Dave Barry takes a 12-hour
success seminar and learns about ...
What is the secret of success?
Why is it that one child grows up to become just an
ordinary, ho-hum, middle-of-the-pack, blah of a
person such as -- no offense -- you; while another
child grows up to become a Theodore Roosevelt, a
Mother Teresa, a Donald Trump, an Attila the Hun?
Is it luck? Is it genes? Is it upbringing? Did Mr.
and Mrs. Hun teach young Attila some secret lesson
that put him on the path to becoming No. 1?
Or is success something that any of us can achieve,
even later in life, if we're willing to work hard,
use our imaginations, learn from our mistakes, keep
a positive mental attitude and -- above all -- pay
money for a seminar?
That's what I decided to find out after seeing a
full-page ad in The Miami Herald announcing Peter
Lowe's SUCCESS 1997, an all-day event that,
according to the ad, would reveal "the latest
strategies for business and personal success" not
to mention "fuel your life to new highs." There
were testimonials from satisfied seminar-goers,
including one who said: "You get a whole new fervor
for doing business and networking with clients."
This struck a chord in me, because I have never had
any level of fervor for doing business or networking
with clients. When I was a boy, my parents had to
buy all my Little League candy from me, because I
was too shy to sell it door-to-door. As an adult,
the only networking I ever do is when somebody at
The Miami Herald tells me a joke; I immediately get
on the phone and relay it to my friend Gene
Weingarten at The Washington Post, who then tells me
that he already heard it.
So I figured Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997 might do me
some good. The ad said:
"Winners concentrate on winning. Losers concentrate
on getting by. You may be able to get by if you
don't come to Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997, but don't
you want to be there with the winners?"
And thus I found myself arriving at the Miami Arena
shortly before 8 on a Tuesday morning in March to
begin a day that, when all was said and done, would
prove to be truly a transforming experience, if you
define "transforming" as "lasting as long as the
Korean War, but sometimes louder."
I turned in my ticket, which I got by calling the
toll-free number (where your call is answered by a
cheerful and sincere tape recording announcing,
"It's a great day at Peter Lowe International!").
Ticket prices ranged from $59 up to $225; I
purchased a seat in the middle price range, which
cost $99 plus the Random Charges They Always Add,
for a total of $114.64.
The Arena was filling up with what eventually would
be around 16,000 other winners. These were friendly,
neatly dressed people, mostly in their 20s through
40s. Some were self-employed; some were unemployed;
and many were from local companies, which for months
had been barraged with promotional materials for the
The crowd was buying coffee and looking at the
success products for sale at various booths. The
biggest displays were for Anthony Robbins Success
Products. If you don't know who Anthony Robbins is,
go to your TV set right now and turn it on; the odds
are that you'll see an infomercial featuring a
relentlessly confident man with a jaw the
approximate shape and size of Nevada talking about
taking your life to the Next Level. That's Anthony
Robbins. He has made millions of dollars urging
people to be successful.
Robbins hit the big time back in the 1980s, during
the firewalking craze. Remember firewalking? The
idea was that you paid money, and in return, you got
to walk on hot coals, and the purpose of this was to
. . .
Gosh, I don't remember what the purpose was. Maybe
it increased your networking fervor. All I know is,
for a while there firewalking was very big -- it was
on Phil Donahue -- and Anthony Robbins got into it
on the ground floor. Now he's Mr. Success. The Peter
Lowe's SUCCESS 1997 ad states that Robbins "is the
foremost authority on the psychology of personal
performance and has been called one of the greatest
influencers of his generation. He has challenged and
inspired millions around the globe and has been
adviser to President Clinton, royal families,
numerous professional athletes and countless Fortune
Robbins sells a wide variety of Success Products,
mostly audio- or videocassette sets such as
"Unlimited Power," "Personal Power" (I and II),
"Powertalk!," "Unleash the Power Within," "The
Body You Deserve!" and "Get Rich in America." At
Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997, you could buy two Anthony
Robbins Success Products for $299, three for $429,
four for $549 and five for $649.
