42: Jairek Robbins – How To Create Your Dream Life
“As much as you want to create, it’s out there for you, as long as you help others.”
– Jairek Robbins
Hey guys, welcome back to ONKEN RADIO (formerly NION Radio), the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!
Have you ever wanted to create your dream life and improve your Creative Alchemy along the way? A crucial part of accomplishing your creative goals and constructing the life you want to lead is self-mastery and engaging in productive daily habits. My guest today is an absolute genius when it comes to developing consistent practices and mastering the self.
Today, I’m thrilled to have Jairek Robbins on the show. Jairek is a master performance coach, and he has a ton of advice for living your best and most balanced life as well as achieving your dreams in the process! On today’s show, we’re talking all about creating balance in your life, starting the process of mastering yourself, and how you can create and maintain healthy habits. I learned so much from Jairek, and I know you will too, so let’s get started!
Who Is Jairek Robbins?
Jairek Robbins is a performance coach, best-selling author of Live It!: Achieve Success by Living with Purpose, and host of the Learn It Live It Give It podcast, where he gives incredibly useful tips and tools for finding balance and living your dream life. His coaching style revolves around helping people create daily habits in order to make their dream lives happen.
Jairek grew up in the self-help world. His parents are Tony Robbins and Liz Acosta, both of whom are self-help specialists. The first self-help seminar that he attended was before he was even born — Jairek’s mother taught a seminar about overcoming fear while she was pregnant with him.
From a young age, Jairek had a passion for helping others. He began growing in his purpose and finding direction in his life when he attended a Semester at Sea while being enrolled in the University of San Diego. He toured the globe and saw heartbreaking poverty, and he was moved by the fact that so many people were happy despite having practically nothing. He eventually began volunteering and teaching organic farming and English in Uganda, which reinforced his desire to help others.
After his time in Uganda, Jairek returned to his home in Southern California. He began working a corporate job and losing sight of what mattered most to him — helping others and having deep, meaningful experiences. Despite his success, he felt empty inside. He knew that he didn’t want to give up living with financial success, but he also wanted to follow his purpose in helping others. He left his corporate job and started his own coaching practice in order to help others create a successful, balanced life. Jairek found that with his new business, he had time to volunteer to help people in need and he had the financial means to invest in non-profit organizations. He was able to make his dream life become a reality, and today, he’s going to give you some essential advice so you can do it too!
This interview really struck a chord with me. I was reminded of my new series, How to Make a Career in Art. Jairek talks about the lifestyle he wanted, and how he found a journey doing work he loves to lead him to that lifestyle.
Creating Balance in Your Life
Jairek and I started our conversation by talking about creating a balance between the spiritual side of self-help and the hard work that’s necessary for achieving your dreams. Growing up, Jairek observed that his mother focused heavily on finding passion and engaging with her spirit while his father focused on working diligently to achieve his goals. His parents’ influence ultimately led to him living an exceptionally balanced life.
“I use that artistic flowing, beautiful, feminine, pure consciousness of creativity and centeredness to keep myself balanced and healthy, and then I use Dad’s intensity and craziness and drive to push myself [and] to outwork myself every day. And … the combination … allowed me to find a really unique balance of life.”
– Jairek Robbins
It’s important to engage in both the practical side of getting things done while also embracing the spiritual side for your emotional and spiritual health.
Jairek gave fantastic advice for everyone to find that balance in their own lives. He described a system of three levels in life and three stages within each level that we need to master. Level one involves mastering the self:
“Have you figured out how to just master yourself as a human being? [Master] your mind, your body, your emotions, your health, your productivity, and your creativity? Do you know how to turn yourself off and on in all the right and wrong ways so that if you need yourself to do something, you absolutely get yourself to do it when you say you’re going to do it?”
