11 Tips to Win the Day

December 12, 2023
James Whittaker

Check out this episode on the Win the Day Podcast

Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”

— Marcus Aurelius

What a year it's been!

In 2023, we've had some of the world’s leading medical experts, composers, entrepreneurs, authors, and special forces operators appear on the Win the Day podcast.

This episode is a recap of the most impactful moments from the podcast in the second half of the year. (If you missed the recap from the first half of the year, check out Episode 142 or ⁠click here⁠.)

A BIG thank you for your help and generosity in spreading the word. The show now has 40M+ views and is growing quickly.

The mission, to be very clear, is to help every person on the planet to activate their Winning Life. To make this a reality, here are three ways you can help right now:

  1. Hit the ‘subscribe’ button wherever you watch or listen to the podcast.
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  3. Share your favorite episode with someone who needs to hear it.

Without further ado, here are the best moments from the Win the Day podcast in 2023. If you want to know how to win the day, these 11 tips are for you…

1. Fall in love with yourself first.

In Episode 158, we had Nina Aouilk on the show. Nina is someone I’ve known for many years – and it’s been incredible to see the person she has become and the extraordinary impact she’s having on the world. 

This was a very confronting and emotional episode. Nina talks about the abuse she went through, human trafficking, and many other confronting topics – but we need to be aware of what’s really going on so we can help others and make sure our loved ones never end up in that situation.

During our interview, Nina shared the moment when she fell in love for the first time – at 50 years old – and how that changed her life:

“At the age of 50, I stood on the grass in my garden. I understood the importance of affirmations and the importance of words and, at the age of 50, I said to myself, I'm going to gift myself with my own words. I'm going to unlearn everything I've ever learned, and I'm going to create a new mindset. I already have a business acumen. But the personal level is huge. What you think about yourself brings that energy to a room. It brings that love – or unlove – into a situation. 

I fell in love for the first time in my life, and that was with me. I decided I was good enough, that I was beautiful on the inside, that I'd never hurt anyone. I'd loved the people that hurt me the most. My father didn't teach me to ride a bike, but he taught me to love unconditionally. And I used that to love the fear of anyone who feels they're not good enough.”

2. Turn your setback into a comeback.

We all face setbacks in life – it’s not only possible, it’s an absolute guarantee. But sometimes we wallow in those setbacks for so long that it ends up consuming our entire life.

In Episode 144, Tim Storey –  the legendary life coach, author, and spiritual adviser – came on the Win the Day podcast to share the exact formula to turn your setback into a comeback, just like he had done with Robert Downey Jr and the hundreds of other high profile individuals Tim has helped. 

Here’s what he had to say:

“When you want to have a comeback, there's certain steps. Number one, you have to become awake, conscious. Two, you have to take inventory. Most people won't do number two, and that is a realistic inventory. That's why some people are afraid to go to the doctor. They don't want a full battery of tests to find out something might be wrong with their body. I hear people say, "I'd rather not think about it."

You have to become awake to have this comeback. You have to take inventory. Then here's the third thing that I don't see a lot of people doing. They will not partner with the right people. The right people, in the case of you being challenged or problemed, is not someone who's just saying, “I feel sorry for you” or “You're a victim and you don't deserve this.” Sometimes it really is tough love. It is being challenged. It is being shaken. 

So if somebody is not willing to take inventory and to find the right partner, I can see that most times they're going to revert back to the beginning and then have to go through the process again.”

3. Share the heavy lifting in your household.

Episode 146 was such an interesting one. Michael Perry (founder, Maple parenting app) and I didn’t know each other at all before the interview, but we quickly realized that we had a lot in common. 

The interview was a raw account from someone who is right in the thick of it with a startup business, a young family, and his own doubts – and is easily one of my favorite episodes of the year. It resonated on the socials too, with millions of views from these clips. 

One of the most impactful things Michael shared was the importance of doing the heavy lifting in your household – it’s a message that should be heard everywhere, particularly by men, before it’s too late:

“In 1950, four out of 10 children had dual working parents. Today it’s nine out of 10. The difference being in 1950, we had this very rigorous kind of system in place that dad was going to work, mum was staying home, dad was making a paycheck, mum was running the household. In 40% of households today, mum is actually making more money than dad. But in almost all households, she's doing more work at home than dad.

