Jason interviews his early mentor Dr. Denis Waitley on “The Psychology of Winning.” Listen in at: http://holisticsurvival.com/category/audio-podcast/. At age 17, Jason discovered Waitley and it was a life altering event leading to his early and sustained success. Waitley is one of America’s most respected authors, keynote lecturers and productivity consultants on high performance human achievement. He has inspired, informed, challenged, and entertained audiences for over 25 years from the board rooms of multi-national corporations to the locker rooms of world-class athletes and in the meeting rooms of thousands of conventioneers throughout the world. Recently, he was voted business speaker of the year by the Sales and Marketing Executives’ Association and by Toastmasters’ International and inducted into the International Speakers’ Hall of Fame.
With over 10 million audio programs sold in 14 languages, Denis Waitley is one of the most listened-to voices on personal and career success. He is the author of 15 non-fiction books, including several international best sellers, “Seeds of Greatness,” “Being the Best,” “The Winner’s Edge,” “The Joy of Working,” and “Empires of the Mind.” His audio album, “The Psychology of Winning,” is the all-time best selling program on self-mastery.
Denis Waitley has studied and counseled winners in every field from Apollo astronauts to Superbowl champions, from sales achievers to government leaders and youth groups. During the 1980′s, he served as Chairman of Psychology on the U. S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council, responsible for performance enhancement of all U. S. Olympic athletes.
Dr. Waitley is a founding director of the National Council on Self-Esteem and the President’s Council on Vocational Education, and recently received the “Youth Flame Award” from the National Council on Youth Leadership for his outstanding contribution to high school youth leadership. As president of the International Society for Advanced Education, inspired by Dr. Jonas Salk, he counseled returning POWs from Viet Nam and conducted simulation and stress management seminars for Apollo astronauts. A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and former Navy pilot, he holds a doctorate degree in human behavior. Upcoming shows will feature: Asset Protection Attorney Mark Kohler, Marketing Guru Ted Nicholas, Federal Reserve Commentator Andre Eggeletion, Video Marketer Mike Koenigs, Internet Money Machine Yanik Silver, Organizational Expert David Allen and many other thought leaders.
Start of Interview with Dr. Denis Waitley
Narrator: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper? The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, to understand threats and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show. This is your host Jason Hartman and this is episode number 40. Hey, we’re going to do something on the Holistic Survival Show that we do on our Creating Wealth Show and some of the other ones as well where every 10th show we’re going to talk about a non-survival topic not directly related to survival and protecting the people, places and profits you care about in these uncertain times, however everything always ties together. It’s a holistic life we live and I think you’ll really like this show. I enjoyed this interview with Dr. Denis Waitley that I did on my Creating Wealth Show and just thought I should share it with you on the Holistic Survival Show. He was one of my big mentors. I can really credit him for changing my life at the ripe old age of 17 years old, changing it for the better, and I think you will enjoy this interview with Dr. Denis Waitley. He is of course a famous author if you haven’t heard of him, many, many books, The Psychology of Winning, The Seeds of Greatness, etcetera, etcetera. And enjoy this. We’ll be back with it in less than 60 seconds on the Holistic Survival Show.
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Interview with Dr. Denis Waitley
Jason Hartman: It is my great pleasure – and when I say great, I am not embellishing that comment – to have Dr. Denis Waitley on the show with us today. He is one of America’s most respected authors, keynote lecturers, and productivity consultants in the field of high performance human achievement. Denis has a tremendous background. He is the author of numerous books, which I have read many of them. When I was 17 years old, I discovered Dr. Waitley in Walden Books in Cerritos Mall and if there is one thing that has changed my life, and one person that has changed my life, it is Dr. Waitley. I picked up a copy of an audio book when audio books were just becoming popular, called the Psychology of Winning: Ten Qualities of a Total Winner. I listened to that approximately 150 times in the next 30 days. I had a long commute. Denis really impacted my life. He helped me discover Earl Nightingale and Jim Rohn and many of the other motivational and inspirational greats that our culture has produced. It is just such a pleasure to have Dr. Denis Waitley with us here today. Denis, welcome.