Since I was already $114.64 in the hole, I decided
to hold off on the Success Products for the time
being. But I did pick up, for free, the notebook
that accompanied the seminar. The cover was a big
picture of Anthony Robbins, and the first page was a
letter From the Desk of Anthony Robbins. It began,
"Dear Friend," and it said, in part:
"I have deep respect for you, for by your
attendance today you've clearly demonstrated that
you are an individual committed to Constant and
Never-ending Improvement -- CANI! Let's make a joint
commitment today to participate together with a new
level of intensity and passion, one that goes far
beyond anything we've done before. Through our
playful, outrageous and passionate levels of energy,
let's make this a day that truly makes a difference:
one you will not soon forget."
I should point out that, according to a notice on
page 2 of the notebook CANI!(TM) is a trademark of
Robbins Research International and may not be used
without permission. That also goes for a number of
other Robbins trademarks, including, but not limited
to: Skills of Power(TM); Fear Into Power: The
Firewalk Experience(TM); Certification: The Power of
Choice(TM); The Psychology of Success
Conditioning(TM); Date With Destiny(TM); Financial
Destiny(TM); The Power To Influence(TM); Unlimited
Power(TM); Breakthrough To Synergy(TM); Mastery
University(TM); ActiveLink(TM); EmpowerNet(TM);
Anthony Robbins & Associates(TM); Anthony
Robbins(TM); and Tony Robbins(TM).
Reading these terms, I began to fear that success
might turn out to be a really complicated subject,
like chemistry. I briefly considered leaving the
Arena and joining all the other losers in the world
outside, just concentrating on getting by. But then
I thought to myself: Hey, numerous professional
athletes have grasped these concepts, not to mention
royal families. How hard can they be?
So I went inside, took my seat, and prepared to fuel
my life to new highs. Here's how it went.
The Arena is filling up. The loudspeakers are
playing Desiree, by Neil Diamond. I don't know
whether listening to this song will turn out to be a
key ingredient in becoming successful; if it is, I'm
After a few minutes, the sound gets much louder; the
song playing now is Turn the Beat Around. Six people
-- three men and three women, in business attire --
come running up a ramp and onto the stage. They
begin prancing around the stage, dancing and
clapping to the music with the kind of energy that
comes, at 8:03 a.m., only from sincere enthusiasm or
massive doses of methamphetamine. They want us to
dance and clap, too. Some people -- mainly the ones
in the expensive seats right in front of the stage,
start doing the Businessperson Boogie, clapping and
getting as funky as they know how to get. (On a
funkyness scale ranging from a low of 0, which is
Lawrence Welk, up to a high of 10, which is James
Brown, the Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997 audience
averages a 2.5, which is between Kingston Trio and
Up in the $114.64 seats, some of the people are
clapping. Some of us, not yet ready for the Next
Level, are sipping our coffee.
After several minutes, the house lights dim, and
Anthony Robbins(TM) himself bounds onto the stage.
He is very large -- large head; large body; large
hands; large teeth; large voice. He's wearing a dark
suit, white dress shirt, red power tie and
suspenders. I think maybe he's an android. His shirt
never comes untucked, and his hair never moves, even
when he jumps up and down and waves his arms, which
he does often, especially when he makes us go into a
Peak State. But I'm getting ahead of my story.
Tony, speaking through a rock-star-type headset
microphone, tells us what kind of audience he wants
us to be: an energetic audience. He does not want us
sitting around like passive losers.
"We're gonna be like kids!" says Tony, causing me
to worry that we're going to have to give each other
noogies. But instead, Tony tells us to turn and
greet our neighbors. He makes us do this three
times, each time showing more energy and enthusiasm,
so that the third time we're supposed to hug our
neighbors as though we have just won the Super Bowl.
At first it seems like a silly exercise, but I have
to admit that when it's over, I'm no longer feeling
shy; I'm feeling like an idiot.
