The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Cracking Life’s Code – Understanding Anthony Robbins’ Master System

September 19th, 2013 by dimpledbrain

It must seem like ages ago since I last updated this blog, for which I sincerely apologize. Anyway, technology has indeed shrunk space (removing geographical limitations), expanded time and eased the flow of knowledge. Alvin Toffler identified these 3 deep fundamentals like 30 over years ago. (click here for the post).

Today I’m going to share something very interesting – Anthony Robbins’ Master System. This is the most complete self help/self development framework that I know of to date. I used to remember every single post I wrote but I seem to have difficulty recalling them now. I wrote about my Top 10 List some time back and this post will definitely qualify as the 3rd entry*. (click here and click here for the first 2 posts. Collectively these will be called Top 10 List moving forward).

The Master System is made up of 5 components:

(1) State – this refers to our emotional state. We can change our state through (a) physiology (exercise/movement) and (b) focus.

(2) Question – how we ask question will create the reality we’re in. There is a difference in asking “why does this always happen to me” vs “how can I use this?”

(3) Value – i.e. what we value most in life. There are (a) moving toward values (pleasure seeking) and (b) moving away values (pain avoidance). We often get confused with ‘means values’ and ‘ends values’. If what I value most are money, love and family, then only love is an end value. Family and money are means, and could point to security and freedom as the end values.

(4) Rule – sometimes we set too many rules in our lives and make them dependent on the environment (i.e. beyond our control). This will create a lot of frustrations and disappointments. How do we know if our rules are empowering or disempowering? Ask “what has to happen in order for me to feel good in ….?”

(5) Reference – what we get reinforced for through #1-#4 above. We need to consciously expand our references by pursuing ideas and experiences that are not part of our lives.

Throughout the book**, he asked many very important questions:

(1) What do I want in life? (short answer: what I really want is to change how I feel about something and that can be done via #1 State)

(2) How do we live our lives and feel tonnes of pleasure and very little pain? Anthony Robbins’ entire thesis is based on pleasure principle (pleasure seeking, pain avoidance). But I don’t think he limits the term pleasure in the Freudian way. (click here for the post.)

(3) When people achieve their goals why do they feel emptiness and ask “is that all there is?” (#3 Value and #5 Reference above)

(4) Who am I? (#5 Reference above)

(5) And a lot more.


* Have you watched Naruto before? (click here for the link). One of the main villains is Orochimaru, one of the 3 legendary Sannin from the hidden leaf village of Konoha. To me he’s not bad – just different perspective. In the story, he used forbidden techniques to prolong his life with the intention of learning every great ninjutsu technique in the world. This also involved killing many innocent lives for his experiments. In a way, I think I’m collecting all the great frameworks in the world too but I vow not to use them in a manipulative way. But then again, I think Orochimaru started with rabbits for his experiments before moving on to humans.

**Recommended reading: Awaken The Giant Within Anthony Robbins. (Go to www.abebooks.com for cheaper 2nd hand books). I know of friends who spent like USD10,000 to attend his Date With Destiny, which I believe a big part is about Master System. Sure if you have the money to spare, by all means. Click here for the link. In any field, nothing beats learning from the master directly).


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