– Jairek Robbins
When mastering yourself, you go through three stages. In the first stage, you typically have an abundance of energy that you’re unsure what to do with. This usually comes during our teenage years. We’re not entirely sure what we should be doing to find ourselves, so we try many different things and figure out what works for us. You figure out what practices you can do to be the best version of yourself. You discover what fulfills you and keeps you at your best mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. That could involve exercise, meditation, reading, or countless other things that bring out the best version of yourself in each area of your life.
Once you find those practices that bring out the best in you, you enter the second stage. The second stage involves working hard to create habits out of your practices. You work hard to make sure you do your practices every day. So if exercise and mediation bring out the best in you, you would need to work tirelessly to make sure that you can fit in those practices every day. If you find yourself falling away from your practices, that crazy storm of energy from stage one comes back and reminds you that you need to return to them.
After you work hard to do your healthy practices every day, you can move on to stage three, where you systematize your practices. You’ve created such strong habits in your practices that you no longer need to even think about doing them. You become unconsciously competent in your practices.
“Now you’ve just mastered level one, which is self-mastery. And it’s like, I’ve mastered myself. I get it. Like I know how to make me my happiest, healthiest, most fulfilled version of who I am in the world, and I own it. And I know if something goes wrong, how to get it back. I know how to keep myself growing and learning and functioning at the best mental, emotional, physical, [and] spiritual capacity of who I am.”
– Jairek Robbins
Have you created a balance in your life through mastering healthy habits? Our Creative Alchemy is at its best when we’re at our best, so it’s essential that we master ourselves and establish a balance in our lives.
Building Your Dream Life with Others
After you master yourself, you start to build the dream life that you want. You find fulfillment through working on yourself and maintaining balance. Once you’ve figured out the best version of yourself, you then move on to level two and add another person into your life.
“At this point, you realize even if I have everything I’ve ever dreamed of in life, if I don’t have someone to share it with, it’s not worth much.”
– Jairek Robbins
When you add a romantic partner into your life, you then start the three stages over again. You reset your daily routines, habits, goals, and everything else to accommodate both people. You figure out what works best for both of you. Next, you work hard to do new practices every day. Finally, you systematize what works and create unconscious habits. Jairek observed that many people try to skip level one and go straight into a relationship rather than trying to find themselves:
“If you haven’t figured yourself out, what in the world makes you think you’re going to magically figure someone else out? … My belief is when a relationship comes together, both energies are magnified. So if you happen to be level one stage one of just craziness [and] not even knowing how to put your own life together, why would you want to magnify that?”
– Jairek Robbins
After you’ve gone through the three stages of level two, you have then mastered the relationship. It doesn’t mean that the relationship is perfect, but you’ve strengthened the relationship’s core to a healthy level. The systematized practices work for both people, and you can create your dream life together.
Once you’ve mastered the relationship, you can start level three, which is resetting the stages again by adding another living thing into your life, whether that be a pet or a child. You start the stages over again to figure out what works for mastering the dynamic.
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship, but you were still trying to figure yourself out? People often try to move onto levels two or three without actually mastering themselves, and this can result in lifelong repercussions. If you haven’t mastered yourself, how are you going to master a relationship or master raising a child? Take the time to develop and systemize the practices that bring out the best version of you and create the life you want to lead.
Flipping the Switch to Master Yourself
Jairek and I went deeper into discussing the self-mastery level — level one — because it is such a crucial part of living a happy and fulfilled life. It often takes a great deal of pain or discomfort to prompt people to master the first level:
“It usually takes enough pain showing up in their life that literally causes them to get so frustrated and so pissed off with it not going right that they finally decide to make a change. Or they see someone else that has it the way they want it, and it ignites something in them where they see it. And they’re like, ‘Wow. If that’s possible, I want it.’ And they want it so bad [that] they get emotionally obsessed about it, and they just go for it.”
