Transcriber: Judith MatzReviewer: Tatjana Jevdjic Bigger welcome!Hello, San Francisco! TEDx – oh my God, blinding light! Hi, everybody! How are you? (Audience cheering) Fine?!Oh my gosh! Okay, so.
My name is Mel Robbins, and for the last seventeen years, I have done nothing but help peopleget everything that they want.
Within reason! My husband's here.
So, I've done it in the courtroom, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, in people's living room, whatever room you want to be in, if I'm there, I will help you get whateveryou want by any means necessary.
For the last three years –I host a syndicated radio show.
Five days a week, I go live in forty cities and I talk to men and womenacross America who feel stuck.
Do you know that a third of Americansfeel dissatisfied with their lives right now? That is a hundred million people! That's insane! And I've come face to face with itin this new show that I'm doing, which is also insane, it's called “In-laws”.
I move in with families across America –(Laughter) You guessed it! – who are at war with their in-laws.
We move them into the same house, I verbally assassinate everybody, we open up Pandora's box, and I get people to stop arguingabout the donuts and who is hostingThanksgiving dinner, and talk about the real stuff.
And that's what I wantto talk to you about.
I'm here for you.
I'm going to tell you everything I knowin less than eighteen minutes about how to get what you want.
So I want you to takea millisecond right now and think about what you want.
You! And I want you to be selfish.
Screw Simon and the “We” thing.
This is about me, right now! (Laughter) (Applause)Sorry, Simon.
What do you want?And here's the deal.
I don't want it to sound goodto other people.
Being healthy will not get your asson a treadmill.
Losing your manboobs, so you can hook up with somebody, now that's motivation.
(Laughter) So, I want to know: What do you want? Do you want to lose weight?Do you want to triple your income? Do you want to start a nonprofit?Do you want to find love? What is it? Get it, right here.
You know what it is, don't analyze itto death, just pick something.
That's part of the problem.
You won't pick.
So, we're going to be talking abouthow you get what you want.
And frankly, getting what you wantis simple.
But notice I didn't say it was easy.
It's very simple.
In fact, if you think about it, we live in the most amazingmoment in time.
So that thing that you have up here, whatever it may be, you want to use healthy eatingto cure your diabetes, you want to figure outhow to take care of the elders and start a new hospice center, you want to move to Africaand build a school.
Guess what? You can walk into a book store– right now! – and buy at least ten bookswritten by credentialed experts on how the hell you do it.
You could Google it.
And you could probably find at least, I don't know – a thousand blogs documenting the step, by step, by step transformation that somebody else is already doing.
You can find anybody onlineand cyber-stalk them! (Laughter) You can just walk in their footsteps –just use the science of drafting.
Follow what everyone else has done, because somebody is already doing it! So why don't you have what you want, when you have all the informationthat you need, you have the contacts that you need, there are probably free tools onlinethat allow you to start a business, or join a group, or do whateverthe heck you want!? It all comes down to one word: F*©#.
Shut the front door, you know what I'm talking about? The f-bomb.
It's everywhere! You hear it all the time! I honestly don't understandwhat the appeal is of the word.
I mean, you don't sound smartwhen you say it.
And it's really not expressinghow you really feel.
It's sort of a cheap shot to take.
And of course you knowI'm talking about the word “fine”.
“How you doing?””Oh, I'm fine.
” Oh, really? You are? Dragging around those extraforty pounds, you're fine? Feeling like roommates with your spouse, and you're fine? You haven't had sex in four months, you're fine? Really?! I don't think so! But see, here's the deal with sayingthat you're fine: It's actually genius.
Because if you're fine, you don't have to do anything about it.
But when you think about this word “fine”, it just makes me so angry.
Here we are at a conferenceabout being alive and you're going to describethe experience of being alive as “fine”?! What a flimsy and feeble word! If you're crappy, say you're crappy! If you're amazing say you're amazing! Tell the truth! And this not only goesfor the social construct: “Oh, I don't want to burden youwith the fact that I hate my life”, or: “Hey, I'm amazing! But thatwould make you feel terrible.
” The bigger issue – The bigger issue with “fine”is that you say it to yourself.
That thing that you want, I guarantee you, you've convinced yourselfthat you're fine not having it.
That's why you're not pushing yourself.
It's the areas in your lifewhere you've given up.
Where you've said, “Oh, I'm fine.
My mom's never going to change, so I just can't have that conversation.
” “I'm fine.
We've got to wait untilthe kids graduate, before we get divorced, so we'll just sleep in separate bedrooms.
” “I'm fine.
I lost my job, I can barely pay my bills, but whatever – It's hard to get a job.
” One of the reasons why this word also justannoys me so much is, scientists have calculated – Oh yeah, I'm coming down!(Laughter) Scientists have calculated the odds of you being born.