So there's a tremendous amount of friction and frustration at home around just the actual labor and planning of the house. It's so tacky and so cheesy, but it's so true that if you ask most dads, "Who's your kid's teacher?" they don't know the name. "Who’s your kid's doctor?" They don't know the name. "When was the last time your kid was at the dentist?" They're like, "I don't know."

Who's planning the vacations? Who's buying the groceries? Who's folding the clothes? You start going down this laundry list of things, and almost always the answer returns back to my wife or mum, but she's also doing a 9:00 to 5:00 job.”

4. Understand the value of time.

Nick Sonnenberg is the WSJ bestselling author of Come Up for Air. As the world’s leading operational efficiency expert, he works with startups right through to globally recognized companies – even industry leaders like Tony Robbins. 

So during our conversation, I asked him what the best leaders do differently to everyone else. This is what Nick had to say:

“The best leaders understand the value of time and not just their time, but they care about the time of their team.They don't want a $100,000 a year person doing stuff that a $50,000 a year person could do. So, they actively try to figure out how they can get those things off your plate. 

Is it that you're wasting time in email and we have to train you? Is it you're doing the role of a junior person and we need to hire that person? So, that's one thing – they understand the value of time and they're not just trying for themselves to save time, but they're actively trying to have each of their team do things that tap into their unique zone of genius or are at the hourly rate that it should be.

What would your company look like if everyone was working on things that either give them joy or tapped into their superpower? Great leaders are really focused on that. How can they remove all the other crap from their team's plate so they can do the best, most meaningful work of their life at that company? 

Then obviously they're good at setting vision, financing vision. They have developed a strong sense of culture in the company.”

5. Take your life one day at a time.

Growing up, I loved all the movies about Navy SEALs and other special forces units, and that’s why you’ll see me at another level of energy whenever we have these guys on the podcast. 

In Episode 154, Andrew Sullivan came on the show to talk about his experience as a SEAL in the Naval Special Warfare Development Group – the most elite-trained individuals on the planet. These are the guys that conducted the Bin Laden raid, the Captain Phillips operation, and so many other top secret missions. 

But you don’t get to that point without first making it through the notorious BUD/S training, so I asked Sully about his mindset for that grueling selection process – and you’ll notice how similar it is to the Win the Day mentality:

“For me, it was just to make it to the end of the day. When I get kids asking me for advice when they're going to BUD/S, it's to take everything one step at a time. If you start looking at the big picture, I have to do this for eight more months or however long the time is, you are going to get overwhelmed and that's when you start thinking negatively. 

Instead, think “I just need to make it to the end of this evolution” or “I just have to make it to the end of the day, I just have to make it to Friday” and you take things sequentially, a step at a time, it’s a lot easier to process and handle. 

So that was my mentality going in. There's not one thing about BUD/S that a fit person couldn't do, it's the fact that you have to do it over and over and over again that makes it really difficult.

It's funny, one of the first guys to ring the bell was this championship triathlete. He was just a stud. He'd smoke us all on the runs and the swims. It was very impressive. But he quit before he even hit Hell Week, he was done. He was like, “Nope, this is not for me.” 

So that kind of threw me for a little bit of a loop because you don't know why at the time they're quitting because typically you don't see him again. They get them out of there. And so it is true to some degree, you look around and the guys that you think won't make it, make it and the guys that you think are going to make it, don't make it so it's really hard to process.

The Navy spends a lot of money trying to figure it out because it would be so much easier if you could know the traits or the attributes that are going to get the guys through ahead of time before you put them in the selection course. It would be much more efficient, but it’s impossible.”

6. Save your marriage before it’s too late.

Since we first met, Dr. Mark Goulston has become one of my favorite people. He is one of the great gifts humanity has and continues to do incredible work in mental health. 

We covered so much during this conversation, including how Dr. Goulston’s life has changed since receiving a terminal health diagnosis. He and I have had several conversations in private about the struggles that young families go through as they try to balance marriage with the stress of kids, financial pressures, and their own individual aspirations. I mean, that’s my life at the moment – it’s a very delicate balance.

And if you’re not careful, you could wake up one day and be on the brink of losing it all. Here is what Dr. Goulston shared to save your marriage – and your family:

“What I'm advising couples is you proactively find a way to repair the relationship. Have a dinner, just the two of you. Or if you can't get away, when the kids are asleep. Schedule it. 

In that dinner, bring up anything that gets in the way of either of you looking forward to seeing the other. Because once upon a time, you each put a smile on each other's face. You were in love, you were in like. And so what you bring up is anything that the other person is doing or failing to do that is causing you to not look forward to seeing them.