– Jairek Robbins
Have you ever experienced a moment where you felt so much pain or frustration that you started changing your life? Maybe it was caused by a bad break up or losing your job or something else emotionally and mentally painful. It often takes these great moments of pain to realize that you haven’t yet mastered your life, but you can decide for yourself that now is the moment that you want to take full control. Jairek observed that a key part of mastering your life is finding your individual purpose:
“There’s a reason you’re here. … Figure out what that reason is and do something about it. … We always start people out with [the question,] ‘What would your absolute ideal day be if one day happened to go perfect in your life?'”
– Jairek Robbins
Asking yourself what your perfect day looks like is a great way of finding your direction and fulfilling your purpose. Ask yourself how you would feel if you lived your perfect day. What activity would you do? Who else would be there? Where would you go on your perfect day?
Once you picture your perfect day and make it happen, you’ll begin changing your life. Jairek used an example of this from a seminar that he taught. A man described his perfect day involving having breakfast with his son and then taking him to school. He was usually unable to do that because his kid lived with his ex-wife. For 30 days, he drove to his ex-wife’s house, had breakfast with his son and took him to school. Doing that extra work to make his perfect day happen completely changed his life:
“He showed up. He loved his life. He was passionate. And he said, ‘You know, … if I were to die today, I would die a man knowing that I really lived my purpose.'”
– Jairek Robbins
How can you make your perfect day happen? It can be as simple as eating breakfast with your son or working with friends on your Creative Alchemy. You can develop and systematize practices to make your perfect day happen. Once you plan out your perfect day, you can then begin to plan out years of your life:
“Hey, if you can turn that [perfect] day into [a] reality, let’s see if we can turn a five, ten, and 25-year vision for your life into [a] reality. … Let’s use the same exact habits, tools, and rituals to work backwards, build into those daily habits, and build that plan so that literally what you’re doing today adds up to your 20-year vision of where you’re headed in life.”
– Jairek Robbins
Answering that typical question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” can be incredibly daunting, but if you start with just one perfect day, you can build your way up to planning long-term goals for your life. Let’s say that a long-term goal for you is having your photography featured in National Geographic. Break down the daily practices that you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. For example, you may develop daily practices to improve your photography, or develop habits to reach out to others and grow your network in order to get more professional photography gigs. You then work hard to do those daily practices every day and eventually systematize your practices so that you no longer need to even think about them. You can turn planning your perfect day into planning your dream life!
The Power of Habits
Jairek and I went deep into discussing the process of developing habits. Habits are absolutely crucial for developing your dream life, but it’s often incredibly difficult to build consistent habits. Jairek gave incredibly helpful tips for mastering a habit. He used the example of staying physically fit. Consistency is more important than putting in only occasional hard effort:
“You’re missing the consistency of keeping your muscles strong, keeping it trained, keeping it toned, [and] practice. You’re missing the most important piece of life, … which is consistency of rebuilding and building that muscle so that it stays strong.”
– Jairek Robbins
All habits work the same way as a muscle. You can’t just work hard occasionally and think that you’ll have results. You need to continue building up your habits by exercising them consistently like you do a muscle.
Have you ever promised yourself that you would meet your creative goals, but you fell short despite your occasional hard work? Doing something with consistency is more important than spending a great deal of time on it only occasionally. It’s better to work on something every day for twenty minutes than to only work on it weekly for a longer period.
If you want to start a new habit, it’s helpful to start small so that you have an easier time creating consistency. For example, you’ll have an easier time developing a habit that involves working on your Creative Alchemy 15 minutes a day than you would an hour a week. You can start small then work your way up to develop consistency.
Jairek went through the three parts of starting a habit that Charles Duhigg outlines in his book The Power of Habit.
“[Charles Duhigg] talks about how there’s a trigger or a cue, something that sets it off or triggers it into motion. [Next,] there’s actually the habit or routine itself. And then there’s a reward at the end you have to give yourself to really anchor in and solidify that habit.”