Next Tony has us go into a Peak State. This is a
state wherein you have peak energy and peak joy and
peak everything and you become unstoppable. Tony
explains the physiological process involved in
getting into a Peak State; I didn't follow the
details, but it definitely involves neurons.
I probably should not reveal to you how to get into
a Peak State, because it might be a trademarked
success concept, and you did not pay the $114.64.
But I'm feeling generous, so you should get a pen
and paper, and get ready to write down the following
procedure for getting yourself into a Peak State,
and please don't tell anybody I told you this secret
1. Jump up and down and scream.
That's what Tony has us do. The Arena sound system,
cranked up to Peak Volume, starts playing Burnin'
Love, and Tony runs around the stage throwing his
arms into the air. The audience members bounce up
and down and wave their arms and scream. It's like a
rock concert, except that instead of, say, the
Rolling Stones on the stage, there's Tony in his
suspenders. Jumping Jack Android.
After about 30 seconds of this, Tony stops us by
shooting his arm forward in a punching motion. He
then tells us we are to remain in a Peak State as we
listen to our first motivational speaker -- let's
give her a hugely energetic welcome -- Elizabeth
The Lion-Petting Caper
Out she comes, one of America's Ten Most Admired
Women, with her hair in Peak State. Her topics,
according to the newspaper ad for Peter Lowe's
SUCCESS 1997, will include Steps To Improve Your
Outlook, How To Gain The Perspective That Will
Change Your Directive, A Precise System Of
Improvement and The "Shovel Factory" Rule.
Mrs. Dole says that she's happy to be here in Miami,
and informs us that, when she was on the
presidential campaign trail last year with her
husband, Bob, "a lot of humorous things happened."
She doesn't tell us what these things were, but she
does tell us an entertaining story about the time
back in the 1960s when she was a new lawyer, just
out of Harvard, and she had to defend a man who was
accused of illegally petting a lion at the zoo, and
even though the odds were against her and she was a
woman, she won the case! Also, she informs us, the
men who signed the Declaration of Independence made
a lot of sacrifices. But now government has gotten
too big. Americans have many good ideas, but we go
too far sometimes. But we should be hopeful for the
In her speech, Mrs. Dole, as far as I can tell, does
not ever get around to revealing The "Shovel
Factory" Rule or any other specific success
techniques, unless your particular field involves
defending alleged lion-petters. But she gets a big
hand at the end. Then Tony Robbins(TM) bounds back
onto the stage and, reminding us that he has worked
with tons of Fortune 500 CEOs, orders us to stand up
and maintain our energy and focus. He then tells us
that we have to turn to our neighbors and give each
other massages. He insists on this.
As a person who could not even sell Little League
candy, I know there is no way I'm going to massage a
stranger, so I just stand there, not making eye
contact with my neighbors, scribbling furiously in
my notebook, pretending to be writing down an
important success technique from the Dole lecture.
The man behind me kind of halfheartedly tickles my
back; I turn to look at him, and we both giggle in
embarrassment, and he stops immediately.
After the massage, I'm hoping we can sit down for
the next lecture, but Tony orders us to go into a
Peak State again. This time we're jumping and
screaming to rap music. When it's over, Tony says,
"If you feel better than you did before, make a
fist and say YES!"
"YES!" shouts the crowd. I look at my watch. It's
9 a.m. Only nine more hours to go!
Now Tony tells us to watch the big Arena screens,
which show a videotape introducing the next speaker,
who is . . . Anthony Robbins(TM)! The video tells us
that Anthony Robbins(TM) has been all over the world
and has met many successful top world leaders
including President Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail
Gorbachev, Princess Diana, Quincy Jones, Andre
Agassi and the Los Angeles Kings. (The video does
not say whether Tony made Gorbachev go into a Peak
State, but I like to think he did.)
Then the announcer says, "Ladies and gentlemen,
Anthony Robbins(TM)!" And Tony comes bounding back
on stage to give us his success secrets.
