Denis Waitley believes that positive self-direction is the action plan that all winners in life use to turn imagination into reality, fantasy into fact, and dreams into actual goals.

Being a self-directed person, you maintain your personal control and freedom of action. You seek no advice or judgments from other people. You pass your own judgments and rely on your own values and self-dependency. In other words, you are self-directed but not directed by others. You control and determine your own destiny.

Remove past conditioning and become self-directed, and see the difference in yourself. All the wrong ideas, perceptions and biases; false assumptions and beliefs, etc were acquired in the absence of self-direction. They are things of the past. Start anew with permanent self-directed thinking. This involves erasing the old programming and replacing it with a positive one.

Learning is more likely to produce the desired result if it is self-directed learning. Self-directed learning should be actively encouraged. As a self-directed learner, you seek your own sources of relevant information and course materials. This tends often to lead to discovery of more things or things not known of before and greater acquisition of knowledge. But to be really effective, strict discipline is a must.

Setting and achieving self-directed goals require constant pursuance of your aims. Setting goals involve careful planning and writing them down. As a self-directed person, you possess the ability to use your judgment to make decisions and do things without needing to be told what to do. You are likely to show a lot of initiative and commit yourself to follow through with consistent self-direction until eventual realization of the goals.

Putting employees, students, or children, under their own individual control would enable them to express themselves more fully instead of telling them what to do and how to do. The development of self-direction is to be strongly supported. This encourages more innovation and creativity. Some supervision over them, however, is still needed. But this needs to be as minimal as possible as self-directed people are quite capable of being in charge of themselves.

An organization that is becoming too big can be divided into smaller separate units and the individual units can be allowed to be self-directed in their operations. Some official directives on operations are still necessary. Rigid systems that impose strict directives should be changed.

Jim Rohn emphasizes that aiming yourself toward your goals like an archer aims an arrow at a target is positive self-direction.


There are twoparts to positive self-direction. Part one is self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge is knowing who you are and what you want to do with yourlife. It is knowing how you feel about yourself. Self-knowledge has a lot todo with your philosophy, and your philosophy has a lot to do with shapingyour attitude. It helps determine how you feel about yourself, about life,about your direction, and about others around you.

You have got to gather up enough knowledge and information to know what isright for you. How do you gather up this information? Well, you can startwith your own experiences. The best way to know if something works foryou, to find the right way, is to do it the wrong way. You cannot keep doing itthe wrong way. You have got to be smart enough to say, “Hey, this isnotworking,” and change it. Start doing it the right way.

Then search for the knowledge and apply what is right for you to your life.

Develop your own attitudes and philosophies around your own experiencesand the experiences of others. Lookat it from your own perspective and refine it to suit you.Keep what you think will work for you;and mostimportantly, make sure that what you end up doing is the product of yourown conclusion. Make sure that the knowledge that you are building is yourown self-knowledge.

The second component of positive self-direction is preparation: being readyfor the opportunities when they show up in your life; being ready for thesales call that may make you a fortune; being ready for the meeting thatmay positively affect your career; being ready for it all, in expectation thatit will come.

Preparing for your own life is pretty much the same. With enough planning,dedication, and hard work, you will meet your goals. You know that it will betough for the first few years, but the sacrifice is well worth it. In themeantime, you have got to be ready for it.

If you wish to be ruler over many, you have got to be faithful with few. If youwish to have power and influence over many, be the leader of many, and getthe return from many, be faithful and disciplined when there is just a few.And do it in your own enlightened self-interest because that gives you thebest chance to have power, influence, and a place or honor among the many.Be faithful when there is just a few.

If you havegot a few people you deal with, that is the time to sharpen yourcommunication skills—of being in touch, getting prepared, giving the mostof your heart and soul. In your own enlightened self-interest, give it your allwhen there is a few. Be totally absorbed when there is just a few. Improveyour reputation and skills so when a leadership position opens up, you will becalled.

The same thing goes with your money. Positive self-direction means paying very close attention to every cedi youhave, really keeping track of where they come from and where they go.Create the discipline when the amount is small, and you will be on your wayto handling your money when the amount is large. Be ready for tomorrowby doing all that you can today. That’s positive self-direction.

Remember, it is easy to do the little things, every day. It is also easy NOTto dothem.Are you appreciative of the progress you have made so far? It is important thatyou take time out to acknowledge yourself and your achievements.

Consider where you have been and who you have become. Self-appreciation is astage in personal evolution that demonstrates maturity and resolve. It comesfrom already being firmly set on the course of positive self-direction. Youknow you are on the right track, and you have a wonderful blend of humilityand self-esteem. You know that you are accomplishing your goals. And youknow yourself enough, and are confident enough, to avoid needlessbragging.

Self-appreciation also says that you admit there is room for improvement.

You know that you are on the right track, but you admit the need forcontinued growth. You seek out more books, more seminars, more skills,more disciplines, a greater awareness, and a bigger vision.

There is always more room to grow. There is always more knowledge togain, more skills to perfect. We are never done with the education process,because education is part of the path to wealth. Education is part of the pathto health. Continued education can turn you around if you are headed in thewrong direction. We must never stop learning, growing, and expanding.And we must never forget to take the time to appreciate ourselves for whatwe have done in pursuit of what we want to become.It may be forgotten in your daily routine, but you are already a success inmany ways. Take some time to appreciate your current success. Celebrateit in your own small way. These smallsteps toward success are what make the entire journey worthwhile.


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