The ground rules are try to be civil. But if someone gets really feisty, they have to keep talking until they're talking from the hurt and fear underneath. What's the hurt? "I can't remember the last time you liked me. I can't remember the last time you respected me. I can't remember the last time you were proud to be with me in public. And it's killing me. And what I'm afraid of is feeling those feelings because it might be over." 

So you bring up those and then you seal it that evening with an apology for something, a sincere apology. And once you get all this stuff off your chest, you look into each other's eyes and you see why you fell in love with each other and why you still love them.”

7. The size of your question determines the size of your result.

One of the highlights of the year was sitting down with Chicken Soup for the Soul creator Mark Victor Hansen and his wife Crystal who is also a leader in the self-help field.

For a long time, I’ve been a big believer in the importance of becoming as valuable as you can so you have more value to offer other people, while at the same time being comfortable asking for what you want. 

In fact, one of the quotes I live my life by is from Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In Episode 150, Mark shared his own experience learning about the power of asking – and how you can use it to achieve everything you want:

“First, one question asked can change your life from good to phenomenally good. Second, the size of your question determines the size of your result. I learned that early on when I was training in life insurance business back in 1974

When I was asked, how do I make $100K a year, that's 250 workdays multiplied by $400 equals $100K. Big money back then. Today, it's like almost a half million. But all of a sudden, I get with the world's best salesman, Ben Feldman, from New York Life. He became a good friend and talked with a lisp and was amazing, and I can tell you everything about him.

But he said, "Hey, wait a second. If one of your kid's lives was on the line, can you earn $4,000 today?" I get goosebumps with that question because he nailed it. He said, "Now go do it, but then do it 250 times. Now, you make a million a year." And then I started doing that because it's the size your question.

If you say, "How am I going to do this?" The mind at a very high level is teleological. That means it's goal setting and goal getting. So if you ask dumb questions, you get dumb results. If you ask wise questions, you get wise results. If you ask financial questions, you get good financial results. 

If you ask spiritual questions, you start to meet God in you and God in the Universe, because we think the Universe is infinite and we're made in the infinite stuff of God, so we're here to create, contribute, and be charitable.”

8. The tragedy isn’t death, it’s never living to begin with.

In Episode 152, it was so cool to set a Guinness World Record of our own, and capture what is surely the most epic intro to a podcast ever recorded! It was all thanks to Norman Kent, the skydiving cinematographer with more than 30,000 jumps to his name and a trailblazer in making the impossible a reality. 

Norman has been through some incredible tragedy in his life, most notably when he lost his wife. But her zest for living each day to the fullest helped Norman realize that death isn’t a tragedy – after all, it’s the one thing we’re all guaranteed to go through. The real tragedy is not to live:

“The pain of passing, and losing somebody, and all of that, it's all by design. We're all going. It's a matter of how we're going to spend life, it's not a question of how we're going to save it. So, I learned to deal with that particular kind of pain as a normal thing. 

There's the pain of the person you miss, there's the pain of whatever might have happened that might have been not great, not peaceful, but it is no tragedy to die. It is by design. We are all going, and why are we hiding from it? It's like, I don't mean to rush into it head first, but why wouldn't you want to live every second of it? And even if it shortens your time span, live it. 

And then there's the pain of injuries and things like that, and whatever, that's a lot of where the fear comes. Nobody wants to get hurt. Once you get hurt, the fear is even different. I've been injured, and you come back and you have these flashbacks of that injury, and you find yourself in similar situations and you kind of doubt …

But it all falls in the same category, which is that you can't let that stop you. You can't say, "Oh whoa, that hurts. Oh, I'm never doing that again." It's like, no. I mean, that hurts and I made a mistake. Or that hurts, it was an accident. And then you manage the fear just the same way. 

So, it's no different than the fear conversation, it's just fear of pain or fear of a certain kind of pain. So, it's the same conversation. How do you escape the fear of dying? You can't say by not dying, you really can't. So, you might as well escape it by living it, and smiling at it, and embracing that fear.”

9. Happiness is not correlated to how much money you make.

In Episode 156, we had the GOAT of business consulting on the podcast, Jay Abraham. As Founder / CEO of The Abraham Group, Jay has spent his career solving complex problems, fixing underperforming businesses, and identifying massive opportunities.

