Anthony (Tony) R0bbins: Are you familiar with the ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian approach?
David Welch: Please.
TONY: It’s actually very beautiful; it’s very simple. I will mispronounce his name so I won’t even say his name because I don’t want to bastardize it, but there’s a gentleman who is a Hawaiian psychiatrist and he also has a…what’s the Hawaiian spiritual tradition…I’m sorry, a shaman.
TONY: Kahuna, thank you very much.
DAVID: Huna is the practice and a Kahuna is a master.
TONY: Oh, one practices it. He is a Kahuna as well, and he was assigned to the prison hospital there where basically they sent those who were considered to be criminally insane. A lot of them are there awaiting trial. A lot of them are there permanently because they were found to be inept to be able to stand trial. And the place was so broken down, it’s kind of almost out of a movie you would have seen in the 70’s of what an insane asylum looks like. Really bad. And a lot of attacks happened on the staff by these people.
Normally they would be so medicated that that didn’t happen—it was traditional in what they do in these horrible places. So, here’s the new psychiatrist and he tried a completely different approach based on his background and he sat down and did not meet with a single one of these people. He sat down each day and pulled out their file and he uttered these four words which come from that Kahuna practice which is “I’m sorry, I love you, please forgive me, thank you.”
DAVID: Over their chart.
TONY: Over their chart and he would do this for 30 to 45 minutes.
DAVID: So, he’s basically focusing on them and sending this to them.
TONY: His philosophy is that the only thing—and I believe this 100%—that you have 100% control over, is your experience of life, when you take 100% responsibility for it. If you take 100% responsibility for your experience of life, then if you don’t like it you can change it. As long as my mother can do it or my brother or my boss or the President of the United States, then I’m screwed. But their level was, if I take 100% responsibility, even for your experience, then at some level, I’m a spirit in this world and I’m helping you to feel what you’re feeling. It’s not like an apology, like, I feel bad and I’m in a horrible place. It’s rather, an apology of just saying, we’re spirits together in this Universe and I’m sorry that you’ve had this experience where you murdered someone.
It sounds insane, you know. I love you…they’re words that are just so deep for a human being when they’re spoken from the heart, no matter who they are. They pierce everything, and then, please forgive me and then, thank you. And he would do this over and over again. Well, these people started getting better and it sounds like a story or a metaphor, but you can actually go read up on this, and they eventually closed the place. He calls it “zeroing out.” His whole thing is that we don’t have relationships with people; we have relationships with our past memories of other people that we have relationships with. So, it’s like, we react to…I see you and the image of you and what I think of you is what filters me in every way, right?
TONY: So, he said, what this does is, when you do this—he calls it treating—when you just treat and you treat with yourself, it’s very much like when you said, I love you David…same thing. You’ll be saying the same thing: I’m sorry, I love you, please forgive me, thank you and then eventually, it just is I love you, thank you, I love you, thank you, I love you, thank you. I’ve used this in interventions with people, like couples, people that are suicidal, I’ve got the whole room saying it to them. I cannot tell you what a healing power it has. It sounds absurd, sounds like some stupid affirmation….
DAVID: Not to me.
TONY: But, it’s not. Their philosophy is that zero takes you back to zero. Zero is before you have all the cultural conditioning. Zero is before all the belief structures that control you. Like, it just takes it down to the core vibration of this moment again, when you let go of all that. And again, it sounds ridiculous, but when you practice it…unbelievably potent.
I had a man just the other day at a Date With Destiny. His wife died and he was so close to her and he felt responsible for not preventing it, so he wanted to kill himself. He was suicidal. His daughter was at the seminar as well, and I had them come together and I had him say this to his daughter, as well as to his wife, and then I had him say it to himself, over and over again and the whole room was doing it and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place and you know, obviously he’s not even slightly suicidal any more. We followed up on him. It’s been several months now, and he’s completely turned around. It was just a simple intervention of being able to go back to zero, instead of all the stored up emotion that he’s had, all the stories he’s had, all the meanings he made up about it…it’s his fault...have all disappeared for him. Just by this simple little practice. There’s a book called “Getting to Zero,” I think it’s called, that walks you a little bit through the process of this. Or, people can look it up under ho’oponopono.
DAVID: Getting to Zero.
TONY: Hey, you should check it out for sure.
DAVID: Is there anything else you would like to say to our “Awaken” community?
