Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins

Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins

After paying $2,000 for a ticket to Unleash the Power Within

After the 3-hour flight out to California…

After fully committing, with a completely open heart…

I walked out of Tony Robbins' seminar.

In this post, I will share why I went to Tony's event, what it was like, and why I walked out. I will also show you what I did after I left, and what I learned from the whole experience.

If you're skeptical of friends who say, "You have to go see Tony Robbins..."

If you're on the fence about Unleash the Power Within ($2,000) or Date with Destiny ($5,000)...

This article is for you.

BONUS: Get the checklist to build your own Personal Development Day

"But doesn't everyone LOVE Tony Robbins' events? Are you just a hater?"

I know the diehard fans -- the self-proclaimed Cult of Robbins who "drink the Kool Aid" -- are already having doubts about this article.

"This guy wasn't truly committed. He didn't do the work, because he was afraid. Now he just wants to act like he's more enlightened than everyone else."

None of that is true.

Here's what you should know about me…

I have a ton of respect for Tony Robbins. I've read (or listened to) several of his books. I'm amazed by what he does (I recently shared how he gets 1 million visitors per month), and wanted to experience his coaching in person. A lot of my friends are big TR fans, and they all gave strong endorsements for UPW.

I'm not "better than you" for walking out. I'm not writing this because I'm a sophisticated aristocrat who turns his nose up at self-help groups. At many points in my life, I've been a total mess. I've written about depression and addiction. I wrote about the most embarrassing and painful period of my life (then I published a book about it).

I put in the work. I've had a ton of failures, and a few huge successes, because I'm constantly trying new things. Like how I built an 8-figure business. Or how I intentionally gained 40 pounds in 2015, then got into the best shape of my life in 2016. It wasn't easy to eat so much food, or to go to the gym every week, but I put in the effort to reach my goals. (You can read more about my goals in 2015).

I've read hundreds of books and taken action, because I am 100% in on improving myself. (Here are 18 books that changed my life). I've also publicly documented my self-improvement journey for the last 15 YEARS. If that's not "doing the homework," I don't know what is.

I've attended a lot of paid seminars before, and loved them. A few events that changed my life were Gayle Hendricks' Big Leap event and David Deida's workshop. Both were three days long, 5–8 hours per day. I didn't even consider walking out of either. I've even hosted my own seminars! Last September, my company AppSumo hosted our second annual conference, with over 200 attendees. I'm astonished Tony hosts events for 10,000 people at a time.

SumoCon 2016

This article isn't "fear driven." I committed to the event for seven hours. The only thing I was afraid of was wasting more time. Besides, I believe in helping people overcome their biggest fears -- like talking to strangers, or starting a company. Here's a speech I gave about overcoming fear:

Finally, Tony Robbins is one of my customers. In addition to Appsumo, I run a sister company called Sumo. Tony's team uses our products. Do you really think I'm dumb enough to bash one of my highest profile customers? Hell no. This article is written with love.

In other words…

I'm not hating on Tony Robbins, or people who love his events.

I'm just defending a viewpoint few people ever bring up in public: the negative experience.

Most people are hesitant to talk about experiences that make us sound foolish. We diminish our losses, we downplay the bad stuff -- especially if it goes against the crowd.

Think of Vegas.

Hardly anyone says, "I lost $2,000. It was a waste of time and money."

We always say, "It was fun! Almost broke-even. Hashtag WORTH IT."

For me, UPW wasn't worth it.

My Experience at "Unleash The Power Within"

In the days that lead up to the event, I felt nervous. The discomfort was reassuring.

I'm going in the right direction.

The two areas of my life I most wanted to tackle during the event were:

  1. How to better position myself to be in great relationships.
  2. How to create a work environment that continually motivates and excites me.

Before the seminar began, I had a chance to talk with my neighbors. One was a recovering Jehovah's witness. The other was transitioning jobs in Los Angeles. We had a nice discussion about why we were there, what our struggles were, and what we hoped to get out of the seminar.

Then, Tony came out on stage.

Tony's presentation skills were incredible. The guy has been doing this for 30 years, so I expected him to be good. He was great.

Some of the things Tony did really well:

  • He encouraged us to meet our neighbors and keep each other excited.
  • He kept participation super high. He continually asked everyone to raise their hand and say "I" if they agreed. He also let the audience finish a lot of his sentences ("The truth will set you ____").
  • He challenged us: "I'll deliver but you have to promise to commit. If you sit down during the dancing, then you aren't committed, and you aren't going to get what you came for. Play full out with me."
  • He repeated things over and over to drive points home and increase retention. He also backed up his claims with statistics.
  • He told great stories and incorporated a lot of humor.

Of course, there were some things he did NOT do so well…

  • At times, he was all over the place. "Let's work on what you're afraid of… Now let's talk about how to get anything you want… Focus, mean it, do it!"
  • There was conflict of interest. There's a day where we talk about health and nutrition... and then he sells supplements. Tony also mentions his other events, and encourages you to sign up for more seminars during the middle of UPW.
  • He name-dropped and bragged constantly. Credibility markers are essential for a presenter to be taken seriously -- especially with an audience of 10,000 people. And we all know Tony has done some amazing things. But the number of times he mentioned his relationships with presidents, celebrities, and business people was overkill. We get it  —  you have a private jet.
  • Finally, Tony has the weirdest clap I've ever seen.

In the first few hours of the seminar, we danced (a lot), massaged our neighbors, fanned our neighbors, did aerobic exercises, pumped our fists, watched Tony run through the audience like some idol, and other ra-ra tactics.

Still, these were minor annoyances. Those come with any event. None were deal-breakers.

But as the day unfolded, I began to question whether this seminar was a good use of my time.

Tony called on people in the front row and recited their names. Which made it seem like he knew everyone in the audience, though I'm sure they were his VIP ($75K per year) customers.

He called on John.

"What's your issue, John?"

John wasn't loved.

Here was Tony's response:

  1. Everyone in the crowd faces that issue.
  2. John should come up with a new name. "Edward."
  3. "Edward" walk towards Tony like a bad-ass.
  4. Tell Tony you are unleashed (basically).
  5. Everyone in the audience say "I love you, John."

Problem solved.

Of course, no one expected Tony to solve John's emotional issues with some light role-play and applause. The whole sequence was superficial (and entertaining).

Still, John clearly has deeper issues around his family. He wasn't loved enough.

What then?

I wanted John and Tony to go deep.

I wanted to go deep.

I wanted to do the hard work we needed to do.

Then we had to massage our neighbors. Again.

Okay, I understand we need to break through social discomfort and energize ourselves, but I don't enjoy random dudes touching me.

Hour 7…

I looked at the agenda for the next three days.

Nutrition. Interesting.

Then booklet work.

For two days.

I looked back over my notes.

Sure, there were some great takeaways, like...

Dedicate time every week to work on yourself. Reflect upon whether you are growing, and making progress.

What are you scared of right now? How can you move towards that? Discomfort is your growth!

Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.

Look at things from appreciation and gratitude. Instead of complaining about traffic, appreciate that we have cars to get us to places faster.

Modeling is valuable. Study and replicate the people that have already figured out what you want to do.

What's a goal that excites you? What goal would genuinely energize you immediately?

What distractions are holding you back from your goals? Remove them.

These are his quotes I turned into instagram memes.

"No growth in comfort."

"Success is how much uncertainty you can deal with."

"Your worst day can be your best day"

"Complexity is the enemy of execution."

"Have hunger that's insatiable, always expanding."

It finally hit me. Dread.

I was officially dreading the rest of the seminar.

To stay for three full days felt like a self-imposed prison, rather than an opportunity to genuinely grow.

I thought about what I most wanted to get out of my time, and whether this event was the best use of it. I decided it would be better for me to work on my specific issues, one-on-one with a friend.

So, I walked out.

Did I feel embarrassed? Yes.

Did I feel disappointed? Yes.

But what I really felt, more than anything else…


Empowered to make choices about what I want, and empowered to turn down the things I don't.

What I Did After I Left

Rather than fly home, I planned a "Personal Development Day." Here's what I did the following day:

  • Drank coffee
  • Went on a 3-hour hike to discuss personal and professional growth with a friend
  • 90-minute personal development discussion (recorded on video)
  • Ate a healthy lunch
  • Reviewed some of Tony's other materials
  • Read a book
  • 60-minute discussion with my mastermind group, where I shared some of my biggest issues
  • Got a massage
  • Sushi dinner

Get my Personal Development Day checklist

This may have been the best part about Tony's personal development seminar -- it forced me to create my own.

Final Thoughts

Tony has great intentions, a strong presence, and it's clear most of his attendees feel the event is worth the investment. I am in the minority, who asked for a refund.

For many of his attendees, it seems there are deep-seated issues with a lack of love, and the belief that they are not enough.

If you struggle with those issues, then Tony's seminars might change your life.

For a few days, you will feel loved.

For a few days, you will feel like you are enough.

That's intoxicating, and many attendees (understandably) go back for more.

For my friends, the seminar was overwhelmingly positive and deeply moving. For me, it felt superficial and cheesy.

I don't plan on attending another Tony Robbins' event. But I would, if his team made a few big changes:

  1. More time to talk with the people around us. The most valuable time, for me, was when we shared our lives with each other. We all attended for personal development, and we all faced similar challenges. Bonding over common ground was great, and I wish there was more time dedicated to it.
  2. Shorten the seminar to just ONE day. Less dancing, less hoopla, less fluff... Just get to the meat. We wouldn't need to be "awakened" every 20 minutes if the event didn't take so long. (Then again, maybe it's dragged out to create the sense that we got our money's worth.)
  3. Focus. The seminar felt too general. I know it's impossible to custom-tailor an event for 10,000 people, but more specific topics would have helped.

My good friend Tynan said it best:

"If you never quit, you probably aren't trying enough new things."

I don't regret attending Tony's seminar.

Nor do I regret walking out.

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760 responses to “Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins”

January 8, 2018 at 3:35 am

I´m sure if you go to Date with Destiny you wont have the feeling that his seminars are superficiall UPW is a great way to get to know Tony´s work and also there are a lotof tickets that sell under 2000$. If you really want to go deep you should attend Date with Destiny wich goes 6 days and covers all areas of life.

Roger Knull
January 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

I often refer to people like Robbins as the Demons of Happiness. I personally had an employer many years ago who was much the same. That big, billion watt smile and unwelcome dialog that demands to be payed attention to. After a while it became obvious I was frequently uncomfortable at his scrutiny, but this was lost on him. He even approached me spontaneously outside of work to blanket me. After that I began to suspect he wasn't trying to build me up, he was trying to tear me down and make me dependant. I absolutely believe it when you state most chronic TR followers have far greater problems than meets the eye.

If you find yourself walking out on ANY self-help gathering, you probably have more going for yourself than you know.

January 6, 2018 at 8:27 am

I too, find his bragging to be excessive. I enjoyed your article.

Dushko Boceski
December 9, 2017 at 6:23 am

Tony Robbins has too much knowledge, and too little values.
No guy/woman with values would be able to speak like a mother-in-law (forever).
If you are not "our" guru, then WHY do you do everything a guru wants to do? You fake humility, and your goal is money before values. Like you haven't had enough. If your drive comes from "within", why do you rip off people's pockets all the time and feed off them worshiping you like a never-ending TV Show (God)?
Tony Robbins is an attention seeking rather than giving the attention to his audience.
He lets them speak just so he can get motivated of what to say next. He doesn't listen to their true selves, he listens by "patterns", as he is proud to state.
I am not a hater, I don't hate Tony, i have learned much from his knowledge. I just pity him. But more, I pity the people who are addicted to him.
Cigarettes is not only addiction. Quitting cigarettes also becomes an addiction. He just plays among addictions, until people are caught up in it and it's become too late to stop. Success is and addiction, and Tony is addicted.

January 6, 2018 at 9:45 pm

He is a philanthropist and gives to people that need basic necessities to live...if you can afford a $2-5k ticket to experience him, that’s not ripping money from your pockets.

December 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm

I am at Dat with Destiny and I too walked out. It’s freezing in the room and I’m in Florida walking around in my boots with gloves and hat and a 25 pound backpack with layers of clothes and water etc. I’m here 5 hours and all I have heard so far are sales pitches on his platinum membership and business mastery! Disappointed I just walked out because after 5 hours of commercials I feel I should get to choose hoe to spend my time and if you want to sales pitch me let me know so I can decide to be there or not. Too much dancing this program is way too long with too much fluff.

December 8, 2017 at 3:24 am

I’m literally watching TR I’m not your Guru on Netflix and I immediately noticed how strange his clapping was! Then to see the clip of your pointing out the clap ..... ?? Good Laugh. TR is amazing and I love watching his videos, etc. but I’m also totally with you on the bragging and name dropping. I couldn’t even get past the first few chapters of one of his books because of the bragging, etc. One more thing... the pictures of you.... that definitely does not look like the same dude. Good for you that’s crazy.

December 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm

He claps that way now because of the nerve damage he’s suffered over the years from all of the events.

December 6, 2017 at 1:34 am

Tony Robbins is another prosperity preacher. A false prophet.
If ypu want to know what to do, know yourself. Read philosophy, read the Tao Te Ching. No one can help you but ypurself.

Jeff J
December 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm

It really floors me that the people on here criticize others and call them names because they go to a Tony Robbins event. It sounds like you name callers should seek help at some type of seminar or maybe a psychiatrist. It sounds like you are the type of person who complains and calls people names for wearing certain clothes or shoes. When in reality we all are guilty of buying into a brand of some type and spend thousands of dollars on that brand. Do you wear Nike’s? Holy crap you must be a moron! Why would you spend $200+ on sneakers? Maybe you drive a Mercedes! Why? I could go on and on. I’ve never been to a Tony Robbins event and don’t plan on going however, I’m not gonna slam people who do. I don’t go to church and believe there’s a deity who chooses wether I go to a place after I die but, I don’t slam others who do. Really, get over your self righteous selves and quit worrying about what people spend their money on. That’s a choice they made! You did not make that choice and quite frankly who cares!

Andrea C
November 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

I went to UPW in November. One of the first things he says is" I'm not going to teach you anything you already don't know. Everything you need is inside you. I'm just going to unleash it!" That is the entire point of UPW, to remind you who you are and ignite what you want to do with your life. To push away the excuses of I can't... because... Just like the author of this article, he didn't care for TR but what did he do when he left? He did things that helped him personally and had him grow and challenge the road blocks in his life. If you break down the 4 days of the TR seminar, you can do the work all yourself. You can! Challenge yourself to do something you never would have considered. Walking across fire. I did and burnt both my feet. I wasn't upset about it and it hurt for a few days after. Just like life. You can get hurt and burnt on a few things but if you take care of yourself you can heal.
Eat right and exercise, sleep well. This is a no brainer. People who have depression and anxiety take meds and see counselors, So do people who don't have those issues. People need people to care about them and help them up. Another one of Tony's points. He's just helping people up. He's done this for almost 40 years and yes continually to reinvent himself to what works for him and applies that knowledge to everyone else. You take what works and leave the rest behind. We are supposed to reinvent ourselves, not stay stagnant. Think about it, when air is not moving you feel stifled. You need help. Someone can open a window, you would be so grateful because now air is moving. You could open the window and you still would be so grateful for moving air.
Go see people who challenge you, think differently or have an ideal that is inline with yours. If other people don't challenge us to challenge ourselves how would we grow? take responsibility for yourself, love your self, look in the mirror and truly see who you are. Grow every day, even if its to give yourself a hug, help someone carrying packages.
It's not naive, it's love of oneself and Tony has figured out how to tap into that lucratively but yet how many people do you think go home and try things he says. When you don't follow through on changing and growing you become stagnant like the air. If you don't like things then leave and change them but keep moving.
The name dropping is to point out that if you wanted to get to someone influential you could, you just have to continually try and express your message
The massaging and dancing, figure up your nose is for loving your neighbor as yourself. No one is better then the other, we are all in a different point in our lives. Some by choice of circumstance and some by choices we made and some by choices that were made for us. The dancing is to move your endorphins, endorphins make people happy! If you didn't like the music, use your own but move and be happy. The last thing is the nose picking, while at first it did seem ridiculous, the point of reinforcement was that all problems can be tackled and eventually the fear and judgment of ones self releases and what is left is love on one self and care to you and not others.

November 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm

I went to UPW in July. I enjoyed reading your perspective and I can agree there's WAY too much massaging going on. But TR uses this as an immersion event. 4 days to really dive in and be uncomfortable. I enjoy 80% of the UPW experience and was happy to leave the rest.

(Dickens, past/present exercise? ew. Conflicting nutrition advice, no thanks).. so for those segments I left. Got a snack or went to my room.

I LOVED the firewalk, not because you walk on fire - but because I did something I had no interest in and didn't even believe or cared about. But I pushed through and at 1am I did it. I'm someone who will choose comfort EVERY DAMN TIME, so to be pushed out of my comfort zone in many ways was worth it.

I was also reminded that I'm in control of my life and my emotions, and I stopped taking antidepressants that very weekend (I was on a low dose and I was only taking them out of fear). I didn't necessarily LEARN anything new, but I was REMINDED of my power and that experience has stayed with me.

We all need support, and that support can come from many different ways. I can be a bit lazy, so for 4 days I turned off my thoughts and opened my heart. It was an EXPERIENCE I'll never forget. It's not for everyone, and it can feel a bit cult-y. I think it's important to follow many thought leaders and keep an open mind. TR isn't for everyone, but everyone should be open to learning from those further down the path.

I'm going to DWD next year, I'm equally scared and excited. And that's a good thing!

Sara La Delfa-Kirsch
November 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

I agree with you about UPW - I walked out too. But I did attend Business Mastery and LOVED it. The connections and new friends I made were absolutely gold and I loved some of the things he did during the week long seminar. The days were super, super long, but totally worth it. I learned a lot and got to talk to people that were far more successful than me, and learned some new ways of thinking. Loved it so much that I signed up for Business Mastery 2 next year.

John Lark
November 26, 2017 at 2:41 pm

It would have been nice if you had not had to walk out and had realized before you even plucked down your hard earned cash for this event that it was not a true way for you to move forward in your life, but was a great way for Robbins to further enrich himself. Many of the techniques and strategies Robbins uses are readily available at the public library or online, and so your money would have been better served making a donation to meals on wheels or some other organization that would have used it to better the lives of people who are truly suffering.

norma ruiz
November 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

I've never attended, but I have watched his Youtube videos, and what I think most about is this: if he goes on and on about generosity, why he doesn't he offer free trainings or seminars for the poor, who actually need this the most.

November 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

I agree with your assessment of UPW. I just finished the one in west palm. There is some valuable guidance for everyone, but I think there is more value for the people less "emotion fortified" if you will. I felt that it was virtually 50% infomercial, and I actually got more out of his free you tube stuff. I will say that he's an impressive individual in his ability to read and reach people emotionally, and he loves what he does. UPW was like a concert and a religious revival. Date with Destiny? Doubt it

R L Fort
November 15, 2017 at 6:47 pm

This American romantic fascination for Tony Robbins band wagon is unhealthy. His target customer is people who just can't quite find a way to be happy with themselves that he professes he has the answers. Thats altruistic platitude in spades (no personal interaction or one on one interest defies personal relevance). Always all guns blazing & has reinvented himself so often that he is the number one over patronising name dropper on the planet. If he really wanted to change the world he would have stood for President instead of dropping all their influential names like a Me 2. For 3 decades (its a numbers game) & new people keep swallowing.

November 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Tony has helped tonssss of people- but I think I agree with this comment. It seems like a hype up event that wears off after a few weeks or even months. After you feel like you need that hype to get going, it becomes like an energy drink... you can’t seem to focus or accomplish anything without it, plus the crashing from the high.

Bob Roberts
November 14, 2017 at 10:58 pm

I listed to Tony Robbins' 30 day tape program when I was 16 years old, and it changed my life. I started down a path of self reliance and control. And just like everyone else who gains control over their life, they start seeing things differently. I wouldn't recommend him to anyone else, even though absolutely helped me.

Why? Because when you find the solutions he provides to be temporary and specific, they no longer change you. I had to face myself, my sins, and I found God. And when God says fear him more than men, and take this seriously (commit) then you start to stop being afraid in life, just like how Tony Robbins taught me. But for a permanent reason, not a selfish and temporary one.

When you dedicate your life to helping others, you don't need tricks and gimmics. When you worry about other peoples problems more than your own (truly) you cannot be depressed. If you are still depressed, then go back to worrying about other people until you aren't any more. If you are still depressed, then you are lying to yourself about what you are worrying about.

In Proverbs it says worldy saddness leads to death, is this not depression leading to suicide written thousands of years ago? There is nothing new under the sun. Help someone else, you will find love very quickly. Do something real, stop lying to yourself, and if you are afraid, admit it to yourself. If you cower in your own fears, you are a coward. If you justify your fears, you are a liar to yourself.

It's all rather simple. Love others, and you will have love. You don't need thousands of dollars. Just humility, peace and personal sacrifice for the sake of others.

Peace to you

November 27, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Very well said, thank you

November 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm

My daughter and I went to one day of UPW. We walked out after day 1. We absolutely concur with what you said. Waaaayyyy to long, to loud, just way over the top. We were not impressed with the event.

Jason C
November 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Jason C
NOVEMBER 12, 2017 AT 12:03 PM
I just went to UPW in West Palm. I gotta say I have mixed views on what I experienced. I’ve read a few of his books and went to “YouTube University” before. I do like lots of his ways. LIVE I did like the information, direction, and personal stories given.

I have to admit Tony and his partner personally did work their asses off those 4 days. WHAT I DIDNT LIKE was.... High 5’s every single minute from his team from the entrance throughout the entire convention center. Massages from other students were acceptable, but then being told to stick your fingers up your nose to state your limiting beliefs, and then give 5 high fives and hugs seemed alittle bit nasty!

He then took us back to the past and future bringing us to our worst nightmares... I get the point, BUT the men and women me next to me were screaming like they were in a Stephen King horror movie!
I came along way with self help education since 2009. Proctor, Rohn , Canfield, Assaraf, Tracy, Hopkins, Ziglar, Hardy, Cardone, and others. They all hit key patterns with many different versions.

I went to day 4, paid for parking and waited an extra half hour before I walked out just numb. I didn’t “feel” good with these people anymore. AGAIN I did take home some good stuff, but I guess the bad comes with it too and wasn’t completely satisfied with it either!

Jason C
November 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

I just went to UPW in West Palm. I gotta say I have mixed views on what I experienced. I’ve read a few of his books and went to “YouTube University before. I do like some of his ways. LIVE I did like the information, direction, and his personal stories.

I admit Tony and his partner personally did work their asses off those days. WHAT I DIDNT LIKE was.... High 5’s every single minute from his team! Massages from other students were acceptable, but then being told to stick your fingers up your nose to say your limiting beliefs, and then give 5 high fives and hugs seemed alittle bit nasty ? ! He then took us back to the past and future bringing us to our worst nightmares... I get the point BUT The women next to me and others were screaming like they were in a Stephen King horror movie!

I came along way with self help education since 2009. Proctor, Rolm, Canfield, Assaraf, Tracy, Hopkins, Ziglar, Hardy, Cardone, and others. They all hit key patterns with different versions. I went to day 4, payed for parking and waited an extra half hour before I walked out. I didn’t “feel” good with these people anymore. AGAIN I did take home some good stuff, but wasn’t completely satisfied with it either.

Ruthie Miller
November 12, 2017 at 4:40 am

I married very young and innocently ,, having left a 33 year marriage, and living with "Drug Addiction " for 25 of those years, My friend offered to pay my, plane ticket, enrollment ect to the Tony event,, I refused,, A life of tremendous suffering has made me what I am today,, I love who I have become,,

November 11, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Today was day 3 of the UPW event in South FL. I stayed the whole time and did the fire walk on day 1. It took over 2 hours just to get through the prep talking then another 1.5 hours in line waiting. Not to mention two blisters on my foot. I dint get it. All that sensationalism for what? I went to day 2 and left early. Went to day 3 known as Transformation Day. Gets you thinking but this guy really thinks he is a god. I agree with you on all the, well let me use one of his very common words, FUCKING dancing, massages, sounds, rave music, high fives, and other tactics it is just too much. Felt like a cult event. And to sum it up you are correct that he is a huge bragger and name drops the whole time. He is a rich fuck and wants you to know it. I won’t be going back to Day 4.

Linda Thompson
November 11, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Tony Robbins, Scientology, blah blah ... it’s all the same BS aimed at very weak-minded people and at separating these same idiots from their wallets!!

November 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm

The music/ bass was just an ongoing assault. It felt like the music was being used as a brainwashing tool. I hated all of it and felt huge relief when I left.

November 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for your POV - it proved insightful without being judgmental. I just saw Tony's doc on Netflix "I Am Not Your Guru" and it made me realized we all have choices: take what works and leave the rest for someone else.

Michael A. Murray
October 29, 2017 at 3:18 pm

"A fool and his money are soon parted."

R L Fort
November 15, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Well articulated & there is a abundance of fools always swarming for more.

Ravi Raman
October 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I agree that UPW is less than awesome. It's broad, salesy and waay too much massaging going on. However, having been to Date With Destiny twice....I can say that when you commit to Tony's deeper programs you really do get something more profound out of it.

I think much of what you dislike about UPW would be solved through DWD. That said, doesn't seem like you want to do that (it's a full week!).

I wrote about my experience with Date With Destiny here: raviraman.com/8-things-to-know-before-attending-tony-robbins-date-with-destiny/

October 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I attended UPW back in March 2017 in LA and couldn’t wait to simply disconnect from it all. There were celebrities attending in the audience including Carmen Electra, Mark Burnett, Kardashians, Kanye and TR preached to the masa how we should not be bothering them and to give them respect all while the cameras were pointed at their doe eye faces in their VIP seats. Here i’m thinking, “aren’t we all EQUAL in your eyes Tony??!?”

TR, is no doubt the master peddler of hopes, dreams and love but for thousands of dollars which I was open to spend. By the end of it, I realized I could simply rely and do this all on my own as i’ve always done - FREE!! Now this might be a lot to take in from die hard TR fans including one I spoke to who was attending his 15th UPW but honestly, combine all the mindfulness, higher conscious, higher purpose, love and “you can do it” stuff readily available at your fingertips, and you have yourself your own live event!

For those who don’t have the time and are riddled with petty distractions, the TR events are concentrated expensive picker uppers and he is making a killing doing it. His events have become more about MARKETING TR events, the brand, products etc. etc. after that, you’re on your own.

He skillfully utilizes the “get under their skin......and ailing hearts” agenda to have you eating from the palm of his and his apostles hands. And, speaking of eating, for all the nutritional and fitness talks, the arena that event was held only sold processed junk food, sodas which was quickly scoffed down as breaks were minimal. I’ve never eaten so badly during those 3 days!

I respect Tony Robbins and he has been rewarded many folds for his genuine efforts to help others. He has a lot of powerful things to say but so does God, Ghandi and most of all, YOURSELF if we just acknowledge the LOVE and LIGHT within. I don’t believe he is the same TR I read in my teens years ago who enlightened me but rather one who is casting a shadow today. : (

Rammohan Apparasu
October 23, 2017 at 9:04 am

I never attended his seminars. But watched some on Youtube, Videos. But always felt TR's not very helpful to me.
Thanks for sharing.

October 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm

Love it! I think TR is a real con artist egomaniac. Sociopathic? Greedy?
Good for you that you walked out! He is a sham and caters to people’s insecurities and fears. I wouldn’t waste a cent on that charlatan.

October 28, 2017 at 3:08 am

Agree. They are predators who live off emotionally weak people's insecurities. These people are too lazy to invest their own time making sense of the world, and want one stop shop to simply complexity, and create meaning out of nothing. In old days, religion, priests and prophets used to provide that service. Now the whole drama has taken up a more modern form with the likes of TR. It's been a lucrative business since the beginning of human civilisation. Egyptian priest we even more rich and powerful than the pharaohs.

Lp loncke
October 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Agreed. Amen.

Yvette Pearce
November 9, 2017 at 9:11 pm

If someone needs help to be free from pain and can afford it, why not TR-UPW! You got what you came for without knowing it and left. You have moved on from that particular event (part way through) and built the life that you now have. Win Win I'd say.

Lottie Moore
October 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, it's interesting to hear what others might have questioned you about leaving early, and what you did instead.
As a Firewalk Facilitator people always think I will be a big fan of Tony's, but he doesn't resonate with me. Every so often I get people come to my walks that have walked with him and thought 'there must be more to this than that', and then they find me.
The reality is, different ways of doing things are right for different people. I'm sure Tony creates a magical space for the people that are right for working with him, but well done for recognising you're not one of them.

Patricia Cano
October 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm

thank you for the posting- I've been listening to Tony via you tube find a lot of repeats but your info gave me a lot to think about and set new goals- I feel very excited about my future and networking with folks such as yourself...

October 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm

I have read your article and I heard what you had to say. Personally I am not a fan of Tony Robbins, I am a sensitive soul and I don't enjoy people screaming in other people faces to get them to change? I love Byron Katie and her work. I know she believes what Tony Robbins is doing is good work and so it might be... but it's not for everyone. He isn't for me, at one time I read a quote from him on a friends timeline, the quote was "Emotions are a habit!" I totally disagree with this. Emotions are a deep self sufficient way to deal with painful and stressful events in one's life. Emotions are how we connect to our nurturing spirit. Emotions are our ever living heartfelt center. Emotions are not bad. Emotions are not a habit - a habit instinctively is something hard to give up - we don't give up our emotions? We are born with them, we die with them. Anyway, the friend was obviously brainwashed by Tony because she didn't discuss my idea she just deleted me. This friend is supposed to be evolved and up leveled to Tony's teachings. I know many people who follow him and worship him. I just don't like his style and he is not for me... so I will not drink the cool aid. However, I have coached people who have been sucked into his bright lights and dancing cult like stage theatrics and in the end they have realized that the only one who can do the work and bring you to the alter is yourself. There is no level of Guru who can help you find peace. Peace come from within. People can go to a rock concert and be just as pumped and entertained with out the brainwashing. The sad thing is many peoples lives have been forever changed because they drank the cool aid of Tony Robbins. Thank you for your insight.

November 3, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Karen, you don't seem to understand what TR means when he says "emotions are a habit".
It simply means that you have control and influence over your emotions and that is not HIS teaching but the teaching of any serious therapist in the whole world. Yes, emotions are a habit. You can influence them, you can guide them, you can control them to a certain degree, and that alone is the difference between happy and unhappy people. That alone is the reason why there are poor children in the third world being happy and lively and millionäires with families and careers ending their lives with suicide. The outer circumstances don't matter that much - it is what we do with them. If you deny this, you are giving away responsibility for your own life and happiness and you will always be a slave of the outer circumstances.

I know his seminars only from Youtube, and I agree that they are too superficial. They are more like a short term energy boost than a deep growing opportunity. However, I have red his first book, 'Unlimited Power', and it goes deep into detail and offers an enormous amount of value when you are troubled with chronic problems or pain and search for a way to better your life.

Rory H.
October 15, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Hey Noah! Interesting read and you're obviously huge successful and intelligent but I hope you don't mind if I (politely) challenge you a little... Before you read this I just wanted to clarify that I am in no way affiliated to Tony Robbins or any company related to him. I also completely agree with your comments around "cheese" and thinking that you wouldn't get much out of the UPW experience. I remember sitting there the first day and thinking the exact same thing. But boy was I wrong... It saddens me you let your subconscious pre-judgements influence you enough to walk out.

In any experience you have the choice to take from it as much, or as little as you decide. It's actually one of the core learnings of UPW. If you decide that you're not going to get much out of the experience, then that's exactly what will happen - especially if you actually forego the experience entirely ;-).

So unfortunately your pre-judgements and the fact you walked out mean you can't possibly give UPW/Tony/Or the results you can get - a fair assessment. You can't half ass 20% of a workout plan and then give a public review about the plan that influences other people?

Had you stayed past the first day and pushed through your limiting beliefs (that you were obviously experiencing - even though you say you weren't, I can see them written in your words), and committed your heart and mind to the experience then I have no doubt it would've had an immensely positive impact on your life... AS LONG as you committed to the on-going work that's required to maintain it. It's not a 3-4 day seminar, it's an immersive experience that's designed to give you a breakthrough moment, combined with the necessary framework and exercises to maintain that breakthrough.

