How to get what you want

Some people seem to get exactly what they want without really trying. It turns out there’s actually a formula to getting exactly what you want.

Want to change career, improve team morale, become healthier and fitter, find a loving relationship, live in a beautiful house, have financial stability or just achieve something as simple as getting up an hour earlier each morning?

These were the types of goals circulating the 8000-strong Tony Robbins crowd at Unleash The Power Within four-day seminar held at Sydney Olympic Park in September.

Unleash The Power Within is part music concert, complete with a thumping beat and pyrotechnics rivalling the pop shows usually gracing Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney’s Olympic Park, and part storytelling, filled with anecdotes and reflections from who is arguably the world’s greatest storyteller. Not just a feel-good, fist-pumping event full of passionate declarations of “Yes!”, you learn psychological tricks, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to get what you want and ultimately live a fulfilled and meaningful life.

Sounds easy, right? Of course, as the Rolling Stones famously sang, you can’t always get what you want - but you can make it easier to get what you want and achieve your goals.

As Robbins teaches, getting what you want comes down to working with other people. While self-reliance is paramount, working as a team is part of life. And no matter what you want in life, you’ll have to at some point ask for a favour or help. So how do you ask? According to Robbins, there’s a secret recipe to getting what you want with five crucial steps.


Culturally speaking, it’s not the social norm to ask people directly for what you want. Us Aussies tend to dance around favours. Too often we miss out on getting what we want because we are too embarrassed, shy, or afraid of ridicule or rejection. But here’s the thing: If approached in the right way, people generally enjoy helping others. People really do want to help you and see you succeed. But you have to ask.

“Be specific,” Robbins bellowed at his Sydney Olympic Park seminar.

When you’re required to describe exactly what you want, you’re forced to think deeply about precisely what you actually want, why you need it and when you need it. If you are not clear about what you want, how will you know what exactly, you really need?

If you want a pay rise, “Don’t just ask for more money. You need to ask for a specific amount” Tony implores. Be specific on the exact percentage increase you’re after. If you want a car, be particular on the exact model. If you are clear about your intentions, it will be easier for others to know how they can help you. More than that, when you’re clear and specific, you firm up your mind so you can pursue your goals with purpose.


It sounds simple, but you need to ask someone with the right resources. The trick is to find precisely the right person for the job. One direct ask that results in a “yes” is better than spamming your mates and losing good connections.


It’s vital to be clear with what you want and identify those people who can help. But remember, every favour comes with a price. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You need to demonstrate how you can deliver value back to the person. What can you do for them? For example, a raise at work is usually granted alongside extra responsibilities. You cannot enjoy the benefit if you aren’t willing to accept the price.


Fear always finds a way of getting in the way of success. If you aren’t convinced about what you’re asking for, how can anyone else be? The trick is to ask without fear. Check your body language and ask with absolute confidence.


One of the biggest takeaways I got from the event was to closely study successful people and mirror what they do. “By studying the right role models, you could learn in a week what might otherwise take you a decade,” Robbins says.

Successful people are unified by one thing - their steely determination. They ask for what they want until they get it. They simply don’t give up. You have probably heard it before: Persistence is the key to success. But successful people don’t just ask in the same way repeatedly.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten,” Robbins famously once said.

The key is to change tact if you’re not getting what you want. Be willing to adjust your tactic and be open to getting things done differently.

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Robbins famously once said.

“The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if you clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving, you’re willing to take massive action, you notice what’s working or not, and you continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way,” says Robbins.

Much of what Robbins teaches, we already know. We know when it’s important to set goals, identify what we actually want in life and believe in our goals. But actually doing these things is easier said than done. The value in attending this event is Robbins teaches us how to take action - massive action - to overcome the mental hurdle and do the things we know we should but rarely do. The greatest tragedy is to live a life of “should haves” and “meant tos”.

So let’s ask you one more time. What do you want?