Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.
Recover your true self
Tony and Russell Brand on breaking the chains of addictions to become your true self
What do you think of when you hear the word “addiction”? Illegal substances? Alcohol? Bad habits? It can be all of these things. The truth is we all have unhealthy habits and attachments that trap us in a controlling cycle. Some of us struggle with substance abuse. Others struggle with an addiction to bad relationships, technology or food.
Regardless of what the addiction is, it affects our mental health and keeps us from living the life we want to live.
In this episode, Tony and Mary Buckheit talk with Russell Brand about how he was able to break the chains of addiction and self-loathing to become the man he had always wanted to be.
Most people know Russell as a celebrity. His charming personality has helped him create a successful career as an actor, comedian, radio host, author, activist and poet. Audiences across the world have laughed with him through hit movies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek.
But Russell has not always had a charmed life. Since he was a small boy, he has struggled with loneliness and a lack of self-worth. These struggles led him to a long battle with substance abuse and sex addiction.
In this conversation, Russell talks about his recovery and how he interpreted the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to use them to find consciousness and clarification in life. He also discusses the life-changing lessons in his new book, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions.
Russell has lived a full life. He has experienced periods of devastation and struggle – and he has also witnessed extraordinary beauty. Here, he speaks with Tony about his recovery journey toward cultivating discipline and truth in his life. In breaking the controlling cycle, he awakened to a conscious sense of self-worth that he had been missing.
During this conversation, Russell also reveals certain tools and techniques he recommends to help others recognize, and break, the negative patterns that are controlling them.
His biggest lesson? There is only so far that one can go alone. By leaning into community, we will start to feel less dependent on our bad habits and addictions. Once free of our addictive habits, we can break the chains of control and start to recover the person we were 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] Don’t let religion 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