The reason why it's not one day is because the seminar isn't a quick fix. Tony talks about living an outstanding quality of life which only comes from constant training. The best athletes in the world don't work out once a week and become amazing in their field. They practise with motivated intent, religiously. And that's what UPW is designed to build and has been proven to build. It's a platform to create rituals in your every day life to break patterns, and live an amazing life.

There's a reason why he brings all the cheese. There's a reason why he name drops. There's a reason why he claps the way he does. There's a reason why it's 3-4 days. And there's a reason why he makes you dance, hug and high five strangers.
Some of it's related to sales and some of it's related to pre-positioning people to opening up to what he teaches. But all of it is there for a purpose.

UPW has been taken by more people than any other life coaching program in history which means that it's been refined more than any other program. Am I saying this means that you have to accept every thing the program says or does? No. Am I saying that you shouldn't let the negative elements you don't agree with dictate your entire experience of it. Yes - 100%.

The reason why I'm taking the time to write this is not because I'm keyboard warrior trying to fill his day in. It's because you're an extremely accomplished and successful person, and we NEED people like you to dream bigger than your ever thought possible. We need you to saddle up and lead change in the world.
You may feel like at this moment of your life you don't need the experience.. Well you'll never bloody know if you don't actually do it. And the whole idea of UPW is that no matter what stage you are at in your life, there's always more to unlock. If you've accomplished enough or you feel every aspect of your life is fantastic (relationships, business, love, contribution to the world..), then I'd say you need to go through the experience more than anyone.

So I challenge you and ANYONE who reads this.
I challenge you to go to UPW or DWD with a completely open mind and heart.
I challenge you to commit to push through the cheese, any other doubts (i.e. your limiting beliefs) and get as much as you can out of the experience. Laugh, cry, hug and high five strangers while you tell them your darkest fears and your most aspirational dreams.
Then I challenge you to commit to two months of daily rituals to implement the frameworks.

If at the end of those two months you don't feel like it's helped unleash a greater power inside you. Find me and I'll refund you the cost of your ticket.

October 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm

I absolutely agree with you! You can’t start something, quit halfway through and just say it wasn’t for you because you are uncomfortable. For example if you are not gay but society convinces you that you should give it a shot. You can’t just not have intimate relations with the same sex just because half way through it freaks you out. Then you certainly can’t write a review sharing your experience unless you went all the way! You’ve really got to challenge yourself bro! This is the dogma the wandering masses adhere to. They can’t stand on their own two feet so they need people like Tony Robbins to shake things up for them for a few days. Nothing has changed over thousands of years. Tony is one of the confidence peddlers selling to the insecure and good for him! He is making a killing and honestly he really needs to take it the next step and form a religion. There will always be those, who instead of searching for the healing they need from their Creator ( yes God) will look for a stronger man to guide them. Is it sad...nope, it is is just emptiness! TR is more than willing to sell you a whole bunch of universal feel good platitudes mixed with some awkwardness that pulls you out of normalcy and I say good for him. He knows his audience. He knows what kind of people are showing up to these events.

October 15, 2017 at 10:42 am

I have never been to any of his seminars or purchased anything of his retail. I bought his Unlimited Power book at a used bookstore, unread, for 2$. I am by no means an expert with his work. That being said, reading your post brought up some things I would like to share.

Some the dancing and craziness goes back to that Unlimited Power book, he's trying to get you to change your state. He believes state and plays a role in your ability to grow (connecting to the content). He also believes behavior comes from your state has a direct connection to your behavior and your actions. Your state is influenced by your physical being (posture, breathing, energy+nutrition levels, etc) and also by your internal representations of what's happening (how you see the world through your previous experiences -the way two people can see the same thing differently) He is herding the group to an excited state to get them out of mental and physical barriers. This gets the crowd into a favorable state for themselves and the people around them. It's similar to the stuff athletes do to get them into a performance mode.

This sounds like it also helps make additional sales for Tony's other ventures. If the stuff works and you need it fine, but I know I'm genetically incapable of lavish retail spending. I will say that the idea of getting people to realize they have the power to change their minds about what is happening to them is powerful, because a practice of deliberately altering your state is a part of self mastery. (The idea of separating yourself from your previous experiences and emotions is some of what 'Your Erroneous Zones' - Dr. Wayne Dyer is about.) Getting a majority to see that point can't be easy, but it's definitely lucrative. Generally people are slaves to bad habits, experiences and preconceived ideas+generalizations... So for some people a seminar can be the only way to get the experience. For me, the books are enough.

October 14, 2017 at 6:45 am

Someone I know is about to go to a "Life Mastery Event a 4 day event that has already cost $3500 .Now at the last minute they have asked for $1200 for an additional "meal plan" for 4 days.Interestingly this "meal plan" cost drops to $850 if one stays at the Loews Coronado Bay resort where this event is going to be held .Contact me if you would like to have the document that mentions the meal plan etc .Absolute rip off if you ask me!

October 13, 2017 at 1:07 am

That you would have to deflect so much bad faith against you for having a critical opinion before you even shared shows me that this is like a cult. The book "Bright Sided" has much to say about self help and Tony Robbins. Charging 2,000 dollars for a ticket? Are you kidding me? Tell me more about his good intentions.

E Douglas
October 12, 2017 at 10:30 am

You don't know me from a can of paint. I am a firm believer that you must offer or present a solution to the problem. A very successful business woman told me right before starting college, "If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem." That is why so often, I DO NOT offer my opinion without presenting a solution. I would love to see you take this blog post a step further by offering a solution that does just that --- by either facilitating or finding a very capable and energetic equivalent to provide a ONE DAY SEMINAR. What's my point? None of what Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey or YOU (:-)) say, for that matter, is new and could not be found in a book or the somewhere on the internet. The issue is IMPLEMENTATION. People need help with that. Why? Because change is hard. It takes perseverance. I takes commitment. That is what people need help with. If you ask me to help you with it. I will. No agenda, here. I just love to seeing outliers and mavericks make things happen.

October 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

"If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem."
Complete, utter, b.s.
This is what's known as a "False Dichotomy" or "False Binary". (Don't believe me? Look it up.)
The bottom line is that Tony Robbins is an expert salesman, and the product Tony Robbins is selling is... wait for it... Tony Robbins.
The only difference between a Tony Robbins seminar and a Faith Healing seminar is that at least at the end of a Tony Robbins seminar the "healed" attendees don't go home and die because they were convinced to stop taking their chemo and radiation therapy.
Then again, judging from some of the suicidal people in attendance at Tony's seminars, maybe some of them actually do go home and die afterwards.
What a sad, tragic waste of time, money, and attention for these poor desperate people who think that a charismatic huckster who's suckering them for untold millions of dollars is going to change their life for them.
P.T. Barnum was right -- there really is one born every minute. And they all grow up to attend a Tony Robbins seminar.

Harold Spindler
October 28, 2017 at 11:10 pm

The comparison of Tony Robbins to a faith healer hit’s the nail on the head. His Energizing “praise and worship” tactics are very similar to those used in mega churches to get people pumped up and feeling good to open up the pocket books for TR merchandise. People want to feel good and get energized and that is what TR does, but after the dust settles there is not manual or tool kit that can be implemented that will ensure you don’t need another dose of TR. Great article.

October 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

"If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem." absolute b.s. sad that four years of college did not educate you otherwise, perhaps ur not in a good school or major which enlightens u enough. some problems have no solutions and u either see it or pretend you don't. please don't masturbate to the idea that there will always be resolutions.

October 20, 2017 at 10:22 pm

I like your solution! Implementation IS needed and necessary for those of us stuck and incapable or afraid of change. In general, people don't change their lives when things are going smoothly. I am in a VERY uncomfortable place right now, and seeking assistance in implementing change in my life, but I didn't know exactly what I was looking for until I read your response...thank you!!

December 5, 2017 at 5:31 am

E Douglas, I could not agree more. As an aside can I put my implement in you cause you are one fine looking lady!

Allan Nielsen
October 11, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Actually I think you had a successful seminar. You went to discover how to unleash the power whithin and you did just that, Bit faster than 2.5 days , however you did do it Cheers

October 31, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Great way of looking at it - you are right!!!

October 2, 2017 at 11:13 pm

Great post. I appreciate your honesty.

Paulo Barros
September 28, 2017 at 9:48 am

I believe maybe you just passed the phase that you would need to be in such a seminar. Like you said, you aren't better or worse than anyone because of it. You are already part o masterminds, already have a great company, maybe the seminar doesn't make sense for you at this time in your life. You review was awesome and also gave me a short reminder of all the great sales tools tony uses when he talks.

September 27, 2017 at 9:21 am

It's not self-help if you need a carnival hawker pushing his wares on you. These guys are all the same. They're master manipulators with one goal: to sell their supplements, books, tapes, etc. and make themselves millionaires by preying on self-loathing and gullible idiots.

September 26, 2017 at 2:45 am

What empirical evidence that Tony Robbins has helped anyone improve their life or career?

Or better how do you know that reading a Tony Robbins book has done more to improve a person motivation compared to bowing a dvd from the library or watching some tony Robbins videos on Youtube?

September 25, 2017 at 7:30 am

"I decided it would be better for me to work on my specific issues, one-on-one with a friend": well said....... nothing beats one-on-one discussions.

September 25, 2017 at 4:40 am

It seems like you didn't go in with a need that the seminar would have been able to fulfill, needs you could already meet on your own as you are already operating at an empowered level. If you had gone in with a different purpose (like learn as much as you can) you would have stayed regardless of little annoyances.

September 24, 2017 at 10:02 am


I went to a free seminar today in Brussels (Belgium) of UPW Tony Robbins...

First of all, I was amazed about the give away, impossible I thought, must be that they are going to harass me with purchase goods etc... this wasn't the case, only... Tony himself wasn't hosting. Instead, some guy named Allan came up to the stage. Ok, minor disappointment, but seriously, what dit I expect for no money?
So I decided to still be enthousiastic about the whole thing.
During the 3hour session, I learned nothing new. I don't really follow TR, however, I am an active self development learner and I knew everything Allan preached from a previous way too expensive coaching seminar I attended.
At the end, the sale pitch began.
So I left...

Don't get me wrong. I know for a act that those 4 days with TR would be mindblowing, energetic, incredible. But that is just it: it would only be those 4 days. Afterwards, you return in you real life, and you try to apply it into it, but slowly it fades...

My first coaching experience which resembled a lot to the TR experience (though in smaller groups) offered me a lot of power and strength, and it was a great eye opener. Nothing more I'm afraid.

So spending that much money on 4days, to me, is crazy! You will never truly gain the power and strength for a lifetime. You will need to return, spend a lot of money, and preferably, have one on one sessions, which are simply out of reach for most of us.

Do I believe in what he is teaching? Absolutely!
Do I think you need this to find your power? Absolutely not!
Just listen to yourself, feel within your heart, and move along your path as fits you best. You don't have to spend money to that extend to reach your full potential.

In the end, it is the American dream, of being able to live and earn well, beyond well, becoming a milionair. That isn't what drives me though... and worshiping someone can be dangerous if you ask me. Worship yourself, the rest will follow. You don't need to become a milionair, just be happy with who you are.

Matias VP
October 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Thanks and fully agree with you, even being a great fan of TR books and videos, but the change must and will come from within anyway. Nice article by the way, its always interesting and healthy to read not only the positive but the negative, even if they are still personal experiences.

Zach R
September 23, 2017 at 1:45 pm

This is such a well-written article. I love it. Thank you for writing this!

September 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

So....... you asked for a refund??? Did you get it? Good for you for walking out. All the hoopla and rah rah rah is good for the moment, then we go back to our reality called life.

Mary Greene
September 22, 2017 at 8:13 pm

You brought trust and secret yearning to this event, looking for your own way to Unleash the Power Within. What you describe feels more like loss of control and personal space than meaningful breakthroughs.

Tony Robbins offers legendary energy and crowd control. No wonder his cult-like leadership rallies supply an addictive surge of external motivation followed by claustrophobic resistance for many. Some choose to stay plugged into the Tony Robbins programs for security. Many others feel resistance you felt over a loss of autonomy and real connections.

Why not use Tony Robbins contributions and insights more effectively by using every part of your brain for lasting rejuvenation and change as you chose to do. Intrinsic motivation fuels many of our higher-level drives in life, including those you mention. Without more autonomy, most of us are more likely to let go of public inhibitions at a 3-day staged event without any lasting fulfillment.

September 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm

It was interesting and refreshing to read. And I didn't even know who Tony Robbins is five minutes ago.

September 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Thank you for your feedback! Did you ask for the refund? 🙂

joe doe
September 17, 2017 at 2:19 pm

thank you for the posts. I first attended a tony robbins event in the 1980's in California. Following, I purchased his Unlimited Power cassettes and listened repeatedly for months. I was so enamored, at the expense of many hours of my time transcribed every meaningful phrase. In the upcoming one year, I read and reread my hours of time investment. Then in the mid 1990's I started my own business. Incorporating some of his principles, I did feel justified and comforted with some of my hesitations while navigating the many aspects of business management and hopes, successes and failures along the path to eventual stability. In 2013 I attended Date with Destiny in Palm Desert. After the first day of DD I signed up for the business Seminar in Florida in January 2014. Returning home from DD, I promptly cancelled the Florida seminar. I did learn some valuable tools at DD but the exhausting hours attending the 5 or 6 days of worthlessness watching prancing and dancing by Tony on stage was convincing. DD usually began each day at about noon or later and lasted well into the midnight hour or after. the meat of this 5 or 6 day course could be condensed into 2 to 3 days and not run past 6 pm. I was considering signing up for UPW in Florida but not now after reconsidering my last experience and reading posts on this blog.

Justin Stephenson
September 17, 2017 at 3:19 am

I have never been to one of TR's events. I have followed his work since 1992. I totally respect him. Your articles hasn't changed my view about wanting to go to see him, but what your post does reinforce, that is consistent with all these guys (TR, Brendan Burchard, Robert Kyosaki, Dean Graziosi, Robin Sharma...) is their endless selling. We ALL know they started without privilege, we all know they have interacted / taught the most successful, wealthiest people in the world, we ALL know that they have turned around the lives of millions of people. I want them to stop selling and just continue to provide the great content that they believe in. If their audiences don't believe in the value of their content, then they won't ever come back to experience more. Selling won't convince them of that. So stop selling at every opportunity and FOCUS on the PURPOSE of the content. I think this is TR's mantra!

September 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

First, I don't agree with the disparaging comment about Jehovah's Witnesses. Second, I agree that the "massage your neighbor" thing would cause me to leave. Too weird. I believe that Tony Robbins seminars are in reality a sales effort to sell other products and more seminars. I would bypass Tony Robbins and to get into Brian Tracy if I were you.

September 14, 2017 at 7:51 am

Great article, I've been to quite a few Tony Robbins events. Its a bit like going drinking when you're a teenager. Great in its time and place. Takes strength to go against the flow. Thanks for sharing.

September 14, 2017 at 5:23 am

My husband, and father of 3, attended a UPW event this year. It's the worst thing that could have ever happened to our family. The hype, the high-fiving, the hypnotic music, strobe lighting, the pumped up hightened emotions, the excitement, etc. It changed him, at a cost.

Obviously, to go there in the first place my husband was searching for something, some meaning and a way to feel good about himself. Most of us need a bit of help at different stages in our lives to deal with the inevitable: losing loved ones, issues of aging, relationship problems, health and diet, weight issues, sickness, feeling lonely, depression, and more.

Instead of helping my husband by giving him the tools to deal with life events, this has given him an additional distraction to remove him and distance him further from his life, his beautiful children and our family as a whole. His new "healthy eating and nutrition" program, that he adopted from UPW, means that he no longer eats with any of us as a family (which was one of the few remaining times we actually got him to ourselves because he works so much).

He is now obsessed by his diet, his own individual goals and everything UPW. He is connected with people he met at UPW, as is encouraged at the event, and they all support each other. They even have their own language, motivational phrases that they learned at the event. People that are not "in the club" just don't understand and are naysayers.

I don't say much to my husband about this because this is his journey, his choice and his way of finding a path that suits him best. I respect that. We all deal with life issues differently.....and I'm very much in favour of personal development. But in this case, it has contributed to the break-up of our family and 3 children being confused as to where the Dad they once knew went.

Helen Ferrara
September 28, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Goodness, that's so very sad... really hope that it eventually starts turning around for your family. Maybe you could talk to your husband and let him know how being able to eat with hims makes you all feel? All the best.

September 30, 2017 at 6:03 am

Heart wrenchingly sad for me to read. I'm sorry for your loss (which is what people post on FB after others' loved ones die) came to mind.

October 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

My heart goes out to you. Sounds like you have been incredibly patient with your husband's "mid life crisis" as you hold down the fort. As a Tony Robbins graduate from a 10 day intensive in Hawaii, including the firewalk and also a weekend in the SF Bay area, I can tell you that the optimal outcome for me was the amazing "night out" experience my small team shared together in Molokai as we had an unprecedented opportunity to be invited to the leprosy colony. I met the oldest living leper and we entertained the lepers, who had never seen white people except their doc. My team which was the NO 1 team in the conference for the better part of 7 days (there were 1000 people attending) was simply great. I met some super folks, one of whom I still communicate and one of whom is now dead, aka, amazing entrepreneur and American Patriot who had big success before attending the conference. That said, I do not think that Tony Robbins, himself would advise the dissolution of family is a great outcome of his seminars. I am not saying that I think Tony is my guru, he clearly is not, God almighty is for sure. For me, it was a great "vacation" from a busy work life, an opportunity to fly to Hawaii, great entertainment and experiences. It occurs to me that your husband is "searching" and the time with Tony and his new friends who are all currently drinking the same tea is a priority for him. Seems like the Tony Robbins transformational seminar sort of "scratched his itch" so to speak. That said, it sounds to me like he has the best opportunity at hand with his own family which has been "left behind" not knowing the "jargon" and "Tony Speak" that compels some people to relate to one another. Tony is a fantastic marketer and has understood how to amass great wealth through the evolution of his company built on the hunger and thirst for people to find meaning in this life. Is that a crime? No. Is there anything fundamentally wrong with it? No. I call it free markets and individual choice. He, himself, does apply his principles well and an undefined percentage of his audience manages to find success that they attribute, in part, to him. I most definitely have adopted the notion of "adding value" but did it prior to attending. I can honestly say that for me personally, my foray into Tony Robbins did not add one red cent to my bottomline. It was entertainment and education. As it relates to personal growth, yes I think that there is some value there. The problem I see here is that you, your husband's wife, partner and Mother of his children did not attend the conference such that you would know now of what he speaks. He is now off in a world that does not include you or your children and your family life. At least, had you attended the conference together, you would be beamed up on his new perceptions, whether you found it useful or not. Now, you are excluded. All that said, it does not sound as though this "morphing" of your husband is constructive to a healthy family life. You cannot blame this on Tony Robbins, candidly. However, I hear and feel your frustration. I can assure you that nothing anyone learns at a Tony Robbins intensive is worth losing your cherished family over. I think that Tony would have to agree if queried. You are obviously a good and faithful wife, Mother and supporter. Maybe you and your husband could sign up for a married couples workshop weekend with a faith based community and work on your interpersonal relationship relative to what God has intended for marriage...not what Tony Robbins has taught in a weekend. Linda, find yourself a women's bible study to help you navigate these challenging times. Do not give up on your husband and marriage. Keep vigilant and pray. God can do all things. Trust in him, first and foremost. I can honestly say that I did not have the relationship with God when I was a Tony Robbins firewalker and seminar participant that I have today. While I am glad I did the training and have some great memories, I can assure you that NOTHING Tony Robbins can teach or share will EVER CHANGE my gratitude for my relationship with Jesus Christ as a professing Christian. God is FOR families...not against. God is for MARRIAGE COVENANT...not against and Jesus, himself had a whole lot to say about the value of children and gave strong admonitions in scripture for those who caused harm to them in anyway. So, Linda...be encouraged! I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

October 8, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Hi Linda. It sucks that you're going through that. It sounds like your husband has been looking for a distraction from life's stresses and turned to TR instead of a more typical vice like alcohol, drugs or an affair. It's all still about controlling and self-medicating pain, though, and when anything turns into an obsession it can get difficult for the loved ones who are caught up in it (or left behind because of it).
I would be cautious about blaming UPW specifically, though. UPW is just the focal point he chose. If it wasn't that, it would likely be something else. I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to share an experience from my own family that I feel relates.
My own mother did a similar thing with church and it drove my atheist father crazy, to the point where they had heated arguments about her going. What my dad didn't see was her pain: she had MS, and eventually took her own life to escape the disease escalating to its later stages.
Church was one of her few comforts and I have no doubt that my dad's lack of support or tolerance for her coping mechanism contributed to the isolation and depression that ultimately caused her to do what she did.
What I've since realised is that my dad had a very specific idea of what he wanted his family life to be, and he did not tolerate anything that detracted from it. My mom chose to grow in a way which wasn't compatible with what he wanted... so instead of adapting, or understanding, he became bitter and resentful at church and controlling towards her about it.
He did this because he himself WASN'T growing or doing anything to make himself happy. It was easier to blame my mom for that than actually take up a hobby himself which would force him out of his routine.
I am not suggesting you are like my dad, of course. (Or that your husband might do what my mom did - God forbid!). But it occurs to me there is a similarity there in terms of family patterns. We get used to the way we think our families should operate and then when they stop being that way we blame the other person for growing or changing... but sometimes it can actually highlight that we need to change something ourselves.
I don't know how you might go about communicating better with your husband to let him know how you feel about the change. There's probably a big chance he might get defensive (like my mom did) if he thinks you're trying to shut down something he loves. Butbeing the dutiful wife and mom and NOT speaking your truth sounds like it is also presenting problems for you, holding it all in. Could the "When you do this, I feel this." approach be helpful - so he feels more empathy for you than control from you? It's an approach I WISH my parents had been mature enough to take; I believe it may have helped them a lot over the years.
I apologise if any of my story seem irrelevant or my advice unwarranted. I can relate to the pain of seeing a partner become more self absorbed and distant from my own relationship experiences. I guess I wanted to challenge you on where you're placing the blame because feeling hopeless about these things can make it even harder. And you don't deserve that. Sounds like you have enough on your plate already.

September 14, 2017 at 1:00 am

Did you get a refund? It would say a lot for Robbins' integrity if a refund was 'cheerfully' given. Thank you for having the sense to follow your inner compass and walk out when it felt like the right thing to do.

January 6, 2018 at 12:51 pm

I suspect legal reasons

Coach Rueben
September 11, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Thanks for sharing and totally can relate. I had a similar experience when I attended a friends church. The preacher sure knew how to keep the crowd on in awa. He made high holy promises (that I questioned as they came out his mouth). In any case, the energy was good, the preacher was very present but I didn't connect with him. I actually felt I could go up there and teach him a few things about eye contact and crowd engagement.

In any case, big-ups to you and I see now reason to feel embarrassed. Your money should be invested in things that speak or relate to you on a deeper level.

Stay cool,

September 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for the article, I totally relate. I attended UPW recently, I loved the high energy, walking on fire but could do without strangers touching me.... I stuck it out until day 3 and left. I felt kind of embarrassed at first to leave a day early - "I'm not playing full out" as they would say, but realized my time is more valuable. Tony has some great insights but the up-selling I found extremely distasteful.... if you go you will get value out of it, just don't get caught up in the hype that you're not committing to your life if you don't sign up for the next event or coaching sessions etc.... (people were literally running to sign up... Tony can sell ice to a dead Eskimo - that we can all learn from 🙂

Deborah Neale
September 7, 2017 at 6:56 pm

This is really great. I feel totally recreated. I think to ny robbins makjes a massive difference to the mass. If you are someone who is committed to personal growth though. I think tony is just a bit light on. Have you ever checked out landmark education. It sometimes gets a bad rap. But if you are discerning and willing to be responsible as you clearly are. I think you may get what you are looking for. I recently walked away from a company called Winning International with Ryan madgriaz. He is a tony robbins university grad. He portrays himself as the coaches coach. But in truth. The whole experience was low level high pressure sales alot of rah rah and very little substance. It was a substantial investment that they give no refund for and i was left feeling very ashamed that i had been hoodwinked. But i needed to walk away for my own self respect. I have never experienced anything life it. It makes me very hesitant to take anything serious about what tony robbins teachers. Like you i dont think he is a bad person. Just marketing to the masses. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is difficult to go against the flow but it also reveals a great deal about who you are.

A Phillips
September 7, 2017 at 7:40 am

If you haven't read the book Quiet by Susan Cain, you should. I think it would shed a lot of light on how you felt that day. She even attended a seminar as research and it is quite telling. I found your article because I was curious about TR after reading her book. It would be interesting to see what you think about it.

September 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

This book actually did wonders for me! It's amongst some of the best books I have read all my life :-).

September 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Hey - if you're interested in TR I highly recommend watching his documentary on netflix!! It will show you what his seminars are really like... and will probably totally creep you out...

September 5, 2017 at 2:17 am

I agree with you with regards to a few of your points, but otherwise, strongly stand in opposition of what you have written here.

Yes, Tony Robbins does go a little off point at times, and id you are the type that has to have everything organized and compartmentalized, I can see how this could get unnerving. However, his energy and enthusiasm is powerful at keeping his audience's attention despite his meandering tendencies. I, too, detest having strangers touch me as well as touching strangers, let alone people I am friends with, so the excessive massaging was extremely unnecessary and uncomfortable (and not in a positive, self-development way). I also agree that he should allow for more time for conversing with each other - I kept feeling rushed to get the exercises done when we had to work with our partners.

Aside from all that, I am surprised that someone of your personal history of success and experience would make the decision to quit something so early on as to walk out of a 4 day workshop after just 7 hours! $2,000 or $20 dollars, money aside, if you commit to learning from an experience, how can you give up after not even finishing out the first day in its entirety? You think you spent your time better by the description you gave of your day, the day following your first day at Tony's event? What you described you did could have been done any day of your life. You made the decision and paid for it, to attend his workshop for 4 days (3.5) and you couldn't last more than 7 hours. You mentioned Tony saying "Play fill out with me". That doesn't mean play for 7 hours then leave. If you think that you are too wise and too successful to gain some sort of insight from someone who is lightyears further in life and far more experienced and successful than you are and probably ever will be, then you have much deeper issues than you may be ready to admit, my friend.

I don't know you, nor do I have any sort of personal interest with regards to Tony Robbins other than I did gain a lot from the one event I attended (same one as you did - for 7 hours anyways), but I have been told I have incredible intuition and just by what I gathered from the way you wrote this article, you sound like you have a huge ego problem - and I don't mean the way you laid out your accomplishments in the beginning of your blog. I mean what you say does not match up or sound consistent throughout this write-up. You say "Do you think I'm dumb enough to bash one of my highest profile customer's? Hell no, I wrote this article with love". Then you go about to say how many people take away a lot from his event, and that if you are lacking love or the feeling of being enough, this event is for you. Then, "for a few days you will feel loved. For a few days you will feel like you are enough". Your bitter sarcasm is just oozing through your words in those statements. "Do you think I'm dumb enough to bash one of my highest profile customer's?" YES. YES, I think you are dumb enough to do that. And what's more is that I think you are dumb enough to at the very least, exaggerate the idea that Tony Robbins is even a customer of a business you claim to own.

Do I think you should have left his seminar after just 7 hours? No. Do I think you have a strong point for why you left his seminar after just 7 hours? No. Do I think you feel embarrassed and disappointed for walking out? Yes, and not just because you clearly admit that (and subsequently attempt to downplay those statements), but because you felt the need to almost therapeutically write this blog in perhaps an attempt to self-soothe and prove to somebody (yourself?) that you aren't a complete egocentric, stubborn-headed, insecure, out-of-touch individual who couldn't see past his own limitations to allow some much needed personal development and learning from a renowned expert.

Your friend who mn you quoted on the subject of quitting, sounds like a complete buffoon.

I hope for your sake one day you might grow up and begin to realize that nothing you havd accomplished in this life will ever make you exempt from learning more.

September 5, 2017 at 2:24 am

Customers not customer's...there's a couple other small typos from autocorrect that drive me nuts but i hit submit too fast before I had the chance to proof read. ?

September 8, 2017 at 1:07 am

Daaammnn.....good roast! ?

it's life and life only
September 16, 2017 at 10:25 am

Way over-the top harsh and judgmental. And undeserved. He was merely sharing his impressions, not lashing out angrily like you are. Putting your total trust in someone else to sort you out doesn't make you the fount of all wisdom. There are some justifiable criticisms out there of courses like this (which I'm sure others here will go into). You need to keep an open mind - and not just to the guru who makes a fortune by using every tried and tested trick in the book to open up a few blocks in a controlled environment. You may well find that back in the real world we put those barriers back up because sometimes they're what help us survive.

Dean B
September 4, 2017 at 11:36 am

I think you already knew Tonys work and techniques. You were hoping for something new and to get blown away but Tony's event actually worked brilliantly for you. You left early and you were motivated. You didn't need the whole event, you went off and did what you needed to do to set up a plan to move ahead. Tony's event fired you up so much you didn't need to see it all, you were ready to go.

Yes but
September 4, 2017 at 3:40 am

I read awaken the giant 25 years ago and in some ways it was i believe life changing. I watch his youtube videos and they are inspirational. But i have nagging doubts. His own personal success is from selling his own advice not from some other added value. My brother is in his cult and attended his seminars among others and he is a flawed and harmful man and sometimes recited tony robbins catchphrases as he behaved like an entitled two year old. I admit I am not perfect either. I perceive beauty and value in tony robbins and his advice, but there is an essential truth that robbins wealth comes from selling you the idea that he can transform your life. While to some extent his advice is deeply powerful, it is definitely true that not all of his devotees are going to become millionaires, and while using his advice to grasp at your dreams you *might* or might not achieve them but you are definitely fulfilling *his* financial dreams.

Simon Bere
September 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm

But you attend Tony Robbins seminar. Learn something from it and even take some notes and use them. On top of that you claim a refund and go on to write all this to discourage others from interacting with him? You certainly benefitted! You have not shown any scientific evidence that what Tony's methods did not and do no work. I think it is unfair and better let people make their own judgments and let Tony do his work and help those who appreciate his service.

Simon Ber
September 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm

But you attend Tony Robbins seminar. Learn something from it and even take some notes and use them. On top of that you claim a refund and go on to write all this to discourage others from interacting with him? You certainly benefitted! You have not shown any scientific evidence that what Tony's methods did not and do no work. I think it is unfair and better let people make their own judgments and let Tony do his work and help those who appreciate his service.

August 31, 2017 at 12:17 am

Thanks for the article.
I've never been to a Tony conference, but I'm not into gurus.
I wouldn't have liked strangers touching me and massaging me, under the guise of it being some sort of awakening experience.
As long as lost people feel paying big money will help them find some sort of magical quickening to enlightenment, the Tonys of the world will take their money.
Tell people it takes hard work and effort to actually self improve, for free and they won't believe you, but that's basically all the Tonys of the world are saying.
From what I've heard him say, it's not new information, people will pay for an adrenalin fix tho, from what I've seen you may as well go on a roller coaster.
Look at the fruit the tree bears.
In this life of living fast, being super busy and unconscious it seems it's bread self help junkies, who buy every self help book, and go to every guru talk, instead of standing still and listening to what's going on inside.Anything to keep busy and avoid themselves.
The most humble man wears simple clothes, speaks truth and charges nothing.Seek those and do the work.
Mentors, not showmen.
Thanks again for the article, a good honest heads up.

September 14, 2017 at 1:04 am

Did you get a refund? It would say a lot for Robbins' integrity if a refund was 'cheerfully' given. Thank you for having the sense to follow your inner compass and walk out when it felt like the right thing to do.

September 14, 2017 at 1:06 am

Jenga: "The most humble man wears simple clothes, speaks truth and charges nothing." Thank you for that!

it's life and life only
September 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

"Mentors, not showmen".

I like that! Well said.

Linda Abell
August 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Wonderful read. I don't like his statement that (and I may not be saying it exactly) it's OK to change people. I think that's unethical and a disrespect of our God-given free will. But then, that's why I'm not up there on stage...

August 30, 2017 at 10:21 am

Love your honesty, didn't know what to think at first but then you said...Empowered to make choices about what I want, and empowered to turn down the things I don't. Damn! That's the whole point, glad you wrote this article. I'll remember that next time I am locked in a situation i really do not want to be in. Thank you.

August 29, 2017 at 8:46 am


Great article!

