Personal Power II
by Anthony Robins
Ok, this is not exactly a book, but rather a tape series, part of a group of products out there designed for self-improvement, self-empowerment, etc.
Personally, I've been through hundreds of them, including the Anthony Robbins original Personal Power series. This new set I haven't heard yet but I'm putting it here as an example of "life changing" products. As a writer, they fascinate me from the standpoint of how the "speaker" uses words - and the power those words can have to influence.
Most of them have a formula they follow. At one motivational seminar I attended while working for the government, the speaker for the event explained (after I questioned her about it - from a purely "curious writer" standpoint) what type of flow was used to achieve the results from many of these programs. By results, I mean how the words are used to tap into the emotions to produce a result in the listener (or reader).
Now think about it for a minute. Isn't this what many of the "great" novels and books do? Many of those that truly sell well and achieve some amount of fame tap into the emotions in some way - whether through descriptions which highly spark the imagination which in turn affects emotions - or through providing rational real life comparisons to make it easier for the reader to relate to the story, article, etc.
Back to the formula. The lady explained most speakers, writers, etc. for motivational and/or self-improvement products and seminars use a simple step by step process to achieve their results.
The first step (after the ice breakers that is) involves telling a story about something terribly sad or bad that has happened to them in their lives - preferably the story is true for this allows them to tell it with "passion". This is to break through that emotional wall. The next step is to emphasize or embellish it a little
to go beyond the emotional wall to the core.
Next step, get the audience/reader to think about something in their lives that can relate to the "story". This is to get beyond just simple passive emotions to hopefully touch on some "painful" experience from the reader's or listener's past. The intent...? This gets them "involved" like they have a personal stake in what the speaker/author is saying - makes them usually "want" to believe what is being said.
Then they draw the story out usually using themselves as an example of how all this "pain" can be erased if you... (fill in the blank). It's only natural that we all wish to avoid pain and prefer pleasure in our lives, so of course by the time it's all through, we walk away with a sense of hope that we can avoid pain.
As a writer, I try to look on all of it objectively. I mean, really, to change a life the emotions must be involved in some way, right? The more real - and the more involved - the reader is in the story, the more satisfaction is achieved when the final paragraph is read.
I won't say how the first series by Anthony Robins impacted my life - but I will say "Oh yes, it most certainly did change my life, though looking back on it all, maybe I wasn't ready for some of those changes." I'm absolutely certain this new set will change many lives
too. May the changes be positive for all...