They've crunchedthe numbers.
I see you up there.
They've crunched the numbers on you – Yeah, you guys standing up, you want to sit down for this.
They've crunched the numberson you being born.
And they took into accountall of the wars, and the natural disasters, and the dinosaurs, and everything else.
And do you realize that the odds, the odds of you, yeah, right here, put your computer away, stand up for me, Doug!(Laughter) So the odds of Doug here, turn around, say “hi” to everybody – the odds of Doug being born at the moment in time he was born, to the parents you were born to, with the DNA structure that you have, one in four hundred trillion! Isn't that amazing?Doug: I'm so lucky! Mel: Yes! You're not fine, you're fantastic! You have life-changing ideas for a reason, and it's not to torture yourself.
Thank you, Doug.
(Applause) Christine was right when she saidall of you could be on stage.
Because all of you– we're all in this category.
One in four hundred trillion.
All day long you have ideasthat could change your life, that could change the world, that could change the way that you feel, and what do you do with them?Nothing! (Grunts) Hopefully I won't moon you.
(Laughter) You didn't pay for that.
(Laughter) And I want you to just think for a minute, because we all have – I love to use the analogy”the inner snooze button” – you have these amazing ideasthat bubble up.
You've been watching people all day and I guarantee you, like ping pong balls – bam-bam-bam and everytime you have an idea, what do you do? – Hit the snooze! What's the first decisionyou made this morning? I bet it was to go back to bed.
“Yeah, first decision today, I'm one in four hundred trillion, I'm going to go back to sleep.
” And I get it! Your bed is comfortable!It's cosy, it's warm! If you're lucky, you've got somebodythat you love next to you, or in my case, I've got my husbandand my two kids and possibly the dog.
And the reason why I'm bringing upthis first decision that you made today, and the inner snooze alarm, is because in any area of your lifethat you want to change, any – there's one factthat you need to know.
This one: You are never going to feel like it.
No one's coming, motivation isn't happening, you're never going to feel like it.
Scientists call it activation energy.
That's what they call the force required to get you to changefrom what you're doing on autopilot to do something new.
So try this test tomorrow.
You think you're so fancy, I know, you're attending TED.
Tomorrow morning, set your alarmfor thirty minutes earlier.
And then when it goes off, take those sheets, throw them off, and stand upand start your day.
No snooze, no delay, no, “I'll just wait here for five secondsbecause Mel's not standing here” – Do it.
And the reason why I want you to do itis because you will come face to face with the physical, and I mean physical force that's required to change your behavior.
Do you think that somebodywho needs to lose weight ever feels like going on a diet? Of course not! You think they ever feel like eatingboiled chicken and peas instead of a croissant? I don't think so! The activation energy required to get your ass awayfrom your computer and out the front door, to go on the walk, you saidthat you were going to go on, is the exact same amount of forcethat it takes you to push yourself out of a warm bedand into a cold room.
What's interesting about being an adult is that when you become eighteen, nobody tells you that it's nowgoing to be your job to parent yourself.
And by “parent yourself”, I mean it's your job to make yourselfdo the crap you don't want to do, so you can be everythingthat you're supposed to be.
And you're so damn busywaiting to feel like it.
And you're never going to! My son never feels like getting off his DS.
That's my job! Get off the damn DS! Kendall, clean up the Barbies! If you're going to have a nude partyin my bathroom, at least clean it up! (Laughter) God, chew with your mouth closed!We're not a barn, for crying out loud! Alright, dinner is coming, get out of the pantry.
As parents, and you were a kid, your parents make you do the thingsyou don't feel like doing.
Because you won't.
Not now, not then, not ever! And even when you get good at something, you'll figure out something elseyou don't want to do.
And then you'll plateau out, get bored, “I hate this job.
Blah blah boring.
” But will you look for a new one?No! You'll just bitch about that one.
It's very, very simpleto get what you want.
But it's not easy.
You have to force yourself.
And I mean force.
And the reason whyI use the word “force” – when Roz was up hereand talking about the emotion tracking, and she had the pictureof two sides of the brain – I look at the brain the exact same way.
Only I describe one sideof your brain as autopilot and the other side as emergency brake.
That's the only two speeds you get:autopilot, emergency brake.
And guess which one your brainlikes better: autopilot.
You've had the experience whereyou've driven to work and you get there and you're like, “Oh my God, I don't remember ever driving here.
” (Laughter) You weren't drunk!That was your brain on autopilot.
It was functioning just at this level.
And the problem with your mindis that anytime you do anything that's differentfrom your normal routine, guess what your brain does —emergency brake! And it has that reaction for everything.
Everything! You walk into the kitchenand see everybody's left their breakfastdishes for you.
And you think for the hundredth time, “I'm going to kill them.
In fact I'm gonna leave it hereand I'm going to make them do it.