I prefer not to use my personal name and have used a pseudonym. Thank you for your understanding.

I can relate to this article as I also have joined one of Tony's events in London.
Although already around 10 years ago, it seems still quite similar to what I have experienced that time.

I did not ran out on the event with also lasted then 3 days. But the 3th day, I really start feeling the dread. I have kept an open mind and joined with everything, kept my judgement for afterwards. First days this worked quite well, you can only experience it totally when you immerse yourself.

Nevertheless, day 3 it just was getting too much. More questions start popping up concerning what the hell am I doing here ... massaging again ... jumping up like a monkey again ..... . It finally sank in this is not really useful for me. I started refusing to join, rejected people who invited and started observing the whole "show" as an outsider.

Tony indeed is quite entertaining as explained in the article. Probably that is also why I kept going for a few days.

But he does up-sell, and he does up-sell quite hard. This one I totally DISLIKE.
He works with psychology & neuro-linguistic programming. Some way, it is ethically quite irresponsible what he does.
He is trying to get you to your most weakest point, just to up-sell you his unbelievable expensive Life & Wealth Mastery program on the Fiji Island.
Of course only with a limited discount which is only available at the event, which has to be applied for immediately, while your are in the current pump up and emotional state.
I saw people running to the backside at the event to fill in the application notes. I am pretty sure some people will have accumulated debt instead of wealth!!

In all, to me personally, it all seems to be an excuse. An excuses in a way you think someone else has to fix something for your. You need this or that event, Tony or another self help guru has all the answers.
You definitely would feel at that event all your issues will be solved when you sign up for the Fiji program.
Probably then again to be offered another up sell at the Fiji program.

Anyway, like write in the article. I got to understand you better get of your ass and start working yourself instead of being lazy and expect someone else has the answers for you.

There is indeed a lot of conflict in what Tony does as has done like the example with nutrition and supplement. He even has given false information in his books which he afterwards has rectified.
His books have a lot of contradictions. There has been a website before who has written this out. Unfortunately, this website seems to have gone down.

Anyway, it all does not matter so much.

The real purpose you join is to help yourself.

Just keep an open mind if you do join, but also keep an open mind not to fall in there games.

There are no guru's with all the answers for you!!

November 21, 2017 at 3:43 am

Thank you for all your messages. I am at somewhat of an impasse (have left high stress job in the corporate world and want to set up own business) and was thinking of going to the next UPW in London in April. However, I think that the hype and theatrics (don't get me wrong, I love the cheering and intense attitude) combined with loud music and constant physical interaction with the neighbours, would be too distracting for me. Or worse, start creating a "I don't want to be here" feeling which would make me feel extremely guilty about spending that kind of money and not enjoying it 100%.

I will start to watch some of the videos online and take it from there.

August 28, 2017 at 8:02 am

Can Tony make me see the only the inner beauty in women, so I can have really hot girls?

September 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm

Banana hands sells dreams.

August 26, 2017 at 8:48 pm

This is a great post. Thanks! I've never read anything by TR, so I have no personal opinion on him to go by. But, I love your honesty and thoroughness in telling us why you went and why you walked out.

Leslie D.
August 25, 2017 at 1:20 am

Thank you for your honesty. I have found him to be all over the place and it's confusing and annoying.

August 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Thank you for your honesty. I, personally, have never been to one of Tony's sessions. But I am very glad that this experience inspired you to create a "Personal Development Day" for yourself. What a great follow-up to a not-so-great beginning. Best wishes to you.

August 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm

The reason why people have been blinded by him is that he is just a very expensive library of information. He has only created his wealth and his success from reciting information that has been out there already and making it into a stage show.

To all his followers, i pose one question: before motivational speaking what was his claim to fame, did he create a business empire ? was he a great leader/innovator in a chosen field of his. Save your money. Learn from the truly successful people.

Tony Robbins teaches nothing more than what 10 books and 10 you tube channels dont teach you from authentic successful people.

If you need important medical and psychological advice please do diligent research and dont rely on dangerous sell pitches.

August 17, 2017 at 7:21 pm

What people need to understand is the 'cult' factor of glorified salespeople like Tony Robbins. Tony and people like Tony that have created their business out of simply networking techniques and spin nothing more and nothing less, play on the vulnerability of people not happy with there lives looking for the golden ticket to get out of their current existence. Tony Robbins and others like him are simply the conveyers of information that has been worked out by truly successful and innovative people. One example is someone like Gary Vaynerchuk whom I have learnt far more on business and specifics for free than the generic and vague information you get from $1000 and $10,000 seminars.

As Gary and others say work hard, dedicate yourself for a long time to your craft or business, get advice from the successful people in your line of business and connect yourself with the right people. A pinch of luck is also required as we live in a thing called life. There is no special secret sold by so called snake oil salespeople.

All the information you need is out there and it shouldnt cost absurd amounts of money.

August 15, 2017 at 10:51 am

Awesome article with a positive outcome! Congrats 🙂

August 14, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Really interesting. Thanks for posting.

August 12, 2017 at 4:22 am

Hi! Today I watched my first TR video and it was about how he helped a guy with a stutter. It was so fake. The guy remembered watching TV when he was twoo years old. He said he eat cereals and watched some cartoon where the main caracter stutters.. see where this is going?..?
Tony explained to him that something else had happened before that memory, something bad. The guy closed his eyes once more and there it was, the crucial memory - his parents arguing and fighting. Ofcourse, Tony reveiled to him that it was the real cause of his dissability and told him he doesn't need to stutter any more. So he didn't, problem solved. In my opinion, it was obviously staged. I was really dissapointed but there were few K's of comments and most of the people were delighted, moved and inspired. I also am not a hater and don't want to spread negativity but I couldn't get this out of my head. I googled TR and came across you. So I just wanted to share this. I wish everyone the best and whatever works for you, might that even be TR ?

August 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

For real? Because something doesn't make sense to you, you just decide it's fake? Actually metaphor and symbology is one of the key ways of changing the mind. There's also regression which could be why he had that memory. Or maybe his unconscious created a memory in order to connect to what he actually needed. There's always a core memory or event that creates a problem, with other memories being tainted by that trigger and reinforcing it.

PS. I've never been to a TR seminar, so my comment is not about whether TR is good or not.

August 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm

You're pure honesty and genteel way of using words Noah is inspiring to say the least! We each have our callings that lead on a very crooked road our destines! And that's what makes the world go round 🙂 Thanks for this article.

American Romance Equestrian
August 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm

well written and to the point. I am not a fan of Tony; I tend to set my own "bar" and rise to it instead of listening to someone else "empower" me to set that bar. As a horse trainer and airline employee, empowerment comes with the territory. 🙂 And yes, I am "good enough." 🙂 🙂

Rodney Muhammad
July 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm

I have the opinion that when it comes to situations like this, your experience indicates that you have become a graduate of the programs you have used to get where you are. The analogy I like to use is military service. When you you first start in your journey in the service you go to boot camp. This is where you learn the basic fundamentals of being in the your particular branch of the military. It's tough. Depending on what branch it can get downright nasty. I was in the Marines. Boot camp was Paris Island South Carolina in the middle of a swamp in June-August 1979. The training at that time included a few psychological challenges that eventually helped creat a completely new personality. I say all of this to say the following. Boot camp is not and should not be forever. You eventually graduate out into the real world. Once there, you're supposed to show how well you can build and grow on the fundamentals that you learned. Can you imagine somebody from my graduating class back in 1979 still down there learning to take a rifle apart and put it back together again? Of course not! The military wouldn't even tolerate such a thing. Unfortunately, outside of that highly structured environment there is often nobody to tell you have learned enough except ourselves and maybe a few close friends or relatives. This I suspect happened to you. You finally realized that this train had taken you as far as it could take you. And you decided to share this experience. It's a very open honest expression of maturity. So in fairness to those who attend TR seminars, these folks are at all different levels of that same process. Hell, some just got off the bus and are in line for their first military haircut! So the only thing I can say that would help your article would be to re-word the title, and re-word it in a way that shows a lot more gratitude. For example. "How I knew I Had Graduated Ftom TR University" or "How TR Helped Me To Grow Into The Man I Am" or something that actually demonstrates the memes you use. The current title is absolutely negative and unfair. It looks like you're already well into giving back to other people and realizing many goals and dreams. So I really don't understand why you chose to take that tilt in your opening title. Curious indeed. Well thank you for taking the time to read this. Nuff Said.

August 12, 2017 at 5:12 am

outstanding, right on target. Your comments jolted me into the realization that I need to move on, stop attending boot camp. Thank you.

July 29, 2017 at 2:15 pm

You must be self-aware enough to walk out knowing parts were right for you but the whole thing wasnt and there's nothing wrong with that. I've learned over the years that my introversion means I prefer reading a book or talking to a single friend rather than interaction in large groups and there's nothing wrong with that. Just a different source of energy and drive than others.

August 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

This comment! Yes. No need to feel guilty about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, right? Thank you. I am discovering that I, too, prefer more intimate conversations and holiday events with smaller groups instead of a large zoo of people that stresses me out. It's good to know yourself enough to say no to things that don't bring you joy.

September 28, 2017 at 12:51 am

Yes! Absolutely. It's about finding who you are and what works for you - not forcing yourself to fit into the expected mold.

Tim Greenwood
July 29, 2017 at 7:36 am

Thanks for this Noah. Really enjoyed reading and thinking about. Very objective and thoughtful. I attended the New Jersey event last week as Crew and for me it was great and what I wanted, needed and expected. There are many things I also see that might improve the seminars but what I have also come to realize is that no system is perfect or suitable for everyone. I found helping out with both the Fire Walk and the Dickens Pattern to be very powerful and transformative. I used to be embarassed slightly about using the 30 Day Personal Power program but now realize that it works for me and is part of my spiritual discipline. I have also used it enough that I have begun to adapt it slightly for my own needs and interests. I myself am slightly off put by all the pushing of other seminars/products but realize that Tony's career is grounded in financial growth and success. I may evolve beyond the tools I have gained from Tony but for now it works for me. I also find myself using other tools like meditation and the work of Wim Hof. Plan to check out some of the other stuff you have written.

Brigitte Marci
July 27, 2017 at 11:28 am

The day before I left for the UPW event in New Jersey I found this post and felt it bordered on the negative side, although I attempted to understand where you were coming from internally. I thought to myself, “I have done my due diligence. In fact, I did that prior to purchasing the ticket.” I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, but boy was I wrong.

I can’t even describe how it felt to be at this event because it wasn’t a seminar – it was a total body experience. Although I have listened to several of his programs and frequently listen to his videos on YouTube, I don’t know that I realized how different the event would be. I can honestly say that while I often “heard” many of the things Tony said, I didn’t know how to necessarily change them permanently, but he is indeed the master at understanding how to align your physiology with your brain to “raise your standards”. Let me also say that I understand what you mean with the term “cult following” as I met folks who follow this man all over the world, spending thousands of dollars on his events each year. Of course, who is it for me to say that “one event is good ‘enough’”, but one experience may be all I needed.

After abandoning Facebook more than 2 years ago, I inscribed myself to their private group for UPW and am flabbergasted at how many folks are so willing to follow literally anything anyone suggests. I have seen everything from “special” water filters to “non” products from people stressing over the short list of foods they are now “allowed” to eat. The abundant self-righteousness of “everyone else is negative and now I’m not” is mind-blowing. I have to admit that I suddenly see many ways of thinking as negative, but I was already aware of that (such as the news, for example). I have not turned on the news since I arrived back home, although granted, it’s only been 3 or 4 days.

The up-selling really got on my nerves during the event and this has continued after the event, where folks think you are interested in attending more events and dropping thousands more. The continuous insistence of signing up for the next event is mind-boggling. The other thing I find slightly annoying is the fact that many people got sick after the event and feel that it is “negative” to mention it. Apparently these folks now believe that your mind can prevent sickness and if you got sick, you are weak and need to review your limiting beliefs. (I was actually told this by an event worker when I inquired what time the event began the next day because I was exhausted and was headed to the hotel.) The mind is powerful, that is abundantly clear, but c’mon…what do people expect after very little sleep for 4 days, scarfing down poor food choices when they weren’t jumping or dancing, releasing emotion, sticking their fingers up their noses and then wiping the tears from their faces after the next experience, high-fiving and hugging everyone while you are packed like sardines where you could literally touch the ceiling!! (I fasted the entire time I was there, so I didn’t get sick at all. There was NO way I was eating that crappy food, and they would rip the healthiest items out of your bag upon entry.) Still, if you mention you fell ill after the event, some poor soul is too happy to point out that you need their alkaline or ionized water and supplements.

I didn’t understand the conflicting messages of health - no one was allowed to bring in healthy eats or snacks, and was forced to purchase the crap available, which was mostly bread and combos of fat and sugar. I even fought to bring in my Smart water (electrolytes) while fasting. The other thing was that Tony recognizes rejuvenation of the body, which is one reason why he is only there 2 of the 4 days…yet keeps you in suspense until 2 and 3am with sales after which he gives thanks for all who volunteer to make his event memorable. Then again, it was a choice to leave “early”, and I am shocked at the folks who stayed until the very end. I am glad I exercised my free will of choice when I felt it necessary to listen to my body.

No, I didn’t “walk on fire” and neither did anyone else. Some folks did experience what walking on hot coals felt like, while others walked on completely cold coals and told me they felt completely let down. Still others wound up in the hospital with severe burns. (Sorry, Tony, but first degree burns and third degree burns are NOT the same thing.) Many, many folks asked me if I “walked on fire”, as if they needed validation for that experience, which I found interesting. So while I don’t feel it was a waste of time and found it to be quite valuable, I think one event will do it for me. And in the future, day 4 could be completely eliminated…it is totally anti-climactic.

Dwayne Wright
July 26, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Honestly, this was well written and I can really see where you're coming from.

July 26, 2017 at 8:49 am

I have been a Barber for more than 30 years. I used to go to Hair Shows all the time. I finally had to come to the conclusion that if I got one great piece of information, that I could use on a daily basis, it was worth it. I have not seen TR, but am going in November. I will share my experience here after. Thank you.

Brigitte Marci
July 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

Please do...I just shared mine. The OP here does have some valid points. I did keep an open mind while at the event, but everyone has his or her own reactions, and each one is valid. Enjoy your event!

July 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for writing this article! I've been a fan of Tony's for while now and this article only confirms what I thought might be true about these events; they're cheesy and overpriced. After watching his documentary, I Am Not Your Guru, I was extremely turned off by his constant name dropping and obvious non-stop reinforcement of his expert position. I like Tony's overall message, but I don't need it delivered with all the nacho cheese. Thanks for being honest.

Fast Eddie
July 24, 2017 at 11:53 am

Wow, it was like I wrote this. I just attended the Newark UPW this weekend and left part way through day two. My suggestion is to lower the volume, especially when you are told to do an exercise with your neighbors. I was there for deeper content and not necessarily to recreate the Matrix Reloaded party scene.
Overall, it was a good experience and despite Tony basically telling you common sense things, he really has a talent for getting the message through.

I have a ton of take-a ways and may even attend another event in the future. Next time though, I will set my own schedule and take breaks to go eat real and healthy food from an outside source. To have a seminar that promotes health and wellness and positive change, it was really bizarre to only have stadium food choices. Like many, we walked to Whole Foods down the street to eat.

July 23, 2017 at 10:52 am

Your decision to walk out was quite similar to my decision to walk out/refund from attending his "Life & Wealth Mastery" seminars (~3k each)... although I REALLY enjoyed UPW and it was worth every penny to me! I think perhaps it just comes down to where someone is at in their life that determines weather they are gaining their money's worth from the seminar or not.

July 22, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I & my boyfriend was planning to get married last month, just last week we had some argument that made him get angry on me just because of the argument, he said we will not marry me again and the next day he left me and we broke up. I still loved him and I wanted him to marry me, for me to get him back i had no choice than to contacted dr_mack@yahoo. com to help me and he helped me to bring my lover back to me so we can continue our plan to be married. he came back after 3 days, we are happily married now.

mack the nife
August 24, 2017 at 2:17 am

aint that sweet shelley. youse boyfreind must be one grate fellow. do dr mack speak english as good as you?

Anne Wyckoff
July 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm

I used to listen to Tony Robins periodically. One thing that makes me extremely uncomfortable now is that he seems to have stained his voice to the point of damaging it. As a voice teacher, I am familiar with the problem of vocal strain, and seeing him do that is too painful for me to watch.
Other than that, I do not feel the need of a motivational speaker anyway, though I did about 28 years ago. His voice has changed!

Ernie Delgado
July 19, 2017 at 1:30 am

I've been to 3 of Tony's live events (Pers. Power, a 1 Day Event and UPW 2x) and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.

Juan A. Thomas
July 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Although there are things one can learn from when it comes to these motivational speaker types, nobody has the answer to everything. For the most part, motivational speakers are more for those in much lower points in their life where someone just acknowledging them is enough. For the rest of us that do not lack the energy, just the focus, these things are not enough. We aren't going to find the answers here and thats ok. We learn a little bit from every experience. I learn some right now just reading about yours.

Sue baron
July 15, 2017 at 2:38 pm

People will play with your minds and emotions if you let them. Its a short step between people like Robbins and those that prey on the weakness of others when they loose a loved one. Both feed off those that want an answer to how to live instead of just getting on with what makes them feel content. Their is no miracle to this, just a willingness to see the beauty we have been given on this earth. Give your $2000 to someone who needs help next time and three days of your time and see how that feels - youll then have all the answers life intended.

mitch slowick
July 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

Agree!!! True happiness consists of 3 words "help others "

August 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm

And what is the third word?

July 13, 2017 at 4:04 am

Thank you for sharing your experience. I recently attended a UPW seminar myself and, though I stayed until the end, I relate to what you have experienced. Like you, I admire and respect Tony immensely and I am personally very happy to have crossed this off my bucket list, but it wasn't everything that I expected either!

The fact we were not aware that Tony appears only every other day (though I can understand why, and although Joseph is good, you only find out when you're there), the surprising amount of time spent promoting other events during UPW (I couldn't believe that after an hour long presentation of Business Mastery on day 3, the spent another two hours talking about that on day 4 (the health, nutrition and energy day no less!) while some people went to a breakout room to hear about the peak performance coaching! Some people around me were thoroughly pissed off about that!), the fact that I didn't even get a close-up in 4 days (the giant screen is not so different than watching his videos at home!), the really long hours (14 to 16 hours in a day with one meal break is just too much for me) that leave too little time to interact with other participants (as you also mentioned)... were the major down points for me ...

I have continued to listen to Tony's interventions, he remains a source of inspiration to me, he triggers my thinking process, in other words I do believe he is the real deal, despite the fact that I was not particularly motivated to enrol in another one of his events when I left UPW!

Thanks again for this article and for cracking me up with your narrative of John's story !!

July 11, 2017 at 8:30 pm

I've never been to one of his seminars. However, watching just one of his videos online I got the feeling his seminars were cheesy.
I trust my senses. Glad to see them confirmed.

July 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Sounds like you unleashed the power within by yourself!!!

July 6, 2017 at 7:19 am

Have you ever heard of Landmark forum? I wonder what your take would be.

Tony is a celebrity coach. Some of his stuff works except most of it is not his.
It is a money making machine.

Thank you for your article

Bob Thorton
August 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm

How do you know those "celebrities" aren't in on it, and have lucrative deals in the background? Do a little research....

July 6, 2017 at 12:41 am

Wow, sorry to hear that you and some others didn't understand that the UPW events are a quicky pick me up, with some amazing info put out in a different way, and a high energy escape and yes of course a sale pitch.. I offer other things and programs at my events too. No it's not for everyone just those who are looking for .. something to change. You ought to have done the firewalk it was freeing. Although I'm sure some will have a great explanation of how and why people can walk on hot coals ect.. but everything is perception and you of course are entitled to your. I hope you fine what your searching for.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 3:34 am

This guy's article is spot on and informative for people who don't know how the "pump you up" millionaire gets his ill-gotten gain.
1. Three days is not a "quicky pick me up" and for $2000, a person should receive more than that anyway.
2. Paying $2000 for more sales pitches is definitely a conflict of interest.
3. There is a news article about people receiving 3rd degree burns at one of his "firewalks" that you say are so "freeing", and yes actually, anyone with a little education knows that "how and why people can walk on hot coals" is simply that they Keep Moving and that the coals are allowed to burn down to barely hot before anyone is allowed to walk on them. It's neither Mind Over Matter, Nor Rocket Science.
4. Everything is NOT perception. That comes from the ignorant "New Thought" people of the 1800's that is Regurgitated in the "Law of Attraction" "you think everything into existence" crap philosophy/theology. Some things are Reality and have Nothing to do with your "Perception". If you jump off a building, you cannot fly no matter what your perception of that is, and you will die or be maimed by your injuries when you hit the ground.
5. These positive thinking millionaire gurus are Disgusting. There is definitely something to be said for a Positive Attitude. It is Essential for a good life.
But it is not worth the $400 Million that Robbins has amassed from selling it, and
it doesn't take three days and $2000 to convey it.........
Truth... does not consult with Perception. Truth simply is Truth.

Scott S
July 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I've been to two Robbin's events. I've seen people walk out of both. But almost all stay. I like Noah's honesty in the article. It's an authentic review, which makes it great. EJ, however, your review is a cynical opinion based on zero actual knowledge. I was inspired by Unleash the Power Within event. It was the first of his I attended after reading and listening to his material for several years. The impact of the live seminar is 10x. You simply have to accept that it's not going to be perfect for you but if you can get 3 great things from it, it can be well worth it. Personally, I doubled my income in the year after that event, and the following year went up 50% again, and my starting point was already very high, which made the cost of attending seem free. It isn't one size fits all, but if you stay through the end you will be better off for doing it. I also attended business mastery which is $10k and in my opinion paid for itself within the first 5 hours of a 40+ hour event. The events have enough outstanding information that it simply comes down to what you decide to do with it. The walking on hot coals was an insanely great experience. If you skip that, you should skip the whole event. Generally, people wouldn't keep going to the events and recommending if they weren't outstanding. But, they are not for everyone. Thanks for the honest review Noah.

anne wallach
July 25, 2017 at 11:19 am

I agree completely with the above comment. I only had tickets for one day but I was blown away. My work habits have changed and I feel better about myself. I have had a lot of therapy in my life. Tony is better. Those of you that watch 'I am not your Guru" and doubt him, do not see him . . OK he makes money from this. He should make money from these events I am glad that I had this opportunity and will definitely return.. You know what they say, anything that works, nothing is one size fits all. Tony and his message fit a lot of people trying to grow.

Ali Jafarian
July 5, 2017 at 11:50 am

Awesome stuff, as usual. Thanks for a thorough and un-biased review. It's pretty rare to find this kind of transparency in thought leadership these days! Keep em coming 🙂

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 3:36 am

Amen, Ali - great poignant and concise comment !

July 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

I appreciate this review. It's well thought out, rational, and isn't a "Tony-slam" just to get for clickbait. It's not easy to say that the "super popular guy with tons of fans" isn't for me. That's the wonderful thing about our big wide world, with over 6 billion of us on the planet there's somebody for everyone. I like what you did here Mr. Kagan, you decided not to waste the most precious thing anyone one of us has: time.

Chris Hoover
July 4, 2017 at 7:05 pm

It's much easier working off the fruit of others isn't it Mr Kagan. I find it quite sad. By the way - I'm betting you walked out because you were lacking the stones to walk the walk.

John Soriano, MS, CH
July 5, 2017 at 9:25 am

What a sophmoric comment. The author has a right to his opinion , and Tony isnt God. Frankly, he is a bit full of himself these days.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 3:40 am

Your personal assault on Mr Kagan is unwarranted and childish. As is your comment about his "stones".

Christopher's mother
August 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Agreed - this is a troll comment and should be completely disregarded.

January 8, 2018 at 10:02 pm

I completely agree with Chris Hoover, Noah basically gave all the TR haters (people who lack the drive to execute on TR's content) a platform to publish their excuses where it would resonate with their peers. Nothing special or "skeptic" about this article...

Stephen Powell
July 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Well structured and an educated post. Thanks for sharing.

Jamie Brewster
July 4, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Feels like I wrote this story myself. I attended this workshop in San Jose recently. It felt like I was being indoctrinated into his cult. I made it most of one day then left. Luckily the company I worked for paid for it. It amazed me that people bought into the hype so readily.
I guess this is why religion is so popular.

July 24, 2017 at 3:02 am

Exactly! Unfortunately, the religion & cult philosophy appeals to most people. We shouldn't be surprised to see it working for Tony though, as most people blindly follow the religions created thousands of years back.

July 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

10,000 x 2000 = $ 20,000,000.00 this why Tony does it.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 3:44 am

20 Million in 3 days ! Sheep to the Fleece House......
Many people would tell you to think positive and give you a shoulder massage for a lot less ! LOL....
I don't think even Benny Hinn makes that much......

July 28, 2017 at 9:24 pm

Not everyone pays $10k, actually only a few pay that. He does make a lot of money from the evens but not $20MM

August 18, 2017 at 6:14 am

Jesse, you got it backwards. Gene's correct: he's not saying that anyone pays $10,000. His equation is 10,000 people pay $2,000, which does indeed equate to $20 Million for each seminar, of which TR only attends two days. Even after his alimony payments, rental costs, employee salaries (minimum wage, I kid you not) and CHEAP crap snacks, still probably allows him to pocket $19 Million for good ol' Tony, before taxes of course, but c'mon, he's probably sheltering most of it in off-shore accounts. While I support capitalism, it's con artists like this that bring out the tiniest socialist in me. Quick—think of Venezuela and Brazil!! Phew! That was a close one!! The feeling has passed. I'm back to capitalism again.

August 18, 2017 at 6:03 am

Yeah.????? It's basic math and greed. Tony's alllllll about the money—HIS MONEY.???

July 4, 2017 at 11:12 am

The original self help seminar is the church. Look at US history. Look up guys like DL Moody, John Wesley or George Whitefield. Those seminars promised something much deeper though. The results changed whole cities. Read about a thing called the Great Awakening. Tony is pushing a cheap knock off in place of the real thing.

August 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

Agreed. And TR uses NLP (NEURAL LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING) and other hypnotists' tricks that he learned from his old partner when he was first starting out. Many of us could be just as "successful" as Tony, if we just didn't let our pesky consciences get in the way. Having money to meet One's basic needs and providing for others is important, I'll grant that. But excessive wealth is not a path to true happiness (and I'm a capitalist!). God is more than generous to all who seek Him. If you can find fulfilling work that provides you a living wage for yourself and family, you are a true success!! You will find happiness in helping others, not buying "stuff." Think about what would happen if you suddenly had to evacuate because of an oncoming wildfire—what would you grab to take with you? That's the stuff you truly value. You don't need all the other crap. Sell it now so that it doesn't burn up in that fire, pay off any debts you owe, and invest the rest of the money in something or someone. Not worrying about all that stuff also takes a lot of worry off of your shoulders. Voila! Your house looks a lot nicer now too! 😉

Lupe botello
July 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

Human behavior is and will always be very unpredictable. Thank goodness for diversity and individuality.

Darin Colucci
July 3, 2017 at 4:01 pm

My friend, I couldn't have said it better. I wrote a book on how to succeed woth a purposeful Anti-Tony Robbins type message. Like you, I respect him and see the value his approach has on certain people. It just never reached me. If ever you care to, please check out Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success. (Amazon). I would be honored and I think, given your comments, it might really work for you. Darin

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 3:57 am

I found a review of your book at Vie magazine online. Sounds interesting. I might just purchase it.
And yes, Tony Robbins in olden days might have been prosecuted under Blue Sky laws, just like Napoleon Hill was...
A Positive Attitude IS important, and essential to a good life,
but as Snake Oil salesmen like Robbins would have us believe,
IT IS NOT EVERYTHING..... come on people, wake up.

June 30, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Tony is banking on the laziness of the overall population imo. People want a shot of b-12 and he administers it, like all of the snake oil sales men before him.
No I am not jealous
I am disgusted
I watched Charlie Rose interview him one time and 'ol Tone had the arrogance(stupidity) to say he could empower alcoholics and addicts to stop forever.
Wonder how that's going for those peeps ten years after.
I wonder why he couldnt empower himself and his exwife into staying together.
There's a sucker born every minute folks, that's what " Empowers" Swami Robbins

July 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm

He has. I'm 20 plus years sober because of him.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:04 am

No, it's not because of him. He may have given you a much needed boost and encouragement in the beginning, but it's not because of him.
You did more of it than he did.
And probably A. A. helps more people than he does.
I know it helped my brother and my grandfather and several friends of mine.
btw, Congratulations on your 20 plus years of sobriety.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 3:59 am

Sad but True...

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:13 am

this comment was about Jonathan's statement of Robbins "banking on people's lazyness" and their willingness to shell out for a pep talk.

June 29, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Your review made me laugh!!!

June 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm

A very insightful review of your experience. I am trying a streamlined approach to self improvement with more action and less thinking and planning.

June 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm

I enjoyed reading this and your perspective about Tony's seminar. I salute you for being true to yourself and realizing you were better off leaving than staying. This was honest and real. Thanks.

June 28, 2017 at 4:35 am

So We all know what Tony is selling. What are you selling?

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:07 am

irrelevant..... this was an honest review of one of Robbins' seminars.........
well written and honest.....

June 27, 2017 at 12:18 pm

I love this article! Tony is a great guy and naturally many tend to idolize people. I absolutely love and admire Tony, I'd like to meet qnd work with him someday. He's a human being still and not perfect. I love your openness and honesty and what you did after you left Tony's event. Awesome! 🙂

June 26, 2017 at 1:29 am

Well you can't please everyone. :). At least you got something out of the event. And that's what matters most.

June 25, 2017 at 4:08 pm

I could hug you for writing this post! I've done a lot of personal growth work and I love it, except when I hate it. A long time ago I learned that it's best for me to get what I need, not always what I want. Ditto for the trainings I present. Personal growth work is hard. It takes courage. It takes guts. It takes times.

Harry Scholar
June 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Very interesting... I believe that your post made some valid points.

Not every seminar is for everyone.

June 23, 2017 at 5:25 am

I agree with you fully,Tony Robbins is all over the place trying to be everything to everyone which scatters his focus.Each seminar should be concentrated on one or two topics only and not so danm long.Personally I don't go for the rah,rah stuff it tends to be too superficial to me with no lasting results.

nic smith
June 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

I have used TR for motivation and focus many times, using free recordings on YouTube and having read one of his early books. Invaluable stuff. But, I would never spend 2000 dollars on a cult-like event, especially when most of the good stuff is freely available. There will always be those who would benefit from an intensive course, but not me.

June 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for sharing with such honesty!

Karen Magill
June 19, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Thank you for this article. TR is coming to Vancouver and I had the choice between buying ticket to go see him or purchasing the Ultimate Edge home coaching 26 CD set. I bought Ultimate Edge b/c I figured I would get more out of it and I can go back and use it again and again. A one day seminar - although uplifting - may not be as beneficial. Thanks for confirming my decision.

Bruce Boyes
August 31, 2017 at 3:25 pm

I also bought one of his recorded tutorial series ( a lot cheaper than the seminars; I don't regret the cost) and learned that only about 5% of purchasers make it all the way through, which made me more determined to do it. I did, and there were many good things learned. Such as: at the start of every day, look in the mirror and tell yourself three things for which you are grateful... I later learned that there is little or no clinical evidence to support the efficacy of NLP... Perhaps in some synchronicity of the universe, just this week a book of R. Crumb's Mr. Natural cartoons jumped into my hands at the library - some surprising similarities to TR... Thanks to Noah for the original and to all the posters, it's been fun and informative reading!

June 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm

I agree wholeheartedly! My husband and I also walked out. We are both professionals and we're there to really LEARN! Not dance and play. We craved the important meat that would help change our business and make it flourish. Lesson learned!

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:10 am

Yes, Learn, Not Dance and Play......
A perfect comment.
Thanks for confirming for other people.

Dr. Steve
June 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Tony learned most of what he knows at Insight seminars when he was in his early twenties! It's a lot cheaper and goes much deeper!

June 15, 2017 at 11:20 pm

Thanks for taking the risk in sharing. I hear where you're coming from and have felt the same even though I've never seen TR live.

June 15, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I went to Date With Destiny (yeah, I spent 5 grand) and I felt like in 5 days I got maybe 3 hours of actual information. Every day started about 2 hours after the time on the schedule, had ridiculous amounts of "dance time", and even though in general I like hugs - for God's sake come on already .

