In this special episode, I share my experience as a crew member for Tony Robbins at the UPW Unleash the Power Within event. My role was in the fire team, which involved building the fire and creating the firewalk experience for the participants. I reflect on my intentions for the event, highlight the importance of being in a beautiful state and the power of not quitting when tired, and I share my insights from the event, including the metaphor of being like a rock in the river amidst chaos.
* Being in a beautiful state and practising presence can lead to gratitude and appreciation.
* Don't quit when tired, quit when done - pushing beyond perceived limits can lead to surprising results.
* Focusing on the right task, in the right environment, with the right people can unlock hidden energy.
* Maintaining presence and focus amidst chaos can help navigate through challenging situations.
𝗞𝗘𝗬 𝗣𝗢𝗜𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗠𝗣𝗦
0:00:00 - Introduction to the podcast episode and the significance of the event
0:02:11 - Background on the speaker's previous experiences with Tony Robbins events
0:03:44 - Explanation of the fire team's role in the event
0:04:52 - Reasons for joining the fire team and setting intentions for the event
0:06:11 - Insights from the crew training day and the importance of being in a beautiful state
0:07:39 - Motivational quote and the opportunity to test personal limits
0:09:33 - Synchronicities and meaningful connections experienced during the event
0:11:30 - Sense of connection, contribution, and teamwork within the fire team
0:14:10 - Realization of having more energy than perceived and metaphor for life
0:19:04 - Emotional debrief and bonding with the fire team
0:21:03 - Gratitude for the experience and plans for future events
0:22:38 - Update on the podcast and call to action for listeners to connect
"Don't quit when you're tired, quit when you're done."
"If we maintain our presence, our focus, our breathing, our grounding, then we are not directly involved in that chaos anymore."
My previous crewing experience (episode #072):
𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝘀𝘁:
I'm your host Agi Keramidas, and my mission is simple - to inspire you to take action towards a purposeful and fulfilling life.
Visit my website: agikeramidas.com
Please note that while an effort is made to provide an accurate transcription, errors and omissions may be present. No part of this transcription can be referenced or reproduced without permission.
Welcome to Personal Development mastery podcast special episode 326. And this is indeed a very special episode, coming after my experience last week of serving as a crew member for Tony Robbins and 10,000 participants at UPW Unleash the Power Within event in Birmingham in the UK. It was the first live event of that scale that I attended. After a long time, it was actually the first one after the COVID years. And what made this crew experience even more significant and memorable is the fact that I served in the fire team of the crew, which is the ones responsible for creating the fire walk experience for the participants. During the first night of the event. In case you haven't been to UPW, the fire walk is walking barefoot along 10 feet of burning hot coals. So I was honoured to volunteer as crew, it was my third time growing and first time I was part of the team that built the fire and made the firewalk possible. I am grateful that I have contributed in a way to the transformation of 10,000 people who walked on coals last Thursday, doing something that they never thought it would be possible for them before. So in this podcast episode, I will describe my learnings and my insights from the experience. Before I do that, I will very briefly share. Maybe if you haven't listened to my story before that, in 2017, I attended Unleash the Power Within a Tony Robbins event in London. That was my first time and it was one of the most empowering and transformative experiences of my life. And you can find out more about it, if you want on previous episodes where I talked about it, and I will put the link for those episodes in the show notes. The previous time I crude the live event was in 2019. It was an immensely gratifying experience, the sense of contribution was deeply fulfilling, as well as the sense of belonging and growth. So I was looking forward to serving again, I was about actually to go in 2020. But then COVID happened and everything was cancelled. One thing I realised about growing the previous time was that growing is about serving and leading at the same time. It is about teamwork, about embracing uncertainty, and about being flexible and resourceful. And these are traits that are extremely useful to have in life, don't you agree?
So let me now give a brief explanation about what the fire team is about so that you understand what is involved there. So the fire team works separately from the rest of the crew because we spent the whole first day of the event while the participants and the rest of the grocery inside with Tony, the fire team is in the parking lot outside. And we first have to clean and sweep the parking lot because there will be 10,000 barefoot people walking there in the evening. So we need to make sure that there won't be anything on the ground. And then we need to set up the 26 fire lanes that were there this year. The fire lanes is where the hot coals will be laid on and people will walk on. And of course, the most important task we had was to build the fire that would provide the hot coals so that in the evening we will have enough hot coals for 10,000 people to work on. So it is quite manual labour. Some parts of the day are not very pleasant, and I will actually come back to that later on.