” But that's not your normal routine, is it? So your mind goes: emergency brake! And you go right into autopilot.
“I'll just load it, and be pissed, and then not have sex.
That's what I'm going to do.
“(Laughter) (Applause) So, when I say “force”, anything that's a break from your routineis going to require force.
And if you think about your life, it's kind of funny because we are kidsand then we become adults, and we spend so much timetrying to push our life into some sort of stable routine, and then we grow bored of it! You wake up at the same time every day, you have largely the same breakfast, you drive to work the same way, show up at work, look busy, avoid making calls, update Facebook, you attend a meetingand doodle the whole time, go back and update Facebook, make plans for the evening, you look busy some more, then drive home the same way, you eat largely the same dinneror a variety of it, you watch the same kind of media, and then you go to bed, and do the same thing all over again! No wonder you're bored outof your mind! It's the routine that's killing you.
I have this theory aboutwhy people get stuck in life.
So, most of you've probably takenyour Basic Psych 101 class, and you've bumped intoAbraham Maslow's “Hierarchy of Needs”? Well, your body is kinda cool.
Because you have these basic needs.
And your body is wiredto send you signals.
If you need food, what do you feel? If you need water, what do you feel? If you need sex, what do you feel?(Laughter) Thank you.
I think when you feel stuckor dissatisfied in your life, it's a signal.
And it's not a signalthat your life is broken.
It's a signal that one of your mostbasic needs are not being met.
Your need for exploration.
Everything about your life, about your body, grows! Your cells regenerate, your hair, your nails, everything grows for your entire life.
And your soul needs explorationand growth.
And the only way you'll get it isby forcing yourself to be uncomfortable.
Forcing yourself to get outside, out of your head.
If you're in your head, you're behind enemy lines.
That is not God talking, okay?It's not! In fact, if I put a speaker on itand we broadcast what you say to yourself, we would institutionalize you.
(Laughter) You would not hang out with peoplethat talk to you the way you talk to yourself.
So get out of your head! Your feelings!Your feelings are screwing you! I don't care how you feel!I care about what you want! And if you listen to how you feel, when it comes to what you want –you will not get it.
Because you will never feel like it.
And you need to get outsideyour comfort zone.
It's not about taking risks, it's about getting outsideyour comfort zone.
Those first three seconds whenyou push yourself out of bed, they blow.
But once you're up, it's great.
Those first three seconds whenyou're sitting here in a stadium like this and somebody says, “Get up and come dance, ” and you think, “Oh, I should do that, ” and then you're like, “Uhmm.
” That experience that you hadwhen you had the impulse to do it and then you didn't dothe activation energy required to force yourself, your emergency brake got pulled –”I'm sitting right here.
I'm not going up with thosecrazy people, I don't like to dance.
” What happened for me isI came up, and I bumped into Rachel, and then we started talking, and next thing you know, she's tweeting.
And we're friends.
And – boom! Get outside.
That's where the magic is.
That's where the onein four hundred trillion exists.
So everything I do –oh, OK, this is the last part.
So one more thing that you can use, I call it the five-second-rule.
Your mind can process a facial expressionin 33 milliseconds.
It can move pretty damn quick.
The other thing that it does very quickly is if you have one of those littleimpulses that are pulling you, if you don't marry it with an actionwithin five seconds, you pull the emergency brakeand kill the idea.
Kill it! If you have the impulse to get upand come dance while the band is playing, if you don't stand up in five seconds, you're going to pullthe emergency brake.
If you have an impulse about, you were inspired by somebody'sspeech today, and you don't do somethingwithin five seconds – write a note, send yourself a text – anything physical to marry itwith the idea, you will pull the emergency brakeand kill the idea.
Your problem isn't ideas.
Your problem is you don't act on them.
You kill them.
It's not my fault.
It's not anybody's fault.
You're doing it to yourself.
Stop it! I'm counting on you.
One in four hundred trillion.
You got stuff to do! And it's not going to happenin your head.
So I want youto practice this today.
When we go off to party, thank God it's coming soon, because I thinkwe all could use a cocktail, I want you to practicethe five-second-rule.
You see somebody and you thinkyou have an impulse, they look interesting?Walk over there! You were inspired by somebodyand you have a request? Make it! That's why you're here! Experiment with it, and I thinkyou'll be shocked about what happens.
And one more thing, I want you to knowthat everything that I do, whether it's the radio show, or the television show, or the book that I wrote, or the column, it's for you.
And if there is anything that I can do, if I can do anything to make you dothe things you don't want to do, so you can have what you want, I will do it.
But you need to walk over, you need to open your mouth, and you need to make the request.
You got it? Good.
Go do it.
(Applause) Thank you! Thank you, yes!Stand up! You have the impulse, stand up!Thank you!.