In 1979, Dr. Denis Waitley published what would become the all-time best selling audio program on self-mastery, The Psychology of Winning. The term winning can actually be replaced with success as one that more appropriately describes its content.
I believe he chose the term winning as an antidote to the losers he saw in society. The 10 qualities he describes are more in alignment with what it takes to be successful, a total winner, and not just a psychological method for performance.
10 QUALITIES FOR TOTAL SUCCESS
1. Self-Awareness: always the most important quality, the ability to know thyself has been repeated over and over again for the past 2,000 years. Successful people are intensely aware of what they can do, what they are good at, and the effort it takes to pursue something. They know they can’t master everything and instead become experts in specialized fields. They are open minded and know a little about many things. They are honest with themselves and are capable of seeing alternatives in every situation. They are able to handle the trials and tribulations of life while in control of their own adventure. They embody what Dr. Waitley calls “imperturbability,” the coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances.
Winners develop mental toughness, which we commonly refer to as strength of character.”
2. Self-Esteem: a basic, yet important quality is the ability to understand your own worth. The ability to like yourself enough to commit to a lifetime of self-development is becoming a rarity in today’s pleasure seeking society. Even in 1979, Dr. Waitley observed that people were easily offended by “social slights.” Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to disagree with someone. Hatred is becoming synonymous with a difference of opinion, which is just a characteristic associated with low self-esteem. The person with adequate self-esteem doesn’t feel hostile toward others, isn’t out to prove anything, doesn’t demand anything from other people, and is able to objectively consider the facts available.
3. Self-Control: take full responsibility for determining the actions in your own life. The philosophy of life is “cause and effect,” and you get what you choose to do.
Everything I decide to do — nothing I have to do.”
4. Self-Motivation: winner’s have the ability to move in the direction of the goals they have set or the roles they want to play and will tolerate little else. They have an inner drive that keeps them focused on the task at hand, which ultimately leads to their life’s goals and self-fulfillment. They understand the two major emotional drivers: fear and desire. They avoid thoughts of fear and instead focus on desire, which triggers memories of pleasure and success.
Success is not reserved for the talented. It is not in the high I.Q. Not in the gifted birth. Not in the best equipment. Not even in ability. Success is almost totally dependent upon drive, focus, and persistence. The extra energy required to make an extra effort- try another approach- concentrate on the desired outcome- is the secret of winning.”
5. Self-Expectancy: you can expect to win for three reasons: (1) Desire – you want to win more than anyone else. It is what you think about most of the time; (2) Self-control- you are reliant on yourself to make it happen. You do what is necessary and avoid that which limits you (distractions, laziness, weak minded people); (3) Preparation- you are prepared to win.
6. Self-Image: Individuals behave, not in accordance with reality, but in accordance with their perception of reality. How you feel about yourself is what matters most. It is everything. The self-image is the fundamental key to understanding human behavior. Humans behave in accordance with how they see themselves and it drives success, failure, and everything in between. It determines the type of person we are and aim to become. Your subconscious is an important aspect of your self-image because it often controls how you think, act, and feel. Rarely do we use our conscious mind to evaluate every situation, instead it has become automated by our subconscious, which can help or hurt us depending on what we have programmed into it. Be conscious about your thoughts, thus empowering your subconscious to act in accordance with the reality you want.
Read More: What is Character?
7. Self-Direction: in order to be successful, you need a gameplan for life. Every winner knows where he or she is going day by day, everyday. They are goal and role oriented, staying consistent to the tasks they must accomplish each day to achieve big goals. Humans are naturally goal seeking individuals and setting the system in motion with direction is what gives us fulfillment in life.
8. Self-Discipline: all other winning qualities are worthless without self-discipline. Self-discipline is telling yourself over and over with words, pictures, concepts, and emotions that you are winning each important personal victory now. You can use your imagination to practice mentally, to gain the winning edge by experiencing success in your mind.
We spend most of our time practicing bad habits rather than our good ones or even looking for good ones.”
9. Self-Dimension: this the assembling of a “total person,” someone connected to themselves and the universe. Not necessarily a mystic, this person understands that there are greater forces at play and that humans are but a speck of dust in an infinite reality. This perspective makes us rare and valuable, as we display the quality of love and respect for other human beings, our surroundings, and the environment.
10. Self-Projection: winner’s project an aura, an unmistakable presence, a radiating charisma, while projecting a warm glow that comes from the inside out. This type of self-projection comes from a unbreakable confidence and self-image that is grounded in self-discipline and self-dimension. There is a correlation between looking good and success in life and self-projection is the external aspect of that expression. Look good, feel good, be good.
If you want to be loved, be lovable. If you want respect, set a respectable example!”