Dr. Denis Waitley is an international authority on high-level performance and personal development.

He is president of the international society for advanced education, a foundation sponsoring world-wide education in preventative medicine. He was formerly president of the Jonas Salk Foundation (epoch b) in La Jolla, California. He now serves as a consultant to major corporations, government and private organisations, women’s and youth groups on behaviour modification, goal setting and morale enhancement.

With his extraordinary background, he has been in a unique position to know and study the great achievers of our time. Here are just a few highlights of his varied career.

• Bachelor of Science from U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
• Pilot in Navy’s Precision “Blue Angels” Flying Team.
• M.S. in semantics and political science.
• M.A. in mass communication.
• Ph.D. In behavioural psychology.
• Professor at University of South California.
• Motivator for Superbowl and Olympic Athletes.
• Honoured by both houses of congress for excellence as speaker on selfdetermination.
• Organiser of Andy Williams golf tournament.
• Conducted U.S. Study of Chinese brainwashing techniques.
• Rehabilitation co-ordinator for returning U.S. Vietnam prisoners of war.
• Psychologist for Apollo moon astronauts.
• Author/narrator of Nightingale-Conant’s #1 self-management programme
“The Psychology Of Winning”.


Winners are more aware, they display a positive approach and they are eager to learn. They know who they are, what they believe, the role in life they are presently filling, their great personal potential – and the future roles and goals which will mark fulfilment of that potential. They have learned these things and are constantly adding to their knowledge through experience, insight, feedback, and judgement. As a result they can continuously not only “play from strength” in the game of life but also avoid errors and correct weaknesses. Their judgements are characterised by extreme honesty. They don’t kid others and they don’t kid themselves.

You have been selling yourself short all of your life. You have the opportunity to experience more environmental, physical and mental abundance than you could use in ten lifetimes. Open your eyes to the possibilities and alternatives available in your life. Change your attitude and your lifestyle and your many environments will change automatically. Understand your own uniqueness. Appreciate the difference in others.

Relax and learn to respond positively to stress. Change for the better that which can be changed. Remove from your presence those negative influences that cannot be changed. Adapt and adjust to those negative influences that cannot be changed or removed.

Make a list of “I am’s”. Two columns – assets or “I am good at” in one column. Liabilities or “I need improvement” in the other column.

Pick your ten best traits and your ten traits needing most improvement. Take the first three liabilities and schedule an activity to improve these three traits. Forget about the rest of the liabilities. Remember, relish and dwell on all ten of your best assets. They’ll take you anywhere you want to go in life.

A winner’s self-talk: “I know who I am, where I am coming from, and where I am going”.
A loser’s self-talk: “Who knows what I could do if I only had the chance”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) Are there opportunities for improvement in my environment, physical and mental activities?
(2) Have I assessed my own limits in my personal and professional life?
(3) Do I resist change?
(4) How would I like a boss like me?
(5) How would I like a partner like me?


Winners have a deep-down feeling of their own worth. They know that, contrary to popular belief, this feeling of self-acceptance and deserving is not necessarily a legacy from wise and loving parents – history is full of saints who rose from the gutters and literal monsters who grew up in loving families.

Winners are not outer-directed. Recognising their uniqueness, they develop and maintain their own high standards, though they recognise the universality of fear and anxiety. Winners don’t give in to these emotions. Accept yourself as you are right now – an imperfect, changing, growing, worthwhile person. Realise that liking yourself and feeling that you’re a super individual in your own special way is not necessarily egotistical.

In addition to taking pride in what you are accomplishing, more importantly, enjoy the unique person that you are, just in being alive right now.

Understand the truth, that although we as individuals are not born with equal physical and mental attributes, we are born with the equal right to feel the excitement and joy in believing that we deserve the very best in life.

Winners – volunteer their own name first in every telephone call and whenever they meet someone new. By paying value to your own name in communication, you are developing the habit of valuing your self as an individual.