Denis Waitley: Thank you, Jason; it’s great to be with you.
Jason Hartman: It’s great to talk to you. Thank you for coming on and sharing some of your background and your wisdom with us. As we were talking a little bit before we started recording, Denis, you were talking about how you’re doing a lot of work in the Middle East and in China, and kind of the cultural shift that’s happening around the world. Do you want to elaborate on that?
Denis Waitley: Sure, I’d be happy to. I guess when you get older – well, first of all, when you get older, you’re very welcome in China because they still revere old people. So I go where the demand is and the young Chinese, by the thousands, come out to hear me lecture throughout China. There are 5,000 teenagers who come, and that’s a wake-up call here in the United States because it wouldn’t be possible for me to get ten teenagers in the United States to listen to an older man talk about success principles because they’re really not that interested when they’re young, in this country, to become successful. They’re more interested in the end result, which is happiness, party, having fun, getting the result of it, and that’s one of the concerns that I have is that as I travel throughout China, and even the Middle East, but especially China, I see a young motivated population interested in all of the principles on how to become successful, so hungry for information that they become great students of success.
I know we’re more innovative and more creative and have been much more self-empowered in the past, but I’m beginning to worry that the empires of the past, the great Roman Empire, and even the Chinese Empire – the Chinese had many, many empires over the 5,000-year period – the Roman Empire, the Greek Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the French Empire, the British Empire, and the American Empire seem to mature, and in maturity, move toward entitlement of success, rather than empowerment of their youth to earn success. So I’m beginning to believe that, unless we do a mid-course turn, that we won’t be able to two-peak or three-peak and get back up to the top because of this great desire on the part of developing nations to have a seat at the banquet table, and their hunger is more important than our position. Therefore, I think we really need to reinvent ourselves as we enter 2010.
I think we need to get the eye of the tiger back. I think we need to consider ourselves in the playoffs and that we’re up against – China probably owns the 21st Century, and as I’ve been traveling through the Middle East, the money that the United Arab Emirates have to invest in all of our real estate. And Jason, just one other thing: The Chinese and Middle East countries are investing their money in the Americas in buying as much of our real property as they can, and if we’re not careful, they’ll be the owners of the property that we will rent from them and we will find ourselves in a service economy, unable to earn the kind of living that we need to keep our standard of living. And we’ll turn to the government and hope they can care for us since we will not be able to outperform or out-compete the developing nations. That’s kind of my sermon on the mount.
Jason Hartman: Denis, I believe it was you, and I am so familiar with your material and have enjoyed it so much throughout my adult life – I believe it was you who said, “Luxury is the lull to apathy.” I think that has happened in America, hasn’t it?
Denis Waitley: Well, it really has, and no society has ever survived its own success. I think the longest societies are about 500 years. We’re a little past 300. We’re achieving our 300-year and there seems to be this cycle of history repeating itself unless we learn from it. And so far, we haven’t learned that when you become comfortable, you become apathetic, and when you become apathetic, you fail to teach the younger generation. I’m not trying to talk as an old guy that’s saying the young generation is going to pot and blah, blah, blah. I’m really more concerned about being an optimist and figuring out what we need to do in order to get that winning spirit back, which we seem to have lost because we’re really saying why don’t they do something, when the truth is, when you look in the mirror, the “they” is us. It isn’t somebody else that’s going to do it for us. So there’s no question about that that I really believe when you rest on your laurels, you lose the Super Bowl ring.
Jason Hartman: Very good point and I couldn’t agree more. I think people have depended on government way too much, and the current administration is trying to foster more government dependency rather than independence and entrepreneurial spirit. When people start looking to entitlements, they become weaker. They become disempowered. Frankly, and I’ll just say it – they become losers instead of winners. That’s what your work has been about, creating winners, whether it be The Double Win, one of your great books; Being the Best, Empires of the Mind, The Psychology of Winning, The Seeds of Greatness, all of this other fantastic work.