And you may be wondering, why did I want to join the fire team? Why did I want this experience And, of course, now that it's finished, I can easily reflect back on it. But before I joined, I had written down the, the main intentions that I had for the event. And I will mention the four main ones, the more prominent ones. And they were connection, growth, contribution and self belief. And I will refer back to these intentions later on because they have been fulfilled in a beautiful way.
And now that I've given a little bit of background of what the fire team is a little bit of my crew and background and also the significance of Tony Robbins event, in my own personal development journey, I will share with you a chronicle, shall we say of the event, as I experienced it, and I will highlight the learnings, the lessons that I've learned last week or insights that I had during the event. So the first day of the crew is actually called day zero, it's the day before the event starts where all the crew must meet and train. And one of the things that I learned being in the crew room that morning, because in the afternoon, the fire team, we move to our own headquarters. So one of the most important things that resonated with me that morning in the crew room was something that the lead group facilitators rates, rich Waterman have actually spoken with in the past on the podcast, he talked about being in a beautiful state. And he spoke about presence, our presence, being not in our mind space, but in our heart space, filling up appreciation and gratitude. That is the beautiful state, your presence. And the way to go there is to breathe with breathing. So that was my insight, already reminders, if you want that it's it's simple, to be in a beautiful state to have presence to connect with your heart space, and feel gratitude in the moment in the present moment. So Thank you Rich for that insight.
One of the things that I learned, and it had such a big impact when I heard it, and then I kept on hearing it over and over because it was a motto, actually, it was something that David Goggins said, Don't quit when you're tired, quit when you're done. And when we were doing our training for the fire team, our Captain Bill Keefe, who I will speak about more later on, because he also had a big impact on me. So he told us that during the next day, when we will be building the fire, we will have the opportunity to test what our limits are, or what we believe our limits are. And when I say limits, I mean not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. And let me say here, so that you have an idea of what I mean that we started that day at eight, we started working at eight in the morning, and we finished that 3am. So it was a very long day, almost 20 hours. So when that point comes that we reach that perceived limit within us, then is the time to remember that don't quit when you're tired with when you're done and realise that we are capable of doing much more than we think we can, if we're pushed at if the right circumstances are there. And I will share more about that in a little while because it was one of the biggest insights I had.
I could probably be going on forever describing my experience. But the only other really memorable thing that I will share from the day before the event was the amount of synchronicities that happened for me. So amongst 1000s of people, because on that day, many participants were there to register. And I came across a few people that are healing wanted to meet. And I knew that the word event and it was mind blowing when, you know, I was working in one direction. And then I hear Ricky, for example, call in Miyagi and realising, what are the chances of meeting like this in a place full of 1000s of people going back and forth. So this happened to me with five different people, or with those days, and three of them happened one after another after the other. So it was mind blowing in terms of how all the the circumstances and to be orchestrated in such a way that these incredible or seemingly impossible, quote unquote, coincidences happen. It's the synchronicities.
So let's now move on to the actual day one of the events the firework day, participants started coming in in the morning, we were already busy at that time, sweeping the carpark and laying the tear for the fire lanes, getting into running around with wheelbarrows, getting firewood, setting up them the huge turf that the firewood would be set on. And then set the wood itself in a specific way or pattern. And I won't start you with the details, but I will tell you what I realised and that goes back to the intentions that I shared with you earlier that I had set for the event. I realised the sense of connection and the sense of contribution. There was an incredible sense of teamwork that I experienced all brotherhood and sisterhood if you want. I experienced bonding with other people seeing their work ethic and their determination and how willing they were to work and help and contribute. That was instantly motivating me and I suppose the others as well, we would motivate each other by our ethic and our behaviour. Well, we had some outstanding leadership by our Fire Captain Bill and the two assistant captains, Jeff and Ellen. Bill was one of the most inspiring leaders that I had the privilege to meet and serve with and I learned so many things from him some learnings that will stay with me forever. So my gratitude to you Bill for having this impact.
So torward 10 o'clock at night, everything was ready to go the coals were burning hot, all the fire lanes all the teams were set up, ready to welcome the participants. My role during the fire walk was to hold movement protect a wheelbarrow full of hot coals. At some point the gates opened and 10,000 people in the state induced by Tony Robbins all day that 1000 people flooded in. Going past the two lanes that were on either side of me must have been hundreds of people going past them. And before I share with you my big insight from the day and the whole event really just to give an understanding of what happened. After all the participants had walked on the hot coals barefoot, then the crew did theirs. And then us the the fire team, we were the last ones that also had the experience of walking. That was my third time doing the firework, it is a beautiful and empowering experience. One realisation that I made that day, because after everything had finished, we had to stay there and clean the car park and it was a real mess with the coals the burn tariff. It was not smelling very nice. So what I found and learned about myself and that's the first out of the two big insights that I had.