Unfortunately, I cannot reveal these secrets to you,
because many of them are trademark concepts, and
quite frankly I don't want everybody who reads this
article to suddenly become successful and go to the
Next Level; we winners need people to remain on This
Level so there will be somebody to clean the
upholstery on our Lear jets. But I will offer you
some nuggets of information from the Anthony
At one time, Tony was a pathetic loser who was 38
pounds overweight and living in a 400-square-foot
apartment and washing his dishes in the bathtub. But
then one day he was listening to the Neil Diamond
song I Am, I Said, the one wherein Neil sings about
how no one heard him at all, not even the chair, and
Tony was so inspired by that song that he got up and
lost the weight and went on to become so fabulously
outstandingly successful that you have to squint
when you look at him.
"Pointing the Bone"
It is not enough to be excellent. Excellence is for
pathetic losers. You have to be OUTSTANDING!
The most important thing in the world is:
Anthony Robbins(TM), in addition to working with
countless Fortune 500 CEOs and world leaders, has
trained 15,000 psychiatrists and psychologists
If you put your hands together, and the left thumb
is on top, that means one thing; but if the right
thumb is on top, that means another thing; and this
is all related to: Psychology.
In some primitive cultures, they have a ritual
called "pointing the bone," wherein a witch doctor
points a bone at people, and the people, even if
they are perfectly healthy, just die, right there on
the spot, and the reason is: Psychology.
Andre Agassi became an outstanding tennis player
after Tony gave him some pointers on: Psychology.
Tony has also talked with both Arnold
Schwarzenegger AND Sylvester Stallone, and they both
agree with Tony about: Psychology.
Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela and Ted
Turner are all successful, and the reason is:
Tapeworms. No, seriously, the reason is of course:
People should be responsible.
Even though Lorena Bobbitt was legally found not
guilty, she was definitely responsible for
"chopping off Mr. Happy." As Tony puts it: "How
can she be found not guilty? If Mr. Happy is not
attached, she is guilty!"
Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky in 18
Tony's presentation lasts nearly two hours. During
this time Tony often makes a statement and then
says, "Everybody who agrees with me raise your hand
and say `I!' " When the crowd responds "I!" Tony
says "Outstanding!" Sometimes Tony mentions a
company, such as American Express or McDonalds, and
audience members who work for those companies cheer.
Tony also thumps himself on the chest a lot, each
time making a startlingly loud amplified sound. He
is definitely an android.
At one point Tony makes us put our bodies into a
Must State. I'm not sure whether a Must State is the
same as a Peak State, but I DO know that a Must
State is very different from, and should never be
confused with, a Should State, which is for pathetic
losers. The music they play when we go into our Must
State is the theme from Chariots of Fire. As it
blares from the speakers and Tony yells instructions
at us, we make Must Gestures and make Must
Statements and give each other Must Looks. While
this is happening I take a lot of Must Notes.
At the end of his presentation, Tony alerts us to
the fact that he has a number of tape products
outside, and they are for sale. He then tells us
that we need to go into another Peak State, because
if we're not in a Peak State he won't spin the Prize
Wheel. So we go into a Peak State, and Tony spins
the Prize Wheel, and a lucky audience member wins a
video recorder, and now it's time for Tony to
introduce our next speaker, so let's show some
OUTSTANDING energy for Rabbi Harold Kushner!
Rabbi Kushner is the author of the bestselling book
When Bad Things Happen to Good People. He gives a
thoughtful talk about living a fulfilling, if not
necessarily outstanding, life. At one point he even
suggests that winning is not necessarily the
ultimate goal of life. I like him because he does
not make us go into any kind of State.
When Tony gets back, he corrects this oversight
immediately, and soon the crowd is jumping and
screaming to Macho Man. After a couple of minutes
Tony stops us, saying, "Have a seat in a Peak
State, please." He then introduces Brian Tracy, who
according to the Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997 ad is a
"no-holds-barred sales trainer," as well as "the
country's leading expert on the development of the
human potential and corporate performance with
proven insights on selling excellence and maximum
In his introduction, Tony notes that Brian has some
success tapes for sale, and says "Brian fills his
tape products with a lot of take-home value."