And I want you to talk about that, Denis, but the one thing I will say that does give me some hope is that America still really holds the cards globally on innovation so far, seemingly, at least to me. And additionally, America always, when it gets itself into a pinch, things tend to shift really quickly in this country, where people become empowered fast. We saw a little bit of this after 9/11, and history has shown us that America really can change much more quickly than other countries can. It’s a very nimble country and a very nimble economy. At least it has been in the past. It has a brand and a doctrine and a set of founding principles where people just deeply believe in certain things in this country, and of course, a global audience is listening to us now, so I don’t want to make this a completely America centric discussion. But does that give you any hope, any of those things?
Denis Waitley: Well, it really does and I think you’re right on target. On the one hand, the Chinese are graduating nearly a million in high tech and we’re only graduating 60,000 from our universities in high tech. So between India and China, obviously the electronic innovation of the future is probably going to shift to the Far East. However, we have always been a composite conglomeration of every race, every religion, and we’re a tapestry of all the immigrants who have ever been hungry and who ever wanted success, and I think that still is the under riding ability of America to be this melting pot of people, who just don’t want to be fettered and don’t want to be chained.
If we can rise from this idea of being entitled to success – our mother country, Great Britain, and most of my relatives came from and are living in England, they got into a situation where the afternoon tea and the vacations and the unions and having your six-week vacation, all of those things that were kind of a guaranteed floor – so if you’re guaranteed a floor to stand on, remember for every floor, there is a ceiling. And it also puts a ceiling over your head when you demand that a floor be given to you. I think we just have to wake up and say, “Wait a minute! This is not like us to stand there and wait for the government to do something for us. This is where our ingenuity and entrepreneurship needs to flourish.”
I do know that it’s flourishing in those developing nations because they just don’t have any ability for the government to take care of them. I’ll say just one thing about China. Everyone talks about the oppressive Chinese situation. Well, with the number of billions of people that they have, the fact that they have that many more people than we do, you have to have crowd control because they can’t afford. There are 23 million teenagers turning 13 every year in China. If you had 23 million 13-year-olds milling on street corners, or shall we say “hanging out,” or doing drugs, for example, or partying too much, you’d have riots. And you’d have this situation that would be totally uncontrollable.
So there’s no question they have an oppressive central government to keep the crowd control, but make no mistake that the young people in China are hungry, motivated, and really excited about the future, and they may bring this creative idea of being self-motivated, the very thing that has made America great, this idea of “me” the individual. If those developing nations get the idea that “I can do anything myself and not have to fit into this regimen,” then we’re up for a very formidable competition. And all I can say is that it’s very important right now for each of us to step out of our comfort zone and do more in 2010 than we thought we needed to do because we thought things were going so well, that America is just going to automatically stay on top.
Jason Hartman: Very good points and I couldn’t agree more again. Let’s talk a little bit about your work and your principles of success, if we can. And I don’t know that we have time for all of them, but share whatever it is that you would like to share. Maybe you could start with The Psychology of Winning and talk about the way it’s organized. I found that particularly interesting when I discovered it many years ago and how you have sort of a philosophy or a mindset that translates into an action habit. Tell us about that.
Denis Waitley: Well, I think, first of all, it’s very important to know that winning and losing are habit-forming. We learn by observation, imitation, and repetition. Almost everything we’re going to become is based upon the exposure that we have. Growing up as a boy, I realized that coming from a negative environment, which I did, that I needed to find role model and mentors that had proven track records of success. So my very first premise was that you need to be careful of whom you choose to learn from and if you’re in a negative environment, it’s very important to read and study and learn and listen to the biographies of people who have overcome enormous handicaps to become successful. In other words, you have to study winners in order not to be a loser.
In my mind, when I wrote The Psychology of Winning, I was losing. So I wrote The Psychology of Winning to remind myself of everything I was not doing, that I needed to do, that people over time were doing. I learned that during these tough times that everyone went through that they didn’t recognize that they were becoming winners because you have to go through the baptism of fire many times to become a winner.
So I began to develop these principles and they all had “self” in front of them. There was self-esteem; there was self-awareness. Self-awareness was the first one. You have to be aware that you have potential, and the way to be aware that you have potential is to discover the natural talents that you have, discover what you do when you play after school, what you love to do. In other words, if you look at your passion, the things that you love to do during your free time, you’ll discover your passion. Most people work for money and yet their passion, many times, is in their free time or their avocation.
