of the world’s most renowned speakers on self-improvement.
Davis and Davis

My wife, Erin and I recently attended The Power of Success conference in Vancouver, which attracted more than 4,000 people.

The main draw was a four-hour session with Tony Robbins, one of the world’s most renowned speakers on self-improvement. Robbins is one of the most high-energy people I have met. He keeps the room lively, engaged and often on their feet. He feels the best way to learn is when our physiological state is elevated.

Here are some of our key takeaways:

• Activate: Listeners retain 10 per cent of material, note takers retain 40 per cent of material and active participation leads to closer to 90 per cent of material retention. This is true in business, sport and relationships with friends and family. Low energy provides low results. During the seminar, we were routinely interacting, shaking hands with strangers and even bouncing around. Robbins also said standing tall elicits a positive chemical reaction, improves body language and builds confidence.

A cultural shift has occurred. We live in a world with more negativity and social media is reinforcing this. Many people are playing negative thoughts over and over in their head like a bad movie. Among Robbins’ most profound examples, he showed a picture of the late actor Robin Williams, who took his life despite being among the most successful entertainers in the world and having countless riches, including a loving family.

Sadly, no amount of “achievement” brought Williams lasting happiness. Achievement isn’t lasting, whereas fulfillment can be.

Take responsibility. Only you can change and control your thoughts and actions. There are three keys to helping you achieve change:

• Strategy: A lot of people spend too much time researching instead of doing. Robbins suggested this is the least important of the three and called this the tyranny of how. He referenced that 70 per cent of North Americans are overweight and the majority of these individuals know what they need to do — eat better and increase physical activity ‚ but simply aren’t doing it. Robbins acknowledges that you need a strategy. Lastly, complexity is the enemy of execution; keep it simple or you won’t stick to it.

• Story: People need to tell themselves a story so they believe they will succeed. Surrounding yourself with others who are successful is a great way to model. On a personal note, when I decided to do an Ironman triathlon, I sought a coach and trained with accomplished triathletes. My six-month journey included successes, setbacks and doubts. I would never have achieved the level of success without them. I was proud to finish in the top five per cent that day.

• State: Robbins said this was the most important of the three. A lot of people are stuck and need a shift in the right direction. Some examples where people could be stuck include sleep deprivation, financial strain, toxic relationship, negative work environment and poor health. Often, people will feel that their situation will never end. As one begins to adjust, you can expect to drift back to your old frame of mind, but you must modify quickly. One trick I read about is having an elastic band on your wrist and every time you have a negative thought, snap your wrist.

Robbins stated that the mind can only occupy one thought or emotion at a time. He indicated gratitude is among the most powerful in replacing negative thoughts. He encouraged people to take 90 seconds, breathe and replace destructive thoughts with a previous success or gratefulness. A lot of professional athletes use visualization before game day. It is OK to have “crazy thoughts,” but we don’t have to act on them.

In summary, we are better off to focus on fulfilment for lasting happiness. Since we can never get time back, studying successful people speeds up learning. People need to work on emotional fitness, just like physical fitness. Robbins finished by reminding us that our mind is here to serve our heart and soul.

The event was a good reminder that investing well is not as important as living well.

Until next time, invest well, live well.

This document was prepared by Eric Davis, vice-president, portfolio manager and investment advisor, and Keith Davis, investment advisor, for informational purposes only and is subject to change. The contents of this document are not endorsed by TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, a division of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.-Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. All insurance products and services are offered by life licensed advisors of TD Waterhouse Insurance Services Inc., a member of TD Bank Group. For more information, call 250-314-5124 or email