What I Learned from Tony Robbin’s book Unshakeable.
Featured image by Sammie Vasquez
The road to becoming a success is pathed with anxious moments.
To be successful you need to deal with risk. You need to risk your money to investments. Or you have to take chances on business deals. You will also most likely risk standing out from those around you and risk your lifestyle by putting in more and more time into the things that you hope will pay off.
The only way to be ready for the stress that comes with these huge risks and to stay on the right path to success, is to become unshakeable.
The book focuses on stock investing. And as a key part of my plan to achieve success is investing, (and it probably should be for you too), it’s an extremely valuable concept to learn.
However, while the book is mostly concerned with stock market investing, the concept of being unshakeable is applicable to all areas of life.
Being unshakeable basically means having the strength not to give into fear.
It means having the knowledge to act with reason, even when you are dealing with risky situations.
Unshakeable means having the faith and vision to persevere with your goals and not to be stopped by failure of halted by fear.
Read on to see how to become successful by becoming unshakeable.
Credit to the Author
Everything that follows is a summary of the lessons I learned from reading Tony Robbin’s book, Unshakeable.
I found it to be a relatively easy and extremely enlightening book to read. I fully recommend you read the book for a fuller explanation of things.
It’s one I’m proud to have in my collection and I think it’s a very valuable investment for anyone who’s on their own mission towards success.
Peace of Mind in an Uncertain World
This is essentially the whole purpose of the book. Tony wants you to find the strength and knowledge for you to take control of your life.
What it boils down to is that if you have knowledge to understand the dangers and pitfalls involved in life, then you can be prepared. You can manage your life and your resources and develop a defensive strategy to employ in times of danger.
That way, you can stay strong, avoid the fear and the nonsense, and make the right moves in any moment of your life.
He argues that once you know the 7 facts of investing, then you can be mentally and financially ready to overcome any problem that comes your way.
The 7 Facts of Investing
(I have changed some of the names Tony gives the facts. These labels work better for me to memorize them. I encourage you to choose any name that works best for you.)
Fact 1: Winter is Coming
In order to be unshakeable, we can’t fool ourselves into thinking everything will always be wonderful.
The way to be ready and in control is to know that winter is coming, but that it won’t be here forever.
Tony’s research shows that, “on average corrections have occurred about once a year since 1900” (Robbins p.29)
Knowing that corrections, or drops in the market, are common and that they don’t last forever, is a key lesson when investing on the stock market. By knowing this, you can be mentally prepared for these corrections and not panic when they occur.
Life Success Lesson:
This is the same with life. At times you will face setbacks in whatever you try. If you get scared and run, you’ll never get anywhere. But if you are prepared for the tough moments and you can overcome, then you have a chance of achieving success.
Fact 2: It’s usually not a Bad Winter.
A major correction, or a serious downturn in the market, is called a bear market.
A bear market is when the value drops around 20% and it may last a fair while. In this time, it seems that the market is the worst place to be, as nothing grows and it seems to be a place full of risk.
However, as Tony states: “Less than 20% of all corrections turn into a bear market” (Robbins p.30)
So, most of the time, corrections are small and don’t last too long. However, a small percentage of the time, a correction can turn into a larger down turn.
Knowing this, will help you to be prepared. Also, by studying these movements you will be better placed to react to them.
But most importantly, by knowing that these downturns will eventually turn around, you can anticipate them and have the strength to endure.
Life Success Lesson:
As in life, if we go around expecting the worst, we’ll never get anything done. For example, I see plenty of people who don’t try anything. They’d like to write a book, or do amateur theatre, or whatever. However, instead of trying, they imagine the worst and give up.
Winter is never usually as bad as you imagine it to be. Even in the worst times. You need to be prepared, but you can’t let fear paralyze you.
You need to prepare to be unshakeable. Know the realistic dangers and be prepared to take the hits. But don’t give up!
3 – No One Can See the Future
This fact is for those who have decided to start investing and think that they can time the market. Obviously, if we could time the market, then we would get in at the right time and avoid the corrections and the bears. We buy low and sell high to make continuous profits.
It’s a great idea, but it doesn’t work.
“Nobody can predict consistently whether the market will rise or fall” (Robbins, 31)
So if you have decided to invest, the best option, based on the evidence is to play it long. Invest in what you know to be good stocks, ride out the corrections, and sell when you are happy with the level of return.
As he points out in the next rule:
4 – History shows that the Market Will Go Up
As Tony states:
“The stock market rises over time despite many short-term setbacks” (Robbins p.35)
If we look at the overall trend of the market, it is indeed up. If you look at the value of the market now as compared to 20 years ago, the values are all inflated.