Brian comes out and informs us right off the bat
that we, the people who have chosen to attend Peter
Lowe's SUCCESS 1997, are the elite. Some other
points he makes are:
-- Optimism is good.
-- Communism was bad. "I've been to the Berlin
Wall," Brian says, "and I've been on both sides of
the Iron Curtain, and I could tell you stories that
would take a long time."
-- Computers are important, and we should learn to
-- The future will be "distinctly different" from
-- We are ALL in sales.
-- We are ALL the presidents of our own companies.
-- Don't whine and complain!
Brian quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Aristotle, Harry
Truman, Confucius and Wayne Gretzky. He also speaks
highly of Neil Diamond's song America, although he
attributes it to Neil Sedaka.
"God, that was a wonderful song," he says.
At the end, Brian tells us about the various tape
products he has for sale, including "a special
audiocassette that will harmonize both hemispheres
of your brain." We can purchase all 10 of Brian's
tape products for a special Peter Lowe's SUCCESS
1997 seminar price of just $475.
At this point it's past noon and I would really,
really like to purchase some kind of lunch product,
but when Tony Robbins(TM) comes bounding back onto
the stage he makes us massage each other AND go into
a Peak State. Then he brings on our next speaker,
Lou Holtz, who has just resigned as head football
coach of Notre Dame. Lou is an aw-shucks kind of guy
who gives a very professional, entertaining and
well-rehearsed speech full of self-deprecating humor
and homespun wisdom. Among the success points he
-- You have to overcome difficulty.
-- Try hard!
-- The most important thing in the world is: Belief.
-- If you want to be an All-American, you should not
get involved with "booze and drugs and sex and
Lou closes with a magic trick in which he appears to
tear up a USA Today, but actually does not. He
leaves the stage to hearty applause, after which
Tony Robbins(TM) re-appears and tells us that:
1. Lou has a tape product available;
2. Mike Wallace, who was scheduled to speak at Peter
Lowe's SUCCESS 1997, had to cancel because of
laryngitis, but he has been replaced by another
wonderful speaker whom we will hear after lunch; and
. . .
3. If we come back from lunch promptly one hour from
now, at 2:30 p.m., Tony will spin the Prize Wheel
Tilt Nose, Insert Celery
And so the crowd streams out onto the Arena
concourse. I eat a hot dog product and a Diet Coke
product, then leave the Arena to take a walk.
Outside, I encounter a man sitting on the ground,
begging for money.
"You got anything?" he says. "Dime? Nickel?"
I should probably tell this man that he needs to get
his butt off the ground and get himself into a Peak
-- or at least a Must -- State. But it seems simpler
just to give him a quarter.
At 2:30 we return from lunch; the crowd seems to be
feeling a bit mellower after the break. Of course
mellowness is for total losers, so Anthony
Robbins(TM) immediately has us up on our feet. This
time, he tells us each to select a partner to be our
Physiology Buddy. He then instructs all the
Physiology Buddies to look each other in the eyes,
raise their right hands, and repeat a lengthy oath
("I am your Physiology Buddy, and I am ABSOLUTELY
COMMITTED to maintaining you in a HIGH ENERGY STATE
. . . ").
Then, with the Arena speakers blasting Born to Be
Wild, Tony has the Physiology Buddies dance with
each other, first with one buddy leading, then the
other. This, for me, is the highlight so far. I
mean, here at Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997, we may be
the elite; but, as dancers, we have the fluid
rhythmic grace of a cow trying to get on an
escalator. Across the aisle from me, two Physiology
Buddies -- these are businessmen in their 40s -- are
jerking and twitching around as though they are
being attacked by invisible hornets. They look
sheepish, but determined. I wonder: If you told
people that they'd become successful if they walked
around with celery stalks in their noses, would they
do it? Probably not, if YOU told them. But I bet
they would if Anthony Robbins(TM) told them to. They
would PAY Tony to tell them to put celery stalks in
their noses. Except Tony would call it something
like "CelerOnics," and it would be a trademarked
Now Tony has the crowd singing at the top of its
lungs: "BOOORN TO BE WIIIIILLLD"
You can almost smell the networking fervor.
