Still learning from Zig Ziglar

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Dave Rudd

This past month one of the great motivators—a master public speaker and trainer—Zig  Ziglar died. I searched and found his official obituary in the Dallas Morning News; it was simple and affirmed his love for his family and religion.

I loved reading Zig’s books, listening to his talks and attending his seminars. I’ve attended several events featuring Zig—some were held in sports arenas with 15,000+ people attending and others were in a tent with perhaps a couple hundred people. The size or location of the venue didn’t matter because when Zig Ziglar spoke, he captured your attention.

I have vivid memories of Zig on stage. I can still hear him speaking very fondly about his wife, whom he nicknamed the “decided redhead” because one day she simply decided to change her hair color to red. I can still vividly picture him kneeling on one knee at the front of the stage and looking directly at the audience members while delivering an important part of his speech.

In honor of Zig’s memory, I decided to share with you a few of my personal favorite quotes:

  • “The more you gripe about your problems, the more problems you have to gripe about.”
  • “You can get everything in life you want IF you will just help other people get what they want.”
  • “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
  • “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
  • “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.”
  • “People often say motivation doesn’t last.  Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
  • “If you want to reach a goal you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.”
  • “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
  • “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”

Zig had an interesting and fun way of looking at life and making it better in spite of the challenges. For instance, he called an alarm clock an “opportunity clock” and a traffic light a “go light.” Fortunately for us, his positive influence can still be found by reading one of his 28 books or listening to his recorded lectures.

As we end this year and plan for 2013, I believe Zig would encourage all of us to write down our goals—for work and in our personal lives—and persistently work towards them. After all, he did say “a goal properly set is halfway reached.”

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