What if you could take your passion to work? What if you were a scientist or a musician or a golfer, or someone who loved what he or she did, and also did it as a living? Well, if you can’t do that because you’re already employed and maybe your passion is your hobby or your family, it’s still important to find out what you’re good at, find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, of course play to your strengths, and therefore, to become much more aware of where you are in life because only knowing where you are can you have a GPS satellite system to take you where you want to go, which would be your goal.
The second thing in terms of awareness would be this idea of internalized value. I think we could spend the whole time talking about the authentic meaning of inner value or self-esteem. That’s been the most over-franchised, over-exaggerated term. Many people think that self-esteem is being able to do a back flip in the end zone after a touchdown or after every play that you make as a lineman or a defensive or offensive back to strut your stuff on the football field. No, that’s the arena, and the arena is the showman, carnival kind of thing and that’s not self-esteem.
Most people with self-esteem rarely flaunt it. Since you have the real thing, you don’t have to flaunt a loud imitation. So, self-esteem is the deep down feeling of your own worth regardless of your current level of performance. In other words, self-esteem has two parts. First, I see potential in me. If you can have a coach or a mentor or a role model or a friend or a parent who sees world-class potential in you and convinces you that you have it, then you become motivated to test your potential by going out and learning, and you’re motivated to learn because you’re hungry to seek your potential.
And then the second part of self-esteem is not only the feeling that you have potential, but it is the experience of having little teeny successes, where things work out well in the local area. And suddenly, when you get results, even in a very small way, it’s called self-efficacy and it gives you the fuel to have more risk, take more chances, and have higher expectations. You get in the groove, like making three-point shots or making free throws. The more you make them, the more in the zone you get. The more success you have, the hungrier you get. It’s like priming the pump.
So I think it’s extremely important to feel you’re as good as the best, but not any better than the rest, that all the value you were ever given was given to you when you were conceived. You’ll never get another ounce of value or talent. All you’ll be able to do is cut and polish and shape the gemstone that you were given at your conception and bringing that value externally, from inside out. And if you can feel the inner value of the inner winner, it will motivate you to test your potential against world-class standards. That’s the only reason we have world-class standards is so that you can test yourself against the best. That’s why we have Olympians. Not necessarily to win the gold, but to test yourself against the vast field of champions.
Jason Hartman: Denis, I’m going to ask you something and this may sound extremely politically incorrect, but since you wrote about the self-image and the self-esteem back in the ‘70s, a whole generation, called Gen Y and partially Gen X, has grown up around being coddled, being chauffeured, being told that they were the best, being not really tested or graded in life, and it almost seems like the self-esteem movement, as you mentioned, has been over-franchised. It’s been over-instituted. And this sounds really weird – I don’t know how to say it better, but it almost seems like some people have too much self-esteem. I know it’s a cheap imitation. It’s not the real thing. I understand that distinction. But it sort of feeds into that sense of entitlement almost.
Denis Waitley: It really does. I think, again, you’re right on the money, and I don’t think there’s anything more important than what you just said and I’ll tell you why. I’ve been working all over the world with people who are working with addiction, ADD, kids with drugs, substance, alcohol, all kinds of problems all over the world, and most of it has resulted from being coddled and not given the opportunity to test their wings. In other words, they’re not learning to fail in a safe environment and to learn to be responsible for the outcomes in their lives, and therefore, self-esteem has been shoved down the throats of everyone without the twins that go with them, self-determination and self-discipline.
Jason Hartman: Very good way to put it.
Denis Waitley: Without self-discipline and self-determination, self-esteem is a mockery. It is an inflated ego out of Hollywood and it reminds you very much of the Hollywood mentality, where you have these empty souls, who are beautiful people, who are interested in style, but no substance. And so we have a culture that is stylistic and skin deep and that’s an oxymoron. Skin deep is only as deep as a tattoo or only as deep as what’s on the skin. And what’s on the skin has become the symbol of material self-esteem in America, how you look, how you dress, what you wear. You feel you’re being different, but you’re really wearing the uniform of your culture. So you’re not being different at all. You’re kind of sameness, which is stylistic rather than substantive.