Once Tony has us back in a Peak State, he spins the
Prize Wheel again, and somebody wins a CD Boom Box.
Tony then brings out the speaker replacing Mike
Wallace, an impressionist named Jim Morris. He does
Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Julia Child, his
high-school principal, Andy Rooney, Bill Clinton,
Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He gets his biggest
laugh as George Bush, when he says: "We're breaking
new wind." Fart jokes! Here at Peter Lowe's SUCCESS
1997! Things are looking up!
Our next speaker is Peter Lowe himself. He is
described in the ad for Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997 as
"an entrepreneurial phenomenon as the founding
president and CEO of a $20 million organization that
is responsible for the largest seminars in the world
-- SUCCESS 1997!" Tony Robbins(TM) introduces him
by telling us that Lowe has a "mission to really
help as many people as he can in his lifetime."
Before Lowe comes out, we watch a video about him,
done as though it were a documentary, hosted by a
woman who says, "the reporter in me wants to find
out who this person really is." This is followed by
a hard-hitting exposé -- featuring statements
from Jack Kemp, Paul Harvey and Naomi Judd -- in
which we learn that Peter Lowe, despite being only
in his 30s, is an outstandingly wonderful human
Tony then leads us in applause as Peter Lowe comes
out. Lowe is probably a perfectly nice person, and I
hope I am not jeopardizing my journalistic
objectivity when I say that he strikes me,
personally, as a smarmy little weasel. But far be it
for me to pass judgment on an entrepreneurial
phenomenon, so I will summarize here the man points
of his presentation, as I understand them:
-- Stress is bad.
-- Peter Lowe has had stress, putting on seminars
such as Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997.
-- At one point, he was losing $50,000 a week!
-- But he did not quit!
-- Winners never quit!
-- Abraham Lincoln did not quit!
-- Paul Harvey is another good example.
-- You should not leave your seed in the barn.
("Don't leave today with your seed in the barn,"
are Peter Lowe's exact words.)
Lowe also tells us that he has a tape product
available; he does not say whether Abraham Lincoln
does. We then take a 15-minute break and return to
give a major standing ovation as Tony Robbins(TM)
introduces our next speaker -- Heat Coach Pat Riley!
Rat on a Stick
The crowd goes nuts as Pat strides out in a suit
that looks as if it costs more than an F-16. He
gives a confident talk containing these points:
-- He hopes the Heat wins the NBA championship some
-- Michael Jordan is an excellent basketball player.
-- "A mission is an image of a desired state that
you want to get to."
-- The most important thing is: Attitude.
Pat also reveals that he was not always successful.
When he was 9, he didn't want to play sports; all he
wanted to do was tunnel under the kitchen and (I
swear, this is what he says) grab his mother's
ankles. He wanted to quit basketball, but his dad
wouldn't let him, and The Rest Is History.
This reminds me of an inspirational anecdote that
happened to me when I was in high school. I was on
the track team, but I really stunk and I hated it,
so I decided to quit. So I told my dad, and he said:
"Why?" And I said: "I hate it." And my dad -- I
will never forget this -- said "OK."
I didn't own any seed back then, but if I had, I
probably would have left it in the barn.
Pat leaves the stage to a thunderous ovation. Our
next speaker is Dr. Ted Broer, the author of Eat,
Drink and Be Healthy. He tells us the Top Ten Foods
Never To Eat, starting out with the worst possible
food group of all, which according to Dr. Ted will
pretty much kill you instantly if you so much as
look directly at it without sunglasses: The bacon,
sausage, pepperoni and hot dog group. This is
exactly the group that I had for lunch.