A winner’s self-talk: “I do things well because I’m that type of person”
A loser’s self-talk: “I’d rather be somebody else”.

Ask yourself these questions:

(1) Can I accept myself as I am?
(2) Is there anyone I envy or would like to trade places with?
(3) Am I an extremely humble person?
(4) Do I feel guilty when I indulge myself in some selfish activity?
(5) Is it easy for me to accept compliments?


A winners positive self-control is acceptance of one hundred per cent responsibility for causing the effects in his or her life. Winners realise they personally have the power to take control of many more aspects of their lives, both mental and physical, than were heretofore thought possible. They know that barring organic damage or congenital fault, self-control is the key to both mental and physical health and can contribute enormously to total well-being.

Instead of biorhythm computers, horoscopes, gurus and the federal government, you
take the credit for determining, creating, making your own place in this world.

You’re in the driver’s seat in your own life. In many respects, you’ve exerted control since you were born and cried for milk and a dry diaper. You can learn how to respond and adapt more successfully to the stresses in life by accepting responsibility today for causing your own effects. You alone hold the key to your reactions to people who want to rain on your parades. Remember, it’s not so much “what happens” that counts in life; it’s “how you take it” that counts. The real essence of positive self-control is that nearly everything in life is volitional and that each of us has many more choices and alternative than we are willing to consider.

Whatever you have currently chosen as your life’s work, remember your position or job is a structure which couldn’t care less about you one way or the other.

Your company cares, your family cares, but your job doesn’t care – only you can take the initiative to give your job what it has deserved all along.

For the next 30 days, go all out! Dedicate yourself just for one month, not for a lifetime, to giving your maximum effort to your job, your company, your routine and your service to others. At the end of that time, I think you’ll find yourself renewing your dedication for another month.

A winner’s self-talk: “I take the credit or the blame for my performance”.
A loser’s self-talk: “I can’t understand why life did this to me”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) Am I lucky or unlucky?
(2) Are there a lot of have to’s in my life?
(3) How can I obtain better control of what happens to me?

A winner’s positive self-motivation derives from two sources:
(1) their self-expectant personal and world view and,
(2) their awareness that, while fear and desire are among the greatest
motivators….fear is destructive, while desire leads to achievement, success
and happiness.

With this in mind, they focus their thinking on the rewards of success and not the penalties of failure. We are all self-motivated a little or a lot. Motivation is an inside job. Individuals are motivated by their fears, inhibitions, compulsions, and attractions. They are pushed away from or pulled toward concepts and people who act as negative or positive magnets.

Realising the almost impossible task of moving away from negative concepts such as “fat”, “poor”, “sick”, “mug”, winners focus on goals, desires and solutions. We always move in the direction of our currently dominant thoughts. Since most of our fears are based on dark imaginings, it is vital for us to dwell on desired results (magnificent obsessions)…to look at where we want to go as opposed to that troubled place where we may have been or may still be hiding. People resist changing because it upsets their present security.

Develop a simple new self-talk vocabulary about your self. For every one of your goals make it a habit to repeat again and again, “I want to – I can”, “I want to – I can”.

When you are motivating others, paint the picture of what the achievement looks like and feels like; demonstrate your own confidence and belief in their ability to accomplish that given objective. Rather than saying “firings will continue until morale improves”.

A winner’s self-talk: “I want to! I can do it!”
A loser’s self-talk: “I have to. I can’t”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) What do I fear most?
(2) What motivating effect do fears have in my life?
(3) What are my main desires and do I focus most of my attention and thoughts
on those desires?
(4) Do I focus on the rewards of success more than the penalties of failure?


