Take a moment and ask yourself these questions:
+ If I earn millions of dollars, but destroy my health in the process, is that success?
+ If I become the best in my industry, but neglect my family and friends, is that success?
+ If I acquire great wealth and notoriety, but compromise my integrity and faith to do so, is that success?
Personal development legend Zig Ziglar explains how
to get everything you want out of life.
Few have had as great an impact on as many people as Zig Ziglar. As a sales
trainer, motivational speaker and best-selling author, Ziglar has helped
millions of individuals improve not only their perspective on life, but, more
important, their results. After a bumpy start, Ziglar built a wildly successful
career in sales. But the more he learned about selling and personal
achievement, the more interested he became in motivational speaking. He wanted
to help others attain the success he enjoyed. In 1970, while in his early 40s,
Ziglar made a career shift and began to speak full time. Since then, he has
engaged thousands of audiences and sold millions of books and audio programs,
including the best-selling See You at the Top, which sold more than
1.5 million copies, and the audio program How to Stay Motivated. Exactly
how many lives has the 83-year-old Ziglar touched? “We began counting the number
of people Zig has impacted and had to stop at 25.5 million people,”
says a spokesperson with the Zig Ziglar Corporation.
With his unique cadence and strong Southern drawl, Ziglar admonishes people
to be specific about what they want to achieve, to be purposeful in their
approach to personal development, and to help as many others as possible along
the way. And though he is a dyed-in-the-wool believer in the power of positive
thinking, there is nothing secret about his philosophy on achieving success. “Positive
thinking won’t let you do anything,” Ziglar says. “But it will help you do
everything better than negative thinking will.” His constant message is that
success requires full engagement and hard work. When combined with an
unshakable positive attitude and character, success is inevitable. Here are a
few more of Ziglar’s tried-and-true strategies.
Live a Balanced, Focused Life
Success is never about acquiring what you want in one area of life, but in
every area of life. Reminiscent of I Corinthians 13, Ziglar asks audiences to
consider the fallacy of one-sided success. Take a moment and ask yourself these
+ If I earn millions of
dollars, but destroy my health in the process, is that success?
+ If I become the best in
my industry, but neglect my family and friends, is that success?
+ If I acquire great wealth and
notoriety, but compromise my integrity and faith to do so, is that success?
The obvious answer to each of these questions is “no.” Success isn’t
one-sided. Our achievements aren’t fulfilling when we neglect or destroy our
relationships, health or faith.
Through the years, Ziglar’s axiom has been, “You can have everything in life
you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” But
what exactly do people want? What do you want? Getting clear about your goals
and desires, after all, is the first step to achieving them.
Ziglar says there are eight basic things people want to feel successful.
“People want to be happy, healthy, reasonably prosperous and secure; they want
to have friends, peace of mind, good family relationships and hope,” he says.
With a focused goal to continually improve in each of these areas, we can enjoy
life to the fullest.
“You are here for a reason. That purpose is to get everything out of
you that is humanly possible so you can make your contributions to mankind,”
Ziglar writes in See You at the Top. “Goals enable you to do more for
yourself and others, too.” He also notes that goals must be specific. “You’ll
never make it as a ‘wandering generality.’ You must become a ‘meaningful
Goals give us a target and bring meaning to our mission. Without goals, life
simply happens. But when we have a target, we can move with purpose, helping us
achieve more. “People often complain about lack of time, when lack of direction
is the real problem,” Ziglar says. “Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it
becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals and your determination to use
every available minute.”
Action → Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment.
You must have specific, clearly identified objectives. In the How to Stay
Motivated audio program, Ziglar advises listeners to write down everything
they want to do, be or have. Once you’ve created your list, pick five things
you want to accomplish this year and outline a plan for each by defining daily,
weekly and monthly targets. Then get started!
Take a (Mental) Bath Every Day
Getting motivated to improve in any one of these eight areas of life is
relatively easy. But staying motivated enough to maintain the behaviors
required to realize real change is challenging.