I was also a little disenchanted with all the hate spewed on traditional education. The eyerolls and disdain at the mere mention of "doctors" of psychology hurt a little since I worked so hard to get my doctorate degree. He said over and over how many suicides he has prevented and then I saw his suicide preventions in person. Yeah, these people in the seminar were not so much suicidal as borderline personality and were eating up the attention when they had it and I guarantee then falling off the deep-end when the attention was on someone else. As a person who works with suicidal patients on a regular basis, not only are his claims to suicide prevention absurd, I believe they may even be dangerous.

I have loved his work from the past, but now even the occasional sight of him popping up randomly on social media triggers my gag reflex.

Bob Carson
July 4, 2017 at 12:50 am

Thank you for bringing up an issue with these self help "guru's" that is not discussed enough... They give out advice to sometimes very sick people who believe these people have some education to back up there words but do they? Writing a book doesn't make you a certified anything and I'm sure anyone that gives advice to a person they know is suffering from a mental disorder and that advice causes a death that person would be guilty of manslaughter right? I quit drinking in 2009 and spent the first few years involved heavily in a 12 step program and what really concerned me there was witnessing people that only a year before we're laying in an alley in skid row unable to clean themselves properly were now sponsoring some newly sober person and giving medical advice about what med's to take or not to take nevermind the "life coaching" and other advice giving to this person who may or may not suffer from multiple disorders IN ADDITION to their Alcoholism... I am sure these types of scenarios have caused deaths but it would be difficult to know or prove because a relapse or suicide is so common among this demographic.

September 14, 2017 at 1:19 am

I've seen "there" used at least four times instead of "their" in these comments. This was the last time and it bugs my English-teacher-self enough to mention it. I used to have kids write, "They're going there in their car," and I realize that one has to hear something 20 times before he learns it, so here is your 20th time. Thank you.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:16 am

Good, Solid comment.
Thank you for helping people be informed.

August 18, 2017 at 6:44 am

From reading your insightful comments, I guarantee that your doctorate was indeed money well spent. Tony never went to college, heck I'm not even sure he finished high school, and like most dropouts, he carries around a BIG chip on his shoulder when it comes to traditional education. Your gag reflex is right on target! Keep trusting your instincts and I guarantee that you'll help many more patients than TR ever really has.

June 15, 2017 at 6:21 am

Well said and fell the same way. I love a lot of his material but think I'd walk out as well from the live "show" I think it shows intelligence if you understand the concepts without the hoopla.

Russell Saunders
June 13, 2017 at 3:21 am

I love the way this has captured my email address. The absolute best marketing i have seen.
The bottom line is this, you didnt walk out, your ego walked out.
All assesment is ego driven and based on your beliefs and stories about yourself.
Which are not yours, they are a product of your perception of the enviroment you were brought up in.
In other words if i had been brought up in your enviroment with your perception, i would be you and not me.
I run a series of programs designed to allow people to shine a light on their ego.
The hardest part is keeping people egos in the room long enough for me to out it to them.
If they dont feel an erge to walk out at some point im not doing my job.
Eckhart Tolle said it best, its like asking the chief of police to find the arsonist when the arsonist is the chief of police.
Get real get happy transforming the way you do your relating. Russell xx

June 19, 2017 at 10:48 pm

The experience in this article came across to me as the freedom to describe how he felt towards Tony Robbins regardless wether he consciously subconsciously harboured or manufactured a tendency to illicit a response.

James Avalos
July 1, 2017 at 9:56 am

Your comment does not ring true. Ego-driven assessment is ego-driven. The guy said he felt empowered walking out of the TR seminar. He sounds like he made a heart-centered assessment. If you see ego in what he has shared here, it's probably because you are making an ego-bound assessment of his honest assessment. Look at yourself. Look in the mirror, my dear.

July 11, 2017 at 9:18 am

She just threw your ego-coaching self help rant right out the door and exposed you as a fraud.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:23 am

And you don't think Robbins is exhibiting an Intense Ego in his theatrical goof-inars? Charging people $2000 or $5000 to dance around and hug each other, and listen to how he's saved so many people from suicide, and how he's advised so many famous people. Famous people fall prey to scam artists just as easily as anyone else. And Robbins paying his minions to get up there and crow about how he saved them from suicide, is not instructional at all to his dancing, hopping idol-craving audience.
Get a Clue, Russell....
or buy a vowel if you don't have a clue - LOL

August 18, 2017 at 6:49 am

Goof-inars!!! ??????. I love it!! You nailed it!!

June 11, 2017 at 3:31 am

Tony practices a long discredited form of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). His presentations are so superficial and emotional defined that they are useless.

Nancy VanHooydonk
June 9, 2017 at 11:51 am

Thank you for your observations and thoughts. If all I read is"he is awesome", then something is hiding .

Elena K
June 9, 2017 at 7:33 am

I just attended the Ultimate Wealth and Acheivement Summit in Boston featuring Tony Robbins. After the event I just googled "does anyone else think Tony Robbins is bullshit" leading me to your article. Thank you for writing this, because after the summit I felt like my friends and I were on a different planet than everyone else in the crowd. While I haven't followed Tony as much as a lot of people, I also have a lot of respect for him and watched his documentary which was great and made me cry in empathy with all of the people he helped. What I realize now is how much must have been edited out of the documentary. I may be being extra hard on Tony because of how the summit started. There was a lineup of speakers all hawking get-rich-quick schemes such as "Just write a book and don't worry about it adding any value to society, that doesn't matter! You can write a book in 40 hours and get advertisers to pay for it by adding in their products as author recommendations! But only if you attend my next seminar for $2,000--wait, I'll slash my prices especially for YOU." Each of the presenters was promoting another seminar. I felt like I was in an endless shamwow commercial, except shamwow is actually a good product. Another presenter who really bothered me kept talking about how poverty is all in the mind and people deserve to be poor because of their small minded thinking. As a social worker turned business woman I found those statements offensive and oversimplified. Listening to a privileged white man explaining away poverty as negative thinking, is just...oh i don't know--bullshit? I found myself getting worried for Tony thinking "wow his PR team really messed up getting him involved with this lineup." Besides the speakers preying on the hopeful, Tony came out about 2 hours late. Maybe this wasn't his fault, but then he spent an hour making us get up, clap, hug our neighbors, shout stuff out, and clap and woo some more before even getting started. I'm happy to clap, but for what?? I just couldn't get exited or into it by that point it all seemed so cheesy and fake. Tony had some good points that we need to change our state to change our behavior, which is a basic element of cognitive behavioral therapy that could have been summed up much more succinctly. It almost felt like Tony wasn't respecting his audience by dumbing down the concepts so much and interrupting his points by making us hoot and holler for unspecified reasons. Thank God for Tom Brady who was a special guest and the only speaker who actually talked about hard work. This was my experience and I'm glad I found your post. I also felt empowered walking out of the summit--I couldn't just be fake and play along after what seemed like a day of simplified, unethical, and self-promoting speeches.

June 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Thank you! I was there too and I felt the same way, if not more annoyed because I had seen that same exact presentation before on Youtube and so it was not anything new. I am really thinking about asking for my money back. Those rich quick schemes were definitely not what i signed up for. Noah, thank you to you for your insights!!!

Bob Carson
July 4, 2017 at 1:03 am

I enjoyed your comment but how do you know the man who bothered you was privileged? I'm assuming you know he was white from his appearance but how do you know his upbringing? Maybe he grew up poor? All of us "White Men"'have not grown up with silver spoons in our mouths and "get out of jail free cards" placed in our wallets... Just thought I would let you know.

E. V. Scott
July 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm

I am glad you responded to the "white men of privilege." I spent 2 years working with social service, welfare recipients. I often tell others that I should have paid the participants in my class because of what I learned from them. Their first needs were not clothes or getting to work. They were simple questions about how do you "have the courage to tell someone you have no idea what they just said?" In other words, practicing simple and honest communication with out using bad words or accusations was paramount in their lives. Thank you for standing up for those of us who have grown up poor, worked our asses of and have some money now.

September 12, 2017 at 3:05 am

I agree. Just stop using the race card for generalizing people. Like "white" would automatically mean rich and wealthy.
Beside white's countries are not wealthy and advanged because people living in them are playing cards and smoking chigarettes under the palmtrees all days long. It's because of the hard work and use of intellect.

September 10, 2017 at 7:43 am

Having privilege does not mean someone grew up wealthy or is wealthy:


E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:34 am

Thank you for confirming this article and other people's comments.
It seems that "he showed up 2 hours late" is a common and telling thread.
And the "too much dancing and hugging, rah rah pep-talk, with hardly any information
is a common thread also.
And then there is the disgusting "if you have any bad circumstances, it's all your own fault"
so-called "philosophy" that belittles so many people in the world, including those born
in war-torn countries and other terrible circumstances...
So..... it is the little children's fault in Sierra Leone that they are watching their parents get murdered and having their little arms cut off?
I guess they weren't "thinking enough positive thoughts".....
One of the problems with the Law of Attraction teaching is that it let's anyone born in good circumstances think "yeah, see? I'm thinking the right thoughts"...
and to hell with anyone with problems, it's probably "their own fault".
That thinking destroys Altruism, and fosters Me Me Me attitudes.

August 18, 2017 at 7:00 am

Elena, thank you for summarizing so eloquently and succinctly so much of what is wrong TR's Goof-inars (as coined by Mr. Addington).;) You are obviously a very intelligent person, so by default you are NOT the target demographic for TR's audiences. Request a refund posthaste (I'm sure you did already) and thank God that you are blessed with a brain!!

Stephen Scoggins
June 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm

Wow, great read. I can truly appreciate your heart felt thoughts. I also use your Sumo products and we love them. We are in a similar lane as Tony although no where near the fame level and we don't want to be famous we simply want to serve. Your article sincerely helps me understand the team and I are heading the right direction. A feel that a geninune see connect is incredibly important along with a sincere process that can truly help someone. We are planning to do our next live event in Charlotte NC. I would be honored if you would come to Transform U and give us your feed back to help us make sure that we always deliver. The areas you are focused on are areas we do a deep dive on. As my guest there would be no charge and if you like we can do some true one on one time discussing the things that are most important. We could also do it over sushi ( Love it) !! My heart goes out to you but you where wise with the time you had, and focused that energy exactly where it needed to go. Stay on this path and it will come.

stephen quinn
June 5, 2017 at 8:24 am

The truth will set u free' a salute u,

June 5, 2017 at 7:26 am

'The emperor's new clothes'

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:38 am

Ha Ha ! So True !

June 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm

I attended Tony's seminar in 1989 - I was in my early 20s and I, too, walked out. I did do the 40 foot hot coal walk ("cool moss, cool moss" ;)) and you can say that was the highlight.

I felt like I missed something or should have had more emotional or psychological problems - maybe hate my parents or say I enjoyed torturing small animals. Everyone around me was either crying or screaming about their pains out loud or hugging a stranger - no exaggeration here. It didn't connect with me then and I can only imagine the frenzy now, whew!

Where Tony totally lost me was in the 'upsell' gear. This wasn't enough apparently; we had to go the 'next level', which was just his next seminar, to truly untap all our potential. By then, my fingers were blue because it was about subzero in the convention hall and I felt like I was being held captive. So ... I 'unleashed my own power' and got the hell out of there. I never looked back with regret - a few chuckles yes, but no regret.

Glad to know I wasn't the only one. 😉 Good read - thank you!

June 2, 2017 at 2:36 am

I watched the netflix doc and yeah i shed a few tears (no shame) but each person pays 5 stacks each for a 6 day event? Dude, that Tony guy is making billions! I can see he means well but idk something inside me is still skeptical i mean yeah humans are emotional and it takes a lot to open up but what he says are just words, and how people interpret them is only on them. Feels like he disregards some people w/ mental health problems, does he think people w/ anxiety or depression can wake up one morning and say Hey world, im unstoppable! And keep that momentum going on the daily? And if he really wanted to affect lives, why would he charge sooo much money? If you watch the netflix doc, his house is ridiculous, he does not need all those tv screens! Lol. Like u said, it seems a tad bit superficial and cheesy. Overrall, good read btw, was looking for an alternate perspective on this topic n i got it 😀

May 31, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Finally, someone who took an open mind to the event and came out with a better opinion on what money really buys to improve your life.

Mark Walsh
May 31, 2017 at 6:39 am

A really powerful article. Thank you.

May 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm

I agree with much of what you say. I like to enjoy learning with out dancing, being touched by people, and other such things. I want the content not the show! If I want to be entertained, or dance I will go to a suitable concert, if I want to be touched I will hug my wife and kids, not someone I have never met it a conference!.

Antje Cobbett
May 27, 2017 at 5:20 am

Yes, I know what you mean and why you wrote this article. And I have to say that the Tony Robbins seminars nowadays are made for "Joe Public". Kept "simple" intentionally, etc., etc. You see, I was only 20 years old when I read Tony Robbins Book "Unleash the Giant Within". I'm German, so even back then I read the German translation. THAT was what I needed to know and I set to make the plan for my life before anybody else could. Thanks, Tony!!!!! 40 years later I have achieved everything that I had written into my plan, I have a great and fulfilled life, because of Tony Robbins and because I followed through with his suggestions. I even studied NLP. But I could NEVER attend one of those seminars he is holding for the "Joes Public", I would also need a more personal approach if I wanted to go into any special direction. Sometimes I watch Tony's videos, maybe to "freshen up" on some stuff that slipped my mind, but hey! Life is great and I really do so wish that all the Joe Publics have the intelligence to DO and FOLLOW THROUGH what Tony teaches.

Sarah Hammond
June 9, 2017 at 12:43 pm

I love that Tony Robbins was such an influence on your life and that you give him credit for that...but mainly that you took action and implemented what you learned, got refreshers when you needed it, kept the momentum and commitment. Your story is as inspirational as any of the comments or Noah's article. I'm really glad Noah wrote the article though. I've read and listened to a lot of Tony's stuff, and have considered attending a live event, but would have been really disappointed if it was superficial or designed to reach "Joe (or Jill) Public." Thank to Noah for creating a space for people to share their experiences with Tony's live seminars.

E. J. Addington
July 11, 2017 at 4:44 am

Yes, his original book Unleash the Giant Within, probably helped a lot of people.
But he has gone nuts with power and money, and given in to the Rock Star attitude.
Dancing and Bragging, and charging 20 Million for a 3 day "show".....
It has become ridiculous and sad.

Ryan The Awesome
May 24, 2017 at 10:00 pm

i use your product as well and love it! i use tonys stuff also and love it! different strokes.

May 17, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Gay Hendrix' book helped me a lot as well. You may want to change it to his correct name though...you wrote "Gayle."

May 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Interesting points. I don't see what he does as gimmicky, I do believe he is trying to tap into something by using various techniques and strategies to do so. For some people it will be experienced as cheesy, while others will feel moved. I have someone I am close to who originally started with AR's older programs. They used it daily and then by coincidence went on shortly after to make drastic changes and have success and then acted like it had no influence ?. Even now they are skeptical of him, but in my mind miss the point. We are our own gurus and no one person or program will fit everyone or change everything. If it doesn't resonate with you then it just doesn't. I think this article is a perfect way to actually give TR the opportunity to gain more credibility by acknowledging some people feel this way and giving useful feedback he will surely see this and use that to change the perception.

May 15, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Holy crap the comments here!

I feel as if I stumbled across some kind of virtual Stepford Wife forum, thanks to some of these commenters.

I was always curious about Tony Robbins, since he does rub elbows with a lot of famous people. But famous people need pepping up just like the rest of us. Which is okay. But jeez, I likely would not have lasted the day.

Noah, your posts are very helpful and interesting. And I have to say that this one scratched an itch I didn't know I had until I read it. Thanks, dudebro

May 14, 2017 at 6:29 am

I have to admit that's a very, very , very, creative way to promote yourself. After you read a couple dozen books, and put the work in, you will realize that all so called "Gurus" say the same stuff that Nike says better, just Do it. P.S. You got me to read your whole article, good job, but I will not buy your stuff I'm not into negative selling.

May 26, 2017 at 4:42 pm

I felt the same way! He's a competitive to Tony. Lol

John Smith
June 8, 2017 at 9:30 pm

He keeps deleting my comment about Large Group Awareness Trainings aka New Age Religious Movement cults. It must strike a chord with the scam he is trying to run himself.

Valerie chapman
May 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

Inspiring insight! To thyself be true and trusting in yourself is key to finding what we are searching for

May 11, 2017 at 7:31 pm


May 11, 2017 at 12:36 am

I feel much better knowing sim not the only one to feel this way. Good for Tony, but it's not about him.

Brandon Still
May 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm

This reply is quite possibly one of the best crafted responses I've seen. Kudos to you. lol

Jean-Luc Marcil
May 9, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Thank you. I can totally relate to what you have experienced.
In Canada, we have other big names that can draw big crowds to their events. I have watched many TR videos and found him very inspiring. I still have a great respect for the human being he is and the business he has created. I'm at a point where I like to experience deeper conscience oriented workshops. As a professional coach, It took me some time to find a combination of tools that I felt were providing deeper inner work to the people attending our events. My wife are now doing our own workshops. We talk in front of the group for 10 to 20 Minutes and we then break in smaller groups of 4 or 6 people and we facilitate an interactive game call Points of You™. I find it more fun and more powerful. Half a day or one day and group dinner. The TR of this world do a great job at teaching people that they can change their reality if they commit to it. But it takes something that goes deeper with more focus to make it happen. The more groups of 10,000 people the better. As they will eventually become great prospects for you and for us.
Thanks again
Jean-Luc Marcil
Professional coach and facilitator
Co-founder of Ho'oWow!® Workshops
Quebec, Canada ??

May 9, 2017 at 8:26 am

I attended a one day event in dublin in either 2015 or 2016 with several speakers. I bought a cheaper ticket and i have to say im glad i didnt pay for a full UPW weekend. I really feel that alot of the materials can be gained from internet and reading his books without spending so much to attend his seminars. I found his methods and ideas to be very helpful for achieving breakthroughs when i was in college, however i did not feel there was much new to learn from the seminars. The exercises to get the audience into peak state were cheesy. Tony definitely spends too much time tAlking about his achievements as though hes going for a job interview. He also said that he never had anybody complain about his ability to deliver results and he always makes things better because thats his standard CANI. However, its hard to give negative feedback when theres no feedbAck forum to do so. I had a free consultation with one of his online coaches whom i found to be unprofessional and ignorant in his judgment of my situation. While tony robbins is a brilliant communicator i think sometimes he tries to come up with solutions to everybodys problems when sometimes it would be better to admit that he doesnt have all the answers. I also feel he tAkes too much credit as a lot of his concepts are actually taken from other life coaches i. E. Jim Rohn but i feel like he passes them off as his ideas a bit too much. But on the whole i have to say he seems genuine about what he does and nobody is perfect. I think hes a good guy.

Tony Baloney
May 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm

I don't think you have to justify not liking the Tony Robbins seminar. You can say: that guy is just strange looking,' and that would be okay for me. Even if you said: "There is the possibility he is ripping people off," that is a good enough reason not to go in my book. There are so many interesting and fruitful activities to pursue in this life, many people will never ever make it to a Tony Robbins event and still be happy and satisfied. It's not like you are the only person in the world who he turns off. And I seriously doubt it's because you are missing some inner "knowing," his fans have access to. There are a million other ways I would spend 2000 bucks and I feel no twinge of self-recrimination. I actually take it as a sign of my intelligence.

Mitch White
May 6, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Hi, I would love to speak with you about your experience more, I had s similar reaction but have found a much better community of people like you talk about and would love to share back n forth with you because I believe you could be a big inspiration to myself and others in many ways. I am all about 'Playing At Life' and enjoying every aspect of my life and finding fulfillment and passion in everything I do all while being 100% authentic and vulnerable. Hoping we could catch up one day...

May 3, 2017 at 1:16 am

Thanks for this I had heard good things about tony but i was starting to doubt that my own practice as a counsellor wouldn't be good enough as others had said that counselling is a thing of the past and doesn't help and that they prefer tony robbins etc this makes me realise it's not a fit for everyone and I believe you need to go into your past and swim around in it, fully understand it, go through acceptance and forgiveness before you can create a future and do all of that dancing hoopla stuff tony does! Great article and good on you for listening to yourself

May 2, 2017 at 2:29 am

Tony had the wierdest clap you've ever seen??? You clearly missed Nicole Kidman at the Oscars

May 1, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Hi I'm Gavin I attended DWD back in 2011 in Qld I loved it there was plenty I liked and plenty I took with a grain of salt.
I learnt Tony was a graduate of Landmark Forum which is good but both have a push to sign you up for the next cse.
I like the getting to know your neighbours and making contact with people I had a grievance with. I'm happy to read your experience and you've had a break through..
You saw what you needed and took action.
Fark I sound like a coolaid drinker.
I'm not. I'm Gavin.

Jia Liu
May 1, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Trying new things? Tony's event is not about trying this and trying that and being a dabbler. It is about sticking to your goal and follow through all the way. I respect your decision to walk out, of course, but clearly you want more specific things than what UPW offers. That's not UPW's fault, much less TR's. It's just not the right event for you. The things you pointed out about what TR didn't do well were just your personal views, not actual problems with the event itself. If you thought TR's clapping was weird (I noticed that, too, but was not bothered) and you didn't like strangers touching you and they were part of the reason you walked out, then I have to say you were focusing on the wrong things. No event is perfect. It's about whether YOU are able to get the most out of it, especially when you've paid for it. I just came back from UPW London 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed it, not because it was flawless (believe me, I'm a fault-finder if I want to be one), but because I was determined to get my money's worth. By the way, maybe by writing this article, you are seeking a little signifinance and attention? And by asking people's emails when they leave comments, you are building a client mailing list? (Not that I mind) Last but not least, because you didn't experience the whole event, your rationalising your walk-out reasons maybe is a little unsound? Or maybe you know all along that you are just trying to market your own business? which I totally understand. Good luck!

May 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm

your right - I would like to say disorganised too that on day one having paid for premium seats we didn't get one and we got pissed off with all the up selling - I didn't walk out as I was gutted the money I spent and saw it through. I WENT TO LEARN AND DAY TWO WAS JUST REPETITIVE TO THE EXTREME WE LEFT as small bang in the middle they were selling other services which in my opinion was not the time - I can't understand that someone with so much status has poor organisation on events and poor customer service when things go wrong like you I'm not in fear I speak the truth from the heart and they need to step up and wake up and learn

May 1, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Everyone should read the book Sham by Steve Salerno. He includes part of the book on Tony Robbins and how his seminars didn't bring much long term results to his attendees despite their optimism. Unfortunately I read the book after I bought the tickets, but fortunately I was able to get a refund on UPW. I too walked out of the seminar (and bought a flight ticket to California) and felt a lot of his speeches was a bunch of nonsense and smoke and mirrors.

Lao tzu
May 1, 2017 at 8:15 am

Dude, this is a useful article but you're a brown belt turning up to see the black belt master intiate the white belts. The point of the weekend is to 'awaken the force and use the unlimited power that resides in all of us'..... You did that already!

Ric Phillips
May 1, 2017 at 7:40 am

Good points, and good that you went on immediately to start re-organising your next day

May 1, 2017 at 4:50 am

I completely agree. I read a ton of self help books, and I generally find all self help material pretty energizing. However, I find Tony Robbins following to be too cult-like. A Tony Robbins event is intoxicating, but it's also filled with gimmicks. 10% of those events may be dedicated to issues and genuine personal development. The other 90% is filled with tricks to inflate your ego and provoke your brain into a dopamine frenzy.

April 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Spot on, totally agree with you. Some good points in general but to cultish and superficial for myself.

April 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

From someone that cannot get past chapter 3 of Unlimited Power.....I thank you!

I'll get more from your post and probably your seminar than a TR megablast.

Thank you Noah

Anne Wilson Blacklock
April 29, 2017 at 4:35 pm

I 100% agree with this and resonate with you. Im sat in a hotel in London and was feeling rubbish about walking out and spending £5K. But now ive turned it round to empowerment. Thanks for your review!

Louis Patetnaude
April 29, 2017 at 5:34 am

20 years ago I attended such events with another high spirited dude, I can't recall his name, I felt pretty much like you. After the middle of the second day, the speaker told us that if any one of us had any doubts about the true meaning of this 3 days seminar, he or she could leave at break time. No question asked. So I did, but on my way out one of his staff intercepted me and wanted to know why I was leaving, he used some bubblegum psychology to keep me in, but my intentions were solids, then another guy came, a bite more persuasive this time, then another one who spoke about the devil to me.
I had to run out of the auditorium, with a throng of preachers and followers following me and accusing me of many wrong doings. I must admit, I could not hide a large grin while being chased.
I'll stick to the bible.

April 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Great article and as someone who walked out of his seminar in London 20 years ago for every reason you've listed, it's good to know it's not just me LOL!

April 27, 2017 at 6:36 pm

I'm going to see Tony at Unleash the Power Within in NY but I want to make it a trip for myself. I think he is great but I really need a break from life, a "me" weekend. I love what Tony does and have read his books but I need a way out without others knowing. Is there a way of getting out of the seminar without other people checking up on me to see if I went or do they take attendance each day??? Thank you for any advice! Regards, Wallace

elle sang
April 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm

hi currently doing upw in london , uk. they do not take attendance. you are free to walk in and out as you please.

April 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm

I'm shocked so many people feel they need to be lead around. Blaze your own pathway, and follow your own dreams.

July 2, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Yayaa!! I'm Gonna send you $2000 Nick

April 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mad respect! I really appreciated this article and point of view. Thank you for sharing.

john holmes
April 27, 2017 at 6:33 am

I wasn't sure about the clapping style either

Simone Kay
April 27, 2017 at 5:51 am

Hey man you should have paid me £2000 to give you a pep talk I would have made you feel great about yourself. !!
Joking aside, Tony Robbins is an entertainer... well paid and good at what he does. BUT the only person who is going to make you a better person is YOURSELF.
I respect you for your article man - it takes courage to share an opinion that differs from the masses.

former cult memeber
April 26, 2017 at 11:36 pm

It's all a big feels injection. A big Love Bomb. A cult's favorite and most effective tool. They pray on the broken spirits that give anything to be whole again.

June 5, 2017 at 9:29 am

"Love Bombing"! Yes! Then break you down about your most traumatic experiences, build you back up so that you believe they've done something for you. Cults are everywhere and growing by the day.

April 26, 2017 at 8:02 pm

I love Tony Robbins!

April 26, 2017 at 9:05 am

Well fuck me sideways.
Sorry to be profane, but sometimes you gotta say what you think.

All the yesses, Noah. Not for having a contrarian opinion or, being bold enough to say something that could be seen as dissenting about some one hailed as a god in certain circles. But for knowing yourself and having enough integrity to keep it pushing when it became clear there was nothing more to gained from your attendance.

I should prolly get back to work now.

dirk verbaklien
April 26, 2017 at 7:59 am

Great scam he has going 20 years.

April 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm

LOVED IT! Although I thought the same things about his seminars just from watching some videos in YOUTUBE... too cheesy and self-promoting. I believe he 's smart and gifted and goodhearted but I really don't like his methods. I don't think you should have been embarrassed to walk away. If it is not for you, you just leave. Normal and understandable. I walked away from your entrepreneur course 😉 just because I didn't think it was the right thing for me although I appreciated it and I think you are a genius!

April 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Excellent post that is 100% transparent and much appreciated.

Paulo Still
April 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

I Enjoyed reading this. I would just be careful about promoting yourself so wholeheartedly during your articles. I do find that with MANY personal development bloggs I am bombarded with this kind of 'click here' stuff. It's exhausting. Just a link to your website or another interesting helpful article would be enough. Otherwise it just reads like self promotion. Not a bad thing, I get it BUT.... not at the expense of others. Hope you take my feedback in good faith and can come from a more authentic angle in future.

Mrs A Wilson Blacklock
April 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

I thought the same!:)

Kirke Ruuven
April 24, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Hey! I am totally new to your site , but love it! When I saw the title of this post, I didn't want to read it 😀 It was because I will be attending UPW in London in 3 days and I don't want to ruin it for myself. I will read this article after I have attended the event. But just for you to know, I'm a 21 yo Business Administration student from Estonia, who sometimes feels absolutely worthless and miserable, but knows that feelings come from thoughts. So I made a decision to create a really awesome life for myself and started to read books and talk to people more. Now I want to move to the U.S and open up my own clothing line.
If anybody wants to contact me: kirkeruuven@gmail.com

April 26, 2017 at 8:26 pm

So, how was it?

Shaun Owens
April 24, 2017 at 4:18 am

Very brave of you to leave. It's not always easy to do, especially when you've spent $2,000.

Patrick Dillon
April 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm

I was at the same event in LA and I absolutely felt the same way. I ended up spending a lot of time at a nearby coffee shop during the event, working on goals and doing business planning. One day of quality content would've been a lot better.

Steven L
April 22, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Yep attended the wealth mastery paid a ridiculous amount of money. Imo the 3 days was one big Informercial!!!! Where in top of the amount we paid, we had to purchase in to the scheme each presenter had to offer!!! No genuine tools to help anyone to pursue their individual goals.... funniest thing I paid for the gold members seating where we were fed lunch! Promoting so much about Health TR had whole bunch of crap processed and fried food... until I voiced my opinion regarding the crap being served!!!

May 1, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Valuable point no concept of. Organisation and attention to detail for the food - my thoughts too

Bill Mackcong
April 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

In my opinion to say that tony's event wasn't worth it is a contradiction since you took away some of his lessons from the event and read his materials in your personal day development checklist.

Phil Rothwell
April 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Great article. Thanks for sharing. I recently discovered Tony Robbins as he's not so big in the UK. I'm really enjoying reading his book but don't think a conference would be right for me. Good for you for making that decision and taking action. Too many times we put up with things and then look back on them as a wasted experience. And then you also turned it into a huge positive.

April 21, 2017 at 9:11 pm

I attend similar seminars regularly. Not at the same cost. If any fluff or cheesiness starts I walk out. I want the presenter to cover in depth on situations. It could help people in the audience. Americans seem to have a fair amount of pomp and hoohar around things like graduations etc ceremonies with bands etc. I'd walk out on them my times valuable i have things to do no time for that type of hype and bullshit. I hate the hype, just do what your paid to do and don't expect me to bow down to you like your a god.

April 19, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Wow! Nice post. Very refreshing! However, in a weird way, it reads to me as though you got a lot out of Tony's seminar, albeit a lot quicker than you anticipated. Just look at what you achieved achieved afterwards. The question, I guess is, would you have achieved those same things, & within that time frame, had you never attended Tony's seminar?

April 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm


Joshua Russell
April 19, 2017 at 2:48 am

This article was genius and an amazing way to self-promote/advertise. I honestly wish I would have thought of such a creative way to gain attention and throw a few links down at the same time. I never read these things (as I found this article on FB) and yet was drawn to it because I love Tony Robbins and have never seen or heard someone give an educated/detailed description of something negative about him. But the bottom line is that you didn't see it all the way through therefore you threw in the towel without seeing what the product was in its entirety...and for that I can poke holes all day long. If you would have completed the "journey" and saw what the product looked like when it was finished I would have been more interested in your opinion...I mean after all most people attend his events because they are masters in not following through and completing their set goals right? I should know though because it's the story of my life and why I am such an avid fan of TR. ??

Jon b
April 20, 2017 at 7:03 am

Lol, yes, perfect response!

April 22, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Noah, I think I can related in that I'm the intellectual type and I think a lot as well. I find it comes naturally being an tech entrepreneur.

I meditate daily. I love reading about mindfulness, the upanishads, what Buddha taught, etc. But reading about meditation is not the same as meditating, just like knowing all those UPW insights isn't the same as "feeling" those understandings.

Intellectually, I probably already knew 98% of what Tony taught that weekend, with an very occasional a-ha insight. But let's be honest here, what Tony teaches isn't exactly rocket science. 🙂
What I didn't understand though, was what chills feels like when 8,000 people are shouting 'I am the voice' or what tears feel like when the same 8,000 people are going through a guided meditative process. That group energy is what brings people back to the event over and over. That group energy is something that cannot be replicated by oneself. And that group energy happens on day 3.

The best way I can describe it is if you imagine your favourite football team in the superbowl, scoring the winning touchdown, and the whole stadium erupts with you in the middle of the stadium going crazy...except you're not celebrating a touchdown, you're celebrating your own transformation with 8,000 other people. That climatic feeling of that moment is what gets stored your nervous system, and in my opinion is what makes the live events worth it.