So the first insight was how much energy or how much more energy I have in my body than I perceive that I do. If I am in the right environment with the right people doing the right task Being in the right state. When all these factors are combined together, I have much more energy than I ever thought that I did. So never through that 20 hour day not at any point, I felt like I had reached a limit, I had an excess of energy. And that was a great realisation that I can push myself much more than I perceive. But for the right reasons in the right environment, and most importantly, with the right people.
And before I share with you my biggest insight from the day, which was actually the biggest insight I had from the whole experience, I will give a quick shout out here to the other three members of my fire squad, so Heike, Soof. And Brad, I'm grateful for you. And coming back to my biggest realisation, my biggest insight from the day. And my role, as explained was holding a wheelbarrow full of hot coals. And my task was to focus right in front of me to my team members whenever they wanted to pick up coals because we needed to move and we needed also to protect the wheelbarrow from the participants, or the other way around, actually. So my role was to be very focused on the rest of my team. While at the same time there was chaos around us around me, there was chaos. There were people clapping, singing, dancing, there were drums playing, there were people on a bars, people will shout in excitedly that they had just completed the firework and so on. So my role requires me not to be distracted by any of that. And believe me, it was easy to be distracted. However, because of the responsibility of it, I focused right in front of me, I controlled my breathing, I grounded myself. And then all the pandemonium that was going on around me moved to the periphery, it was not the force to stay happening. But I could see it on the peripheral vision, not at the forefront. And the realisation that I had the biggest insight ahead from the event is that this was a metaphor for life. Because many times life throws at us chaos that maybe we're not expecting. And when this happens, if we maintain our presence, our focus, our briefing, our grounding, then we are not directly involved in that chaos anymore. We're not carried away by it, it still exists. It's still there, but it moves to the periphery, not the forefront of our focus. It's like being a big rock in the middle of the river. The water goes around the rock, the rock doesn't care about which direction the water is going. The rock is there, it does not get carried away.
So this was my biggest insight from the event and to start concluding this Chronicle. Then on the next day, we the fire team, we had to finish tidying up the parking lot. And then in the afternoon, we'll head out debrief of the event where every single one of us we were 55 Fire teamers. So every single one of us stood up and shared his or her magic moment from the event. When I stood up, I shared what I just shared with you a minute ago about being the rock in the river. While my other fire team members were sharing their own aha moments in their own personal moments vulnerably authentically, I found myself laughing for myself crying about myself, inspired upon myself moved on myself connected. The debrief lasted about five hours. We're all there sharing it was a beautiful, gorgeous, majestic experience. really memorable, remarkable and Really, it surely defied the bonding and the connection it it is true what they say that the fire team is a family. Now that I have experienced it, I understand it. Then after that they went had another two days, our rollers fire team had finished. But of course, we were free to join the rest of the crew and take on some different tasks.
Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within is a very transformative and powerful experience, whether you go there as a participant, or if you go there as a crew after you have participated. For me, it was a delight and a privilege to be there again. And I am grateful to have contributed to the transformation of 10,000 people who walked on hot coals that Thursday night, doing something that they never thought it would be possible for them. Some of the biggest milestones in one's life journey happen in places like this when you have an experience or a realisation that really shifts your thinking, your behaviour, your actions and your results in life. Growing us fireteam last week was an experience that I will always cherish and remember fondly and I have already renewed my participation in the fire team next year that UPW which will happen in Germany in September 2024. So if you have attended a live Tony Robbins event in your bucket list, there will be fewer opportunities to do so September 2024, set the intention and make it happen if you're going to go there. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you very much for your attention. I hope my story today and what I shared resonated within you to some level and my wish. And my intention also is to have given you something like a spark something that was ignited within you when you heard my insights and my experience. And that thing that was ignited in you, I wish for you that it will lead you to taking some kind of action about doing some application of it.
And a quick update about the podcast. We will remain in weekly episodes for the time being until the end of the summer and then we will go to two episodes a week again, and I have some changes coming up some surprises coming up. So stay tuned. And if anything that I spoke about today resonates with you please connect with me email me, I get it keramidas.com or on social media message me. Let's connect I would love to hear whether you've been to a Tony Robbins event what was your experience? Until next time, stand out don't fit in!