What if young people were known for what they thought, what they did, what they accomplished, how they contributed, and what if their worth was more tied up in the contribution that they made to make society better, rather than what they accomplished in terms of points that they were putting on the board, compared to some Hollywood standard of celebrities? And when you ask young people, they will tell you that the celebrities are the most important influences in their lives, rather than, if you will, philosophers or other mentors.
Again, I don’t want to sound jaded or cynical because I’m really not. There’s a tremendous ability of young people to be very, very smart and interested in culture and society and a greener nation. But I think we’re missing self-determination and self-discipline. Those are the missing links in our culture. And China, believe it or not, has self-discipline more than any other country. So if we could take the innovative creativity of America and the self-discipline of China, and then the self-determination we had maybe in the greatest generation or the self-determination that immigrants have when they first arrive in this country. This would be the kind of future we would want, the self-determination of an immigrant, the self-discipline of a gymnast, and the self-creativity of a video game player.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, right. That’s a good analogy there, very good. Let me take a brief pause. We’ll be back in just a minute.
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Jason Hartman: I think that’s a very good distinction that you make about the self-esteem issue. It’s obviously important, but it’s been over-franchised. I’m glad you put that to rest for people because I think they get very confused by that whole thing.
Do you want to talk for just a moment about the subconscious mind and how we program our subconscious mind, and how it’s like the robot? You use that analogy. You have an actual poem. I believe it’s called the Robot: R-U-ME2.
Denis Waitley: That’s before Star Wars came out. I called the little robot R-U-ME2 instead of R2D2. It goes: “I have a little robot that goes around with me. I tell it what I’m thinking; I tell it what I see. I tell my little robot all my hopes and fears. It listens and remembers everything it hears. At first, my little robot followed my command, but after years of training, it’s gotten out of hand. It doesn’t care what’s right or wrong, or what is false or true. No matter what I try now, it tells me what to do.”
And that is that we are creations of habit and habits are submarines. They run silent and deep. And we don’t know it, but we’ve been habitually living for so long that you don’t break habits; you replace them. They’re all subconscious habit knit patterns that grow from cobwebs into cables, to either shackle or strengthen our lives. So everything we do is habitual. We get up, we get dressed, we take a shower the same way, we wash under the same arm, and I’ve been proving that even today in seminars throughout the world. I have the Chinese students stand up and I have them take their coats off and put them over the chair, and then I ask them to put their coats on with the other arm in first. And they cannot do that without struggling and worrying. They’re so used to putting one arm in their coat first, or one leg in their trouser first, they cannot do the opposite of what they have learned.
So we don’t do what we know. We do what we’ve learned, even though we know better. So the puzzle is why do we do what we do when we know what we know? We know we shouldn’t smoke. We know we shouldn’t overeat. We know we shouldn’t gain weight. We know we should save money. But we’ve learned to spend, we’ve learned to indulge, we’ve learned to watch on television the things that we know are not good, but they excite us, and it becomes subconscious, which means that it’s software. The software program drives the hardware. And it doesn’t take 21 days. That’s a Maxwell Maltz thing from plastic surgery.
Jason Hartman: Psychocybernetics.
Denis Waitley: Yeah, and it takes a lot longer. For an astronaut, it takes 36 months. For an Olympian, I’d say 48 months. It takes that long to make doing something, like brushing your teeth or driving your car, automatic. In order for something to be automatic, you have to be doing it over and over again, and pretty soon, after a while, you forget what you’re doing. You don’t forget how to ride a bike. You don’t forget how to ski. And it becomes you and that’s why it’s so important, first of all, to watch the inputs, the exposure. You become that to which you’re most exposed. Earl Nightingale said it best, which he took from the Scriptures, “We become what we think about most of the time.”