Ziglar illustrates the point by recounting the story of going to the gym on
Jan. 2 one year. Normally, finding a place to park wasn’t an issue, nor was
finding an empty workout bench or treadmill. But on his first visit of the new
year, he was forced to park at the back of the lot and had to wait in line to
use the equipment. When he questioned the trainer at the front desk about the
influx of patrons, he was told not to worry and that things would go back to
normal in about three weeks. Sure enough, before three weeks had passed, there
were once again plenty of vacant spaces in the parking lot and several empty
We are easily motivated to start a life-improvement project, but staying
motivated takes work. Ziglar comments that people frequently complain to him
that the effects of motivational seminars, books and audios don’t last. His
response: “Neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.”
In his Christian Motivation for Daily Living audio program, Ziglar
references a study that indicates 80 percent of what our minds take in each day
is negative. Be it from talk radio or what Ziglar refers to as the “income
suppressant” (aka the television), or the gripes and sour attitudes of our
friends, co-workers, family members and acquaintances, we are inundated with
negative thoughts, comments and messages. We can spend a full day at a
motivational seminar or sales conference and get pumped with enthusiasm. But,
as soon as we step out into the “real world,” the onslaught of negativity is
akin to having someone dump garbage into our freshly cleaned mind.
“If I were to come into your home with a pail of garbage and dump it on your
living room floor, we would have problems—fast,” Ziglar writes in See You at
the Top. “The person who dumps garbage into your mind will do you
considerably more harm than the person who dumps garbage on your floor, because
each load of mind garbage negatively impacts your possibilities and lowers your
To offset the negativity and to stay motivated to reach our goals, continual
affirmations and belief-building messages must be part of our daily routine.
That’s why, in addition to practicing positive self-talk, Ziglar recommends
listening to and reading motivational materials repeatedly and regularly. “You
are what you are and where you are because of what’s gone into your mind,” he
says. “You can change what you are, you can change where you are, by changing
what goes into your mind.”
Block out 30 minutes a day (at a minimum) to read or listen to a positive,
inspiring or motivational message. Doing so will help you stay committed to
your goals and bolster your belief in your ability to achieve them.
Help Others Get What They Want
If helping others get what they want is the true path to success, sales is
the ideal profession. “People buy because they either need or want something,”
Ziglar writes in Ziglar on Selling. “If we can give persons a
reason for buying and an excuse for buying, the chances that they will
buy improve rather dramatically.” The key, he explains, is developing an
attitude of curiosity and a sincere interest in your prospect’s needs. With
those needs clarified, you can then offer a solution that satisfies both you
and the customer.
At a recent conference, author and keynote speaker Bob Burg pointed to
Ziglar, a fellow panelist for the event, and shared how this master motivator
and successful salesman had impacted his life. Early in his sales career, Burg
attended one of Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale seminars. At the end of
his presentation, Ziglar pitched his sales training program, which was
available for purchase at the back of the room in cassette format.
As he made his way down the aisle to the sales table, a few of Burg’s
co-workers tried to stop him. “They said, ‘You can’t afford Zig’s program—none
of us can.’ And I said, ‘Exactly, that’s why I’m going back there to get Zig’s
program… so one day I’ll be able to afford Zig’s program and anything else I
want,’ ” Burg says. Burg says he “devoured” the program, listening to it
repeatedly. The 16th time he listened to the audio, he heard a key point that
he then incorporated into to his sales presentation. Immediately, he began to
close more sales. “I’ll tell you what, that product that I couldn’t afford to
buy, but bought anyway, made me hundreds of thousands of dollars through the
years. I owe so much to this gentleman because he allowed me to provide more
value to more people than I would have been able to without being equipped in
Commit today to become others-focused. With your spouse, your children, your
prospect and your peers, keep the question, “How can I help you?” as a primary
focus in the relationship.
If you want to be happy, healthy, reasonably prosperous and secure, and if
you want to have friends, peace of mind, good family relationships and hope, it
makes sense to listen to this motivational master’s positive message of
personal responsibility. Millions have and credit their achievements to what
they’ve learned from Ziglar, a man who created a successful life by helping
others do the same.
Have a great week unless you choose otherwise.
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