In stressing how bad hot dogs are, Dr. Ted waves
around a plastic rat and claims that real rats
sometimes fall into the machinery in meat-processing
plants and wind up in the hot dogs.
"So if you buy a corn dog," he says cheerfully,
"you might as well call it `rat on a stick.' "
Yum! Thanks, Dr. Ted!
The second lethal food group, according to Dr. Ted,
is shellfish. He is especially opposed to lobsters.
"A lobster is an arthropod," he says. "A
cockroach is an arthropod. All a lobster is, is a
giant cockroach on the bottom of the ocean."
This is exactly what I have been telling people for
years. For the first time today, I feel like jumping
up and cheering, but I don't, because we have not
been ordered into a Peak State.
Dr. Ted says the third lethal food is margarine,
followed by artificial sweeteners such as you find
in Diet Coke, which is what I had for lunch along
with my rat on a bun. The rest of the Killer Food
List includes alcohol, coffee and unfiltered water,
all of which are important components of my diet.
Basically Dr. Ted is telling me that, now that I
have finally learned all these secrets for success,
I am going to be a highly motivated corpse.
I am feeling so depressed about this news that I
barely listen as Dr. Ted tells us about his various
tape products. It's around 6 p.m., and I'm tired and
my body aches and I feel as though I've been sitting
in the Arena since Ponce de Leon was in Florida,
looking for the Tape Product of Youth. So it is with
a sense of dread that I watch Anthony Robbins(TM)
bound back to the stage and NO PLEASE DON'T OH NO
HE'S GOING TO MAKE US GO INTO A PEAK STATE AGAIN
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO . . .
But there is no stopping the Success Android. He
makes us not only go into a Peak State, but also do
The Wave. He wants us to have maximum energy for our
next speaker, who is -- and I am not making this up
-- George Bush.
It's a truly surreal moment when the former
president of the United States walks out and stands
where, only a few minutes earlier, Dr. Ted Broer was
telling us not to eat margarine. President Bush
looks relaxed and healthy, despite the fact that he
is known to snack on fried pork rinds, which I am
sure Dr. Ted would place in the same food group as
President Bush opens by talking about how honored he
was to be president, and about how he and Barbara
are very proud to have treated the office of the
presidency with respect, unlike the slimeballs in
the White House now. (He does not state that last
part explicitly, but the implication is clear.) He
then gives a relaxed, anecdotal speech containing
these success tips:
-- The nation needs to remain strong.
-- We should all try to be Points of Light.
-- If you're having a problem coming to terms with a
guy like the late French President Mitterrand, it
doesn't hurt to pour some wine into him.
-- Who are we to be telling Singapore not to cane
-- If you have to invade Panama, go ahead and invade
Panama, and the hell with what 60 Minutes thinks
Secretary of State
President Bush leaves the stage to a standing
ovation. It's now 6:30, and we've been receiving
success tips since approximately the time of the Big
Bang, but Anthony Robbins(TM) is urging us to stay
for a bonus speaker; this is Dan Kennedy, described
in his promotional literature as a
"millionaire-maker" who "delivers more `meat' per
minute than any other business speaker!"
For those who want to leave before the bonus
speaker, Anthony Robbins(TM) starts wrapping up the
day. As the Arena speakers play inspirational violin
music, Tony reviews some of the points made by the
speakers we've heard, then has us stand up and go
into one final State, which is a Peak State AND a
Must State AND a Commitment State. Tony wants us to
make a decision RIGHT NOW, and to commit ourselves
to ACTION. And to show our commitment, we are going
to all clap our hands rhythmically to inspirational
music for 2 1/2 minutes.
And so the music starts playing, and we start
clapping, and Tony strides around the stage,
thumping his chest and talking about resolve and
commitment and passion and love. And although I am
by nature a pretty skeptical person, I have to admit
that I am feeling something -- something inside my
soul, something that is telling me to make a
decision NOW, to commit myself to a course of action
NOW. And so I decide to skip the bonus speaker, and
I put my body into an Exit State.