Unfortunately, the first 2 1/2 days (with the exception of maybe the fire walk), is 30 hours of common sense advice, intellectual word twisting, and generic self help "counselling" that gets repeated over and over again. For those people that make it to the 3rd day however, is the big payoff with 4-5 hours of integrative group process work that will bring tears, vulnerability and conviction to your heart and transform your life forever.

You would've had lots of time to speak to your fellow attendees had you stayed. I've made so many lifelong friends from years ago from UPW because we went through this process work together.

For UPW, the sum is definitely greater than its parts.

Tim Greenwood
July 29, 2017 at 7:50 am

Hey Ken. You hit the nail on the head about the impact of being in a sea of people all celebrating and pushing themselves to go further. Just came back from UPW in Newark with 14,000 people in hockey arena.

Flavia Gray
April 18, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Thanks for your article. Tony's audio books have got me through really tough times and I think he is amazing. But it's interesting to read your experience.

April 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Thank you for making your writing public, I would like to say you noted the best -- and yeah taking note is hard, I know haha . thank you for your hard work

Rick Bradshaw Anderson
April 17, 2017 at 11:37 pm

I prefer Dr. Eric Thomas "the hip hop preacher"
I'll just leave it at that.

April 17, 2017 at 11:24 pm

Wow! That was some unbiased, constructive feedback. I really appreciate your conviction to keep it real on the pros and cons. Your honesty and integrity are already putting you in a position for great relationships. I'm excited for you because I know that ,by remaining honest with yourself, you will attract the people you desire to share your journey with you. Well done sir!

April 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Sounds like you got your monies worth. Refund your refund.

Frank zip
April 16, 2017 at 8:48 pm

This event is a 3 day build up and leaving after day one just proves you don't have the grit to last the 3 days. Go through transformation day and tell me it was a waist of time. Everyone who has read this article is now dumber for have read it. This article was a waiste of time!!!

Shane White
April 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

I disagree with most of what you have said. But that is the beauty of this life. We don't have to agree on everything, and Tony Robbins isn't going to be for everyone. I personally commited to UPW 100% to make sure I didn't cheat myself or feel like I wasn't willing to go all out. It changed my life because I was open to changing myself. The event taught me a ton of things.

You empowering yourself by walking out is a positive from the event and I applaud you.

This is my persective of UPW and of this article. Neither, of which, are negative.

April 15, 2017 at 8:53 am

You have great timing. I have great respect for Tony Robbins. He is an inspiration for thousands of people. However I watched "I am not your guru" last night and felt that there is something missing.
It seemed like a lot of the attendees would benefit from long term counselling. I don't doubt some peoples lives will change from DWD, especially if you got one and one time with Tony. But for some the elation will wear off and how prepared are they to deal with that.

May 3, 2017 at 1:28 am

Yes!!! Thanks for this .. it's the relationship that heals, understanding of the person, acceptance of the past and forgiveness and love not "goals and just looking at the future!" Glad you said said helps me to have more faith in my counselling practice

April 15, 2017 at 3:58 am

Well done, thinking on your feet is great.

Vykintas Glodenis
April 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Great post. Absolutely agree. People get addicted to external motivation - it's like opium that leads nowhere unless you really trust yourself to form your own development routines and take action upon them. Thanks, Noah.

April 14, 2017 at 4:30 pm

TR truly changed my life. The start of all his seminars you are asked to play full out. If you do you get full results.

Catia Vasconcelos
April 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Hi Noah,

I signed up for the upcoming UPW in London a couple of weeks before I came across your blog... Interesting. It did make me reconsider attending it and I tried to cancel but I was too late (14 day cooling off period had passed). So my question to you now is: in what terms did you get a refund afterwards? Many thanks!

May 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm

I was able to get a refund while UPW was happening. My excuse was that I had to wait in line for a couple of hours and therefore missed part of the event. Another excuse that I had was that Tony Robbins is not there the whole time. They have another speaker and they show videos of Tony Robbins on several TV screens (which you can actually do from home). First they didn't let me, but they said come back later today. So I did and gave the TV excuse.

April 14, 2017 at 3:30 am

Instant positive jargon pick-me-ups work for a few days but don't address the real psychological issues driving them. Better of with a good psychotherapist.

April 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm

It's too bad you didn't stay for the entire event. The reason why it's stretched out into 4 days is because there is so much material to cover. It's not just "fluff" as you put it. It's all designed and put into place to help keep the audience engaged for 10 hours straight for 4 days in a row. Do you realize how difficult it is to keep an audience of 10,000 people engaged for 10 hours a day for 4 days in a row? It's also designed to help you retain the information a lot better.

As a matter of fact there was tons of energy in that auditorium for the entire event. That says a lot about how well the whole thing was put together. It's not just a pump up feel good fest either. They gave out a lot of practical advice, and very knowledgeable in -depth information about human psychology, health, money, relationships, etc...

There was a woman there where Tony went really deep into her issues. He over delivered and went over the time he was supposed to. He really cares about delivering results and not just sticking to some schedule.

It's great if you feel like you made the right choice, but I think it would have gone better if you had been able to go with an open mind. Honestly you get out of it what you put into it.

Anyways, great article it was interesting to read from your perspective.

April 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Tony's words are like a great drunk! It sounds great Til the next day

Tony Tsao
April 13, 2017 at 1:53 am

Thank you Noah for sharing this honest opinion. I am one of your Sumolings on Appsumo, and really appreciate what you did there and here. I read most of TR's books including the latest one about money, and yes he did inspire me but I long had doubts about this event, if it's right for me, and today you cleared my doubts. If I go, I'd likely feel what you felt.

I think this dilemma and lesson is important for our fellow entrepreneurs and your honest sharing will benefits lots of people. Thank you!

p.s. I clicked on a FB sponsored post... did you spend money to promote this article? If so.. thank you!

April 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Very interesting read Noah. I, like most, have seen Tony in many videos, never in person though. I have thought about it many times and will probably end up going at some point.

I found your writing very informative and thoughtful. I haven't seen anything else you have written, but I am going to look now, as you stayed positive and provided facts and stated when it was your opinion. Much appreciated.

While I didn't read them all, I found that the people commenting were very respectful and have good heads on their shoulders. Bravo to you and your followers, very impressive to see such a fine group of people.

April 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

Hey Noah. I really enjoyed your post. I have felt the same way at some events but because of the hassle of the money back guarantee I have not been as bold as you to walk out but props for taking hold of your life and valuing your time enough to do so. I would like to connect with you via either e-mail, Facebook, or simple phone conversation. Don't hesitate to reach out and let's connect. wealthbeforeriches@gmail.com

Roger Kromphardt, MS.Ed. trainer, chess teacher,
April 12, 2017 at 12:41 am

The answers are within yourself, not in an external motivational speaker. he is there to superficially support everyone. The deep work only comes with a mentor/trainer/and self work. I liked your choices, and reasons.

Overcome Yourself
April 11, 2017 at 4:09 am

I enjoyed your articles. Even though I love Tony, his energy and what he does I really like the idea and your reasons for walking out.

April 10, 2017 at 11:25 pm

I paid $600 to attend, and not long after, as a result of what I learned at the seminar, I increased my income by 5x, met the woman of my dreams, got in the best shape of my life, and really took my life to extraordinary places. After that, I started learning from all sorts of other teachers in personal development, spirituality, health, psychology, etc. These days more and more people are bashing Tony Robbins. The fact is, he has helped countless individuals make seriously awesome changes in their life. If you already have a strong mindset you won't get much from his seminar, but if you're like I was, afraid in life, with no role models to learn from in your family or friends, he can really help you change your mental outlook and provide you with strategies on how to improve your life. Of course he is not for everyone, as his style is a bit rock star and showmanship, but if he helps people get results, I think that is pretty cool.

September 15, 2017 at 9:15 pm

Great response Matt, and thanks for sharing. I'm really glad it worked out for you and I appreciate you taking the time to write a counter-story

April 10, 2017 at 10:44 am

(At the risk of being too involved or not enough) We as humans all want one common thing to be cared about and to feel included. It is easy enough to make a huge group of people feel loved, but at the end of the day everyone has their own perspective on life, you can't make anyone change the way they lead their life. It all really is an inside job and all the coaxing/coaching in the world is not going to work unless the individual wants to change. Sadly people are afraid to take the leap and make a successful life, the scars you speak of are very real and people are afraid of changing their lives, the scars need to be addressed and worked through to get the result a person really wants. There are many things that happen when a person wants to change their lives, some move to another city or State, some may break off a relationship, some may quit their job. These are just a few examples of how changing your life can be a really scary experience. What people need is people to listen to them and understand who they are and how they perceive their lives. People need people to know that someone cares if they succeed or not. Humans are a fragile lot and we do not take that into consideration when interacting with them. You can tell people what to do till you are blue in the face but you cannot make them accept the fact that they are indeed divine and wonderful. They have to learn it for themselves, its hard for people to love themselves. Sounds like you have learned to love yourself and have strong hold on life. I love that . . .

April 10, 2017 at 8:12 am

I've never been to a Robbins event though I've listened to much of his content for free on YouTube. I listen to many motivational teachers and there's a common thread in the message - they just present it with their particular spin. Whatever speaks to you that you can apply to your life and put into action is what works-

April 10, 2017 at 1:49 am

Congratulations in making the choice which was right for you, and for sharing the rationale behind making that choice.
Stepping into your power - and owning your choice whatever that may looks like is critical to living a happy and successful life.

My own experience of UPW was life changing but the moment was created by an unknown guy in the firewall.

I'm a wheelchair user. At that time I could hardly manage a few steps. I completed the firewall and was thrilled. I looked behind me at the next participant. He was a double amputee who completed the firewalk on his hands.

In that moment I decided I would never let my disability limit my horizons. In booked to go to the USA by myself to attend Date With Destiny the next day. A huge leap of faith.
Since then my horizons have become unlimited. Living proof that if you believe you can't is a done deal. If you believe you can anything is possible!!


Paul Kingsman
April 9, 2017 at 10:54 pm

As a speaker and pastor, totally correct with Robbins. If you watch "I'm Not Your Guru." you'll hear and see the language and tone he exhibits to a young lady and her mother. Any person who can talk to anyone, not just a female, but especially a lady like that, is sadly lacking in character. Amazed of many people can't see right through this guy.

Angela Lopez
April 9, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Thank you for this honest, thought out article. I hope he actually reads this and considers your suggested changes. The comments here are so refreshing! Normally, I can only make it past a few comments on an article before they digress into juvenile name calling, or political bullshit. But here, I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading all the comments as everyone respected each other even if they disagreed, how there was genuine appreciation for another's thoughts. Just intelligent, unpretentious people all around. I couldn't help but think to myself, "where the hell have all these people been hiding?"

April 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm

In my 60 years in life I have tried tons of programs , psychics, counseling Horoscopes and more and nothing made me feel whole until I turned my life and will over to Jesus Christ I was basically an athiest living life how I wanted to He took away my guilt and shame and is still making me confident in him day by day I may not be rich money wise or have a great career but I found early on that those things don't truly satisfy You always want more And I like the confidence that when I leave this earth that there is so much more I pray for people that struggle as I did with all this stuff It was an awful time of confusion and despair Try it you won't be disappointed And you are already deeply loved you just have to believe and receive

Ross Mehan
April 10, 2017 at 8:18 am

I have faith in Jesus too, but I've spend many hours in church hearing pastors rant about how terrible man is and how horrible the earth is. What's the point of living then? In my 61 years I've come to believe all that the greatest religion is kindness (which was in the compassionate heart of Christ) and God wants us to live boldly, to our full potential, and in service to those less fortunate.

Marvin Boyer
April 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Personal development starts on the inside, there is no magic formula. Robbins' seminar serves as the match for those who need it to start the fire. The lesson I get from the article.

Nicole Johnson
April 9, 2017 at 9:25 am

You missed out on a great event! I was there too. Sure he sometimes talks in circles, but Ill take a bit of bad for the 1000 plus GREAT points. He gets us out of our comfort zone so we can expand.

April 8, 2017 at 10:09 pm

I've been on one free Tony Robbins seminar 10 years ago and another his short presentation before movie about him. It was interesting, he is brilliant, but 2 times were enough for me to pay more money and put more time into it. Documentary movie is well done and proves that his seminars and he personally helped to many people. As for me, I found it is too much marketing and not sophisticated approach to people's problems.

Tony Monk
April 8, 2017 at 8:51 pm

You did the right thing for yourself. I am not one to be touching people and jumping up and down like a lunatic either... Bob Proctor is the man for me... Tony is a bit much for me. To high strung, and to full of himself. Many people like that kind of thing, and than there are others that don't care for that kind of thing, and I'm that other. I really think Tony is doing a fantastic thing on helping people, but lets be honest here $2000 $5000 75K that is absolutely ridicules

April 10, 2017 at 11:32 pm

I paid $600 to go and as a result, increased my income by 5x, met the woman of dreams, got in the best shape of my life, and am happier than ever. I would say my investment will be continuing to multiply my income for years to come. "Let your wallet invest in your mind, and pretty soon your mind will be investing in your wallet. Before I learned from Tony, I made $30,000 a year at a job I hated. That UPW seminar helped me break through my limiting beliefs about becoming an entrepreneur. Last month I made $15,000 in passive income that I will get for the rest of my life. Sure glad I payed to go to UPW. So, I don't think he's prices are ridiculous, only ridiculous for people that don't value investing in themselves.

Roger williams
April 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

I can relate. There comes a time in our devolement when we're filled and feel complete.
Further devolement becomes more specialized and personal. We are no longer able to accept the stroking of the ego or the love. We're no longer in and of the world, we are Ourselves .

April 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Wonderfully crafted, Noah, though it is a shame that you had to thoroughly defend your right to have a negative experience from TR supporters.

Huge kudos to you for creating your own experience to suit your needs.

**I have a proposal for you if you want to read to the end.**

I was in LA with you (I think I recognize Galen Center), and I stayed for the whole event. I have *many* of the same criticisms that you do (e.g. the upselling, name dropping, meandering topics), but thought you'd be curious to know why I (a physicist by training) thought that it was worth it, and for reasons I think you will appreciate.

Why does Navy Seal BUD/S training subject candidates to the most extreme physical and mental challenges they can imagine?

Why do you have to push your body and muscles outside their comfort zone to get stronger, faster, better?

Why do you have to jump up and down and scream and clap like a lunatic for 3 days?

Answer: Growth.

The human body & mind grow when stretched beyond their usual operating limits. Tony uses this principle deliberately, pushing people to do *something* that looks bizarre and cultish (like people chanting YES as they walk on hot coals.) And Tony's unspoken assumption is that most people are operating waaaay below their true limits because of self-limiting beliefs.

That *something* he is doing: Training you how (not just telling you how) to take control of your mental & physical energy and put it in a positive, confident "peak state". Whenever they tell you to, whether it is 9 am or 1 am, when the music goes on, you discover you can rock out as hard as you want. And you want to, because it feels good--much better than your regular ho-hum life of waiting for shit to happen *to* you instead of making shit happen.

And with this state-change skill practiced over 3 days--via constant "interruptions" of music and jumping and even the hugging to release oxytocin--many are able to control their emotions powerfully. Then, while guided by Tony, they can associate so much pain with their old limiting beliefs that they simply reject them subconsciously. They are simply to unpleasant to believe, and so are weakened without conscious effort. And then from a state of feeling powerful, replace these with helpful, empowering beliefs.

Simply, it is operant conditioning on a large scale. Unfortunately, the payoff didn't happen until Day 3 with what he calls the (Charles) Dickens Process. It was astounding to realize that 9000 people did it, and quite transformative to experience firsthand. (But it doesn't work for everybody, e.g. my wife.) I don't know if you could do it in one day (personally I think not), but that alone made it worth it for me to try UPW.

Of course, I'm also a skeptic. Time will tell how useful it actually was. But that's also up to me. And that's the point. (It has been two weeks, and my energy, mood, and confidence are still high, and self-defeating thought patterns are still much weaker compared to before the event.)

**My proposal**: Do we need an event that focuses on these core principles and practical skills for the skeptical and worldly among us who can't shake the feeling of the "snake oil sales pitch"? Can we build an intensely emotional experience (because its needed to address emotional baggage) that also respects our intellectual side?

Potentially useful tools (for me):
* ENERGY is life -- you've read power of full engagement, so you know what I mean

* move your body & mind to good music -- I'm a dancer so maybe I'm biased, but I think this is key to maintaining good energy throughout the day.

* pain/pleasure conditioning -- don't fight your subconscious beliefs and impulses, reprogram them. Another tactic for habit formation. Efficacy is TBD, but I'm optimistic.

* goal visualization/meditation -- solidify decisions into commitments, made it surprisingly easy to go a week without caffeine or dessert.

* gratitude meditation -- a cure for anxiety and fear. start with just 3, 1 small stupid thing. Or feel as many grateful, proud, and fun memories as you can for an extra boost.

* deep breathing -- check out videos on box breathing from Mark Divine of SealFit/CrossFit

* drink water -- I feel stupid, but I was severely dehydrated before attending and this shook me out of that

April 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm

This is a reminder to trust in myself and not wait for the "perfect" circunstance to improve and heal. I have to take the knowledge from ny readings and actually apply it..that's when the real work comes in. Thank you soooooo much for sharing your experience!

April 8, 2017 at 9:56 am

I respect your point of view and agree with most of what you had to say. Except for the very last quote, I am a mother of two young children and I would never advise them to quit anything. You can change techniques, change outlooks, change courses, even walk out of a $2k personal development seminar, but you can not quit! And if you think about you didn't quit, you created a new personal development day! New perspective, new way of trying to achieve the same goal/outcome. Don't be a quitter. What if Jesus said, "Ah, this cross is too heavy to bear, these people will never change their sinning ways, this isn't what I thought it would be, I'm outty!" What if our founding fathers gave up and didn't fight for us to be a free and independent nation. There are so many more examples of how persevering overcame obstacles and lead to a victory and or greatness. So I'm with you when you say you've got to go with your gut, your gut was saying " TR's UPW seminar wasn't worth the value of spending $2k + dollars on." So you walked out, that wasn't quitting. That was you changing course and making a new plan for your personal development training. Which is what a winner would do! Be blessed young man and I hope you achieve whatever you set out too. Change your perspective, change your techniques, but please oh please don't ever quit until you make it!

Alan Macgregor
April 8, 2017 at 3:53 am

Interesting perspective and honest response which I'm sure will
Get you varied responses. I'm all for positivity and empowerment which Tony has but also feel the cost and the description of what you experienced would cause me to walk out as well. So well done for sticking to your principles and much success for the future.

April 8, 2017 at 3:50 am

Very interesting perspective. I thought about going thus seminar, but decided against it for financial reasons. After reading this, I think I made the right choice. I don't like superficial fluff and massages from strangers either.

April 7, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Really interesting... it's the cult of celebratory... 10.000 is to big for really inner transformation but the rush of being in a large group.. I was very heavily pushed by his advertising team. I don't believe in Guru s... interesting reading hour take on his events. Good on ya

Mark James
April 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Tony depends on using mesmerizing moments. If you read about mesmerism & just how powerful herd mentality & mass psychology can be, you'll see his angle. Jim Morrison did the same stuff in concerts. Preachers do it every Sunday. Doctors can be spellbinding to their patients. If you feel you're in the presence of genius, how wrong would it be not to listen & participate? Then once you're committed to the experience? It's easier to write the check for that next seminar. The next session with your shrink. The next camp runaway with your guru.

April 7, 2017 at 10:12 am

Great, honest, engaging post! Thank you! Only thing I can recommend regarding your future goals- it's hard to be in a great relationships, in personal life or at work by putting yourself and your feelings first, getting out of yourself will give a real sense of happiness:))) Having kids, charity work, done with your own hands prove the point by my modest opinion. I wish you to find a real Love of your life , who will put you and your passions first and have many healthy and happy bambinos with her:) God Bless!!!

April 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

Thank you!! Always had thoughts about maybe or if I could..... thank you!!

Paul Jansen (in the Netherlands)
April 7, 2017 at 4:47 am

Thank you!

Daniel Pankew
April 7, 2017 at 4:22 am

I have to concur your Robbins assessment...but i do appreciate the seminar you did on this post....thankyou and your team for making this.

April 7, 2017 at 4:15 am

I never liked toni robbins he is commercial speaker never been to any of his events he does not inspire me i get every thing i want by chanting NAM MYHO RENGE KYO wich will give u every thing u want u have the power indside u to change and have what u want its nichrens buddism its very powerful more than anything TR will say or do and its free

April 6, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Really appreciate your integrity, honesty and stepping into your own personal truth. That is so powerful and I hear you and can relate to many of the things you shared. Insightful and valuable sharing, thank you.

April 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Howled at Tony clapping! Omg You're hilarious!! Love your raw writing. Re: TR, even though I think Tony is brilliant for being one the 'firsts' to write in the area of performance psychology I've struggled listening to him and I'm generally not into his somewhat condescending rah rah so I, too, would easily 'play hooky' to grab beer with ya ? great job!!

April 6, 2017 at 11:09 am

I attended his event 30 years ago. Read all his books and watched his videos on YouTube! Took his free Disk test . Had a free coaching telephone call. He is a good source of information. I will not attend another of his seminars . It comes down to dreaming , purpose, goal setting and taking action and refining and resetting your actions.

April 6, 2017 at 4:59 am

Great article! I am going to UPW London in a few weeks! I don't agree with the way Tony works, but still I want to experience it and learn from it.

I believe he has such a powerful mind that he just focuses on what he wants to achieve, but doesn't heal his deep rooted traumas. It's like putting some nice paint on a rotten wall.
We have to go through all our fears & pain to learn the lesson behind it. If we keep supressing our negativity, every time we have a weak moment it keeps following us. Only when we accept all that is can we truly free ourselves.

Tony is not intentionally manipulating people, because he is truly convinced of what he is doing... I love his passion, his power, his dedication! I have a lot of respect for him, and I can learn from him to really go for my goals. The only thing is that he doesn't see the bigger picture and therefor he is kind of misleading people by making them dependent on him and acting like a guru. (And I've been in this guru trap myself in India, living in an ashram, a guru having power over me in much more advanced levels than Tony, but because of this experience I can clearly recognize similar patterns)

Although Tony is not aware of this, so I hope I get a chance to show him with love...

I really hope I get a chance in London to look deeply into Tony's eyes, or give him a hug... to open his heart, because I see a lot of pain in him below the surface...

April 5, 2017 at 3:14 pm

I have watch peers' infatuation with him for many years. It is like a cult & few seem different after they attend hisprograms.
It reminds me so much of the 60s EST programs.

April 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Bravo for you for being real and stepping up (and out!)! Hey I'm sure he has merit. I'm just not a fan of the "Snake Oil Salesman" approach. And I agree...One Day. Plenty! Get rid of the BS fluff.

Harry Beam
April 5, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I didn't work out either I called up one of his associates told her that it was just about all over I was about to lose my house I had a serious back injury I couldn't work anymore I needed a way out I had $1,000 and was three months behind on my house payment she convinced me to spend the money on the seminar it would change my whole world all the money I would need would appear out of nowhere with just a little work in the right coaching I fell for it with a massive toothache from a tooth that was about to fall out because it hadn't been taken care of when I was in Vietnam I went anyway I had to have break the house I was living in I bought for one reason to resell it they been around to try to buy at the neighborhood a few times before before I bought the house I knew it was a good investment so I went to the seminar expecting a miracle instead she told us at the end of the seminar that the way she got us in there where's to use what she told us it wouldn't to be better at what you do it was to teach you the ability to con others to do what we wanted them to. I was in total shock when I left I really knew it was over there was no money to do anything with so I went home cancel the check for the seminar and spent the money buying airbrush equipment to try to do an up artwork to save my house it never worked it took most of the Thousand to buy the equipment and they came and kick me out of my house no big deal you say well that house is gone now they paved over it it's part of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium parking lot if she had done what she said I would have made at least a hundred thousand profit. That's why you would never see me in the Anthony Robbins seminar he's forgotten he was a big fat ass nerd when is buddy come and talk to him into going to NLP seminar and that's where he got the training program all you idiots to pay him thousands of dollars end of story f*** him.

April 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Great comment. You're probably over developed and therefore past the state of excitement. Simply "happy clapping" doesn't work anymore. Good for you!

April 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Marketing & Sales 101: KNOW YOUR MARKET. Which is not you or me, in these seminars. So what? I'll always love Tony- he's a super human.

Jon Jones
April 5, 2017 at 11:27 am

I can relate...I think it's interesting that we often look for answers, and then when someone offers a bundle of them...we then analyze it and say, "nah, that's not what I need."

Patricia Ducher
April 5, 2017 at 4:43 am

Congratulations! Great move. Just outta the Cracker Jack box personal development coach whose impersonal, addressing an audience of 10,000 who drank the Koolaide, go figure! In-depth up close one on one personal development coaches charge $50 to $ $250 per session. Any SELF RESPECTING, self motivated, "self loving " individual doesn't need to go to a rah rah convention to get a massage by his or her neighbor, most highly skilled reputable massage therapists are available by appointment.

Looks to me like you made great strides in your personal development by walking out. And maybe next time you consider giving $2000 bucks to a " celebrity guru " for " personal development pearls " of wisdom you WAKE UP to the fact that he's DUPED 9,999 people per weekend into personally developing him , while filling his pockets, buying him a jet and fuel, with their own hard earned cash ! PT Barnum said it best...There's a sucker born every day! On with the show Tony, leaving on jet plane, don't know when you'll be back again...And I prefer to keep it that way! Have a great PD day !

April 4, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Awesome article, Noah. I really like how honest you were in showing the upside and downside of TR and other self-help events. Really enjoyed this!

Christopher Barber
April 5, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Wow. Interest thread. I enjoyed the article too.

I like Tony. I enjoyed a single day event I attended 20 years ago, a bit after reading his early books. I never saw Tony as saying he came up with any of this stuff. He readily concedes he read and studied the works of others (as I have) That being said, he packaged it a way that got popular attention. Yes, there is fluff and hoopla, but it is a tool. A tool that exposes some who may not be exposed to such ideas otherwise.

I'm sure it was one of his original overnight infomercials that first exposed me to it all. I have since selectively used his works, along with others, as useful tools.

I happily moved past the fluff and even enjoyed some of it, as I chuckled at my self for getting caught up in it... but, I also am really happy I read his work (as well as Zigs, Earl Nightengale et al) and am able to embrace some of the tools for living as solid and very useful life skills.

April 4, 2017 at 5:40 pm

There is one saviour and you can find him if you seek him with all your heart mind and soul. Tr is not wise he is a man who denies God, if you want to fix issues read the bible and ask Jesus into your life. All that you need comes free of charge it just requires a choice on your part! For God so loved the world that he gave his only son ( Jesus) that who ever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life! True change and Hope comes from a relationship and knowing God not from a sales pitch!

Patricia Ducher
April 5, 2017 at 4:54 am

Amen brother !

April 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Thank You.

April 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I've always had a tough time listing to motivational speakers. They all seem fake. They all seem cheesy. They all seem to pick on me and I become part of the seminar! LOL. Really enjoyed your article. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one "not getting it."

April 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Knowing what u do and don't want and having the force to embrace it or walk way if that's what compels you is the best empowerment a person can have. Good for you on making a choice and acting on it.

April 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Can learn something from any person, place or thing. That little voice on the inside must be listened to.

Philip Geffner
April 4, 2017 at 9:11 am

Hopefully I'm not over-the-top negative but the first time I saw him I said no this is the last man I want to learn anything from ever and I don't know what that was about but I still have that feeling when I see him and I can't explain it but I've never been a conformist either so I'm not seeking what he selling so that's my issue which is a non-issue. I don't understand who could feel attracted to this giant human and no don't touch me mr. Stranger whoever you are just don't touch me if you don't mind and I don't have intimacy problems thank you. I always love but there's nothing more distasteful then a seminar.

April 4, 2017 at 9:10 am

You are the kind of guy I would love to hike with.

I love your clarity. But I wonder: if Deida couldn't inspire you on the relationship issue, then who could? Or should I ask: are you looking for shallow or deep?

Or I just don't understand how that question would lead you to TR ?

April 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

I have heard horrible things about Tonya retreats. I, the sweat tents where people have died, and were told to stick it out. And feet severely burned from walking across burning hot coals. No Medical aid for miles. He does this out in the desert far away from civilization. His thought is to brainwash people and to make them follow him like a Messiah. I say if you are thinking of going on a retreat, Google this CREEP first! It's all about money at the cost of your life!!!

Michael Versailles
April 4, 2017 at 8:37 am

I see your points and agree with your actions..Some humans know before attending an event of this nature the answers they seek before they even know they're seeking it.
I`m still a nobody myself but i hope to change it by myself..
As did you.
As for Mr. T.. well I could never afford to attend anything of this nature I believe he is a pretty Epic human being.
Perhaps one day I can fist bump with both of you`s 😉
Cheers mate

Willo ~ WilloLovesYou.com
April 4, 2017 at 7:03 am

Hi Noah - Heads up, his name is Gay Hendricks (fix the spelling of his name), author of The Big Leap, and a beloved mentor/teacher of mine. https://willolovesyou.com/love-gratitude/

I'm technically a Big Leap Coach, certified through their incredible programs. I say technically because I don't use that as a title as much, but I highly recommend everyone read the book! It's first on my list: https://willolovesyou.com/books

Deborah Davies
April 4, 2017 at 6:11 am

I would have done exactly what you did. The acting and Tony's comments hit me as superficial and overdone. Would not waste my time watching this egotistical actor or motivational speaker. Cha-Ching$$$$$

April 4, 2017 at 5:43 am

Your story of the seminar really made me giggle.
I was on the fence about going to TR and now this has confirmed my gut feeling. From what ive watched on Netflix, YouTube and niw reading your story, i could just see it all in my head. I think maybe he's gotten lost with creating so much energy the seminar is fluffing around far too much.
Thankyou.. i enjoyed your read

April 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Interesting!! Good job

Sandro de Rosa
April 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Tony Robbins refunded you?? I'm still waiting for a £134 refund for a double debit on my VISA card I claimed before his eponymous Robbins Research International Limited went bust 30 years ago and he didn't even offer a voucher for goodwill. Just "not our responsibility" was the mantra. I dropped him for coaches with more integrity. You have talent to get 2k back. Congratulations.

April 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm

I've bailed on a 3 day workshop at the end of day 1, an event that I think was taking its cues from TR. It was all "dance even if you don't feel like it, repeat after me, gesture the way I say," basically non-stop cultish indoctrination.

I was exhausted at the end of a day of it and knew there was no chance I could handle two more days of such intense manipulation, even if I was being manipulated "for my own good."

Meanwhile, there was about an hour of real value mixed in. How I wish they could have made a day of just that value and skipped all the indoctrination crap.

To me, quality material sells itself. If people need to be indoctrinated to upsell them, maybe better to let that sale go. But then, I'm not a multi-millionaire like TR (or the folks who lead the seminar I attended), so maybe they're the ones getting this one right, not me.

Frank Galea
April 3, 2017 at 5:45 pm


Thank you for writing so clearly and evenhandedly about your experience. You spent a lot of time covering potential objection of zealots before getting to your point, I don't think that was entirely necessary because what you have to say sounds valid, almost inevitable. To most of your negative comments, I would have to attribute them to the format of the event. I am not seeing the point in attending a seminar with 10,000 people seeking a genuine personal growth experience. That is just a performance or a ceremony, at a price tag higher than a Rolling Stones show. There is no way that you are going to get real dialogue or ability to process one-on-one the issues that you are there for. From what I've read, Robbins came out of NLP background and that drew from study of one-on-one therapy. It seems that the business imperatives, reaching the largest audience that would pay the greatest amount, are prioritized over maximizing what any participant gets from the experience. Congratulations on doing what you needed to do to get to a place of no regrets.


Bob Roizman
April 3, 2017 at 12:03 am

Back some years ago there was a very hot fad for a whole bunch of self awareness and upbeat courses like EST, GESTALT, ARNOLD SEGAL and conversations with a whole bunch of GURUS. All of which are mostly long gone. They all seem to prey on people with emotional issues. All of them charged exorbitant fees and hooked them on additional follow up sessions for even more money. Tony found a niche with his charismatic personality that still preys on the same type of people, but at even more expensive seminars with the same follow up hook to keep them spending, so he can enjoy a very wealthy lifestyle and a private jet. There's very little difference between his method and all those so called religious scam artists that suck in people for the "money". He's able to do it with ten thousand at a time, but the game is still the same. Like all the others, it becomes addictive with high pressure sales pitches, but in the end, very few people with too many self emotional issues do not benefit by it.