TONY: I would just say I’m grateful that you’re a seeker and that so many seekers spend their time seeking. So, I’m a seeker too, but I think the most important part of seeking is to take something you’ve heard and apply it. You don’t need a million ideas to change your life. You need one that you actually execute, that matters. And if I was going to give you one: the most important decision of your life is deciding you’re going to be happy, no matter what…even if you’ve got cancer, even if you lost a leg, even if you went through a divorce. It’s not, I’m going to be happy until something doesn’t match my blueprint. Because we can’t control all those things that are going to happen now.
We can respond to them as you have in your life, and transform ourselves, but in a beautiful state of being, we’re going to find those answers a hundred times faster. But if you don’t draw the line in the sand…I always tell people, if you want to take the island, burn your boats. There’s no way to go back. It’s amazing what humans will do. But if you give yourself the out, you’re going to let yourself suffer. I have a 90 second rule: feel 90 seconds...I catch myself realizing I’m suffering…I got to end that bitch right now because I know no good is going to come from that. And the more you stop that old pattern of suffering and managing suffering, then when you start to actually suffer, it feels so horrible. It’s like, if you drink alcohol all the time, you know you’re desensitized…it takes more and more to do it and still you feel like shit and you get used to it. But if you haven’t drank alcohol for a very long time and one day you just go on a bender…oh my God, you’re like, I can’t even believe I ever used to do this bullshit.
Well that’s the same thing with suffering. Once you stop suffering long enough, catch yourself…kill it…catch yourself…kill it…get it out. Find something to appreciate, find something to love or give. It’s amazing, you will have less tolerance for it because you will have such a different taste of what life can be like. So my number one wish or prayer would be for someone to say to us, hey! you know…maybe this could be the key to my whole life. What if I didn’t have to wait to be happy? but I’m just going to be happy every day. I’m going to find something....You know what the start for me is? My sons. They all play golf and I swore I’d never play golf. Number one, I don’t even know the reason to use the….
DAVID: It’s too slow unless you play on a horse.
TONY: Polo! exactly…right. But I swear, I never want to play golf, I don’t want to dress like that. I don’t have that much time to waste, you know? And I don’t want to use the F-word any more for any more reasons…and I’m laughing. But my boys really want to play and I love them, and golf courses are some of the best places in the world. So I remember, I went out and I took instruction, and the first day I out-drove my instructor who had been playing the game 16 years. So, I was like, God, you know what happens, I’m burning him with all his friends and I never thought to think that paybacks really are a bitch. So, the next day, he brings me out on the course and he goes, “you know, we’re going to go out on the course today…we’re not going to be on the driving range…you’re advancing so quickly.” And he takes me to this hole…”we’re not going to start on the first hole…we’re on the third hole.” This hole is like, skinny as hell, there’s trees everywhere and he goes, “you know, just a little more upright, like this…” he adjusts me, and I was hitting the ball so well, and now I’m not hitting the ball. I’m shaking and I’m one side over…correct from the other side and I’m getting more and more pissed off and I’m saying, “give me another one, give me another one…” and he’s like, “ain’t it a bitch, you know…welcome to golf!”
I said, “it isn’t golf; it’s me…I was playing great the other day ‘cause now look at me—I’m 150 yards off,” and he goes, “actually you’re only two millimeters off.” I said, “what!?” He goes, “you’re two millimeters off!” and I said, “what are you talking about?” He goes, “listen…you got to hit this ball literally like a hammer hitting a nail. If you just take it two millimeters like this, with the force you’re hitting it, it’s going to go 150, 180, 200 yards to the right…here. Just two millimeters this way, it’s going to go 150, 200, 250 yards to the left…here. So, I was shaking, ankles in, I adjusted your posture…let’s put it back.” I said, “you did all this for what reason?” And he goes, “I just want to make you humble.”
So, I hit the ball and literally the next one is right on the green. So, I learned though. Look, I was over-correcting these things. So, then, I go out and I’m playing…and I think, for some reason, everything else in my life is “harder is better,” so, if I swung harder it would be better. But in golf, it doesn’t work that way. I swung so hard I tore my back, so….And then, I’m on stage and was in so much pain, so I didn’t play it…that was it. I was done. I had played, I don’t know…seven or eight times and I said, look, “this isn’t worth the damage to my back.”
