“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”

Epictetus

In preparation for this newsletter, I started thinking about who seems to have it all figured out. My answer might surprise you: children.

Having nine nieces and nephews over the last 10 years has given me a great appreciation for the courage, trust, and fun that children inherently have. But rather than encourage these gifts, many parents try to dictate to their children how the world should be, tempered by their own misfortunes, comfort zones, and limiting beliefs.

While, of course, discipline to ensure safety is important, I’ve found that simply asking children open-ended questions and listening attentively is one of the best ways to learn about what’s most important in life. Children have a certain magic—a spark of energy, potential, and promise.

Yet, that same spark seems all but extinguished in most of the adult population.

As we go through adolescence, we modify ourselves to be accepted, listen to the ill-informed opinions of others, and start to resent others who have been dealt the hand of good fortune. For many of us, we reach a point as adults where we feel rudderless and malfunctioned, devoid of purpose and mission. I certainly felt like that, and even wrote about it in Success Magazine earlier this year.

Here are nine lessons I’ve used to accept the past, be happy in the present, and move confidently into the future.

1. Engage with life.

Allowing myself to be pushed around by everyone and everything was the brittle foundation for all that was bad in my life. It was only after a moment of sheer disgust where I proclaimed “I am not going to live like this anymore” that I made the decision to take a stand. From that one moment, my health got back on track, relationships strengthened, my income kept multiplying, and I began to attract opportunities that I otherwise never would have dreamed about.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 16 or 60, or what situation you currently find yourself in. Stop complaining about what you don’t have and, instead, create the reality you want.

2. Seek the friendship of high performers.

One of my favorite quotes is from Bernard Baruch: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” When you’re clear on who you are and where you want to go, you naturally start attracting people into your life who believe in you and your mission. I’m not talking about CEOs; I’m talking about people who are in—or just outside of your current network—who you can easily get in contact with, meet at events, or invite to mastermind groups.

Constantly seek out high performers, look for ways to add value, and never forget the real magic: give more than you get.

3. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever.

Napoleon Hill once said, “One of the unappreciated benefits of adversity is that it accelerates the process of identifying your true friends.” As human beings, we have this need for acceptance from others, even if it sabotages our future. But if people do not reciprocate your positive energy, take comfort knowing that the quicker they’re out of your life the better.

The world is a big place, yet so many of us cling to friendships that no longer serve us or pander to toxic family members. Channel your energy into supporting those who bring out the best in you, and you in them. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever.

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4. Find the gift in every adversity.

Our educational system uses standardized tests to place teenagers into two buckets: smart and stupid. For the high academic achievers, this can be a poisoned chalice of unrealistic expectations and discomfort in reality, when they notice that the present reality doesn’t equal magical promised land of happiness, success, and freedom. For the low academic achievers, this can create ¬limiting beliefs and poor self-esteem that can take decades to unwind.

But the most successful people in life learn from every adversity and, with their superior resourcefulness and resilience, always rise once more—as I wrote about in Reader’s Digest. As the Dalai Lama said, “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Failing means you tried. Find the gift in every adversity.

5. Read, read, read.

You have access to the most brilliant minds in history who can give you a step by step guide to creating a life of extraordinary happiness, freedom, and success. Yet, as I spoke about in Episode 2, more than $73 billion is spent on lottery tickets in America each year, despite the fact you’re 8x more likely to be elected President than you are of winning the lottery jackpot.

That amount, $73 billion, is more than 5x the amount of money that is spent on books each year. One book can transform your life, but how many lottery tickets do you need to buy before you start to see a return on investment?

Commit to reading 15 minutes a day. Feel confident knowing that your competitors would rather spend that time on more sleep or television. If you hate reading, listen to audiobooks or podcasts.

Most importantly, take notes as you read (or listen) and put those ideas into action. If taking notes is not your thing, draw a picture, which studies have shown might be even better.

6. Work at no charge for industry leaders.

Working for a wage is fruitless. When starting out, what you learn is so much more important than what you earn. Sacrifice pay in the short-term for the advantage of being in an environment that challenges you to grow and get outside your comfort zone.

While most people try to impress with fancy resumés, prove your worth through creative thinking, positive energy, and hard work. Having the endorsement and tutelage of industry leaders will propel you toward you dreams quicker than anything else.

7. Success is holistic.

Most people are on the hunt for money but forget that health is the real wealth. A healthy body and mind put you in the best place to have meaningful relationships with others and give you the energy to do the work that will achieve your goals.

As Jim Rohn said, “How sad to see a father with money and no joy. The man studied economics, but never studied happiness.” It’s much better to advance with true happiness than it is to have mere monetary wealth.

8. Don’t compare your Day One with someone else’s Year Five.

The internet has shattered the barriers of entry for most industries, allowing anyone with an internet connection to start their own business. People are very good at starting, but quit at the first sign of adversity. This normally comes a few months in when they look at the results others are receiving compared to others, get down on themselves, and give up.

Success, in any field, is a marathon—and consistency is the key. Channel your energy into doing the work, rather than comparing how much better others are doing.

9. Know what you want and ask for what you want.

One day, about two years ago, I picked up my 5-year-old niece, Charlotte, from school. On the way home, we did our usual stop at a nearby café for a babycino (a tiny cup of steamed milk designed for kids to enjoy a ‘coffee’ with their parents). As we pulled into the carpark, Charlotte pointed—from the backseat, might I add—to a storefront that I hadn’t even noticed, and said, “You’re going to buy me that water bottle.” I looked up to see a pink water bottle and the pretty pattern that adorned it.

