According to Denis Waitley, ‘Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy’

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Four Ways to Win, Part 1

“Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You usually get what you actively expect,” says former astronaut turned psychologist Denis Waitley in his audio series, The Psychology of Winning.

Is Waitley a gambler? Maybe not.

Is he a winner? Definitely yes.

Waitley knows how to win. Here are the first two of four tips you can use in gambling or anywhere else to increase your profits and pleasure.

1. Expect positive results. When you expect the best from yourself, you are preparing both your mind and body for the “demands of winning.” The demands of winning? Yes, winning has its own set of requirements.

Three of them are:

Waking up happy. Optimism is a trait of all winners.

Using positive self-talk all the time. Ever talk to yourself at the poker table? “I’m a stupid idiot! Why did I call that bet on the river? I knew he had me beat.” Instead, try saying, “I made an error, sure, but I’ll do better next time.”

Looking at problems as opportunities. A problem is often an opportunity in disguise, a signal that it’s time to make a creative change in your life.

Waitley suggests making a list of your biggest problems, the ones that block your professional or personal fulfillment.

Write a succinct definition of the problem, and then rewrite it as though it were an opportunity.

For example, “I’ve lost half my bankroll in three days” may be your problem statement, though let’s hope not! Rephrase it as an opportunity: “I now have the chance to develop my survival skills by playing a better brand of poker.” The solution? Write it as though you are giving advice to a friend: “Three things you can do to stop your losing cycle are…”

2. Motivate yourself in a positive way. Two opposite thought patterns battle against each other on the green felt of our poker minds: desire and fear. “Motivation is an inside job,” says Waitley. “Fear is destructive, while desire leads to achievement and happiness.”

We too often focus on fear rather than striving for success. But you can overcome your fear of failure by concentrating on what you want rather than on what you don’t want. Winners say, “I want to! I can do it!” But losers say, “I have to. I can’t.”

Waitley asserts that “can” applies to 90 percent of the challenges we face – if we focus our energy on achieving our objectives and forget about the consequences of failure. Make a list of your five most important goals, and write the payoff you expect to get when you achieve each of them. Look at your list every day and say, “I want to. I can!”

Here’s the bottom line: The way you talk to yourself is the key to self-motivation.

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