A winner’s most readily identifiable quality should be an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm. Winners understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma: mind and body – that the body expresses what the mind is oncerned with. They know that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy; that a person usually gets what he or she actively expects. Your fears and worries turn into anxiety which is distressful…the production of hormones and antibodies changes; resistance levels are lowered and you become more vulnerable to disease and accident. Conversely, since your mind and body are trying to comply with your instructions and achieve a condition of “homeostasis” or balance, if your mental expectancy is healthy and creative, your body will seek to display this general feeling with better health, energy and condition of well-being! That is why many common maladies such as headaches, low back pain, ulcers, hives, singles, asthma, and certain allergies are often identified with emotional rather than physiological causes. Obviously, hereditary and environmental factors are extremely significant. However, by expecting the best, as a way of life you are preparing yourself physically as well as mentally for the demands of winning. Leadership – the ability to attract the support and co-operation of other people – it is a natural by-product of positive selfexpectancy.

Look at problems as opportunities.

A winner’s self-talk: “I was good today, I’ll be better tomorrow”.
A loser’s self-talk: “With my luck, I was bound to fail”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) Am I generally optimistic about my life?
(2) Do I expect the best of health for myself?
(3) When am I easily discouraged?
(4) Do I look upon a problem as an opportunity?
(5) Am I inclined to praise or criticise?


The tremendous importance of self-image – and of the role imagination can plan in the creation and up-grading of the self-image is very much part of a winner’s awareness. They know the self-image acts as a subconscious life-governing device – that if in your self-image you can’t possibly see yourself doing something, achieving something, you literally cannot do it! They also know the self-image can be changed since the subconscious is incapable of differentiating between a real success and a success imagined again and again, vividly and in full detail. Your behaviour and performance usually are consistent with your self-image.

Your self-image is an intricately woven concept made up of all your feelings, fear and emotional responses to each and every personal experience up to the present. As with any learned activity or skill, the self-image is housed at the subconscious or automotive level of thinking. What you perceive as real is filtered or shaded differently from what others perceive by your time-grown, robot-like self-image. What you imagine as being real, with frequency, becomes your own version of reality. Winners imagine and fantasise that person they would most like to become – and the robot self image reads the script, memorises it and acts accordingly.

A winner’s self-talk: “I see myself changing, growing, achieving, winning”.
A loser’s self-talk: “They’re my hang-ups, faults and stupidities…and I’m stuck with ’em”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) What great dreams do I hold for my future?
(2) Do I fantasise my monthly and yearly coming attractions?
(3) Where am I most talented?
(4) When do I fail and why?


Winners know where they’re going every day, every month, every year. They have clearly defined gameplans and purposes. Their objectives range all the way from life-time goals to daily priorities. And when they’re not actively pursuing their goals, they’re thinking about them – hard! They know the difference between goal-achieving acts and those which are merely tension-relieving…and they concentrate on the former. Purpose is the engine that powers their lives. Everyone has purpose. For some it is to eat, for others it is to get through the day, and for others it is revenge or getting even. For winners – personal growth, contribution, creative expression, and sharing, living relationships seem to be common goals that make them such uncommon people. Clearly defined, written goals are the tools which make
purpose achievable.

Since the mind is a specific bio-computer, it needs specific instructions and directions. The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define, learn about them or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable. In other words, they never set them. They fail by default. Winners can tell you where they are going, approximately how long it will take, why they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them. Get a game-plan for life!

For best results in goal achieving consider these basic rules:
(1) Set short-range goals (day, week, month, six months).
(2) Set lower-level goals (relatively easy to accomplish).
(3) Set incremental goals (little by little, part of the big objective)
(4) Get group re-enforcement (consult a support group interested in the same achievement).
(5) Ceremonialise the achievement (certificate, reward, dinner, trip, recreation, new clothing. Etc.)

A winner’s self-talk: “I have a plan to make it happen, I’ll do what’s necessary to get what I want”.
A loser’s self-talk: “I’ll try to hang in there – muddle through the day somehow”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) What is my most important monthly goal?
(2) What is my most important yearly goal?
(3) What is my most important lifetime goal?
(4) Where do I want to be five years from today?
(5) What will my income and assets be 20 years from now?


