As documented in his book Unlimited Power, after attending a seminar in the early to mid-eighties, motivational expert Anthony Robbins went for a midnight stroll around Boston’s Copley Square.

As he was soaking in the sights, he noticed a man wobbling back and forth coming his way.

The man reeked of alcohol…hadn’t shaved…and looked as though he’d been sleeping in the streets for weeks.

As the man got closer, he said to Robbins…

“Mister, can you loan me a quarter?”

Robbins’ first reaction was that he didn’t want to reward this man’s behavior by giving him money.  His second reaction was that he didn’t want the man to suffer either.

So he figured he’d try to teach the man a lesson.

“A quarter?  That’s what you want, a quarter?” Robbins said.

“Just a quarter,” the man replied.

So Robbins reached into his pocket, pulled out a quarter and said…

“Life will pay any price you ask of it.”

Perplexed by this, the man staggered away into the night.

As Robbins watched him fade into the moonlight, he reflected on the differences between those who succeed and those who fail.

What was the difference between the unshaven man down on his luck and Robbins?

Why did Robbins have such a great life where he could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, with whomever he wanted and as much as he wanted…

…and why did the man he’d just met have such a terrible life – sleeping in ditches and begging for quarters?

Was God smiling on him and, for whatever reason, had forgotten the other man?

Highly unlikely.

Was he given superior resources and advantages throughout his life?

Probably not.

Robbins himself was once down on his luck (although he never drank as much alcohol or had to resort to living on the street.)

Robbins concluded that at least part of the answer was in what he had said to the man…

Life will pay you whatever you ask it for.

Ask for a quarter and you’ll get a quarter.

Ask for happiness and success and you’ll get happiness and success.

Robbins is convinced that if you manage your states and behaviors, you can change anything you want to in your life.

And if you learn what to ask of life, you can be sure to get it.

Makes sense right?