April 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

I feel using Tony Robins name in a negative title has given you what you wanted. Exposure! However if the level of skill you want from TR was visible in your own speech I'd have understood what youre trying to imply. Unfortunately on this occasion it didn't.
Best of luck and I hope you can show your positives more than someone else's negative next time you type.

Sandro de Rosa
April 3, 2017 at 7:41 pm

Batteries produce energy because they have positive and negative poles and calling a spade a spade is grounding and using it to shovel some bullshit is refreshing to the soul.

April 2, 2017 at 3:29 pm

I gave up on TR years a ago. I use to hire him and his staff for my selves force, but the meetings turned into a sales seminar for Tony and i had my agents tell me too much see see in the presentations.

April 2, 2017 at 10:35 am

This kind of seminar is not for everybody, when you invest money and longer days, expectations from the attendees become higher and top of the mind will always be whether each moment will be worth it. The personal development philosophy has started with TR mentor Jim Rohn and many can just pick up some additional great things from Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, TR... Some of their life changing teachings are centered on this 10 words -'If it is to be, it is up to me'. We are in charge of our life, our moods, our emotions, our mindset, so we can't rely on others to motivate us, we are in charge of our own motivation, we can't blame our parents, our neighbors, the economy and all the people around us for what we have become. They are all master of GOALS, though Brian tracy said that it is not the goal that matters, it is the person that we need to become that matters most. I have learned from them that we can be a better version of ourselves everyday, it should be a self-imposed commitment so I buy their books, listen to their CDs and watch their video and read 1-2 hours a day to keep me sane and inspired.

Your decision Noah to walk out is something you decided for yourself, great sharing.

Sheelagh mulcair
April 2, 2017 at 9:45 am

I know very little about Tony robbins but have completed a life coaching course recently and understand he is a guru in his field. I looked at some of his videos .. saw some exciting things but also saw him call a woman a hoare .. a hoare because of her relationship with her husband.. she kept smiling and seemed happy with what he was saying and suggesting. I thought it was disgusting, unnecessary , crude and completely unnecessary. When someone becomes so successful they can delude themselves into thinking they're not in it for the money, and are vital for others wellbeing. If this is so they should take great care they don't use people in any way , waste their time, make people dependent on them.. I imagine is difficult not to get carried away with ones own mantra. People are sometimes really desperate for something outside themselves to help them. I don't like Tony's style, I don't like the sound of his events. But if it helps people in the the long term have happier lives that is good but surely he doesent have to charge so much or turn it into a fanfare. You are right talking over problems individually is so important.. we'll done on your choice .. well done on walking out ??

Martyn King
April 2, 2017 at 9:09 am

To get the most out of self help seminars you need to be the one on the stage. It's all a con folks.

Rafael Aguilo
April 2, 2017 at 8:50 am

If you don't learn that you have to LOVE YOURSELF first, develop some sense of purpose, even if it's a hobby, instead of waiting for others to love you, validate and complete your existence; you'll be chasing that "love" like a hamster in the wheel, and paying handsomely for it. Like Iyas has pointed out, you become a "junkie" searching for the next fix.

April 2, 2017 at 5:12 am

I've watched his Netflix documentary with a couple of friends, I'm Not Your Guru.

It was powerful and intense, but I would NOT be able to attend such an event. Spirituality and deep inner work needs time, silence and contemplation. You simply cannot get a quick fix without putting in the work. Getting such a high for a 2-3 days is superficial spirituality. From personal experience, it takes weeks, months and years to truly implement spiritual ideas deep into your subconscious. People go at different speeds, starting at different levels, but overall, deep work requires time, practice and patience.

Loud speakers, catchy phrases, massages with neighbors, loud music and dancing may be entertaining and it might produce results, but I don't get the feeling, from watching the I'm Not your Guru documentary, that they last.

I would NEVER pay 2000 $ to 5000 $ for a ticket to see Robbins. It's useless. All people need to realize is that meditation, being still, affirmations, looking inward, eating well, exercising, reading self-help/spiritual books and having great sex lol is really all you need.

There, I saved you a Tony Robbins well over priced seminar 😉

April 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm

No matter who is sellin' ya that whole 'YOU CAN HAVE A BETTER LIFE' bu'shit trip; they are just peddlin' what I call 'personal fulfillment porn'. Ya get this temporary kick; then when the satisfaction of the fantasy wears off, in no time at all you go someplace else to get some more of the same. It's playing on basic human needs, and cashing in big time. Religions do it, cults do it, governments do it. They are all out 'pimpin' their orthodoxy onto the confused and vulnerable.

April 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm

It confirms what I already susspected and even more. I know from my own experiences with these events that it does not last. It can give you a boost if you are ready to believe in your own ego power. For me it does not work . I work with my higher self power and hope that it reaches my ego one day again. My own power does not need inleaching it is gonne and used in that way. One fantastic event was a Harv Eker signed program Mission to Millionswhere there was constantly time to share with others and got deep into this subject of exploring and finding your Mission, Vision en Passion. I was able to coach there and we had a marvelous time ! I have enough of these selling American Blueprints . We are all forced to work with it so it seems. I am allergicc. I hope i will find my way. I am not patticular pleased with your way perhaps of promoting your own programs ? By this post? Lol

April 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Before I judge I ask myself can I do better

April 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Or, different.

April 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Very well written and truthfull.

Carol Seymour
April 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

I resonate will with you. I don't like the fluff...treating people like cows, instead of thinking individuals. Even though, some folks in the audience may like all the dancing and being controlled by Tony Robbins, I would have felt cheated. $2,000 is a forturne to pay to see a celebrity, just to make him richer. WOW...I wondered if Tony will ever be featured on American Greed someday.

Po Lindvall
April 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Great job! I just wonder why not a lot more people walk out on these mas psychosis / brain washing time wasters... Re people so superficial? What you saw in Tony I would call ego centric, would you stand to be with a friend who is so ego centric for any period of time? I sure wouldn't and I have stopped doing so...I am here referring to a former friend who is a T Robbins fan and brain washed beyond recognition... I do know of some more people who have walked out... after 15 minutes, it didn't take them longer to see through this scam. And there are horror stories of people who have 'gone' really bad due to his seminars, this should be adressed much more and maybe this should actually be banned if people who have suffered came forward. All gratitude and praise to you for walking out and writing about your experience! It is ok to say NO to BS 🙂 Po Lindvall

Russ Perry
April 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

I saw TR for the first time last month at the ClickFunnels conferences. I had the total
opposite experience and loved the entire event. It was also only 4 hours long! You nailed it.

April 1, 2017 at 2:14 am

Super honest and understandable!

April 1, 2017 at 12:31 am

In this case, since you quit, you did not try at least one new thing. And while you perfectly describe a few of the things that the weekend entails- it is exactly that - a very few things. Reading the contents is not reading the book- or attending the weekend.

March 31, 2017 at 6:05 pm

I'm sorry but you are a stupid idiot crying for attention ... why in the heck would you pay all that money and invest time if you did not like Tony Robbins in the first place? How incredibly stupid you are! Wasting time and money and write a critical piece to what.... make others feel bad they wasted money too? Instead of being grateful for having the money and time to go, you brag how you know it all.... blah blah blah... I admire Tony Robbins for having the stamina to do what he loves all these years and still has the energy and moves ahead with all the technology... You obviously have no love in your heart! ps... I only went to a one day seminar and was able to break through a piece of plywood with my hand... I am still in awe how I did it... It showed me I could break through fear and accomplish anything I wanted!

April 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm

See there is what I am talking about a complete mind wash and following like sheep for less intelligent that are incapable of self motivation.

March 31, 2017 at 4:55 pm

I appreciate your perspective, thank YOU! Wondering if you've ever tried and/or would be willing to comment on the Hoffman Process? I know participants & facilitators of The Process & understand they go deep. Seems like you are someone who is grounded & would give a balanced perspective on it. I'm curious, but have never been. I've *never* been curious about going to a TR event & you just confirmed why. Thanks! 🙂

March 31, 2017 at 4:37 pm

You woke up to your own truth, needs and path! That's what is important! Congratulations!

March 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Is it possible to talk to you personally?

Noah Kagan
March 31, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Waves back 🙂

March 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Brilliant! Love your writing. Hits the nail on the head. I had a very similar experience a couple of weeks ago, as I attended a seminar of a highly acclaimed speaker who also speaks in front of and guides thousands and thousands of people at a time. Nice guy. Smart guy. He must have studied Tony Robbins because he does all of this as well; he is basically a bragging cheerleader. What he does he does well. But it is show business. And if I need that I will go see a movie. And the everyone responding at the same time and doing the hoopla together and feeling like a little sheep out in the herd is not my cup of tea. So I left. Yes I felt like a party pooper. But just leaving the room I felt like I could breathe again. And it had only been a few hours. When I got outside into the sunshine I felt like I had just been released from prison. So thanks to the Seminar I left, knowing I will never ever go back to any of these, I am actually happier with my life and all my projects and am now diving in harder than ever before. I now know that all I need is me.
So maybe it was all worth it after all.

Carmel Merryman
March 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Good stuff right here! I too am a fan and when I hear myself say, "I'd love to attend Tony Robbins events! " My next line of thinking generally asks some great personal questions regarding whether those funds would better serve my interests somewhere else and don't I already have all the information and resources available and what is it I think I'm going to get from going, and perhaps that's the very thing I must begin giving myself and practicing today! I appreciated your experience and thank you for sharing it!

Claudia Raymond
March 31, 2017 at 11:32 am

Wow! Great comment! I would love to hear more on what you do.

Dahlia Graham
March 31, 2017 at 9:08 am

Empowering to make your own informed decision and act on it without worrying what anyone thinks. No event with 10,000 people can truly have the personal touch I would need. I too am uncomfortable with all the rah, rah. I like to get to the meat of it with specific actionable steps to get to where I want to go. Love his earlier work, just too commercial for me now. I do highly respect him and looking from where I am, financially, cannot criticise him.

March 31, 2017 at 2:13 am

I have been listening to Tony's motivational seminars for many years. Your testimonial is most honest and insightful. Thank you for sharing!

March 31, 2017 at 1:19 am

This review parallels my experience very well. Although I did commit to the point of being a fire walker, if only to test my conviction to his show. Ultimately, the people I regarded as overcommitted really worried me. There really no reason to go back.

March 30, 2017 at 8:05 am

Great read and insight!

Chris Alexander
March 30, 2017 at 7:55 am

I was given 2 months to live at 21 back in 2012 (leukemia) and I found myself drawn to Tony's material and his "horoscope" way of speaking. I was dealing with much the much deeper issues you speak of and needed that endorphin release.

But now at 25 after 4 years of hell and a bone marrow transplant 5 admissions to hospice and 3 multi week comas I've found my inner zen and stronger faith! I tried listening to his work again and couldn't make it through 30 mins let alone 3 days.

But it doesn't mean I have anything against him he serves a specific purpose to people dealing with shit and cannot find enough inner strength to get themselves out so they rely on quick fix promises and boosts of endorphins to feel good in the moment and it gives them an idea of what they want to feel.

Mag L
March 30, 2017 at 6:41 am

To me your reaction is very normal and logical 🙂 🙂 You bought a product that did not meet your expectations, do you "returned" the product ... The only thing I do not understand is why you were embarrassed ??? Wish you a magical day:-)

Olivia Lyle
March 30, 2017 at 5:46 am

You're great. You're great you're great. Thank you xo

March 30, 2017 at 4:08 am

You don't know who I am, and I don't know if you'll read this...but for $500 USD at Landmark Forum you get deep and you'd have access to the relationships of your dreams as a redult. What I love about Landmark Worldwide is that they understand, demonstrate and operate wholy honouring their own distinctions with integrity. Integrity plus quantum theory is the key to the universe. Please post your review of the Forum.

March 30, 2017 at 2:42 am

Noah, Curious did they give you a refund right away with no hassles?
Larry E.

Etty Jansen
March 29, 2017 at 11:47 pm

I agree totaly!! Had the same ecxpierience even before seeing Tony for real, went to a few succes resources meeting, had the same feelings there!

carole asswad
March 29, 2017 at 6:59 pm

thank you for sharing yourself // you sound like me! you have courage babe xx

March 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Three weeks ago I would never have stoped in my tracks to read this Bolgg.

Three weeks ago I was offered a free a Tony Robins seminar ticket ! Wow amazed , believed in the offer . Signed up was told in an email I had a ticket for half of the day's seminar. I was excited. I could never afford to go to any of his events. Yet I have spent hours on YouTube listening and watching Tony. I'm particularly interested in Tony's face to face work , which without doubt is deep and transforming . In impressed with Tony's ability to use words , metaphors and symbolic actions to help rewirer the people he works with .

Two days after being told I had a ticket a further email came reminding me , then another and another, I revived 10 emails and with two days to go before the seminar date . I was told 50 places so get thier really as I might not get a place and I was informed it was to hear one of Tony's team members speak !!

I felt stupid naive and set up to attend a session where if I got in I would probable be told multiple times that I should be attending the larger full seminar at the end of April.

In short it was " marketing" marketing! Marketing!! It is Tony at his fullest and most persuasive designed to get me to spend anything from 1,00 to 9,000 to get a place .

I will never pay out for a seminar now! Even if I was suddenly to become rich I would not go. Thanks to YouTube I can have a a date with destiny any time I want !

Still think Tony has amazing skills an amazing mission and a love and care for people that is real. So thank god for those aspects of him .

March 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm

I was at UPW Palm Beach a year ago. I enjoyed it but not the product pushing. I also made a decision on Day 1 that I was not afraid to walk on fire, but the eerie feeling of the crowd all marching out there to do something I know many did not come to do, creeped me out. I did not follow the crowd. I was exhausted and went to my beautiful hotel nearby. I didn't come to walk on fire and it was not going to determine the level of transformation I would make. I am astonished at the shaming encouraged. At the end of 4.5 days, I was READY to leave. No interest in attending again or to attend any other. It was an experience.

March 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Sounds like you might benefit greatly from participating in a Landmark Education Forum (Curriculum for Living). Probably 100x more powerful and transformative. (My apologies if this suggestion was already posted by someone else)

March 29, 2017 at 1:22 pm

He strikes me as being on cocaine, a strong motivational speaker with a TON of energy..... and yes, his courses can be 'intoxicating' for those who see him as a God and need to go back over and over again to get a heaping helping of his 'motivational energy" at the trough of his enormous ego. However..... he lacks substance , and any real measurable and specific guidelines and answers that go beyond generalizing. He's working people if you ask me..... at least those who desperately need his brand of 'motivational speaking". Not impressed. He's like a dose of cocaine...... incredibly inspiring and energizing and motivated ... but once you come down........ you're still left with either trying to figure it out on your own...... or going back to the trough to try to find that 'miracle' you think he's going to give you to make you successful. All hype and little substance. Sorry .

Michelle G.
March 29, 2017 at 11:18 am

I too want to do the deep work and don't find seminars like Tony's rewarding. There's no way someone can feel their emotions with that much stimulus around them. If you like a deeper dive into healing I recommend Dr. Barbara Deangelis. Her seminars are much smaller, you dive much deeper and do the real healing.

Thank you for the honest post.

March 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

I'm not necessarily a fan and I have never been to one of his seminars though I have seen them on TV. I do look up to Tony for some of the things he does and has been able to accomplish. The thing about the "hoopla" massaging, dancing, etc. There is a very important reason for that. It is an NLP technique. The reason why some people do walk out of those seminars "transformed" is partly because of the energy they feel there. The way it works is that if you have significant insight or ah-ha moment and that happens while you are in a heightened state then it creates an impact and sometimes actually creates lasting change. In the same way that trauma occurs when you experience something negative while in a heightened state of fear...then that can cause lasting harmful effects. So he is very intentionally creating this environment...same goes for all the repetition. They are all NLP techniques. He is essentially trying to have an NLP session with thousands of people at a time.

Patricia mahofgin
March 29, 2017 at 10:50 am

I have actually had the same experience with TR...but never shared it because he DOES awaken new people to their personal growth...but maybe we have grown past this part to the next part...empowered...would like more of what to do now with our new empowerment.

March 29, 2017 at 9:32 am

You have to be a very sad and intellectually challenged person to even consider seeing someone like Tony Robbins. I remember seeing him for a first time in a YouTube video and took me 11 seconds to understand he is a scam artist and I am a guy of average intelligence. What amazes me is that there are so many people in the USA who listen to people like that.

Rod B
March 29, 2017 at 5:53 am

I have attended 2 UPW's & 1 DWD. My wife attended 1 UPW and hated it and left. At my 2nd UPW event we had to chat with a stranger and tell them what we would change about ourselves. My stranger said he wanted to give up drugs, get married and start a business. I had to tell him whether I believed him or not. I told him he was unconvincing and I doubted his ability to follow through.

Five years later I'm at the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, 1000 kilometers from the last event in Sydney. A guy walks up to me and says "Do you remember me?" I had to apologise and say "No." He reminds me about having to convince me about giving up drugs, getting married and start a business. He wanted to thank me for telling him he was unconvincing and I did not believe him.
He told me he had not taken drugs since that meet, had married, had two adorable children and now owned two different businesses. He said he owed it all to TR & me, and he vigously thanked me for calling his bluff, as that was the moment his life turned around.
What a huge buzz that was. It is pretty special to have that type of positive impact on a persons life and of course to receive personal thanks from them. I loved all the TR seminars and I still listen to his tapes. In saying that I can also see that it would not be everyone's cup of tea.

Rod B
March 29, 2017 at 5:50 am

I have attended 2 UPW's & 1 DWD. My wife attended 1 UPW and hated it and left. At my 2nd UPW event we had to chat with a stranger and tell them what we would change about ourselves. My stranger said he wanted to give up drugs, get married and start a business. I had to tell him whether I believed him or not. I told him he was in convincing and I doubted his ability to follow through.

Five years later I'm at the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, 1000 kilometers from the last event impn Sydney. A guy walks up to me and says "Do you remember me?" I had to apologise and say "No." He reminds me about having to convinc me about giving up drugs, get married and start a business. He wanted to thank me for telling him he was unconvincing and I did not believe him.
He told me he had not taken drugs since that meet, had married, had two adorable children and now owned two different businesses. He said he owed it all to TR & me, and he vigously thanked me for calling his bluff, as that was the moment his life turned around.
What a huge buzz that was. It is pretty special to have that type of positive impact on a persons life and of course to receive personal thanks from them. I loved all the TR seminars and I still listen to his tapes. In saying that I can also see that it would not be everyone's cup of tea.

Simon Bull
March 29, 2017 at 4:36 am

Geeesus if Tony Robbins still likes you after this then I would be VERY surprised. Or maybe he would actually respect you. Hmmm . . . anyway I think it's very courageous what you have done

March 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Self help seminars are not for everyone. I find that Tony Robbins discusses what he thinks people want to hear and in turn it benefits him. If you walked out you did what was best for you. It's your life and path no one can judge and sounds like you did the right thing.

No one is responsible for anyone's happiness unhappiness or struggles but ourselves and when we try to step out of ourselves for answers we loose because no one can solve them and make decisions for us.

So Tony's involved with high powered people and has a jet it doesn't make him an expert in what people need it makes people think he's a god and it's not what most people need.

March 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Very good read. I've never met Tony, and frankly don't think he's worth $4000 to tell us what we already know. He does brag alot about his connections with world leaders, then says they "act like their sh*t don't stink!". Nonetheless, would love to chat to HIM (not listen to recycled info from his books).

Rua Wetters
March 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm

I do not resonate with TR
I know he has done a great many of presentations
To me he is too egotistical & does not come from the heart
It's all mechanical

March 28, 2017 at 7:34 pm

Tony is a con artist

March 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Thanks for putting into words what I'm aware I'm going, and for some reason feel propelled to do, but I'm not sure what the reason is.

I, like you, like TR. I like his videos and enthusiasm. I don't like his approach and feavour but I sought to overlook it with the idea I could still learn something.

I'm now paybig a coach of my own and at the end of each session think a framed chat with a mate who can and wants to go deep would be a better emotional and ecomonic use of my time.

You've validated that thought.
Thank you x

March 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Love this post! Thank You for your honesty and courage. I recently attended a Workshop on giving Workshops and had a similar experience. So much hype and fluff. What I took away was my resolution NOT to do those things. Tell stories, engage with them and each other, enjoyment with practical in depth educational tools and strategies - YES!

martial tremblay
March 28, 2017 at 11:56 am

I had the same kind of feeling when i watched his special on Netflix " I'm not your guru " I followed his career through the 90's, and i'm a avid listener to his tape. But those event are far to close to a Gathering that takes place in the U.S. where bunch of reverent was literally stealing and healing at the same time the poor people attending. He need to come back to earth and stop doing it like he's a rock god.....!!! needles to say that i didn't finish to watch is special........

Lesley yewman
March 28, 2017 at 10:48 am

Gosh 2,000 no wonder he's rich out of vulnerable people who also want to be rich I've read his books and felt nothing and the only people who get rich from get rich books ate those who have found a way to get rich from others vulnerability don't get me wrong good on you if you have got rich but at 2,000 a hit I rest my case for the humble poor this man is like the devil

Abbey Prescott
March 28, 2017 at 3:18 am

Wow. Doing a new business start up I'm flooded with teaching and coaching info. I loved your story and it is a game changer for me. Thanks, Abbey

Virginia Redward
March 28, 2017 at 2:57 am

You say it like it is....great viewpoint and I have never been at any of his Seminars or read his books but of course I have watched this guy 'guru' over the years and for some reason I have never really fallen for his way of supposedly helping people...its the mass marketing and LOUD hype that appeals to some...and if it works for you then that's great...but to me he is a bit like a 'used car salesman' and he makes me cringe even though he is trying to help people ...

Dee Scown
March 28, 2017 at 2:44 am

I feel this way about weekly meetings with a group I am associated with. The difference is that the ladies driving my group probably don't know who TR is! I am over educated and over smart but supposed to be learning from the. Serious facepalm every bloody week. Vent over. Thanks for clarifying this for me, no more guilt, time to create my own team meetings!

Gregg Bowman
March 28, 2017 at 2:41 am

From what you just stated I wouldn't spend 50 cents on it... You said it succinctly, superficial and cheesy! Unbelievable that he charges $2000 for this. There's a sucker born every minute... Thank you for the well written insight... I was correct in my assumptions all along

March 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I have issues with the big names in the New Age realms that sell this Law of Attraction BS. Although there is some truth to it, however, thinking yourself rich, in love, etc. is just futile. Tony has made a lot of money selling this LOA bs as a few others.

Karl Christen
March 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm

He's warped EST and Landmarks work and reduced it to sound bytes. They all hawk their advanced programs too often as well. Effective Seminars are 100-200 not 10,000!!

March 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

“If you never quit, you probably aren’t trying enough new things.” Love this!

Mandy Robinson
March 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

Candour is a great communication skill..... it requires pure honesty with oneself about every aspect of one's life. There is I believe, no wrong or right answer to the above. What works or doesn't work for you, may work or not work for me! Each person has a different perspective on life in general. And we cannot know what is going on inside of someone else's mind. What we can do is honour and applaud someone like you who is honest enough to speak about your own positive and negative perspectives of the TR Conference...... and not to tarnish TR in any way, but to demonstrate that it's OK to think and act upon our own intuitions at no one else's expense. It demonstrates that we all need to vamp up our own courage, our own outlook on life and challenge ourselves daily to see if what we are thinking and doing is having a positive or negative impact on us! It takes a great leader who can publicly talk about his/her own shortcomings/misgivings along with choosing different perspectives to achieve the best outcome for themselves and those who follow them, and own all of them! Thank you for sharing your perspective and the actions that you took, to change the way you felt into feelings of accomplishment that made a positive difference in your life at that time. Now that..... is empowerment!

Michelle Ferreri
March 26, 2017 at 10:34 am

Great article. I would't have the attention span for such an event, but I think Tony gave you just what you needed. You didn't pay for the seminar you paid for the story. Sounds like you got just what you needed in 7 hours.

Mona Lemieux
March 26, 2017 at 8:04 am

Merci! This morning I was feeling down, did not know why, that is a lie, I do know why... I want more of my life, it's seems that I should do something to grow and surely I know I want someone in my life, a complice, a partner, a lover... someone to share my life with and be with... I went for a walk, told myself that I knew what I want and believe that it will happen and I wanted to be happy not feeling down and then I knew that the thing that I like more love to do is writing so I told myself that even thought I do not know what I would do with that I new that I should write and then I told myself that I will someday find someone that will love me as I love him... So Merci... my name is Mona I am from Montréal and I speak french.

March 26, 2017 at 3:06 am

If you want to experience amazing transformations that deal with what youre really dealing with. Look at landmarkworldwide.com
Bite the bullet and go to an intro! See what shifts for you.

Andy Taylor
March 25, 2017 at 11:26 pm

$200,000,000 in gross revenue for a 3 day conference is motivation enough for Tony Robbins to change it up a bit. Your critique may just be the lucrative change that Tony needs. He is listening, no? If he is: Tony, I love you and what you stand for. This brother is spot on.
By way; I'm a recovering Pentecostal. I'm still a born-again Christian, just not rules based. I ask the Holy Spirit to nudge me and I pray for positive change in specific areas of my life that He shows me. It helps. God bless you everyone. We are all spinning thousands of mile per hour together on this planet, eh?

Gregory Halmay
March 25, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Thank you for telling your story. It sounds like you've been there done that and many people will watch a movie that is really not doing it for them and sit through it because they paid for it or they are afraid of what people will think of them. I have walked out of movies, out of parties and the bottom line is I am the best friend I ever wanted to have and no one else lives in my shoes. Good for you.

March 25, 2017 at 8:40 am

Interesting that you're promoting your stuff off the back of Tony Robbins. I invested just £400 for UPW and found it life changing. I attended, listened, took action and followed up. Game changer. Then I crewed it the next year. Game changer. 400 people working together to help and support the 10,000+. Brilliant.

Sorry but here's an honest opinion of UPW. It works, if you work it and implement even some of what you learn. You, on the other hand Noah, look like a bit of a d**k. I m unsubscribing from App Sumo emails. I don't like your marketing ethics of using Tony's name to reach a wider audience, to then criticise him (and he's your customer!?) and sell your own stuff.

Cheap shot. You've just put me right off. Bye.

Ardeth Patterson Norman
March 24, 2017 at 10:55 pm

He is coming to Montreal. I am poor. His ad said "Decide" "Act
" That is what I have not been doing lately. Wrote it on a post it note. Stuck it on my fridge. Started to do it. Saved $2,000.

March 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for so clearly describing the Tony Robbins experience. Cheesy and superficial describes his whole schtick. I met him at an american airlines ticket office..he pushed me aside claiming that he needed tickets changed immediately so he could catch the next flight to do a speaking. He cared not at all about my needs or the ticket agent's attempts to meet his demands. The experience showed me the person Tony really is-selfish narcissistic and elitist. And you explained why sheeple need him. Am grateful for your successful "create your own" idea with respected friends and contemplation. Bravo

Andy Taylor
March 25, 2017 at 11:35 pm

Josi; Krav Maga is a great set of techniques to disallow these types from pushing people aside. I suggest achieving at least level 2.

March 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm

It's awesome that I looked at the pictures and realize " Hey we were at the same event". I agree with you. I missed the fire walk, day two, and I skipped the last section of the seminar. It was wildly sale-sie but I'm good with discarding what I don't like and focusing on what I can get out of it. I wouldn't attend another event unless it's in Fiji (because mostly because I want to go to Fiji). Tony is awesome but I figure no one can teach me how to be my best self. I'll ultimately have to do the work, read the books, meditate, etc. to get where I want to go. So I rather invest my time and money there.

March 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm

I have taken some great seminars and have also walked out on one biggish one for much the same reasons....and i could feel that i might get high for a few days but what really did it was that I could feel the plummet of the high even before I was finished and I wanted more intimacy...which is possible in groups....the big result for me was I slowed down on my reading of what other people were trying to lead others to.....I just wanted to be still enough to have my own voice come forward and understand the truths of my own metaphors and experience...and 10 years later, I feel changed and in charge of my own life. Living my dreams and having them grow, and me grow into and with them. The people in my life match my dreams as well....having great teachers is important and so is being a great teacher to ourselves is equally important....Thank you so much for telling your story....

March 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I just want a taco. So bad.

DL Marshall
March 21, 2017 at 6:53 am

TR won't do that, I'm sure his financials are based on seminars that bring in that kind of cash and develop multiple currency opportunities for other products and people. ~DL

Terence Collins
March 21, 2017 at 4:34 am

Hey, yeh; good on ya, Rabbi.

I'll never forget, Palo Alto, 1986. I'd wanted to see Shaktai Gawain forever and I finally got a chance to see her at some big theater in Palo Alto.

She came, she spoke, and I'd never been bored by a speaker ever. I fell asleep - into a very deep sleep - and began snoring. My neighbor nudged me, and I tried to pay attention for another 10 minutes.

Just as I began to doze off again, it came to me: leave, head to Watercourse Way and have a healthy sauna.


And god bless Shakti. I still love her writings but never need to listen to her again.

March 21, 2017 at 12:30 am

I think that you should clap yourself on the back and recognize that you dont have enough issues or bad self-esteem to get something personal out of the event . Relationships become great when you get to understand your spesific needs on unconcious level in combination with what you are attracted to. Just send me an email and I will give you the insight you need for free in 30 min on skype. 🙂

Great article. Honesty rocks!

Patricia Alexander
March 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Thank you for this. For a number of years, acquaintances have always said I must go. I really found it more important to go to events in my industry and build my network as a self-employed consultant.

A couple of years ago I was in LA at the same time as a TR conference. At breakfast in the hotel restaurant 3 different people stopped and talked to the young man at the table next to mine. They were all there for this conference. They were exhausted from the long hours they had already spent at the conference and no one had one bit of excitement for what the day was to bring. They each expressed being mentally exhausted.

I don't know how anyone absorbs useful information in this state.

I am always up for learning and improving myself, but I am glad I avoided going down this road and knowing that others felt much the same way I do about what to expect from such an event.

Frank De Raffele
March 20, 2017 at 11:19 am

Great feedback and insight. Thank you.

henri almanzar
March 20, 2017 at 10:05 am

I have similar feelings

Mary B.
March 20, 2017 at 9:57 am

I would be interested in learning more about your 90 minute self-discussion. I need some personal coaching on sensitive issues right now and I think I'd prefer to talk myself through it. Did you have a structure for the discussion?

March 20, 2017 at 4:55 am

I am about to attend a UPW event and I already have one concern about it: his new propensity for swearing. I've seen a clip of him talking to a guy and effectively saying 'you can do it', but every other word was a swear word. I find this distinctly off-putting as it dumbs everything down to a yob's level. I don't think I could take him seriously if he addressed me like that.

I attended an event some time ago at which he was one of the presenters (prior to the swearing) and I thought he was very inspirational and I absolutely love his various CDs etc. Nevertheless, I agree that this American-style attitude of 'let's massage everyone' is rather OTT and all the rest of it makes it feel a little like a cult.

However, I've been wanting to attend one of his events for a few years, so here's my chance. I just hope I enjoy it and get something out of it.

Monty Fowler
March 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm

It's interesting to me that the one man in human history who changed more lives and impacted the world for good more than any other was a simple Jewish carpenter-turned-teacher. He traveled the countryside with a group of fisherman, a terrorist, a tax collector, a rabbinical student, and other men of simple means and no formal education. He drew crowds numbering in the thousands and kept them captivated (sometimes for days) without the aid of a stage, laser lights, or a sound system. He did not dispense pithy platitudes or regurgitated rhetoric culled from others...instead, he taught simple, beautiful, and earth-shattering truths that penetrated the hearts of many that heard him and changed their lives forever. The best part of the story about this odd teacher is that, even though he lived 2,000 years ago, anyone who seeks him can still find him and have his truth change their life too.

March 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm

I totally respect your opinion and decision to leave.
He was here in Toronto yesterday. I know some who went and they where over the moon with the whole event. I'm happy for them. And I respect their opinions.