Winners are masters of the art of simulation. Like astronauts, champion athletes, great stage performers, skilled surgeons, and truly professional executives and sales people, they practice flawless techniques in their minds over and over, again and again. They know that thought begets habit and they discipline their thoughts to create the habit of superb performance – the mark of a total winner.

You may expect to go to the moon. You may imagine yourself on the moon. But you will never even get near the launching pad without persistent self-discipline. Most people forget the simple routine for learning a skill or habit: desire, information, assimilation, and repetition. We learned how to walk, drive, type, fly, speak a foreign language, ski, act in a play, etc. Why is it so difficult for us to apply learning to our most important life goals? Everything we do is habit-forming if it is repeated! Indiscipline alone can make or break a habit. Self-discipline alone can effect a permanent change in your self-image and in you. Self-discipline is the winning edge that achieves goals. Self-discipline is mental practice – the commitment to memory of those thoughts and emotions that will over-ride current information stored in the subconscious memory bank. And through relentless repetition, the penetration of these new inputs into our “robot achievement mechanism” result in the creation of a new self-image.

After every important performance in your life, whether it’s closing a sale, speaking in front of a group, communicating with employees, playing a sport, or dealing with family – you should control your self-talk to elevate your best self-image of a winning performance.

If you don’t perform well, your self-talk should be “that’s not like me; I perform better than that”. Then you should replay the performance correctly in your imagination.

A winner’s self-talk: “Of course I can do it! I’ve practised it mentally a thousand times”.
A loser’s self-talk: “How can you expect me to do it? I don’t know how!”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) Do I complete what I begin?
(2) Can I rehearse in my imagination?
(3) Are my bad habits hard to break?
(4) Is my memory all it could be?
(5) Do I daydream about my success?


Winners have learned to know themselves intimately. They have learned to see themselves through the eyes of others. They have learned to feel as one with nature and the universe. And they have learned to be aware of time – their opportunity to learn from the past, plan for the future, and live as fully as possible in the present. Winners create other winners without exploiting them. Winners get it together with their loved ones, their friends, and with the community in which they live. Winners practice the double-win attitude: “if I help you win, then I win”.

Positive self-dimension is understanding the vulnerability of the life process and the delicate balance of ecology. Self-dimension – fitting in – drawing upon the spiritual power woven intricately into every fibre of our being. Winners understand the mortality of their bodies, and as a result are able to age gracefully. They do not necessarily accept death as the final gun in the game of life. They see it as a transition which, although they may never come to fully comprehend its meaning, they do not fear; they anticipate its eventual arrival.

A winner’s self-talk: “I live every moment enjoying as much, relating as much, doing as much, giving as much as I possibly can”.
A loser’s self-talk: “I’m only concerned with me today”.

Ask yourself these questions:
(1) Do I spend time freely sharing with my family?
(2) How do I fit in with my company, profession and community?
(3) Do I live in the past?
(4) Do I dream of what I hope to do someday?


Winners project their best selves every day in the way they look, walk, listen, and react. They specialise in truly effective communication, taking one hundred percent of the responsibility not only for sending information or telling, but also for receiving information or listening for the real meaning from every person they contact.

Winners are aware that first impressions are powerful, and that interpersonal 
relationships can be won or lost in about the first four minutes of conversation. Winners say “I’ll make them glad they talked with me”. To a winner you’ll say “I like me best when I’m with you”. Nothing marks a winner so clearly as a relaxed smile and a warm face that volunteers his or her own name, while extending a hand to you, looking directly in your eyes, and showing interest in you by asking questions about your life which are important to you. Winners know that paying value to others is the greatest communication skill of all.

A winner’s self-talk: “Tell me what you want, maybe we can work on it together”
A loser’s self-talk: “There’s no point discussing it, we’re not even on the same wave length”.

Ask yourself these questions:

(1) Do I project my best side?
(2) Am I a good listener?
(3) In conversation do I give examples and ask for feedback and opinion?
(4) Do I put people at ease?
(5) Do I act like a winner?

Credit: www.deniswaitley.com