Years later, my boys want me to play and we’re back and forth and this man says to me…he’s a good friend of mine…multi-billionaire, brilliant guy…we’re in Mexico, and he says, “let’s go golf. It’s right on the water…it’s so gorgeous.” And I said, “you know what, I don’t have the time. I can’t spend, you know, three or four hours and…” And he says, “oh, it won’t take that long.” I said to him, “it would…I’m brand new, I’m not any good and I don’t want to hold you up.” He goes, “Tony, how many holes do you want to play?” I said, “what do you mean, how many holes do I want to play?” I said, “there’s 18 holes.” He goes, “No…play the holes you want to play.” “I want to play six holes?” He goes, “yeah, you like the ocean?” I said, “that’s my favorite.” And he says, “we’ll do all six ocean holes. That’s all we’ll do.” I said, “well, I don’t want to hold you up because I’m not going to…you know, I don’t score well…I’m brand new.” He says, “well, we will keep no scores…see, we’ll just swing until you like it.”
I said, “we’re going to do the holes we want, we’re going to play as many holes as we want and we’re not going to score it…we’re just going to go and enjoy it?” He says, “yeah.” I said, “that’s insane.” He goes, “no, it’s not insane.” Where else in your life do you play by other people’s rules, right? And you know, it was like, right between the eyes, like that.
So, we went out and I had a good time with him. And so, I started playing. It’s like, I got this new thing and I never play more than 9 holes, ever. My wife and I go out and play with some friends. We play six, eight, nine holes…somewhere in that range. You play for 90 minutes, you know….But, here’s the secret: I go and I start to play, and once again, I start getting frustrated—this is before I understood what I understand today about suffering. So, I was suffering. I should be able to hit further…why isn’t it going where I want it to go?…and da da da…in the middle of a golf game, I’m exhausted and pissed off and frustrated, right?
So, I thought, why did I start playing this game? I started playing this game because I wanted to enjoy myself. I am a total failure at my outcome right now. So, I came up with a rule. This is the first place that I started ending suffering, believe it or not…was in golf. And all I said was, you know what I’m going to do? I came here to enjoy this. That’s why I said I’m going to do this. I am never going to play again and not enjoy it, but I’m not going to wait until the end of the day; I’m going to enjoy every hole! That’s my rule. I enjoy every hole and here is how I do it. I either enjoy the people I’m with, which is easy because I love everybody I play with, or I enjoy the environment, which is easy because it’s gorgeous. Or, if I’m lucky, I enjoy the shot. I at least enjoy the intensity of my focus or something of that nature. And I swear to you, I started doing that about six or seven years ago and now we play golf and we have a blast.
On my Instagram, I took a shot of my wife and I playing the other day and it’s her swinging…and I think about 50,000 people responded to the Instagram, which, you know, normally you have about 5 or 10,000 people respond to an individual on an Instagram, and it was because we’re having such a good time. You know, she missed the shot and she’s celebrating like you can’t imagine…laughing. People don’t see that on a golf course, right? People don’t normally do that. So, I enjoy every hole and then I thought, you know eventually…what happened about a year and a half ago, two years ago…I was like, what if I decided to enjoy every hole?…life, like every moment? Not the end of the game…this moment of the game? And that’s what really started triggering me.
DAVID: It’s the journey, not the destination.
TONY: And I’m doing that, I’m enjoying every hole of golf, I’m enjoying this moment with you and if I don’t, I go, oh that’s interesting, well what could I enjoy, what could I appreciate?
DAVID: I can see the ocean back there.
TONY: There are so many things to appreciate, but people go off an area of other people’s lives. They get around something enough and they take it for granted. There once was this person who would, you know, talk with them, kiss them, make love to them, now they’re married to them…like, good morning, good morning, good morning to you. It’s like, what happened? We’re off in familiarity, you know? So, I’m really about having people awaken to this moment, so it can be fresh. And I think the most important decision, if you are listening to this—this conversation we’ve had, is to decide today, that you’re going to enjoy your life, no matter what. That you live in a beautiful state, no matter what. That isn’t to say you’re perfect, it’s just to say, when suffering happens, you end it because life is too short to suffer, you know? Why let your happiness be so cheap? You give it up over nothing…over little things? And if you’re waiting for everybody to do what you want them to do, act the way you want them to act, you are going to be waiting the rest of your life in a lot of pain. So, give that shit up and just…just decide to enjoy your life and watch the fruits of what comes from that in your relationships and your business and in your own happiness.
DAVID: Thank you, Tony.
David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com. He is the Producer of the award-winning movie “Peaceful Warrior” and a member of the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild. David is a master practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and has a continuous, committed and daily yoga, meditation and Qi gong practice.