Maybe it was because I was in the trenches of the Think and Grow Rich project at that point, or perhaps I just wanted to reward the confidence of knowing what she wanted, but five minutes later we left that store with a fancy pink water bottle and a pack of stickers, too. I had to laugh at the irony, knowing that a 5-year-old knew the path to success better than most adults.

Importantly, keep asking for what you want. One of history’s most prolific inventors, Thomas Edison, once said: “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”

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Demand the best for yourself. Use those nine lessons to get rid of regret forever.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

In case you missed it:
The Gold Standard

“Be grateful for all that you have while you pursue all that you want.”

Jim Rohn

Reflect and Calibrate

Well, that was quick!

The end of the year is an opportune time to honestly reflect on the year that was—think about the goals you achieved or didn’t even get around to setting, the people you met or didn’t meet, the work you did or didn’t do, the books you read or didn’t read, and the comfort zone you leapt out of or stayed within.

You get the point.

Constant calibration is a fundamental characteristic of extraordinary achievers. When you have your perfect destination in all areas of your life clearly defined, it’s much easier to review your actions to see exactly what you need to do more (or less) of to make 2019 the best year yet.

Stay focused and committed to starting the year strong. Before the end of December, make sure you’ve already got a:

Together, these things will have you excited to put in the work each day, attract people / resources into your life who can help you on your journey, and make you more resilient when adversity inevitably strikes. Most importantly, make sure your daily actions correspond with the brightest of your dreams.

For those who have recently joined, here’s a list of the most popular posts this year:

There’s a lot of practical tips in there that can be applied by anyone. All these newsletters are inspired by my firsthand interviews with more than 100 of the world’s most accomplished people and written to help you unlock your potential.

Coming soon …

There will be some exciting announcements soon! For those who want more resources to help take your personal and professional results to the next level, there’ll be online courses, videos, and even an exclusive mastermind opportunity. Stay tuned for more info.

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Reflecting on the year that was, I appreciate all of you for so willingly sharing your thoughts and struggles with me via email, social media and at speaking events. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and look forward to helping you engage with your authentic self on a deeper level than you ever thought possible.

Contrary to what slick salespeople say, you ARE enough and everything you need to succeed is already within your possession. As Jim Stovall says, “Being successful is not a closed club. After all, you have the ability. So the question is not ‘can you’ but ‘will you’.”

Take action now. Your life depends on it.

Wishing you and yours every success and happiness this holiday season!

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

In case you missed it:
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

“Run the day or the day runs you.”

Jim Rohn

At every speech, I put up a slide that reads:

“Make the decision to win or you’ve automatically made the decision to lose.”

In the modern world of comfort and instant gratification, we naturally gravitate towards relaxation, indulgence and excitement. Along the way, more important but less fun tasks—like reading a book, completing a goals template, studying for an educational program, creating a household budget, going to the gym, or doing meal prep for the week—are often put on the backburner.

From 100+ firsthand interviews with some of the most successful people on the planet, I’ve learned that it all comes down to a simple mission: Win the day. When you have a comprehensive Success Plan, you live with intent and know what daily actions will inch you closer to your perfect destination.

Here are seven tips to help you win the day.

1. Start with gratitude.

Take a quiet moment each day to give thanks for the countless gifts already in your possession, such as love, health, peace, shelter, food or the opportunity to make the world a better place. Train yourself to find the gift in every situation so you can see the problem for what it is and properly respond rather than impulsively react and potentially make it worse.

2. Get clear on who you are and what you want.

Being clear on your perfect destination makes it much easier to take daily actions, attract people who can amplify your efforts and persist through the tough days. Each morning, as soon as you wake up, write down three things that would make today a ‘win'. Before you go to bed, review the success of your day and the actions you took (or did not take), and calibrate accordingly.

3. Do your life’s work first.

Try doing your life’s work—the actions that will inch you closer to your goals—before working on someone else’s agenda for your time. The two biggest examples of someone else’s agenda are social media and emails. There is a time and a place for both, but make sure you are not wasting your best hours on someone else’s plan for your life. Instead, allocate your most creative and productive time for actions that align with your goals, and do the rest on autopilot.

4. Fuel the body and mind.

Give your body the physical and mental nourishment it needs to function at an optimal state, encourage creative thought and feel more energetic. Many of the most high-profile CEOs and world leaders deliberately schedule time in their busy calendars for daily exercise, meditation and reading (or podcasts / audiobooks).

5. Add value to someone’s life each day.

Whether it is buying a meal for a homeless person, volunteering your time to help disadvantaged youth or teaching military veterans how to surf, there are countless ways to give back. In the pursuit of helping others, make sure you also take care of those under your own roof. Having an open channel of communication with your loved ones and actively planning times to be together without distraction is an important part of ensuring the family unit grows as one.

6. Reflect and recalibrate.

On the journey to success, failure is inevitable. Rather than striving for perfection, aim for progress. If at the end of the day you are disappointed with the result, compare your goals with the actions you took—maybe there was a toxic friend who occupied too much of your time, notifications on your phone that kept distracting you, or bad food choices because you had not prioritized a supermarket visit or meal prep. Calibrate accordingly. Over time, simple and consistent action turns to extraordinary achievement.

7. End the day with a request to your subconscious.

Famous inventor Thomas Edison once said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” The best way to bring a wish to life is with a good night’s rest and a plan to win tomorrow.

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Fun is an essential part of enjoying life, but develop the habit of paying the price each day or you’ll have to pay a much greater price down the track in the form of:

As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Each day, make the decision to win or you’ve automatically made the decision to lose.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

Ready to win the day, every day? 

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