As for myself though, I get nervous when it comes to people being whipped into a frenzy over one person. I went through the creepy cult like setting with those Jackson's for yearrrrrs.
Lucky for me that I've emerged from all that fluff/drama/celebrity worship etc and I see very clearly!

As for "fluff" and "Dancing/Hoopla, I'm right there with you on that. I agree - cut to the chase, quit the fluff and sensationalism and get on with it. And 3 whole days?? Hell no..!

It is so important and healthy to question and evaluate. Particularly when a $2000.00 Plus price tag is concerned.

I do like some things that I've heard TR say. I know some of those ice breaker/team building exercises that he gets people to do and I like them. He didn't solely invent any of this, hell he got it from other people, just like a whole lot of other information we've heard through the years.
It's recycled info. Some of it's great! Some of it is or isn't presented well.

Whenever I hear of people calling someone a "Guru" or almost worshiping them, I see red!

Great article. Thanks!

douglas Davidson
March 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Tony reminds me of Hitler, he tells everyone what they want to hear.

Kim minos
March 19, 2017 at 10:13 am

Excellent. Did you get your money back.

March 19, 2017 at 12:24 am

I attended his fire walk seminar in NYC in 1994. I left there walking on air, felt great!!!! For about 3 days, then life started happening again. I found TR to be very charismatic, a GREAT Orator. I met him outside the Marriott on the last day and thanked him, he immediately asked me if I was going to Hawaii, ha ha! That would've been $32K in '94 dollars for me and my ex wife, 2 week program, plus travel and hotel. The 4 day fire walk seminar in '94 was $1400 for my ex and myself, plus hotel. Tony talked about how great his life was back then, with his first wife and their (her) kids. Lately I've heard him talking about how miserable he was back then in that marriage? So was he lying during the seminar? I would never pay the prices he's asking today, he's a salesman. If you listen to Jim Rohn, a LOT of Tony's programs are based on his stuff, he changed the language around a little, but the foundation is Rohn's.

Mike Feinstein
March 18, 2017 at 10:50 pm

I know Tony Robbins a bit and I found your column interesting until you said "Just get to the meat." There is no need to reference something that represents mass and disgusting treatment of living beings in order to make your point. Better to say " Just get to the substance." Meat doesn't represent substance, it represents cruel death.

Shannon Feather
March 17, 2017 at 11:57 am

I loved this! Thank you for your honesty!

Mohammed Bakodah
March 17, 2017 at 6:41 am

That was a nice article. I cant imagine attending a 3 day seminar never.

Adrian Beckett
March 17, 2017 at 5:48 am

Incorrect Grammar:

Tony Robbin's seminar.

Check book 'Punctuation' by Penguin.

March 29, 2017 at 4:32 am

Actually, his name is Tony Robbins. So the correct grammar would be Tony Robbins' seminar!

Sue Frend
March 17, 2017 at 5:39 am

I did UPW over 10 years ago including the fire walk, i thought he was kidding! It taught me the power of my mind. What it didn't teach me was the power of my heart and the essential connection to my gut. 25 years i have been seeking and searching how to understand myself, it was worth it!! TR was a step on the way but never the whole picture.

Deejay O'flaherty
March 16, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Tony has done some great things. However I am not a fan. For many of the reasons you pointed out in your not so good points bit, and I know people who have paid $5,000 merely to have their photograph taken with him. The guy is flesh and bone the same as you, I and anyone else. He doesn't walk on water. To me however, I see that as extortion.

Gregory Drambour
March 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

First, I own the spiritual retreat organization, Sedona Sacred Journeys so you could say I have real interest in your brave post, Noah! That took courage! I have been a great fan of Tony for 30 years but have never attended his events for a number of the reasons you stated. But primarily because of dozens of retreat clients of the years who have attended his events and then when they got back on the ground in their life they could not keep the momentum going. They feel awesome and psyched up at the event but very little changes. That's where I come in! For 20 years I have sign on my desk that says, "Either you results or you got a story! --Tony Robbins ---like you Noah I am not a Tony-hater. In fact, if I ever met the cat, it would be a great honor and I would thank him deeply.

Here in Sedona with clients, I am focused on what I call the "warrior perspective." Warriors periodically engage their teacher, mentors coaches to point out the invisible feelings, thoughts, behaviors they are having that are keeping them from being in their innate creativity, wisdom and originality. This takes courage and raw honesty. This can only be a good thing. The following is just my perspective after 30 years teaching folks: In the last ten years there is far to much dominance of what I call "head-patting" going on in the personal growth world. Don't get me wrong, I feel its important to acknowledge people and myself but to a limit. Lets get at what's not working! Lets get at what's blocking you from being in your innate wisdom and clear or understand how to experience blocks in the way that's empowering

Noah, I applaud you brother, for following your gut. I have to imagine that wasn't easy given your relationship with Tim Ferris who appears close with Tony. PS. Please tell Tim it appears
he has yet to have someone on who is an expert in Couples/Relationships -- I'm his guy! 🙂

I have your cool app and I am going to look deeper into your blog.

Gregory Drambour

Ron Pierce
March 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm


I'm actually one of your appsumo members. Great to know the other side of the brand. I appreciated your honesty. As a someone who is constantly working on themselves as well, I think we all reach a point where the "general" doesn't work for us anymore. We need to go "deep" like you said. We aren't special because of it, we just recognize that the little nuggets we are being offered doesn't warrant the investment of time (and money) we are being asked to make. When you've experience self-improvement success, you realize the power you have within to learn and grow and know what you need when you need it. You were real with yourself and in turn, you took yourself to the next level and became the captain of your destiny. You don't need a "guru" to fix you. You have the ability to seek those goals and lessons yourself. Congratulations on being real and having the courage to break away and follow your own path. Great Job!

Diana Chapman
March 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

I appreciate you standing for a level of depth that supports sustainable and lasting changes. Consider coming to a Conscious Leadership Group 3 day intensive. Having studied for years with both the Hendricks and David Deida, we think you will find our events to be in alignment with what you are looking for.

March 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm

I think what you did was great !!! You called it like you seen it. Lots would have just followed the crowd!!

March 15, 2017 at 6:32 am

I read this with interest because I am NOT the type of person who would pay someone to motivate me or help me find "myself". I was interested in why you or anyone would. After everything you wrote and all the things you said you were feeling about the seminar and what you did after leaving I can only say this; perhaps you should start reading the Bible. Maybe you do though you didn't mention it but if you don't then maybe it's time you began. All the answers you seek, all the issues you have (perceived or real), all the questions you struggle with are dealt with in God's word. He wants the best for all of us. Perhaps it would be good for you to go "all in" for Jesus rather than a Tony Robbins. I wish you the best!

biff washington
March 15, 2017 at 4:29 am

I remember Krishnamurti saying if he only had 1 true student...

Tony demands nothing - personal transformation is not much different than changing your clothes, always the easy side of easy, with a side-dose of group think thrown in. I totally respect you sharing this, and it just makes me more thrilled to be an appsumo customer.

March 14, 2017 at 8:13 am

Hi Noah

I rather pay you 2000$ instead of TR.

Ron Kemp
March 14, 2017 at 7:00 am

Eckhart Tolle, "A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose", 2006. Changed my life for the better through meditation.

Tiffanee Jacob
March 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Thank you for the other side... I have to be honest. I have not attended an event, but I've thought about it. Something just kept me back. I have a feeling that it is some of what you shared. I think no matter goo.d or bad... what resulted was an empowering act. And then a story that encourages others to do the same... Bravo! Now it's time for me to keep my eyes open for some things I can walk out on... 🙂

March 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm

I've always had issues with the shortcut-to-success, reprogram-your-life, be-your-best-self people. Sure they often have some good ideas, but they turn it into so much more so you keep buying, attending, subscribing etc. And they constantly cross promote each other so you're never done with things, always something new to do.

Learning and self growth is good. Business growth is good. But as pointed out, half of this is just snake oil. In order to validate your previous purchase you need to buy the next one.

March 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm

There is a lot of power in walking away from the source of much of the knowledge that has changed your life, but I do believe that choice to walk away starts the final change that moves you into a life that's all your own and not at all someone else's. So many people find a guru or leader like Tony to tell them what to do with life. They follow, get results, and get hooked. Way too many of them become little clones (often nowhere near the level of skill and talent as the person they are cloning/modeling) while almost no one ever gathers the bravery to admit they made a mistake, and use that to become better. I spent alot of time in these environments and ultimately got so fed up with the lack of depth that I made my own processes and websites to share what I believe with others. Let go of blindly copying what you're told by those with "success" and instead decide to become something unique that no one has ever seen before. The420formula.com was my first baby, what's yours?

March 13, 2017 at 5:58 am

I was dragged to a similar one by a friend. Mastermind or whatever it was called.
Lets be honest here, its all a waste of time and money. These seminars are simply for people who like the idea! of improving or working hard, but not actually improving or putting in the hours of hard work. Save yourself the time and money, and actually get to work! And if you need motivational quotes, they are free on facebook posts and reddit threads.

Its all snake oil and makes my blood boil that my friend still believes in this shit.
Just the outrageous price tag for these events should be enough to realize its someone taking advantage of gullible people.

Most people at the event I went to seem to been network marketers as well, so that should give you another hint what kind of people they target.

Nike has the best motivational slogan,and its all you need, JUST DO IT.

Bronwyn Grantham
March 12, 2017 at 11:37 pm

Yes. I walked out of the same seminar at the Gold Coast Qld Aust. in 2009, I think it was. Holed up in the hotel room and wrote a seminar, 'Quantum Synergy', a life-changer which Success and You ran once then wanted to own it before they ran it again and my ego got offended. I tried to run it myself through Soul Seminars but didn't get anywhere and gave up. Tony Robbins is a con-man. Anyone who is evolved enough not to be taken in by the flim-flam and emotional tactics SHOULD not go.

March 12, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Yeah, I agree it's not cool to push a bunch of your own products at an event people are paying for.

March 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm

I am a fan of TR but I know what you mean. Recently I run across one of the peoples that trained Tony and in his talk the old man said this:
In order to be a Motivational Speaker there are 3 Rules of charisma
1. You have to grossly oversimplify
2. You have to be able to lie congruently
3. You have to lie to yourself first

Go figure...

Wayne Peters
March 11, 2017 at 11:27 pm

I have been giving him a lot more focused attention lately as my Fiance has a close friendship with one of his staffers and I thought I may get to learn a few things. However I have been completely having the same reservations about it and the time I spend, especially since his super active public schedule with the new book launch. I loved your article and got more value from this than the last several hours spent watching Tony. Thank you

March 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Noah, I appreciate you sharing your experience with the world because I know you didn’t have to. When most people are dissatisfied with something they usually don’t tell you why they just get up and leave. You walked in and you had every right to walk out without offering anyone a reason why you did it.

I’ve come to discover that all experiences are neutral and it is us who are giving it all the meaning it has. Our feelings and emotions are feedback mechanisms and many times we ignore how we’re feeling because we don’t want to push againts the status quo.

Experience is always autobiographical and the only thing that anyone can really do is to share what an experience was like for them. Everyone is at a different place in their journey. When I first read Anthony Robbins book entitled Awaken The Giant Within more than 20 years ago the information it contained was revolutionary for me. Today, although the information is still relevant it wouldn’t move the needle very much. I’m at a different level in my consciousness today than I was many years ago.

There was one line in that book that has always stuck with me “If you live your life for one year like others won’t you can have the type of life that others dream about.” To date, I still have not lived my life in this manner for one entire year.

We think we need more information, more motivation, more guru-ness but what we need is to take more action and more introspection.

Once Tony shares with the 10,000 attendees “How To Unleash The Power Within” what’s going to actually get them to do what they now know to do when Tony’s not standing on a stage in front of them?

A lot of people are drinking the Koolaid and no one is saying anything about it. We "ostrich-ly" stick our heads in the sand and pretend that we don't see what we see.

So of course when you share your experiences many will feel like you’re a hater, uncommitted and a host of other things. I learned many years ago that feelings are not right or wrong ...feelings just are. I honor your interpretation of your experience because it was your experience and there is no way I or anyone for that matter can invalidate it.

In your article, you went into great detail sharing with us how much work you’ve done on yourself. I feel that you did this to put everything in context plus it’s great for SEO because you can link to other articles that you’ve written.

I don’t really feel it was necessary though because all you had to do is tell me why you walked out, what you learned, and what you did afterward and that would have been enough for me.

Sometimes when we come up against a “giant” in the industry we feel like we need some leverage before we can share our discontent. Even if you had never attended any boot camps, workshops or seminars before the fact is this one didn’t feel right for you - enough said in my humble opinion.

You said you committed to the seminar for seven hours but did you really? The only reason why I’m asking you this is because I feel you knew long before the seven hours had passed that the seminar wasn’t going to be a good fit for you. I’m sure your “Spidey Sense” was in full effect much sooner than seven hours.

Facing fear and ignoring how we feel inside (intuition) is not the same thing. Just like almost anything in life, there is going to be some strategic polarization. Some people will like Tony Robbins and some won’t but that’s not a problem and in many ways, it’s intended to be that way. You know the old saying, “some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting.”

You said, “Hardly anyone says, “I lost $2,000. It was a waste of time and money.” You are right, hardly anyone tells the TRUTH because they are too concerned about what other people will think of them.

You said, “The two areas of my life I most wanted to tackle during the event were:
How to better position myself to be in great relationships.
How to create a work environment that continually motivates and excites me.

Did you really feel that tackling these large goals could be achieved at a Tony Robbins seminar? I’ve heard you being interviewed on many podcasts and you’re a very level headed, intelligent and practical guy. There’s no way you could have believed this would happen albeit in a room of this size with a rah rah guy on stage.

The things that you said Tony did well are things I bet you already knew prior to going to the event. A man of your caliber who’s built an 8-figure company has to already know these things. Am I right or am I right?

Ryan Holiday said the Ego is the Enemy but I’m not sure that a lot of these gurus read that kind of book or if they do they rarely heed the message. I could name several people right now who you know very well who are always name dropping and it’s quite distasteful.

When you attend an event where the organizer is always mentioning their other events or trying to upsell/cross-sell you we refer to these as “dog and pony shows.” It very unclassy and quite annoying.

I watched the 2016 documentary on Netflix “I Am Not Your Guru” and those are some honest words - he’s not. But, a one-eyed man is a king in a blind man’s world. So many people are looking to be led and told what to do that they end up throwing the baby out with the bath water.

One day I sat outside of a McDonald’s and I watched how many people made their way into this restaurant and went through the drive-thru window to start their day. I’m not picking on Mickey D’s, I’m just using it as an example because there are over 36,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. Despite knowing how unhealthy this food is millions of people wolf it down every morning on a daily basis. You can’t stop it (and neither should you want to) it’s just what is.

Same thing with UTPW and DWD events people will continue to drop loads of cash on these events, crowd into the room with thousands of other people and not much will change in their life. Sure a few may have long-lasting and powerful transformations but most will just keep going to seminar after seminar, boot camp after boot camp, and workshop after workshop. I’m glad you’re not one of them.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for investing money to grow consciously but much of what is being marketed today just doesn't measure up.

You listened to your own inner guidance which always trumps what I or anyone else could ever say to you.

But just like you said in Episode 12 of the Okdork podcast, it’s another case of the Michael Jackson theory and very few people close to Tony will be brave enough to share what you have shared. (how they really feel)

Again, thanks for sharing with us.

I have another saying, “You can go deep with a few or go shallow with many.” Small intimate groups are the most powerful and transformative where all egos are left at the door.

Doug Crew
March 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Great post. I have never read any Tony but I have listened to podcasts and watched short videos. I kind of got the feeling you are describing.
I have wondered what it was like on the inside of an event.
I am with a ministry that actually does deal with the deeper things with far less people and from a Christian perspective obviously.
I only mention this to say that your post gave me somethings to think about. For starters, I may be under valuing what we do!
Thanks for the post Noah.

Odira Ndubuisi
March 11, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Great post man but I think this is a matter of personal opinion and preference. It is insane to imagine that every one of the 10,000 people that attended will get the value for their money. It is also unfair to think that nobody out of 10,000 people got their money worth.

Ambrose WB
March 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Noah, you always keep if real and fresh. I admire that about you. There's always been something about TR that didn't sit right with me. But I've started to listen to some of his materials in the past year. And like you, after watching a documentary of UPW, I thought it was corny (and entertaining). Looking forward to checking out your content upgrade and coming up with my own PD day.

March 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Very honest, Noah. I attending a one-day Tony Robbins event in Dublin, Ireland two years ago. It was great fun. But I felt it was just like a sugar-high. Great for 20 mins but then you crash...

I get much more benefit from a solitary development day.

I also recommend consistent one-to-one coaching with someone you trust. I'd rather spend $5k on coaching over two or three years than dropping it on one day. It's not the same as the sugar-high you get from Tony but I find the compounding effect of coaching over time much better than a seminar.

March 11, 2017 at 12:53 pm

1. Unleashed may not be the right workshop for-per the people you met at the event, it seems most of them are newbies and looking for motivations where they dont know how
You know lots of what he said already...

2. Possible Tony didn't spend enough time to prepare his event-he has been busy promoting his event. He normally is kinda well organized I feel
3. Even a hit album wont have all songs that are ranked top 10 on billboard...
4. This type of event should include 1)principle course for 1 day; 2)real life application-group discussion for 2 days, etc...the takeaway points would be people repeat what they learn at the event on a daily basis...some how the rest 2 days fall apart it seems...

Jose Castro
March 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

Great post. I appreciate your candid experience and sharing it. It was actually on my Goal list of 2017, I feel plenty loved and since this seems to be the major theme of the event I think I will pass. Keep being real man, it comes through and I ( many more I am sure) love it. Cheers!

paul kasper
March 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

I get the impression YOU needed the attention after reading what you did the next day. You recorded yourself for 90 minutes?! You went there to see what his special sauce was. there wasn't any. He made 20million. You spent 3-4thousand. You got ripped. But the rippage allowed you to move forward.The pain of the money not well spent motivated you to do whatever you did and talk about whatever you talked about(to a friend) Fine tune your own seminars and get back out there!!! Oh, and increase the price! I just can't believe some guy who gives self help seminars got suckered into one!

Pedro Torres
March 11, 2017 at 7:28 am

For what i can see, your move was the right one. Tony Robbins seminars and programs feel like a religion, and he is almost a messiah for many people. I don't say he has no wisdom to impart, but to be stuck in the same place for 3 days just pumping up your emotions... no. Its only a patch, not a solution. Go out and live! Experience! Travel! So, 2 thumbs up for you Noah.

Jason Krautkramer
March 11, 2017 at 6:13 am

I went to a few of his seminars more than ten years ago. I was in a fragile state at the time in search of something to make me feel better about myself. In retrospect, I can see what happened, but at the time I was too caught up in the salesmanship and energy and I was not in a good place in my life and very depressed. He is the master of the upsell. I couldn't afford the first conference, yet I signed up for the next one at a price I definitely couldn't afford and then the next one. The energy and camaraderie are intoxicating, yet proved detrimental to me in the end as it thrust me into a manic episode probably due to lack of sleep and the energy. I was not manic depressive, only depressed. It is not necessarily his fault, but for someone in my condition trying to get out of a severe depression, it ended up not being the best thing in my life.
The material is interesting and possibly useful, but I have soured on him ever since due to some bad memories.

March 11, 2017 at 5:43 am

Hi Noah,

I don't think you are his target market. I wish no one was, but better focus on this reply and you.
From the effort you have already made to improve yourself before going to his seminar, I am not surprised compared to what you may have already read and experienced, TR experience must have been disappointing. As most people who posted here, I have also read one of his book and watched some videos on youtube.
I don't remember when I first heard about TR, my instant problem with him is that to my senses it screams that he is dis-genuine, I am from Eastern Europe so the cultural differences don't help either, but that first seconds impression tells me he is a narcissist and possibly worst. Also the fact that his content is not scientifically proven or that he is repackaging some 20-30 years old knowledge is also not very flattering for people who pay to see him when they could get better quality information for free.
I have decided to reply mainly to say a few words about your quest to be in great relationships. Let's take the obvious out of the way - we all need to work on ourselves. I find readings about mental health and narcissism/codependency mandatory. I have this theory or observation that we only completely take over our lives in our hands in our 30's and then for the first time we look at ourselves - the product of our parents, teachers, culture, education and we spend the next 30 years trying to become who we actually want to be while repairing and altering the initial prototype.
From your article I understand you've been on that journey for some time, so I wanted to encourage you, that sometimes beyond all good intentions relationships won't work or the connection won't happen. I find it a bizarre functionality of our architecture that we can develop (strong) feelings for people who won't reciprocate. Two good quality people who have many things in common often lack chemistry, or just one of them will develop romantic feelings. Love is still a mystery and please don't think in every case that there was something that you could have/should have done and you didn't.

March 10, 2017 at 11:29 pm

Noah, I love your writing style. Have any specific authors influenced you? I didn't find myself skipping over anything.

March 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Hi Everyone

I've read nearly all the comments on here regarding TR and his events etc and it just reinforced what i i already knew along time ago. I personally know quite a few people who have literally spent thousands on similar Business courses by other so called Business Guru's and one guy even calls himself the Business Prophet! Go Figure! They can be very charismatic guys who basically lie through their teeth about their credentials just to suck you in to their programs and now most of them who subscribed to their programs are Broke!

Personally I've watched loads of his videos and read loads of books also. I know very close friends who have been to TR Seminars Time after time. I have never been myself only because I know i could see through most of the hoo haa ra ra superficial stuff. I have a great idea of what it would be like having researched Personal development , motivational speakers, for many years . I'm not saying TR is a Bad guy or anything, i still think he's one the best out there when it comes to this line of work. However, about 90% people are unplugged and when they come to these events and spend loads of money it certainly does give them a high and them leaving at the end, they feel fulfilled and positive etc, but it's only temporary.

So to cut a long story short, every one of you has this power to better yourself in every area of your life/work. You must look within! Most of the answers lie within each of us. So to help you all, I would truly advise you to read two books. In my humble opinion these are two of the best books ever written. 1/ what to say to when you talk to yourself by Shad Helmstetter. 2/ The power of the subconscious mind by joseph murphy.

Lastly, If you pay close attention to what is out there regarding self help books, videos, Law of attraction, Personal Development and all these self help courses and motivational speakers, what do they have in common now?? They are all using word "Consciousnesses" Yes Folks this is the Buzzword and the Bandwagon they are all jumping on. Well, the authors of the two books I mentioned talked about consciousness in the early 60's!! Mostly everything you read about in this day will be found therein. Trust me, You will know what I am talking about. I believe you will all benefit in some way or another. You can thank me later. : )

March 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

quick thanks to Noah for his article and for being upfront and honest. Respect!

Gary Dean-Atkins
March 19, 2017 at 12:57 am

Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr Maxwell Maltz and The New Psycho-Cybernetics edited
by Dan.S.Kennedy will give you all the answers! The original written in 1960!! The key however is to target the subconscious limbic brain where all our habits and behaviours are stored. " Change the self image and you change the personality and the behaviour" Dr Maxwell Maltz.

Excellent article! Thank you.

March 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the recommendation of Psycho-Cybernetics. Great book and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Rik Hudson
March 10, 2017 at 9:21 pm

Refreshing perspective on arguably (obviously) one of the greatist motivational speakers of our time. Perhaps not.

Holly Edwards
March 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Interesting article. I love Tony's books etc like you, but when I saw "I Am Not Your Guru" I thought he was disgusting. Super churchy. I imagine the emotional hang over afterwards is brutal. I attended Sumocon last year. Saw the offer never having been to a conference before, loved it. Seriously, it changed me in a good way., except I am a conference junky now. Can't wait to go this year. Hope more women come this time.

March 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Love you broheim. This is epic! Great post!!

Noah Kagan
March 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Mr. D!

March 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I got a 3 day'er coming up in a couple weeks. I'm was thinking I might feel the same (but I'll try to keep an open mind). I don't really think I need it, I'm more there to support my fiancé , who's signed up as well. If it doesn't do anything for her, its ayahuasca time. Lol. That'll peel back a few layers. 🙂 Thanks for your feedback Noah. You rock!

Noah Kagan
March 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Groovy Jimmy. Report back how it goes. Always find interesting when different people have opposing opinions on the same movie or same restaurant.

Keshav Kumar
March 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Such events and hopeful messages only work if we actually take some damn action. Otherwise, go get ready for the next hole in your pocket.

I personally believe that there's no such problem that doesn't have a solution. Still, if you don't find a solution for a problem, it simply means that it was never a problem; but, you took it as if it was.

Eddy Baller
March 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm

I walked out of an event with my gf. First I went to the washroom, decided I didn't want to go back, then texted her to meet me know the hall. We were on the same page, and both giggled as we walked away like kids escaping from class.

Michael Hobson
March 10, 2017 at 11:32 am

He didn't take an refund, which believe is part of same day back out option. Imagine would have certainly considered getting my 2k fee back if event didn't work out. ?

March 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

well balanced. Thank you for spending the time to establish your credibility as a critic.

Prithvi Raj
March 10, 2017 at 11:04 am

After a while, we don't need Self Development Seminars. These guys don't do any magic, we know most things that they say, we'll feel pumped up for a bit.

All of us know the magic doesn't happen in the seminar, but in making small shifts in our daily lives.

This same thing has happened to me 2-3 times at this point, I now know that there is nothing in these seminars any more. Not that I'll never need it, but for the next 5 years, there is nothing to do except take big action.

Andy Fuller
March 10, 2017 at 9:34 am

A great, bold review Noah, it brought back memories of when I attended a UPW event in London back in 2005!

I discovered Tony Robbins when I picked up a copy of his UPW book for £1 (!!) in a discount shop where I live in Bath UK. I read it and it helped me give up smoking. Two years after this and I was travelling up to London to attend "one of the last live events he'll do in the UK".

From what you described of the event you attended, it hasn't changed much - except the 'Firewalk'? Did you not barefoot it over a hot bed of red hot coals on the first night?

Overall I found it inspirational and life-changing at that time in my life, and it helped me "push through the fear"

I did also walk out - but on the Sunday as Tony only did Friday and Saturday - and it was starting to get too salesy promoting his other events and alkalising products - but I had my fill and felt it was worth it (back then I did haggle the price down to £450 ($800)

Ian Mayman
March 10, 2017 at 8:48 am

I think it is stretched out to feel like it's worth it, but also to promote other products and services. I wonder where Tony makes the most profit, off the webinar or off the promoted products & services.

I don't understand what Tynan means, surely the opposite is true... as in "If you quit, you probably aren’t trying enough new things.”

March 10, 2017 at 8:45 am

I've been reading and listening to Tony's work for thirty years. I love Tony. I didn't like UPW. It was too long, and too crowded. Tony's theory is that you will learn more at one of these seminars because of the intensity. I disagree. I need repetition to learn. One of Tony's favorite quotes is "repetition is the mother of skill".

I was ready for a refund while I stood in line for over two hours just to get my meeting credentials. It just wasn't my cup of tea. I stayed the entire time because of my travel commitments, but would have been better served to follow Noah's strategy.

Your mileage may vary.

A happy UPW repeat customer
March 10, 2017 at 8:17 am

Noah I first heard of you on the Tony Robbins Podcast. The podcast was Episode 10: Are you a wantrapreneur? And after that I bought quite a few of your products.

Last year I attended UPW at a time that I needed a a boost in motivation. I got exactly that, and I'm going back this year with my 15 year old daughter who needs the same.

Although Tony's UPW events are fantastic, they may not match up with the needs and expectations of some of the people who attend. Thats why it is worth watching the video testimonials on his site and reading a few reviews first.

Noah I can't help thinking that this article of yours is doing a bit of name dropping isn't it, which is one of the things you accuse Tony of during UPW. Surely after Tony allowed you to be a guest on his Podcast you could show him a bit more respect and not go so public with your criticism.

UPW events ARE fantastic, perhaps you were the wrong kind of person to go.

March 14, 2017 at 12:54 am

Exactly. Kind of ironic to go there with a goal of great relationships and then you do something like this to your own client. Not something I would do just because I didn't like their method. If it's not for you it's not for you. But honor the relationship you do have, especially when you are benefiting from it.

March 10, 2017 at 6:32 am

I was at the INC 5000 conference last year when they brought Tony in to spend just over 2 hours with us. I've read all his books and gone through his audio programs. I like what he has to say and his technique have worked for me, so I was interested in what you had to say. I kind of thought that you might be giving us a “fake” headline so that you could draw us in with an affiliate offer. But I was WRONG.

My respect for you Noah has taken a huge leap forward. You always tell the truth. My son who was at the INC 5000 event felt the same way as you and reading your post sounded like I was listening to him all over again.

You’re awesome. Thanks for being honest. I would like to hear more in a podcast.

Troy Dean
March 10, 2017 at 6:02 am

I had a similar experience at Michael Gerber's Dreaming Room event. I left at lunch on Day 2 and spent Day 3 working on my business with some buddies by the beach and had massive breakthroughs.

You've just outgrown this kinda stuff Noah. You're not his target audience.

Kudos for publishing this.

March 10, 2017 at 4:30 am

Wow! I never doubted your courage.. But this takes balls.

Really appreciate your candid perspective.. I'm sure this will be valuable to Tony.

I participated I one of your events.. And it definitely was life changing.

Please continue with keeping us enlightened the truth.


March 10, 2017 at 3:29 am

Can't remember where I read the following but every self-help book/course comes down to these themes:

1. You create your own life
2. You create the way you feel
3. Act "as if" you already had the quality you wanted
4. Find your purpose
5. Set goals
6. Live in the present
7. The power of attraction (hmm...)
8. Get out of your comfort zone.
9. Practise gratitude
10. Ask
11. Model others' success
12. Ignore the haters.

And I would add the daddy of them all, "Take action". You don't need more information, you need to take more action and figure it out as you go along (just like everyone else). Avoid being a "permanent student".

There, just saved you $2K 🙂

Nathan Hewitt
March 10, 2017 at 3:19 am

Great post. It's nice to read a critical view on Tony's seminars. I went to UPW London 4 years back. I was 23 and obsessed with Tony at the time. My introverted self stood way back from the crowd, and I didn't want to interact with anyone. Whenever Tony asked to hug a stranger, I'd run to the bathroom and then come back. I had to put on a fake character for three days just so I didn't come off as a stuck up ass hole. But, I still learned a lot during the event and made my own personal breakthroughs.

Thanks again for this great pos.


Carol Bell
March 10, 2017 at 2:58 am

Loved reading this... agree with your observations totally ?

jordan flynn
March 10, 2017 at 2:37 am

This was awesome to read Noah.

So interesting.

I've been to UPW myself and had some agreement to your comments.

I'm from Aus and Tony didn't even show up for 2 out of the 4 days of our UPW...

All new comers did not know that this was going to happen until after we bought a ticket and found out on the end of the first day..

Apparently he never does 2 days in a row to save his throat because he's nearly lost his speaking capabilities?

That's what he told us anyways..

March 10, 2017 at 2:26 am

Good post. Ballsy! And a great idea for Personal Development Day. I have to come up with something similar for at least part of the day on Sundays...

March 10, 2017 at 1:40 am

Tony has written some interesting things and the for people starting on a journey of self discovery he may be a good start. However, the Tim Ferris book "4-hour workday" changed my life when I realized someone wasn't just going to talk to me about changing my life - they were going to SHOW me how to change my life. I still respect Tony Robbins, but now I cringe watching him talk about himself and trying to sell his brand. It just looks so shallow now compared to all the great contributions I am getting from people like Tim Ferris for just the cost of a book every couple of years.

March 9, 2017 at 11:48 pm

I love the idea of creating your own personal development day.
Like... monthly.
It could save you $50k in seminar fees (I've paid them and I still super respect Tony), and you could see a 100% focus on you and how you're going to streamline stuff and add even more value to your circles and a wider world.
I'm on a cruise ship doing a form of that right now. While everyone else is doing tours on a gorgeous Thai island, I'm still on board with selected readings to continue, further strategy to clarify, and a sudoku on standby in case I need a quick wrestle for a mental win.
Started the day with a super gym session and an awesome breakfast overlooking a stunning archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand. Great environment for lots of introspection and nutritious brain-feeding.
The great thing about going to a Tony event, is when you realise that "all you need is within you now" (like create your own event), and then you "decide" to take the time to invest in yourself (not by buying more stuff but by doing the work) ... and then "take massive action" in doing the hard stuff on yourself and not the easy credit paid magic pill of someone building your to do list for you.
Nice article. Thanks Noah.