And therefore, I’m very interested in monitoring my television inputs, my internet inputs, what I browse, what I visit, what I read, what I listen to, the lyrics to the songs, the commercials that I hear because they all go in and, after a while, are subconsciously integrated and become silent submarines that really do control the way we live. And that’s why it’s very, very important to watch the language that you use on yourself, to use a dialogue that is a positive explanatory style, to talk about what you’re going to do, what you’re doing, rather than what you don’t want to do because it’s impossible to concentrate on the reverse of an idea.
One of the things I learned when working for the Apollo program and the Olympic athletes, it is impossible to come away from a thought and therefore, you cannot reverse a thought. It’s like a song that you say, “I wish I could stop listening to this song. I don’t want to hear this song.” Well, the more you remind yourself of what you don’t want, the more imbedded it becomes in your subconscious and you’re actually reinforcing failures or mistakes when you’re constantly bringing them up and talking about them. It’s especially true with children. The more children are reminded of what they’re doing wrong, the more they’ll continue to do that same behavior, even though it’s what they don’t want to do and it’s what you don’t want them to do.
Jason Hartman: You know, Denis, it’s like you say – I believe I remember you giving an example: don’t think of a tall glass of orange juice. Don’t think of an elephant. You can’t help but think of it because the mind cannot move away from an idea. It always moves towards. I think that’s especially important now, and maybe you just want to talk about that for a moment, about the state of the economy and how people like to say it and I say it – I catch myself doing it all the time – things are tough out there. These are challenging times we’re living in. How does one program themselves properly without being Pollyanna, without being an idiot? You have to be aware of your circumstances and they would say, well, you have to be a realist, that side of the ledger, and then there’s the other side that would say program your mind for success, for winning, for achieving, for moving up, for moving ahead. How do you reconcile that?
Denis Waitley: Those are very good questions and it fits into everything that you’ve said before, which is self-esteem makes you believe that there’s a better future, and self-discipline makes you realize and self-determination makes you realize that you must put in the effort. So you must put in the effort to get out the result, and therefore, what I do is I say okay, this is the time of my life, and time is the only equal opportunity employer. We each have 168 hours per week on a chess board, but we don’t move time. We move decisions and priorities and actions in time. There’s no such thing as a future decision, only a current decision that impacts our future.
So, life should be lived in the present by making actions and decisions that positively impact our future. So, what you say is that losers engage in pleasurable activities with no result in mind. Winners engage in any activity, difficult or challenging or happy, that will give them a pleasurable, long-term result, which means that we really have to ratchet ourselves forward by stair stepping our way to the top. And so, what I do is say this is the best time to have ever been alive in history, which it is. We worry more about degenerative disease than about infectious disease, so we can die more from natural causes that could be prevented than we can die from things that will attack us from the outside.
Life is much more inside out than outside in, and so this really is the best time to be alive. We have the entire library of the world at our touchtone fingers and in our downloaded, handheld device. So if you have the entire world library in the palm of your hand, there’s really no excuse for saying, wow, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know how to find it. In your mind you say, seek and you shall find, and so whatever you’re looking for, there’s somebody who has done it before or who’s doing it now. That’s why I always hang around with people who are better speakers, better fathers, better writers, better golfers, better bowlers because you never learn from people who are not doing well. You learn from people who were not doing well, but are now doing well, or who have solved your problem, or who have the same goals you have.
And that’s why pity parties, group griping, and grudge collecting have no place whatsoever, and that’s how you can justify, yes, these are challenging times, but they’re our times and they’re the best times to be alive. I can always point at a point in history that was a thousand times worse than what we’re going through right now. No question about it. Small pox, diphtheria; we couldn’t go swimming in the summer because of polio.
I’ve been living in California my whole life and all during the ‘40s and ‘50s, we could not go to the movie theater, you couldn’t go see the Avatar, you couldn’t go see Sherlock Holmes in the summer in the movie because you get polio if you go to the drinking fountain. I’ve looked back at the past and say this present time and the future that I’m going into is the best ever, regardless of what’s happening. And that’s why you need to be looking at this as the good ole days are here and now, and these are the days that we live.
