Not My Job: Tony Robbins Gets Quizzed On Laziness

Not My Job: Tony Robbins Gets Quizzed On Laziness

5:12pm May 18, 2015
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins, shown in California in 2010, is the author of numerous self-help books. His latest is Money.
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins, shown in California in 2010, is the author of numerous self-help books. His latest is Money.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Tony Robbins has been traveling the world for decades giving his intensive three-day seminars on improving your life, and he's written a number of best-selling books.

The life coach is famous as a go-getter. So we invited him to answer three questions about stay-putters — incredibly lazy people.

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And now the game where somebody who has achieved great things, achieves something not so great. It's called Not My Job. Now, if you mention the name Tony Robbins to people, a lot of them will say things like, oh, my God, he changed my life. And they mean that in a good way. Tony has been traveling the world for decades, giving his intensive seminars on improving your life. He's written a number of best-selling books, including his latest "Money: Master The Game." Tony Robbins, welcome to WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.

TONY ROBBINS: Thanks so much, Peter.


SAGAL: So I was - I mean, I've heard about you. My friends are among those who have read your books and watched your videos and attended your seminars. And how does one get into the business you're in of being sort of a global life coach to people? Did you start, like, giving advice in high school? Did, like, people find you, like, after school and say, Tony, you know, I - the cheerleader won't date me. What do I do, or whatever the high problems were at that time?

ROBBINS: As silly as it sounds, yes, it started with people wanting to lose weight 'cause I was - I'm 6'7" today, but I was 5'1" my sophomore year in high school, and I was fat. And so I turned myself around. And my buddies asked me. It started with that, and then it grew to helping people in their relationships. And I just - I became the go-to guy with it. And I got addicted to lighting people up, just seeing people so happy 'cause they rediscovered what they're capable of and so that became my life's work.

LUKE BURBANK: Wait, wait, wait. Do you actually claim that you willed yourself into being 6'7"?


ROBBINS: No, I told - you know, I was 5'1". I'm 6'7". The difference is personal growth.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: Tony, you're known for taking your preparation really seriously. That's what you teach. What is it like to just relax and take it easy?

ROBBINS: Really good. One of my boys is really good at what he calls chilling. I asked him for some advice today.


SAGAL: Did you? I mean, when you got the message, well, they don't want to prepare. They just want you to relax. You had to seek out advice and counsel on how to relax?


ROBBINS: Yes, I'm obsessed.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Jeez that's great. I just found a job that my son can go into.


BURBANK: Yeah, chill coach.

SAGAL: Tony, you're obviously very famous for helping people. Do people out in public ever just come up to you and ask for help?

ROBBINS: Well, the answer's yes. I either get to hear a magnificent story or somebody wants some help and it's very different than just seeing somebody in a movie and getting an autograph or taking a picture. I remember one specific time years ago - true story - I'm standing at the urinal, doing the necessary, and this man starts looking at me and looks at me again and goes, oh, my God, you're Tony Robbins. Oh, my God. He goes, I'm suicidal, I need your help. And he turns in the process...



ROBBINS: ...Toward me. And I'm - I've got this stuff all over my legs, and I said, you know, I think I can help you with that suicide situation, you know.


POUNDSTONE: Tony, do your kids take your advice?

ROBBINS: Yeah, well, they do. It helps to be 6-foot-7 and not take any s***.

SAGAL: Oh, wow.


SAGAL: You've mentioned, and I know it's true, that among the people you've helped are presidents. Is it true that, like, the people who - the presidents who call you for help, or the major celebrities or the business leaders, have the same kind of problems has everybody else, just on a larger scale?

ROBBINS: Yeah, everybody does. I mean, some people have problems that are on the world stage, but they're still the same problems. They have to deal your inability to perform at the same level you did before or loss of confidence or a situation where you got to figure out how to influence people and breakthrough a giant obstacle. So and in sports, it's, you know, losing that rhythm, you know, finding yourself in a place where you can't do what you've done well forever, and you got a change it right now. So I get the call when Serena Williams is, you know, burning down. I got to turn around right now. Or when the president of the United States, you know, President Clinton called me - true story - and said, they're going to impeach me in the morning, what should I do?

SAGAL: Wait a minute, really?

ROBBINS: My first response was - yeah, he did. I said my first response was, could you have called me sooner?


SAGAL: You should've called me before you ordered that pizza two years ago, you said.

ROBBINS: I'm sure I'm not the only person he spoke to that night for advice, but I was one of them, yes.

SAGAL: And when you got that phone call from the president of the United States, who was about to be impeached first time since Andrew Johnson in the 1860s, did you have a moment where you said to yourself, I cannot believe this is happening?

