Think of your mind, your emotions, and your spirit as the ultimate garden. The way to ensure a bountiful, nourishing harvest is to plant seeds like love, warmth, and appreciation, instead of seeds like disappointment, anger, and fear. Begin to think of those “Action Signals” as weeds in your garden. A weed is a call to action. It says, “You have got to do something; you have got to pull this out to make room for better, healthier plants to grow.” Keep cultivating the kinds of plants you want, and pull the weeds as soon as you notice them. Tony Robbins offers ten emotional seeds we can plant in our garden. If you nurture these seeds by focusing on feeling what you want to feel every day, you will hold yourself to a standard of greatness. These seeds create a life that flourishes and fulfills its highest potential. Let us explore them briefly now, and realize that each of these emotions represents an antidote to any of the “negative” emotions you may have been feeling previously.
1. LOVE AND WARMTH. The consistent expression of love seems to be able to melt almost any negativeemotions it comes in contact with. If someone is angry with you, you can easily remain loving withthem by adopting a core belief such as this marvelous one: “all communication is either a loving response or a cry for help.”If someone comes to you in a state of hurtor anger, and you consistently respond to them with love and warmth, eventually their state will changeand their intensity will melt away.
2. APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE. Robbins believes that all of the most powerful emotions are someexpression of love, each directed in different ways. “For me, appreciation and gratitude are two of themost spiritual emotions, actively expressing through thought and action my appreciation and love for allthe gifts that life has given me, that people have given me, that experience has given me.” Living in thisemotional state will enhance your life more than almost anything known of. Cultivating this is cultivatinglife. Live with an attitude of gratitude.
3. CURIOSITY. If you really want to grow in your life, learn to be as curious as a child. Children knowhow to wonder—that is why they are so endearing. If you want to cure boredom, be curious. If you arecurious, nothing is a chore. Cultivate curiosity, and life becomes anunending study of joy.
4. EXCITEMENT AND PASSION. Excitement and passion can add juice to anything. Passion can turnany challenge into a tremendous opportunity. Passion is unbridled power to move our lives forward at afaster tempo than ever before. “Man is only truly great when he acts fromthe passions.” How do we “get” passion? The same way we “get” love, warmth, appreciation, gratefulness,and curiosity—we decide to feel it! Use your physiology: speak more rapidly, visualize images morerapidly, move your body in the direction you want to go.
5. DETERMINATION. All of the above emotions are invaluable, but there is one that you must have ifyou’re going to create lasting value in this world. It will dictate how you deal with upsets and challenges,with disappointment and disillusionments. “Determination,” Robbins emphasizes, “means the difference between being stuck and being struck with the lightning power of commitment.”All actions spring from that source, and you will justautomatically do whatever it takes to accomplish your aim. Acting with determination means making acongruent, committed decision where you have cut off any other possibility.With determination, you can accomplish anything. Without it, you are doomed to frustration anddisappointment. “Our willingness to do whatever it takes, to act in spite of fear, is the basis of courage.”And courage is the foundation from which determination is born.
6. FLEXIBILITY. If there’s one seed to plant that will guarantee success, it is the ability to change yourapproach. In fact, all those Action Signals—those things you used to call negative emotions—are justmessages to be more flexible. Choosing to be flexible is choosing to be happy. Throughout your life therewill be times when there are things you will not be able to control, and your ability to be flexible inyour rules, the meaning you attach to things and your actions will determine your long-term success orfailure, not to mention your level of personal joy.
7. CONFIDENCE. Unshakable confidence is the sense of certainty we all want. The only way youcan consistently experience confidence, even in environments and situations you have never previouslyencountered, is through the power of faith. Imagine and feel certain about the emotions you deserve tohave now, rather than wait for them to spontaneously appear someday in the far distant future. Whenyou are confident, you are willing to experiment, to put yourself on the line. One way to develop faith andconfidence is simply to practice using it. “The ability to act on faith iswhat moves the human race forward.”
8. CHEERFULNESS. There is a big difference between being happy on the inside, and beingoutwardly cheerful. Cheerfulness enhances your self-esteem, makes life more fun, and makes the peoplearound you feel happier as well. Cheerfulness has the power to eliminate the feelings of fear, hurt,anger, frustration, disappointment, depression, guilt, and inadequacy from your life. You have achievedcheerfulness the day you realize that no matter what is happening around you, being anything other thancheerful will not make it better.
9. VITALITY. Handling this area is critical. If you donot take care of your physical body, it is more difficultto be able to enjoy these emotions. Make sure that physical vitality is available; remember that allemotions are directed through your body. If you are feeling out of sorts emotionally, you need to look atthe basics. How are you breathing? When people are stressed, they stop breathing, sapping their vitality.Learning to breathe properly is the most important avenue toward good health. Another critical elementto physical vitality is ensuring that you have an abundant level of nerve energy.
How do you do this? Realize that day to day you are expending nerve energy through your actions,and as obvious as it sounds, you do need to make sure that you rest and recharge. Contrary topopular belief, it is believed that sitting still doesnot preserve energy. The truth is, that is usually when you feel most tired.The human nervous system needs to move to have energy. To a certain extent, expending energy givesyou a greater sense of energy. As you move, oxygen flows through your system, and that physical levelof health creates the emotional sense of vitality that can help you to deal with virtually any negativechallenge you could have in your life, so realize that a sense of vitality is a critical emotion to cultivatein order to handle virtually any emotions that come up in your life, not to mention the critical resourcein experiencing consistent passion. Once your garden is filled with these powerful emotions, then youcan share your bounty through leaving a legacy.
10. CONTRIBUTION. “The secret to living is giving.”There is no richer emotion perhaps known in life than the sense that who you are as a person, something you havesaid or done, has added to more than just your own life, that somehow it has enhanced life’s experiencefor someone you care about, or maybe someone you donot even know.
Each day we shouldcultivate that sense of contribution by focusing not only on ourselves, but on others as well.Donot fall into the trap, though, of trying to contribute to others at your own expense —playingthe martyr will not give you a true sense of contribution.But if you can consistently give to yourselfand others on a measurable scale that allows you to know that your life has mattered, you will havea sense of connection with people and a sense of pride and self-esteem that no amount of money,accomplishments, fame, or acknowledgment could ever give. A sense of contribution makes all of lifeworthwhile. Imagine what a better world it would be if all of us cultivated a sense of contribution.