– Jairek Robbins
Jairek used an excellent example of a trigger he used to begin a habit. In order to exercise in the morning, he would always set out his clothes so that he would have an easier time getting up in the morning. How can you trigger yourself to do a healthy practice everyday? Let’s say that you want to start painting every day. Try putting your brushes in a conspicuous location to remind yourself of the practice that you want to turn into a habit. You’ll have an easier time creating a habit if you’re able to trigger yourself into motion.
It’s also essential that you reward yourself for working on the practice that you want to turn into a habit. For Jairek, he would reward himself for exercising in the morning by spending time meditating. How can you reward yourself for engaging in a helpful practice? Maybe you need to reward yourself by watching a show in the evening or by practicing yoga. Reward yourself for working on the practice so that you can develop consistency and turn that practice into a habit!
Become a Creative Alchemist with Jairek Robbins
Guys, I had such a great conversation with Jairek Robbins. His practical advice for building your dream life was so helpful, and I can’t wait to implement some of the practices that we discussed today. Integrating consistent practices into our daily routine is such an essential part of creativity. It takes a ton of work to both create art and make money from it, so you need to develop productive daily habits to make your creative dreams become a reality. What practices can you start doing today to improve yourself and your Creative Alchemy?
Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained. With that being said, I define Creative Alchemy as using the process of creativity to create a lens through which to perform alchemy. These principles not only apply to artists and creatives in their own creative processes, but to anyone who wants to create an extraordinary life in color for themselves.
I’ve found that 80% of creating is alchemizing the thoughts, emotions, and other inner blocks that keep you from putting the pen to the paper. Navigating to the act of creation takes alchemical processes. Use the exceptional advice that Jairek gave today to develop habits that alchemize your internal process and improve your creations.
Thank you so much for checking out today’s episode! If you learned as much as I did, make sure to share it on Instagram. Tag Jairek, @jairekrobbins, and me, @nickonken, and share what habits you plan on developing today. Also, make sure to leave me a five-star review on Apple Podcasts so that I can share this with more Creative Alchemists like you.
Remember, the key to building your dream life is mastering yourself. Develop healthy habits and establish daily and long term goals to begin creating your dream life today!
Talk to you guys soon —
“Make your life your message so that your actions speak so loudly that you don’t have to say a word.”
– Jairek Robbins
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- The effect of growing up in the personal development arena, going to seminars [4:05]
- His passion for people [4:45]
- Why his Semester at Sea changed his perspective [6:15]
- How a terrible case of malaria started to change his perspective [9:15]
- How he found a way to live the lifestyle he wanted while still helping people [13:45]
- The influence of his parents on his life [16:45]
- How he balances his life of pushing himself while also keeping centered and healthy [19:45]
- The three levels of balancing life: self-mastery, mastery of your relationship, mastery of a third party like a child or a dog [20:45]
- How people flip the switch to finally live the life they want [29:15]
- How to know if you’re ready to find out the reason you’re alive [32:30]
- How to envision your perfect day and focus on the most important parts of your life [36:05]
- The importance of health, emotions, and family life [37:55]
- He teaches the tools to turn your ideal into a reality, push yourself to commit to living that reality, and then pay forward what has worked for you [45:35]
- How to build your emotional, mental, and spiritual muscles [49:15]
- Why sometimes you have to start small [51:00]
- His tactics for pushing himself to self-mastery [52:15]
- How to set up a morning routine [58:15]
- The necessity of turning off and unwinding [1:04:15]
- Figure out what you love, figure out if you can do it for free, and then how to monetize that opportunity [1:07:15]
- Live every ounce that life has to offer, and act from your spirit [1:13:15]
- Learn more about Pencils of Promise
- Let’s build a school together
- Check out Seal Fit by Mark Divine and the organization
- Live It: Achieve Success by Living a Purpose by Jairek Robbins
- The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg
- The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart
- Join Jairek and the team on a Rapid Results Retreat
- Love listening to Jairek? You can hear more of him on his podcast
- Music Credit: Then Comes the Wonder by The Landing