March 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm

I also greatly respect TR. heard him at an event last year and was so impressed with how he wasn't just going through the motions, but was all in. Many of the speakers I heard that day were "acting," but he was completely present.

Like you, I wasn't down for the massage, hugging, constant dancing. But then I have friends and family to turn to for human touch... and from the looks of it, many other attendees do not. It must fill some need for them.

I have been thinking about attending UPW but never pushed the button. I think deep down I was afraid I'd be disappointed.

You rock.

Mick Falci
March 9, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Like you, I'm kind of in awe of Tony Robbins, but I'd never attend one of his events. And had you asked me, I'd have asked what a guy like you could possibly think he'd get from one of 'em.

You know that old saying about how we're the average of the five people we spend the most time with? I think that for most people at his seminars, Tony Robbins is probably the only truly exceptional person with whom they've ever had even a peripheral interaction, and he offers maybe the first real glimpse they've ever had of the possibilities of a world beyond their scared-rabbit day-to-day experience.

His job is to change the states of those people, to shake 'em out of their comfortable-but-deadly little boxes. And since he's only got three days, he has to do it with dancing and touching and inspirational screaming. And it probably at least partially succeeds in waking a lot of those people up and giving 'em a little push.

But you've already done all that early work--and not in three days, but over years. And in the process of so doing, you've faced many of your fears, achieved some success and met hundreds of exceptional people.

So again, the question I'd have asked you is, what could an AP student possibly hope to gain from taking remedial English?

(Another question I'd have asked you is if there's a better taco joint in this town than Tyson's on Airport, because I haven't found it.)

March 9, 2017 at 9:44 pm

This is excellent. I've totally done the personal development walk out. (A meditation retreat that changed my life one year. And the nexxxxxt, not so much). Thanks for giving me permission to let that shit go! ??

March 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Ps... that was supposed to be an adorable emoji. Not questioning question marks

Tim Barker
March 9, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Hi Noah,

Great article, my wife and I are headed to UPW in two weeks in LA which will be our first TR seminar. I am trying hard to keep an open mind and not pre judge the seminar based on your post. My guess is if you have never worked on improving yourself, TR's seminar are huge. I had a life correction 4 years ago and now I am always working on taking my life to the next level and hope to score a few nuggets or "Hmmmm's" from UPW. If TR can get me to walk on a hot bed of coals (fire walk) it will be worth it.

FYI for those of you who want to attend a TR conference they offer "buy one get one fee".

Chairman Meow
March 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm

It's amazing when you get to the realization you can do whatever the you want (within the context of morality)! Thank you for reinforcing that reality.

March 9, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Brutality honest. Thank you. I don't value TR less. I value you more.

March 9, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Looks like you got what you needed.

Noah Kagan
March 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Holy moly I haven't seen your name in forever. I don't need anything. Just wanted to share my story. Bit surprised it was this "responsive."

March 9, 2017 at 7:59 pm

Thanks for this Noah but seriously, you don’t enjoy random dudes touching you but you get a massage afterwards from a random stranger? Ok I get it you love TR but you don't like how he runs the show, also I really feel that it would've been more objective if you finish the entire event before giving a full assessment of it but i am not sure if that is included in the refund details.

Either way thank you for this 🙂

Matt Rosinski
March 9, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Your post rocks Noah! It all comes down to product market fit. Tony sells something that a certain section of the population desperately need in a way that he is uniquely able to deliver. Apparently you don't desperately need what you thought Tony was offering...

... and that's ok. This goes for a lot of courses and seminars we have all purchased at one time or another. Intuitively, we often already know what we should do but want someone else to tell us to do it. Taking personal responsibility for positive and focused action is what I think your post is all about. Walking out or quitting something that is not the right fit for us is a wicked smart lesson for the life of an essentialist.

March 9, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Thank you for the honest Review, Noah. I read your stuff since, I believe, the Last 4 years.
I have a friend that visits Events like that every couple months (3000€-5000€) that are run by Junesse, a MLM scam company.
After that He always claims that He is reborn and a better Person, until his live catches him again after a couple days and he doesnt do anything to Change his Life , Just tries to make enough Money to visit the next Event.
I feel kinda Bad for him but I feel helpless in his case... He doesnt want to listen and feels upset when I and others Tell him how WE feel about him throwing his really hard earned Money in the pockets of These scammers .
I feel that These Events are like a drug for him...
Has anyone an idea how WE can help him?
Thank you

March 9, 2017 at 6:49 pm

OMG, thank you for not making me feel bad for never wanting to attend one of TR's events. I saw him at the women's conference, and the room was so loud, the air was so cold and the requests were so silly that it was distracting more than anything else.

Not loving the idea of a TR event is like not loving The English Patient. It's an unpopular position.

Shane Sams
March 9, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Hey Noah. We recently went to Funnel Hacking Live and saw Tony speak. This was a 4-hour talk, a favor for Russell Brunson I suppose. We walked out about 3 hours in for ALL the reasons you said. I did not feel embarrassed walking out lol. I think some people do need that, but we quickly realized the same thing you did: it wasn't for us. And that's OK. The thing I did learn from it was how to structure a speech. Tony is a wizard with formatting. The claps, the dancing, the engagement, the random comments to make you laugh. He even did this neat trick with the big screens. He would be on screen so you would watch him there...he would move around the room to different parts....and the camera would turn off, so you'd be forced to look for him somewhere else. Subtle way to make you wake up and say "where did he go" then after a minute, the camera came back on, drawing your eye to the screen. Rinse and repeat. But for us it was just too superficial, to surface level, and to...general. Every segment felt like a fortune cookie. Could apply to anyone and anything. The people around us loved it, good for them. But, we cut our losses and bailed out. We went to dinner with some friends, had a blast, talked about life and business and got more out of that dinner than his entire speech.

March 9, 2017 at 6:47 pm


March 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm

When his documentary came out on Netflix all my psychologist friends were ranting about it because they hate him.
Tony has some great stuff, and likely he helps plenty of people, but unfortunately the "motivation" world takes a lot of attention away from real solutions. We have thousands of researchers working day and night to solve these problems and we know what works and what doesn't. Tony's approach is 40+ years old and isn't really grounded in the science.

March 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Since I saw the subject line I had the idea you were gonna tell us you left because it inspired you to do something better, and you would advertise Tony. But I'm glad you kept the story real, it's very relatable and refreshing.

March 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Damn. I've been waiting for a review like this. I tried watching his documentary, but the whole thing seemed so cheesy and over the top. I thought maybe I was being harsh. Great post, great format. It's nice to hear from someone that isn't an unwavering true believer.

Vanessa Harris
March 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience Noah. And for having the courage to have your experience. I have attended all of Tony's events and IMO Unleash the Power Within and Date with Destiny are both extraordinary. I don't believe you need to be struggling to come away energized and filled with confidence. It's not for everyone, yet if you embrace the experience I think everyone can find something valuable.

I notice a lot of 'finally an honest review' in the comments. There are honest reviews that also point to many positive outcomes.

For myself, I can say that Tony has literally changed my life. Through his books and tapes during the lowest point in my life, and by super charging it through his events when I was already at a wonderful place.

I encourage everyone to try it (UPW is great but Date with Destiny is extraordinary). For the price of a few nice meals out you could change your life. At worst you get to write a catchy article and get a more more click throughs to your website ?

Also, I use Sumo too - thank you ??

March 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm

It's tough not to fall in love with the ra-ra crowd and enjoy the enthusiasm, but your insights mirrored my thoughts too. BTW, does your friend Tynan have a seminar? His quit quote is on the mark.

March 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm

I wouldn't have stayed, either. You stayed longer than I would have.

March 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Interesting comments. I like Tony Robbins for certain things. I don't think you have to be weak or feeling unloved or whatever to get value - a lot of people are just looking for someone who has been there in order to get information to put good systems together. I think that's the value of other people's books, seminars, coaching, mentoring etc. It can't take the place of YOU taking the next step though. I also think that without realizing a lot of people are looking for emotional experience as the foremost thing in contexts where it may or may not matter. If you go to a conference for information, and you primarily get emotional feel-good stuff instead, I think leaving is totally justified and may help push the market for more substance. Tons of recycled stuff out there as another reader mentions. I also think it's kind of badass to be aware and evaluating whether you are getting what you are told you are getting and to say "Screw the sunk costs" and get on with inventing your own thing (self-development day) if you find yourself at that point. Sometimes you have to blaze your own trail.

Vince Burkhead
March 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Big Hairy balls. Who drinks Kool-Aid® anyway?

March 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

I don't know Noah, this post reminded me of the Napoleon Hill story about the gent who was drilling for gold and quit not knowing he was only 3 feet away! You could have been that close to achieving what you set out to but now you'll truly never know. (I've just literally shook my head a muttered the word "shlepper" under my breath and I'm not even Jewish Noah!)

Anyway, I'm sure you know the story but for anyone who hasn't had the pleasure. Check the below link out and read it, it's well worth knowing.


As for TR, I don't think he's a charlatan like some of my fellow okdorkers are suggesting. He's a game changer for some people, there's no doubt about that! Unfortunately, he's just evolved into a bit of a cheese ball over the years with his gay dancing and hooplars........

Plus it's gotta be said though, what the fuck is that clap about?? It reminds me of the time Brendan Fraser spazzed out when trying to applaud Robert Deniro at the Golden Globes. Instead it just looked like he was having a seizure.....for anyone who missed that one.......enjoy :o)


Great post though matey, can't wait for the next podcast, blogs and YouTube vids!

Mike Smith
March 9, 2017 at 4:57 pm

This was a great post. Big props for hitting publish. Not a lot of people have the balls to click publish on something that can be perceived as a hit piece (even though its not)

Ben Hill
March 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Perhaps by walking out, you were the only one out of 10,000 that truly got something out of it. You immediately prioritized by connecting with friends and refocused your work life. Goals accomplished!
Way to have the stones to take action.

Sally Good
March 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Good for you and congratulations for finding your own form of empowerment. After living both in San Francisco and Maui, I have encountered numerous types of self development. My premise is that no change occurs in the workshop because the purpose is to generate an emotion that has an addictive quality. And you sign up for the follow up seminar to feel that emotion again in a safe place. Just another opinion about the task of becoming your own best human.

March 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm

I love the TACO bullets!

Personally I think it's fine to walk out, leave early, not finish the book.

Sometimes you have to push through but if you are trying to get "turned on" and you feel "turned off" there is really no sense in hanging around.

I'm not a TR fan - no hate, just not a fan.

More hot on Mark Manson & Danielle LaPorte these days.

Sounds like you want an "intimate" 1 day workshop on "relationships". Not sure where to tell you to go...

Did read "Choice Theory" by William Glassner recently and understand there are groups around that method.

Also really liked David Richo's "How to be an Adult in Relationships"


Dave G
March 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

I attended a TR seminar over 20 years ago as part of a corporate sales meeting. It was well worth it for an afternoon. It was excellent for team building.

But, you've learned the most important lesson; take what you can use for you and DO NOT drink the cult kool-aid.

Arkadiy B
March 9, 2017 at 3:03 pm

As someone who had gone to TR events twice (UPW and Business Mastery) and haven't paid for it (a relative paid) I can't agree with you more, basically 99% of what you describe is exactly how it is.

Have I gotten some value out of it? Absolutely! Is it the best use of my time and someone else's money? 100% NOT.

Also what irks me is Tony's (and I respect and admire the guy) insistence on "integration and healing"...which basically goes against what every psychologist would say for the situation that people deal with.

Basically, there is too much cheese there and in the end, most people (I would surmise 95-99%) will revert to their old habits, issues, problems, fears and failures. Ra-ra, hugs, dancing and "whole room loves you" only get you so far (in my experience about a week or two at most) and in the end most people who come there are not prepared, or not supported to continue doing the hard work of self-development, facing their demons etc.

March 9, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Noah, this real article is why I like your content and I am turned off by how Tim Ferriss content evolved over the years. I think Tim's content feels less real to me. I mean, he has people that I can't relate to at all, like Arnold and Tony Robbins. I mean, I think there good content to take away from anyone but just to keep it short, your stuff (new podcast, articles, youtube). Seems more real. Please keep being like that. If you want to, or change 🙂

Bruno Bourget
March 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Man I thought I was the only one noticing his "clapping"... Also, any self help seminar, course or whatever shouldn't accept more than 25 people. Not if you really want to go deep.

Great thoughts Noah, really appreciate it.

March 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Nothing is for everyone. You do you. No shame in walking out. We are making decisions at every moment in our life. You made one at that time and you became who you are as a result of that, directly or indirectly.

If you had went for the seminar in the first place, you would not be walking out and spend the rest of the time doing what you did.

Keep on writing all these awesome stuff, Noah. I'm a big fan of TR but if both of you are in town, I would go see you 🙂

March 9, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Thank you for sharing this. Honesty is so scarce.

Jordan Harbinger
March 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm

So glad you posted this. I felt like a chump for walking out, but then I remembered I dedicate my whole life to growth and helping others grow, and the seminar was largely fluff. I also remember hanging out that day which solidified our friendship in the way that it has, which made the time spent clapping and dancing all worthwhile. Much love to you for being so open my man!

Chris Burke
March 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

You quit and you left before the miracle happened
You went back to your "comfort zone" with your favorite warm milk and cookies.
This post post should of been how you lost your ego and changed your life but all we get is another sushi eating quitter's perspective. Sad

March 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Thanks for writing this article, Noah. Although focused on your experience with Tony, the most valuable aspect of this article is the permission to quit. Better yet, permission to admit failure and move on.

Tony is a huge presence and recognizing the failure of the event takes courage. Most of us won't even fail trying to ask someone out on a date, or asking friends for one dollar. (Thanks for that exercise. It changed my life.)

I've just recently allowed myself to fail. In fact, I've realized that not failing faster is a waste of precious time. Money can always be recovered. Time cannot. A money-back guarantee is nice to have. The willingness to realize when something is not working, admit failure, and move on is infinitely more valuable.

Thank you for adding your credibility.

Time is precious. Fail faster.

Salman Ahsan
March 9, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I started reading your content last month...looks like I'll stick around for long 🙂 Your material is pretty transparent without fluffs. I dig bro.

March 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Tony Robbins is a fantastic business man.
Its events - and maybe its coaching - are everything but targeting to solve people issues deep down.
It's indeed superficial. It's indeed cheesy. It's indeed intended to sell more. And more and more again.
What a "coach" would gain by helping people and make the sick being cured, when you can just make all the helpless feel more helpless.... but not when they are living your so called "coaching", the only rare moment on their life when they feel "loved", when they feel "enough" (to take your words).

Robbins strategy is not to help people.
Robbins strategy is to make people addict to himself, so that they pay for more, and therefore increase the addiction which goes with more payment, and so on...

Martin Messier
March 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Hey Noah,

Thanks for sharing this. Having been a Tony student for over 17 years, I found this sentence liberating:
"Empowered to make choices about what I want, and empowered to turn down the things I don’t."

With that sentence, you put yourself on equal footing with Tony and took me right along with you.

Thanks, and tacos to you!



Roger Williams
March 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Thank you for your vulnerability, Noah.

I find comfort in realizing this is why I refund most of my purchases form Appsumo - I am better off doing it myself.

March 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm

I also agree with that. Did not finish the 1000$ a month course. Did not ask for a refund, was not so expensive. Maybe I should.

Pk Hrezo
March 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I get what you're saying. I've seen so many TR videos that I don't think he could do anything differently at a live seminar to really impress me unless he took personal interest in my life.
It just depends on where you are in your journey. Like you said you can see how some would benefit from it.
Personally I'd never walk out on something I spent $2k on cuz I'd be determined to find something of value, but that's my wallet speaking, not yours. Maybe your take home value was just that: empowerment to call your own shots regardless of price tags.
There's a whole lotta worth in that knowledge alone.

March 9, 2017 at 11:59 am

I agree with you Noah. Real change comes with putting in the work over time and with real effort. There are no silver bullets or "quick fixes". By attending a TR Seminar you might leave with a few nuggets of info but the real itch your trying to scratch tugging at your heart strings will be found the way you ended your retreat. One-on-one with a real friend or mentor. Personally, I would never pay $2k for a three day work shop that 10k people will be attending.

Spot on write up.

P.S. What's up with that clap???

Mike Goncalves
March 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Whether it's TR or anyone or anything else, I believe we get what we choose to get out of any event or experience we're a part of. Focus on the shitty and not so pleasing aspects of something, well then I guess we can expect to feel shitty and like it's a waste of time. If however we choose to focus on the good stuff, the valuable take-a-ways and put those to work, not only do I believe there's more value in this approach, but I also believe it puts us in a position to win. Guess it's all in what each person decides to focus on... "This guy has a weird clap" - why anyone would focus on that is weird to me. I much rather focus on the question you mentioned that was asked during the seminar, "What are you scared of right now? How can you move towards that? Discomfort is your growth!" I'm thinking if I spend my time focusing on these questions versus "why TR claps weird", I may get better answers and therefore better results for my life. I don't know, maybe that's just me. There will always be good take-a-ways and not-so-good take-a-ways... I much rather focus on and dedicate my time to focusing on what has the potential of helping me and disregard the rest. Thanks for your two cents Noah, thought I'd share mine here as well - Cheers!

March 9, 2017 at 11:47 am

Awesome read! Thanks for being so vulnerable about your experience

FD Thornton
March 9, 2017 at 11:46 am

I've never attended a seminar nor finished one of his books. But I get what you're saying. I find way more benefit in mediation and one on one communication.

Russell Markowitz
March 9, 2017 at 11:43 am

I was a bit suspicious of your theme here. When I began reading, I was almost certain that you were just attempting to hook the readers by openly opposing Tony Robbins. However, reading all the way through I'll tell you that we concur, and that I completely respect your point of view. Thanks for this article!

Mark-John Clifford
March 9, 2017 at 11:43 am

Hi Noah,
I've known Tony for years. Back when I was running my investment business I would send new brokers to his seminars. They would come back all pumped up and get to work. About 6-8 weeks later the bottom dropped out from what they learned from Tony.

Why? Because if you're not Tony what he teaches you only works for a short time. Without a great deal of support from Tony, by buying his CD's or Tapes back then you would fail.

It all comes down to DNA. There aren't many people like Tony. Everyone that goes expects to become Tony. When it doesn't happen they are depressed and pissed off. It doesn't have to do with Tony himself as much as what and how he teaches.

What you did was the best thing you could have done. Walk away and make it on your own. Congrats.

Kimba Green
March 9, 2017 at 11:28 am

I agree with you but thought it was just me expecting too much. I want the meat! Now I don't even listen to webinars because they never get to the meat.

Sally R Good
March 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Love the avatar pix

Mary Catherine George
March 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

This is why I love you!! Really - I totally feel your sensibilities and while I appreciate Tony Robbins' books and training - I have never felt that his training would suit me either. The dynamic of the seminars is overwhelming. Thank you for sharing this - I so appreciate your views. Sincerely, Mary Catherine

March 9, 2017 at 11:20 am

You should have stayed for the firewalk at the very least bro! (I know, I know, he takes forever building it up.)

I attended my first UPW at San Jose last year. I'm the same as you, very skeptical at first. But I figured that I was there and I was just going to live it, and when you focus on what you *need* from the event then you get it. If you focus on the *waste* then that's what you get.

March 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

This was a blast to read. I recently watched I'm Not Your Guru and thought it was an interesting event. I appreciated your openness and honesty about what you saw and felt. I especially liked how you developed your own motivational seminar. Way to make taco's out of a "bad" situation!

March 9, 2017 at 11:10 am

This pretty much sums up the way I feel at your webinars.

(just kidding!!!)

Rick Merriam (@rickmerriam)
March 9, 2017 at 11:09 am

I have to start by telling you how much I've enjoyed your podcast. I'm in the process of creating a physical product that will have a significant impact on plantar fasciitis in just one application. So as you can imagine, the episode with Dustin was super informative. Thanks.

In 1994, I did a 'firewalk' with Tony Robbins. It was at a 3-day event. At the time, I couldn't afford the price tag for the whole thing. So I only attended one day.

Last year, I listened to an interview with Derek Sivers on Ferriss's podcast. At one point they talked about having read Awaken The Giant Within when they were in their twenties. And when read at the right time, the impact that a book can have. I could relate with all of that. I read Awaken The Giant Within in 1993 (I was 23). And to this day, I feel like it changed my life for the better.

Ten years after attending my first event, I had a unique opportunity to attend Unleash The Power Within for free. Since I was in a different place going in, the whole event didn't have anywhere near the same impact. In fact, after I completed the firewalk with a friend who had never had an opportunity to experience all that comes along with Robbin's event - we left.

Thanks for such an honest take on attending Robbin's event.

Nathaniel Solace
March 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

So well said, dude. I am a HUGE TR fan, but actually don't feel called to his events the same way as I feel called to just put his principles (gathered from books and videos) into practice! 🙂 I love your way of digesting your experiences and sharing them with us, thank you!

March 9, 2017 at 10:57 am

I am so glad you wrote this article. I've recently started listening to you and as a woman who is not 20 or 30.... or 40, I sometimes find your style a little hard to take but always gain some knowledge. How many times have I felt alone in the "Is this guy for real.... what is everyone seeing that I'm not seeing...? Regarding Tony, not you. It feels cultish but I do gain knowledge in small bits and in my own time reading his materials. I couldn't take a whole seminar. Thanks for sharing and being honest.

March 9, 2017 at 10:53 am

Finally, a brutally honest post on the self-help industry. I've been to one of these seminars and luckily I had read Robert Cialdini's Influence. You'd be amazed at the number of times they pull the psychological levers to persuade people. People run at the back to purchase those discounted seminars and courses.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Noah. I reckon Tim Ferriss once said he was able to meet with Jack Canfield or his publisher during UPW that helped me to skyrocket his marketing for 'The 4HWW'. So I'd presume someone of your stature would also try to get a similar ROI by attending Tony's event through networking rather than hoping for those breakthrough moments which are best suitable for the type of people who are literally fueling the growth of the $10B self-help industry.

What's even more fascinating (to me) is that people are dropping 5 grand for Date With Destiny which is completely outlined in his book Awaken The Giant Within. Either people attending seminars don't read and take actions on his books, or they are ignorant of the power of designing their environment because the seminar environment (hoopla dance, massage, clap, roar, etc) is not what real life looks life (at least for 98% of attendants I'd guess).

Once again, thumbs up for sharing your experience with us, Noah!

March 9, 2017 at 10:48 am

Your article was as long-winded and superfluous as the event. A massage while others were getting something from the event is disingenous to those who would write a more informed article after they completed the several day event.

Tony had to fluff to get several days while you had to fluff to get a 2,068 word article to rank for SEO purposes using Tony's name to get more reaction.

Who is the weaker of the species?

March 9, 2017 at 10:43 am

"For many of his attendees, it seems there are deep-seated issues with a lack of love, and the belief that they are not enough."

Sounds like these guys could have spent their $2000 on 6 months' worth of weekly sessions with a trained psychotherapist and made some real progress on those issues?

Anonymous Poster ?
March 9, 2017 at 10:35 am

I wish you highlighted the refund. I had a great time but realized it was not for me, so left early with a refund. Which really makes the event more balanced. Also, I left because if you have listened to Personal Power, and taken it to heart, you don't need this event. It's for people who need 4 days of Tony's energy to get started. So I left. With a refund.

March 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

Great job in empowering yourself and being your own best "coach". It's so true that our own path, our own instincts are the best to follow. I'm inspired by your willingness to listen deeply and trust your inner knowing. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Jesse Moskel
March 9, 2017 at 10:29 am

Some of my most powerful learning experiences came from the "worst" things... going to prison, working for a bum restaurateur...

I'd say you got your money's worth, on balance!

As long as you don't demand I massage strangers or dance on command, I'm all in for your next live event.

March 9, 2017 at 10:26 am

Awesome post Noah, and admire your decision to empower yourself. I live in Spain and recently a friend of mine invited to come with him to a Tony Robbins program in the UK, and even though I love his books, I think I will choose to have a similar self development day like you. Thanks and greetings from Catalunya.

March 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

The most important voice in our head is our own. Too often we "should" all over ourselves because of what others might think of our decisions. As a young girl, I had no voice and as a result someone took advantage of me sexually. Had I been able to use my voice I would have said something like, "Oh hell no!" and possibly had a very different life as a result. This one event does not define me, but it is a great example of how I (and sadly, too many others) have been unable to find and use their voice because too many others' voices bang around in our heads.
"You be a good girl now and mind your manners."
"This seminar is AWESOME!"
"You're so lucky to have that job!"
...or my favorite BS comments I've heard from other women (which completely blows my mind, because they'd NEVER say these things to men)
"The grace with which you accept this position will affect your ability to move up in the organization" -- response to my attempt to negotiate a better starting salary when they offered me the lowest rate on the scale
"We're going to move ahead with love" -- response when I was told to apologize to the head of another department after I complained about that dept's staff being completely unprofessional and belligerent rather than cooperative and helpful when asked for specific assistance (to unlock a door when I had no key).

I'm happy that you found a way to get what you need and to be honest about it with not just yourself but the rest of us. Sharing your experience allows us to see how we, too, can survive being vulnerable when we make a decision that goes against the grain.


Lisette Carrithers
March 9, 2017 at 10:22 am

Noah, a little info on the length issue you mentioned. It isn't random and it isn't just to get more sales info in. TR does it for the same reasons cults and the military do. Longer term shared experiences bond us to a group. Whether that group is hostages, or addicts, or self-helpers. We, as human beings, are biologically wired to be 'joiners'. It is a cliché that recovering alcoholics find religion. They trade one tribe for (hopefully) a less destructive one. Have you ever spent time at a conference where you are an outsider? It can be miserable to even find common ground to talk about something (ps. I'm an extrovert so it isn't about meeting new people, at least not for me.) That was part of the reason he did his fire walking stuff. Group experience + Difficult task = Life time bonding. I'm sure TR has studied this stuff.

Kelly Schulte
March 9, 2017 at 10:20 am

This could not be more true! I, too, left his event at like 4 PM on day one. Your depiction of the singing and dancing AND massaging had me in tears. all the hoopla was embarrassing for me and detracted from the core messaging of the event.

Rohan Bhardwaj
March 9, 2017 at 10:13 am

It takes courage to write such article. This is great. Most of the times people go and console themselves so that it seems their money was worth.

Nothing is for everyone.

Nice to see a review from different perspective. Kudos Noah.

Aaron Sylvan
March 9, 2017 at 10:09 am

I know several people who are super-excited by Tony Robbins (read: spent 5 figures on him), and none of them are achieving anywhere near their own goals. Could be coincidence, since my "sample size" is very small, but I take this as a very serious strike against him. The "feel-good" stuff can be helpful, for those whose confidence is the problem, and maybe he can help some people with basic social skills... but I think an aspiring entrepreneur would do better at a workshop about lean startups, or a professional would do better by honing their skills and contact network within their chosen arena. No amount of "empowerment" can help someone who's trying to become wealthy but making lousy business decisions.

March 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

Let's be honest Noah. 99% of the people who attend these motivation rah rah seminars are losers who are there to get their hit of motivation dopamine for a few days, then they're on to the next event/YouTube video/self help book with ZERO action.

Tony Robbins has made a career out of feasting on these people. Good for him and Tai Lopez and all the rest that do so.

March 9, 2017 at 10:03 am

I have the same misgivings about TR (and I've never attended and event). When I saw his "Docu-advertorial" on Netflix "I am not your guru" I was completely turned off. Good for you for walking out. Did they actually give you a refund?

Tony The Tiger
March 9, 2017 at 10:16 am

Yes! How painful was the refund process?

October 2, 2017 at 2:26 am

The refund process is a joke. I got the royal runaround from them

March 9, 2017 at 9:58 am

Thanks for sharing your perspective on this and I think it's pretty brave of you to turn your back on the situation. When you're surrounded by a few thousand raving fans, it must not be easy to break the group-think and walk out the door. I think that implies more bravery than the alternative.

John Sonmez
March 9, 2017 at 9:55 am

Great post. At first as was like woah? Really? Then I realized I actually walked out of the last day of UPW.
I skipped the day with all of the health stuff because, well, what I am doing is working pretty damn well for me.
However, one thing to consider: DWD. I did DWD a couple years ago and that was the depth to were looking for with John at UPW.
UPW is a bit shallow by comparison.
I probably won't go to another UPW but I would definitely consider DWD again.
Amazing experience.
Also, I hate their sales technique... really is timeshare salesman shit.
But Tony is awesome!

March 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Totally agree....DWD is remarkable...and "pitch free". I've been twice in 6 years (second time, my wife came as well).

March 9, 2017 at 9:55 am

The content in this post is good. But the taco bullet points are GREAT!

March 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

I totally get it.

I've walked out of conferences before (most recently, the remarkably hard-selling and pitchy "Millionaire Mind 3-Day Seminar". I went to my first Tony Robbins seminar in 2003, and have been to 3-4 more (including Date With Destiny - twice over a 6 year span).

I also wish Tony (and others in his organization) would tone down the sales pressure during UPW. He also doesn't need to boast about his many houses, plane and successful people he coaches (we all know he is successful!). However, what I've found is that his teaching is worth it. UPW is a bit strange, since he crams so much into a small period it can get lost in the noise. Particularly in the first few hours it is a firehose of info that often doesn't jive until things get explained over the next few days.

That said, I think it is a highly effective use of a few days...and you can easily get tickets for <$500 (you probably paid for special VIP seating with your $2K ticket, right?).

If you really want to go deep, Date With Destiny is where it is at. There is no sales pitches at that event, and over the course of the week, great things happen. I've also made lifelong friends through his events.

So I can relate to everything you are saying...but hope that you give his programs another try at some point. BTW - I have no vested interest in anything Tony does...I just want to vouch for the power of his teaching (assuming you can get past the salesy-ness of it at UPW!).


BTW: I wrote my experience of Tony's DWD here: http://raviraman.com/8-things-to-know-before-attending-tony-robbins-date-with-destiny/ and here http://raviraman.com/learned-tony-robbins-date-with-destiny/

Sarah Centrella
March 9, 2017 at 10:54 am

so glad to know I'm not the only one!!! http://www.thoughtsstorieslife.com/2017/03/tony-robbins-tour-scam/

March 10, 2017 at 5:15 am

I can't believe so many people are saying he needs to tone down the sales pitches and upsells. I've heard him on the podcast tour (James Altucher, Tim Ferris, Lewis Howes etc) and in every episode he's said his group of 30 companies do $5bn in sales, and he has 1200 employees.

No one blinks but that is $4mm revenue per employee! Even with technology, heaps of freelancers, consultants, agencies, outsourcing or sub-contractors, that is just an INSANE level of business efficiency.

That means his average company is 40 employees and $200mm revenue!

For comparison FB, does $27bn in sales and has 17,000 staff, or about $1.6mm/employee. FB is hailed as a model of insane efficiency and self-serve selling at scale, plus a monopoly in it's niche, a licence to print money, one of the most successful businesses of this generation.

So how has Tony created a business empire that is 250% more efficient at generating money than FACEBOOK! Most of his businesses are training, resorts, information products, events, coaching, plus some random ones, but a high performing service business like VaynerMedia does $100mm in sales with 700 staff, or $140k/employee, which is normal for a business that size, industry and age. He is 28X(!) more efficient at personal branding, self-monetizing, selling from the stage and 'hustling' that Gary Vaynerchuck!

His business empire would make it big enough to be in the Fortune 500! A man's personal brand and business acumen has made him a from scratch billionaire within 40 years and owner of one of the Fortune 500!

I like his stuff, but knowing the above, would love to attend his Business Mastery seminar. It seems no one who interviews him ever asks about this? How did he start? How did he earn his first $1mm? How did he get to $10mm? $100mm? $1bn? 5 companies? 15 companies? What did he learn along the way?

Some might say it's a slip and he means 12,000 employees (making it a much more realistic $400,000/employee, but no business owner in the world doesn't know how many staff are on their payroll, and especially not be wrong by over 10,000.

Am I going crazy? Did no one else notice this???

March 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Interestingly enough, I felt the same way when I attended a Joel Osteen church service at Lakewood Church in Houston where 30k+ folks attend every Sunday.

Thank you for this write up, homie.

It solidified a couple thoughts and I'm looking to incorporate a self development day myself.

Im not sure how you get into a Mastermind (the only question that surfaced for me), but I'm going to actively seek one as I go into a new chapter, in life and business, this April.

<3 ya!