It may sound Pollyanna or a little strange, but I look at that, I wake up every day and say, “Can do; no problem. Let’s go. Thank you. Safe again,” because just waking up is a good day for me. So I always count my bag. B is for blessings. I can see, I can feel, I can run, I can walk, I have a family, I’m loved; I have blessings. I have accomplishments. I’ve done some things. So, when things are not going well, you count your blessings, you look at your past achievements, and say, hey, I have something to hang on, and then you take the G in the bag, your goals, and the goals that you have are the previews of coming attractions that stimulate you and excite you to want to achieve more than you’re doing now. And that gives you the motivation to face tomorrow.
Those are simple things, but for me, expectation equals motivation. You’re not motivated by anything you don’t expect to be able to achieve, so your expectations need to be just out of reach, but not out of sight. And your goals need to be ratcheted in so that you can hit them and get the feeling that you’ve achieved, and then hit another one. You need to bring them in so that you don’t have to throw a two-minute drill touchdown in the last two minutes in order to feel you’ve achieved. You need to make some first downs along the way in life.
Jason Hartman: Right, just out of reach, but not out of sight. I’ve always remembered you saying that many, many years ago, when I first started. And that’s exactly how goals need to be. In your poem, Someday I’ll, which is just wonderful, you talk about that. You talk about how, “There is an island fantasy and ‘Someday I’ll’ never see. I won’t say the whole thing, although I do have it pretty much memorized. And you talk about just out of reach, but not out of sight, and about having realistic goals that you can actually see, but you have to work to reach them, have the self-discipline, but they’re not so out of sight that they’re just something that will never be achieved.
Denis Waitley: You’re right on again, Jason. It’s amazing to me. You and I are on the same wavelength and that wavelength is – take an Olympian, for example. The Olympian tries to slightly improve from the last, and when I talk to young people, they say, “Yeah, but champions are blah, blah, blah,” and I say, “You know why the pole vault is set at the Olympic Games so that every competitor can go over the first time? That’s because they keep raising the bar a little at a time to give people the ability to go over and get the feeling of achievement.” Goals should be the same way. You should set them so that they’re achievable and they’re not way out there on Someday I’ll because then people put their potential on layaway. They’re waiting for some moment in the future that will never come, and Someday I’ll is a fantasy island. It just never comes.
I know so many people, who are living their lives on Someday I’ll because they’re not breaking down this big dream they have into small bite-sized pieces that they can just tackle one day and a project at a time.
Jason Hartman: That’s what we say to people that come to my company that want to invest in real estate. So many of them come and they’ve filled their head with the get-rich-quick scheme mentality. It’s like, look; just sacrifice a little today, get yourself your first rental property, and then get another one in six months or a year, and build it up slowly, just these small incremental steps. When you look back in three years, five years, seven years, it’s like it just changed your whole life. It just magnified everything dramatically and provided a person with so many choices that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. I couldn’t agree more that that is so important to constantly be moving forward with these incremental goals, rather than waiting for your ship to come in. I mean that happens so rarely to people that it’s not even worth considering, I don’t think.
Denis Waitley: No, and I talk to a thousand people every six months who want to write a book. And I say, okay, you want to write a book. What’s the title? And they say, well, I don’t have a title yet. I just have a concept. I say okay, how long a book is it? And they say pretty long. I say, well, when do you want to get it done? They say soon, and they give vague ideas, and the truth is a book publisher, at least the ones I’ve worked with, say Denis, about 180 pages, how many pages can you write a day? I say oh, don’t pin me down. They say, well, we need about ten good pages per day for you to get it in about six months and we need to publish a year in advance, so you need to tell us that you can give us a finished manuscript, which will be about 12 chapters, which would probably be about 20-30 pages per chapter, and some nice chapter headings.
And I say, wow, you’re really serious about this. And they said, aren’t you? We thought you wanted to write a book based upon some subjects and chapters and pages and things that you can do. And every book that I’ve written, all 16, have been written at night when I would have been watching television.
