This is my final analysis of the book, The Double Win, by Denis Waitley. In this last lesson on leadership, we going to focus on what the author calls the ‘in-built Thermostat’ that every person has. He took his readers off a little into the realm of psychology on this one but his lessons were nonetheless valid. His main point was that every human being today has a self-image that is deeply embedded into the subconscious mind. The title of Chapter 4 of the book is the Win-Lose Child of your Past. In this chapter, he had talked about the power that modern television has on our minds. To quote him he said, “To live the Double Win in a Win-Lose environment, we need to realize that T.V. programming is dictated by win-lose individuals who are interested in immediate profit gratification than in the side effects of their products.”

So then, the question becomes, should you stop watching T.V. if you want to become a Double Winner?  Not necessarily.

The main point here is that it would be difficult for you to change your self-image if you are still being stimulated by the Win-Lose philosophy whenever you pick up the remote. I, personally, have undergone a major drift from being a T.V. fanatic to being one of its toughest critics. To be utterly blunt, I think most of the stuff that is on T.V. and cable nowadays is poison.  My reasoning for this is that in a world where minding your own business should be a priority if you are going to find any sense of self-worth, modern television makes that goal almost impossible to achieve. So, ultimately and subconsciously, we learn the habits of those that represent less than 10% of the general population. Denis Waitley actually said that “we learn by observation, imitation and, repetition. We seize our role models, observe their actions, imitate, then become what we see, hear, read, feel and touch.” So, imagine the tragedy of a person who is born into a poor family in a third world country imitating Jay-z or Beyoncé.

You have no idea how many girls want to be like her.

Obviously, that would engender a Win-Lose philosophy right from the start because he sees that he must trample on whoever is in his way to look like his role model. Regardless of your age or cultural background, there’s always an inclination to please the crowd that is around you. That’s what Denis Waitley called the “Inner child of your past”. To a large extent, who are you are today has been largely influenced by factors such as how you were raised, T.V. cultural indoctrination and perhaps how your teachers in grade school treated you. To illustrate this point, Denis Waitley tells a story of a married couple: Robert had been married to Pauline and had noticed that whenever she was preparing a piece of ham for him, she would always cut off both ends. So, he asked her why she always did that and she responded by saying that was the way her mother prepared it. So, on a visit to the mother’s place, he asked Pauline’s mother as to why she always cut off both ends of the ham when preparing the meal and she replied that ‘that was the way that my mother used to do it.’ Determined to bring a solution to the mystery, Robert asked Pauline’s grandmother about it and she replied, ‘I cut it that way because my baking dish is too small.’ So, we can clearly see here how a habit was passed down from one generation to another through observation, imitation and, repetition. This all comes in to contribute to what makes your self-image…

The self-image was defined by Denis Waitley as the ‘total picture of who we think we are.’

Self-Image: It’s all up to you

Until recently, I have been very much unaware of how insecure I have been over the years. It’s only when I took an introspective analysis of my actions that I realized that I had a very poor self-image. Even today, I feel my gut wrench whenever somebody compliments my intelligence or says that I have done a good job. But I was not always like this; my insecurities were a monster born from years and years of being a follower of the win-lose philosophy. In retrospect, I think I was arrogant and thought I knew everything. When push came to shove and my abilities were tested, ‘I had realized that I was not as good as I thought I was compared to such and such a person.’ This led to an inner turmoil that culminated with me literally begging and crying for people not to leave me.

So, I am a person who understands the pain of knowing that your best is not good enough. And in this Win-Lose world, chances are that you will feel the same way I felt. I am a work-in-progress, and I should say that in applying the principles in this book, I have felt my self-confidence boosted. This I attribute to the change I’ve had in my self-image and the way I think of myself before anybody else tags me in a certain group.

Abel Chungu, the very talented Zambian Gospel singer once tweeted, “If you have a problem with me, call me so that we can solve it. If you don’t have my number, then you don’t know me well enough to have a problem with me.”

I think there was a subtle message in that tweet about the self-image. You are not what people think you are. Actually, you are what you think of yourself to be. I always tell myself whenever I am in a crisis that, ‘You are stronger than you think you are’ and often, these simple words become a source of great strength. The problem is that most of us don’t believe ourselves whenever we say we are good enough. The major reason why this is so hard to believe is that it causes an internal conflict. Here is a guy who for years has been trained to think of himself as mediocre. The moment you tell him that he can do more than he does, it would spark a war of contradiction. Years and years of cultural indoctrination would fight these assumptions right off the start and it only gets worse when you get older. So, my recommendation is that you should work on your self-image and be very careful about how you talk to yourself. A part of self-respect, which helps create a good self-image, is knowing what not to say to yourself. Never judge your abilities based on other people’s words or actions.

In conclusion, every one of us should ensure to create a good self-image. An image distinct from what people or society says or feels about us. I would like to reiterate my recommendation for the readers of this post to read the Double Win by Denis Waitley. As a Vigilante Scholar, I had learned a great deal about myself and self-development just from analyzing the texts of this book. There’s a lot more that I could speak on this but save for time, I would rather leave it to you to judge. I am confident that you would reach the same conclusion I reached and indeed, find the information helpful in your life and your quest for Leadership and Self-Development.

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