There are many reasons for this that we can’t go into here. But the secret is to follow a sound model. Someone like, Warren Buffet. By choosing good stocks, stocks that will perform over an extended period. Stocks that have a ‘moat’, or a competitive advantage, then overtime they will go up in value. They may go up and down over the journey, but in the long run, they will be up. (As long as you choose good ones.)
Life Success Lessons:
It’s true no one can see the future, but history does show us that it usually works out.
This works in life too. No one can know for certain if that person they spot across the room will be the one they fall for and live happily every after. Or if they will be the one who rejects them horribly and makes them feel like a total looser.
No one knows, but it’s worth playing the game and you kind of know if you keep trying one day it’ll happen for you. After all, the history of the human race shows that the population is generally good at getting together.
Now history may be changing. Happily ever after is indeed looking a bit different to what it did when my parents got together. But I’m still playing for happily ever after.
5 – Know Your History
Aside from knowing that markets go up over time, it’s also important to look at the trend of the down turns.
The research shows that:
“Historically, bear markets have happened every three to five years.” (Robbins p.37)
However, they don’t last. Even the worst has always come back.
And if we analyse the situation, what exactly is a bear market?
A bear market, or an extended correction, is a time when stock prices fall below their average price. That means they are cheaper than usual to buy. That means that a bear market is actually a fire sale.
This is in fact the best time to invest. As rule six shows:
6 – After the Bear comes the Bull
“Bear Markets become bull markets, and pessimism becomes optimism.”(Robbins p. 39)
The historical data shows that nearly every time there is a bear market, it is followed by a period of fast growth, as stocks return to their ‘true’ value and then continue to have moment to go above their average price.
The only problem is that this change from bear to bull is very quick, and as stated before, no one can predict the market.
Life Success Lesson:
This is indeed the same with life. When you’re down and out, it’s usually the best time to make a change. And from that change, with the momentum to hope for better things, you can achieve things you never thought possible.
Well this has been true for me at least.
For example, my dad’s death was a time before I started to become unshakeable. His death hit me hard. I spent a long time wallowing in that moment and possibly missed the best time for me to make some very positive changes.
Following on from my dad’s death, I dropped out of uni, started working a mindless job and felt pretty much powerless to really take life on. But there came a moment when I felt like enough was enough. Things had gone so far against me I figured I had nothing to lose. That’s when I decided to make a huge change. And since then it’s been up and up and up.
It hasn’t always been smooth, but my personal stock is worth a lot more now thanks to me buying in at that very low moment and going forward with confidence.
7 – You Have to be in it to Win it
As Tony says, “The greatest danger is being out of the market.” (Robbins p.42)
No one can predict when the market will go down, or when it will go up. So you can’t jump in and out. But despite the unpredictability and the fear, it’s worth it to be in.
Tony illustrates this fact by modeling the returns a hypothetical investor would have earned given the performance of the market over the time. In the best case scenario, $40, 000 invested at the best possible time would have gone to $87,004.
Whereas if the same hypothetical investor had staid in cash he would have amassed only $51,291. That’s a huge difference. And one that only gets bigger the longer you keep playing.
What’s even more intriguing is that even an investor with terrible timing, one who bought at all the wrong times, but who stayed invested, would have earned $72,487. (Robbins p.44)
This shows the huge advantage of playing. Yes it’s risky, but it’s a much bigger return than playing it safe, even if you don’t do particularly well.
Life Success Lesson:
I feel it’s simple said best as – ‘it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.’
I’ve risked it in life a few times now. Some small stakes, like starting a cricket team, even though the voice in my head said I was the worst player in the team. And right I was, I stank up the place plenty of times. But I got better. And it led to awesome times with good friends and it even won me a best on ground in a winner final.
I dreamed of playing guitar in a band, only to drop out and end up missing a good friend. Then, as many of us have, I asked out that girl that made my head spin. It was a bad idea and after I felt like a real idiot. But now I look back and I know that those were key steps in forming me to have the life I have today.
If you want to chase success, you have to play and you have to be bold.
And that’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned recently.
Being brave and bold is a much more exciting way to live.
Just recently I was put to the test. I went on school camp and they were doing ab-sailing. I used to be the type to let my fear build up, from a whisper to a loud confident voice, that just demanded that I sit it out. This time there was never any question. I was going down that cliff and I was going to enjoy.
It was exciting and I absolutely loved it!!!
Don’t live in fear. Life’s too short.
Learn to be unshakeable. Strike out. Be brave and bold and never stop striving for whatever you feel success is for you.
Thanks Tony for all the awesome life lessons that are that are having such an amazing impact on the way I approach life.
And thanks to you for allowing me to share this with you.
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