Denis Waitley The Godfather of Personal Development on The New Psychology of Winning

To say Waitley is a mastermind would be understating the breadth of impact he has made on the personal development industry. With over 10 million audio programs in 14 languages, including 16 nonfiction books—many of which are international best sellers—the 88-year-old legend has no boundaries. An insightful leader and skilled orator, Waitley has also been inducted into the International Speakers Hall of Fame. From Olympic athletes to Apollo astronauts, world leaders to multinational conglomerates, Waitley has advised peak performers across all industries and fields.

Waitley’s recently released book, “The New Psychology of Winning,” is an updated 21st century version of the original audio program released in 1978 which sold over two million copies and generated over $100 million in sales. Waitley explains, “the first Psychology of Winning was 43 years ago…I decided to bring it up to the digital age.” As stated in the book “The basic principle of winning has never changed. It’s about taking the potential you were born with, living up to it, and helping other people at the same time as you realize your own dreams.” Waitley’s newest book lives up to these words and combines timeless wisdom with new science-based insights on how to rewire the brain to succeed.  

He continues to be a defining figure in the personal development and motivation space. It’s his unwavering passion for leading people from all walks of life to live happier, more successful and more fulfilling lives.


Denis Waitley: Well, the first Psychology of Winning was 43 years ago, believe it or not. I decided to take a book that was thought of and written in the late 1970s and bring it up to the digital age. There’s a new way to transmit ideas. There’s technology that puts the libraries of the world right in our hands, giving us the gift of global communication.


Denis Waitley: The first lesson is that you’re as good as anyone who’s ever been born, but no better. I’m as good as the best, but no better than the rest. I’ve learned to live not by comparison, but by measuring myself against my own internal standards rather than trying to compete and achieve like other people. 

I’ve also learned not to make assumptions about other people, because when I have I’ve been wrong half the time. When somebody appears to be angry, removed, not interested I don’t take that personally. I don’t know what’s going on in their life––I’m not in their shoes. 

The third thing I’ve learned is that you really need to believe in your dream. We live in such a negative world where almost everything we see every day is what’s wrong with the world. 

I’ve decided that the best way to live is to be part of the solution instead of the problem. 

It’s important for each of us to focus on what we are going to do to make things better. 


Denis Waitley: In the book, I teach that we can train our brains to remember, rather than forget. I’m realizing I can learn five languages even at my age right now. So remember, you can learn new things––for example you can learn to play the piano, even if you don’t think you’re gifted. 


Denis Waitley: Always give people credit, when their credit is due. What I try to do is elevate everyone by making sure that their quote is their quote; I love to share the glory. It’s important not to have an ego, because egos get people to believe that they’re superior. I’ve never met anyone more important than anyone else. Everyone has a different perspective and everyone has the diversity of their experience. What you see with your eyes is not diversity. The way we live, the way we were raised, the way we think, the way we value things, that’s diversity. I want to find out what makes people different in their experience, so that I can learn from their experiences.

Interview by Tricia Love Vargas
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