Here’s the payoff of our conversation, Jason. It is that if you can live in prime time rather than watch in prime time, why would anyone spend their lives watching other people making money in the professions that they love, being a spectator, watching other people win at life, when we could use a little bit of football here, a little news here, a little comedy here, a little music here, but the prime time of our life, the free time that we have, is the only time we have to work on ourselves because the rest of the time, we’re either learning or earning. We’re learning how to do a skill or we’re earning money for our families. But the free time, prime time should be used on goal achieving rather than tension relieving activities. I believe if I’ve had any success it’s because I’ve been doing things that are goal achieving instead of tension relieving during prime time.
Jason Hartman: Denis, that’s wonderful advice, and I remember you saying when I was 17 years old and I was listening to your tapes, that it’s the Super Bowl every day. We cannot be spectators. This is it. This is life. This is the life we’re given and it’s really up to us to make something of it, and you have helped so many people around the world do that. You’ve sold over ten million audio programs, translated into 14 languages. By the way, I just want to give our listeners your website, which is Waitley.com. And I really encourage everybody listening to read Denis’ books, get the audio programs, just look at the products he has. It’s been a phenomenal inspiration in my life. These materials are great.
And maybe you want to comment on this in closing, Denis, but I’ve noticed that over the years, the sort of content that is out there in terms of the professional speakers, the authors, there are a few greats and I would put you in one of the greats, along with Zig Ziglar, along with Og Mandino, along with Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, and Brian Tracy is on a more technical side, I think. The first ones I mentioned, they’re a little more the motivators I’d say. And the content really – it seems like this type of content that is the foundational content for one’s life is much less prevalent now, and it all seems a lot more technical nowadays than it does philosophical. Do you want to wrap up with that?
Denis Waitley: I’d love to, Jason, and I really want to thank you for having me on the program. I think that people don’t read as much as they used to. They’re using their time in sound bites and video bites, in small gulps, in small sips and tastes, and therefore, writing and reading and learning has changed a lot in this world of the internet and web-based. And there’s also this feeling of immediate gratification, and I’ve noticed that a lot more speakers and authors are very caught up in selling their stuff from the platform, believing that everyone in the audience should take home a package of CDs or books in order for that author to be really doing his or her job.
My feeling is you’re a teacher or a salesperson, and a teacher is someone who only wants to teach, and then certainly sells his or her stuff, but I think there should be somebody else selling your stuff rather than the author or philosopher himself or herself. That’s my personal feeling.
And I also feel that we’ve lost a little bit of the fundamentals of success through the ages, and those principles never change. They stay the same. They’re rock solid from the Scriptures, in all the great religions on through, and we’re not getting enough of that stuff because we have ten million experts, and it’s so difficult with infomercials and the internet to find the real stuff from the imitations that are there. But I’ll have to say it’s all there, and thanks to the internet, it’s available to everyone to download. I would encourage everyone to study biographies of people through the centuries, who have become successful because there’s no problem that anyone has that someone else hasn’t already had and overcome. I’m sorry that I can’t stay on longer, but I want to thank you for giving me so much time and I hope I’ve reinforced one idea that will help your listeners. You have a great show and a great message, Jason, and I really appreciate you a great deal.
Jason Hartman: Well, Denis, thank you very much for joining us today. And I’ll just close with a couple of lines from one of my favorite poems of yours entitled, “Winning is Giving,” because you have definitely done this, and that is, “Winning is giving your best self away, and winning is serving with grace every day.” Denis, you have really impacted my life and the lives of so many others. We appreciate it. Keep up the good work and thank you for joining us today.
Denis Waitley: I will and I look forward to seeing you this year. We’ll get together and have a cup of tea or a cup of coffee.
Jason Hartman: Sounds good to me. Happy New Year, Denis.
Denis Waitley: Thank you, Jason. Happy New Year.
Narrator: Here’s your chance to catch up on all of those Creating Wealth shows that you’ve missed. There’s a 3 book set with shows 1 through 60, all digital download. You save $94 by buying this 3 book set. Go ahead and get these advanced strategies for wealth creation. For more details, go to JasonHartman.com.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show, protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to your Creating Wealth show which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. (Top image: Flickr | QuotesEverlasting)
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Transcribed by Ralph