He’s made a lot of money, he’s lost a lot of money, and he’s made even more money back again – so when he talks about money and happiness, we need to listen. Jay also talks about the age-old decision of working for yourself or someone else to find true fulfillment:

“Well, I think big corporations, they stimulate, not mediocrity, but almost an ambivalent attitude and a disconnect to the end. You're so far removed from the end game, which is serving the consumer that it becomes very, very abstract. 

But I think an entrepreneur, he or she is playing right on the front lines of capitalism – their decisions, their efforts produce either success or failure, income or not, and it's just a very different game. They aren't as prosperous, they're not billion dollar entities, but they're so much more fascinating, they're so much more dimensional, they're so much more authentic, and they have so much more joy, I think. 

Because a lot of people in corporate America, they're not that happy. They're ambivalent, apathetic. They're going through the motions because they get paid a lot. A lot of entrepreneurs don't get paid as much, but they have more joy and more happiness.

People don't realize that happiness isn't really correlated to making money. It really isn't correlated to how prestigious, it isn't correlated to whether you have a Ferrari or you have a big mansion or you've got the hottest looking woman wife. 

It's correlated to the fulfillment you get out of what you do, who you do it for, and the feedback loop you get. And I always was able to understand and appreciate that and how that drove entrepreneurs.”

10. Do the reps – and get the feedback.

If you’re serious about the result, you better be serious about the action you need to take to get that result. In Episode 164, Stanford professor and communication expert Matt Abraham came on the podcast and spoke about how your ability to communicate is directly correlated to the results you get.

Not only that, he shared the three-step process to achieve mastery in any skill:

“There are only three ways to get better at communication – quite frankly, at anything: it's repetition, reflection, and feedback. You need to get the reps in, you need to practice, but you have to reflect because if you don't reflect, you fall victim to that definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. 

And then you have to get feedback. You have to look outside yourself to get input and information. So I personally try to practice that in everything I do and I encourage everybody to take time to get the reps in, reflect, and then also get the feedback.”

11. Think about what you want your children to remember.

Lauren Karan is doing some incredible things to disrupt the recruitment industry in Australia. In Episode 160 Lauren came on the show to share her best business lessons, as well as some moments of heartbreak from her own journey.

However, it was a reminder for parents that I found most impactful – especially around the importance of prioritizing and planning that time with family, rather than staying trapped on the hamster wheel of work:

“What do you want your children to remember? Because there's only going to be a small finite amount of time that they're going to want to hang out with you and then they're going to be teenagers and they're going to be in their room and then you're going to try and knock on their door and they're going to tell you to go away. 

You've got to make it a focal point and you've got to plan for it, plan for it in your year and go, "Okay, when can we create some fun experiences as a family?" 

It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to be an overseas trip. Camping is really affordable and it's still a great experience with the kids. So making that time. What do we work for? We don't just work and work and work. Our kids want to have that time with us. So just intertwining it into your life is really important. Planning for it when you plan your year.”

I hope these lessons have been valuable!

The podcast now has more than 40M views, which is insane, but we’re on the road to 1 billion. I can’t thank you enough for your support. It’s what motivates me to keep stepping it up. And there are a lot of people who need our help. 

Remember to get out there and Win the Day. Until next time, onwards and upwards always…


Final steps to Win the Day...

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That’s all for this episode! Get out there and win the day.

Until next time…

Onward and upward always,

James Whittaker

PS - If you have a question and want it featured on the Win the Day podcast, email your question (in writing or as an audio message) to: info@jameswhitt.com


Resources / links mentioned:

10 Steps to Win the Day (Highlights from the Year so Far)

Live Your Miracle with Tim Storey (Ep 144)

Happiness at Home with Michael Perry (Ep 146)

Win Your Productivity with Nick Sonnenberg (Ep 148)

The Art of the Ask with Mark Victor Hansen & Crystal Hansen (Ep 150)

Soaring into Success with Norman Kent (Ep 152)

Prepare to Win with Andrew Sullivan (Ep 154)

Win Your Business with Jay Abraham (Ep 156)

Living with Honor with Nina Aouilk (Ep 158)

Building Doors with Lauren Karan (Ep 160)

I’m Dying to Tell You with Dr. Mark Goulston (Ep 162)

Share Your Story with Matt Abrahams (Ep 164)

Subscribe to Win the Day YouTube channel

Give the Win the Day podcast a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts

Give the Win the Day podcast a 5-star rating on Spotify

Win the Day Facebook group

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