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Recover your true self

Tony, Russell Brand and Mary B on freeing yourself from the addictions and attachments that control your life

We all have some sort of addiction in our lives. Perhaps an addiction to a substance. Maybe it’s an addiction to food or a bad relationship. It could be an addiction to your cell phone. Or maybe it’s even an addiction to problems, or suffering. What unhealthy habits and attachments can you recognize in your own life?

In this very special episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, Tony and his partner in crime, Mary Buckheit, sit down with actor, comedian, radio host, author and activist – Russell Brand. We all know Russell as the gregarious, charming personality starring in such hits as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. But what we didn’t know was that for decades, Russell struggled with loneliness, shame and self-worth, and was in the throes of a battle with substance addiction. In this conversation, Russell discusses the profound lessons in his book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, and he shares just how he brought consciousness to his actions and behaviors, how he cultivated discipline in his life, and how he awoke to find truth in his life. He also reveals the tools and techniques to recognize negative patterns in your life, so that anyone can break free of the addictive habits and attachments that control our lives and start on the journey to recovering who you were truly meant to be.


[00:05] Episode introduction
[01:01] Tony and Mary B introduce Russell
[01:45] Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions
[02:10] What does recovery really mean?
[03:15] Russell’s history with addiction
[03:45] A lonely, sad childhood
[05:30] Filling the hole with drugs and alcohol
[06:40] What has Russell learned from his addictions?
[07:00] You have the power to change
[08:50] Accepting help from other people
[09:15] Tony’s father-in-law’s own struggle
[09:40] Mary B’s introduction to the 12 steps
[12:20] The 12 steps through Russell’s eyes
[13:20] Language can be an obstacle
[14:20] Russell’s version of the 12 steps
[15:10] Are you going to take ownership?
[16:00] Oneness, connectedness and love
[16:20] Religion should not be problematic
[17:00] Addressing the negative factors in your life
[17:50] Looking at it and letting go
[18:45] Discovering new patterns
[19:40] Feeling ashamed
[20:45] Lack of certainty about who you are
[21:25] We have different personalities within us
[22:40] Finding comfort in a sponsor
[23:00] Basing self-esteem on an image
[23:30] Shame flourishes in darkness and isolation
[24:00] There is a way back
[24:40] Waking up to who you are
[24:50] The self is a construct
[25:10] Finding your essence
[25:40] You’re not broken – it’s just a pattern
[26:10] Finding your wholeness through physiology
[26:50] Truth is perennial
[28:30] Finding God in yourself and others
[28:45] The word “God”
[29:15] Defining addiction
[30:00] Becoming dependent on food and sexual behavior
[31:35] Motive matters
[32:45] The role that culture plays
[35:50] Culture has become incredibly invasive
[37:20] The threshold of addiction
[38:45] Bringing consciousness to our eating habits
[40:00] Looking to return to oneness
[40:45] Suffering is a lack of connection
[41:30] Waking yourself up
[42:50] Fight or flight
[43:30] The more expectations we have the unhappier we are
[43:55] Demand an end of suffering
[45:00] Feeling like he was finally on the right path
[46:55] Techniques to snap out of it
[47:10] Surrender and relax
[49:10] Death as a teacher
[49:55] Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons
[50:40] Recognizing patterns
[51:30] The need for certainty
[51:55] The need for variety
[52:10] Finding certainty and uncertainty simultaneously
[52:25] The need for significance
[52:35] The need for connection and love
[53:10] Problems are our biggest addiction
[53:40] Growth and contribution
[54:15] Overvaluing significance
[54:45] Addicts find power in their problems
[56:25] When addiction becomes devotion
[56:55] Smoking meets needs
[57:45] Eating meets needs
[58:20] Russell’s connection to devotion
[59:20] The yearning to be “at one”
[59:55] Life’s about “we”
[1:00:05] Trading addiction for recovery
[1:00:55] Remaining observant
[1:01:05] Finding joy in what is grounding
[1:02:45] Russell’s former understanding of the divine
[1:04:15] How long did it take Russell?
[1:04:35] Avoiding Step 4
[1:05:05] What pushed him through?
[1:07:40] Discovering “defects” in his character
[1:10:40] Step 7
[1:11:35] Justifying your commitments
[1:13:05] Getting thrown out of drama school
[1:14:35] Struggling to find fulfillment
[1:15:55] Sage’s love for Tony
[1:16:20] Defining humility
[1:17:25] Making amends with those you’ve harmed
[1:19:40] Amending your path
[1:20:50] Forgiving yourself
[1:21:20] Admitting you’re wrong
[1:22:50] Staying connected to a new perspective
[1:24:25] Asking for a higher will
[1:25:50] The most difficult people to reach
[1:27:00] Russell’s advice for listeners
[1:28:55] Identity changes with action
[1:29:50] Finding mentors
[1:32:15] How Russell’s daughter changed him
[1:33:20] Feeling like he has a home
[1:34:10] Finding truth in your vulnerability

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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