Self-Help: Doctor feelgood: Mental guru Anthony Robbins has all the answers. Serena Mackesy takes a lesson in life

Click to follow
Want to live? Want to double your salary? Want to be loved? Well, if you go to Anthony Robbins' seminars on The Tools of Strategic Influence or, indeed, want him to help you Unleash the Power Within, here are three of the self-help techniques you will learn:

1) Start your morning with 12 good-morning wake-up hugs.

2) Rub your neighbour.

3) Go For It]

Robbins, six-and-a-half feet of strapping good looks allied with brains and vast wealth, author of Unlimited Power and the economically titled Awaken the Giant Within: How to take Immediate Control of your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny], will be in England this week to hand over horse sense wrapped in a touchy-feely, disco-dancing Californian coating. For pounds 179 (plus vat), you can spend the day learning Life Performance Technologies and other trademarked ways of getting a Better Life. For pounds 429 (plus vat) you can spend three days Unleashing that Power, and learn to firewalk to boot. Firewalking is, of course, a metaphor for life.

Relationship on the slide? Learn to Love. Want to lose weight? Learn to 'embrace the fact that (you've) been successful in producing a result called excess fat and that now (you're) going to produce a new result called being thin'. Want to touch the world? Tony has studied Nelson Mandela, Ronnie Regan, Steven Spielberg and can show you how it's done.

Anthony Robbins says he has read 600 books. Among them, as far as one can gather by reading Unlimited Power, has got to be Julius Fast's Body Language, whose amusing observation technique has been honed into a method of behavioural modification under the monicker 'Neuro-Linguistic Programming'. The back of Unlimited Power is littered with endorsements from the authors of The One Minute Manager and The Power of Positive Thinking and the editor-in chief of Success magazine. It's touching how these authors help each other whilst helping themselves.

Much of Robbins' basic philosophy is this: if you expect something to happen, you behave in a way that courts that outcome; you should, therefore, behave in a way that courts the outcome you want. Good so far. Exercises at seminars, which have a cheerleadery sort of feel, include this sort of thing:

'Put yourself in a . . . mental and emotional state of hoping it will happen . . . double the intensity of worry . . . triple it. Now go back to hoping. Lot of worry in the hoping. Now get ouda hope and put yourself in a state of certainty when you know it's going to happen. There is no question in your mind whatsoever . . . Feel it in your body . . . breathe the way you breathe when you feel certain . . . Now double the intensity of certainty right now . . . Triple it. . .' And the crowd goes wild.

This summer at Earl's Court, Morris Cerullo did roughly the same thing: putting the congregation into supplicatory stances, exhorting them to beseech God, to beg. Then sudden cries of 'somebody say hallelujah]' would induce near-hysterical euphoria. Anthony Robbins is hardly the first person to discover this secret; but at least this magician will tell you how he's doing it as he goes along.

And should you be tempted to think that this is hokum inflicted on the public by American marketing, hark to the man himself: 'In this country (America) I have 15 million people who've bought my educational tapes, so there's plenty of proof in the pudding.' Absolutely.

Anthony Robbins: The Tools of Strategic Influence: Harrogate ICC 23 Oct; Birmingham ICC 25 Oct; London Wembley CC 26 Oct. Unleash the Power Within 28-30 Oct, Birmingham NEC. Free tickets to each of the one-day seminars will be available to the first five Independent readers who turn up at the box office on the day clutching a copy of this page. Tickets and information 8am-12 m'nt on 071-376 0808

(Photograph omitted)