ROBBINS: No. I've had plenty of those moments. That wasn't one because he and I already had a strong relationship at that point, but...

POUNDSTONE: What did you say when Andrew Jackson called you?


SAGAL: All right, Tony Robbins, we've asked you here to play a game we're calling...

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: What? Sorry, I Was Resting My Eyes.

SAGAL: So you're all about turning people into go-getters, so we thought we'd ask you about three stories of incredibly lazy people, instead of go-getters, say, stay-putters. Get two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners - Carl Kasell's voice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Tony Robbins playing for?

KURTIS: Bill Childs (ph) of Austin, Texas.

SAGAL: All right, so...

ROBBINS: All right.

SAGAL: ...Bill's got it all riding on you. And by the way, Tony, we encourage you to unleash your power within here as necessary.

ROBBINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The power pose might help. I don't know. First question - some lazy people have at least tried to fight back into their lives against the forces of laziness such as which of these? Was it A - in 2009, a Montana man put springs in a motor into his La-Z-Boy so it would vault him into a standing position when he pulled the crank; B - a woman in Illinois hired a genuine former Chicago mobster to threaten her life whenever she did not get her filing done. Or C - in 2004, a Wisconsin man, fed up with lying around and being lazy, sued the cable TV company for making him that way.


ROBBINS: Oh, my God. Unfortunately, all three of these are very likely. A and C seem most likely. I'll go with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go with A, he rebuilt his La-Z-Boy so instead of just standing up, he would be launched forward in an upright position. It's a good idea, but it was actually C.

ROBBINS: C, that's the other possibility.

SAGAL: A Wisconsin man sued Charter Communications for making him fat, slovenly and lazy by giving him such delightful things to watch on TV all day.

ROBBINS: Welcome to America.

SAGAL: I know. It's a great place. All right, Reddit, which, as you know, is a user-edited website, once asked its users to name the laziest thing they had ever done. Which of these was a real answer? A - the man who tied his dog to his remote control car so he could use that to give his dog a walk from the comfort of his couch? B - the guy who drove in his car from the back of the garage to the front of the garage to get something. Or C - instead of getting up and walking to the refrigerator to get a coke, he just picked up his phone and ordered one bottle to be delivered from Peapod, the grocery delivery company.

ROBBINS: Oh, my God.


ROBBINS: These are horrible. I'll go with A. I got to see this guy having his dog be walked by a car.

SAGAL: And that's right. It was A.


SAGAL: The other ones we made up.


SAGAL: The anonymous Redditor with the RC remote-controlled monster truck and the dog says, quote, "Don't judge me."


SAGAL: All right, if you get this - if you get this last one, you will win our prize for our listener.

ROBBINS: All right. I'm working for you out there, Bill.

SAGAL: All right, if you Google, laziest person ever, you will probably end up with which of these stories? A - the Navy officer who ordered his ship to change course rather than move in his wardroom seat to get the sun out of his eyes. B - a man who was too lazy to get out of bed and eat breakfast every day, so he installed an enormous Hopper filled with Cap'n Crunch right above his bed. Or C - a story about a man who was writing a quiz and did nothing more than Google the phrase, laziest person ever.


ROBBINS: I'm going to go with B.

SAGAL: You're going to go with B?


SAGAL: So the guy has a huge Hopper filled with Cap'n Crunch, specifically Cap'n Crunch, and instead of getting up to get breakfast, presumably, he would just lay back and pull a chain that would release a flow of Cap'n Crunch and the manner of a granary, perhaps, or a silo into his, presumably, open mouth. So really, you're going to go with B?



ROBBINS: I'm will change it to A quick before we get out of here.

SAGAL: All right, yes, it's A. Thank you very much.


SAGAL: The story, which can never be proven, is unbelievably detailed and it concerns an unnamed officer on an unnamed ship who, after what is apparently a rough night, decides it's easier to tell the ship to change course than to move from his seat in the wardroom as he eats his bagel. Bill, how did Tony Robbins do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, Tony's a winner, and he was here too - 2 out of 3. Congratulations.

SAGAL: Well done, Tony.

ROBBINS: Thank you.


SAGAL: Tony Robbins is a life coach and the author of many best-selling books. His latest New York Times best-seller is "Money: Master The Game." Tony Robbins, what a pleasure to talk to you.

ROBBINS: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for your time.

KURTIS: Thanks, Tony.

POUNDSTONE: Thanks, Tony.

KURTIS: You did great.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.




LAZY LESTER: (Singing) They call me lazy. God knows I'm only tired. They call me lazy. God knows I'm only tired. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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