Understanding Zig Ziglar

Motivation and Work

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar died last week at the age of 86. Known for his motivational speaking and many books on selling such as See You at the Top, Ziglar's own success is a rags to riches story. The youngest of 12, Ziglar was raised by a widowed mom in the hardsrcabble town of Yazoo City, Mississippi. After dropping out of college he began his sales career selling pots and pans door-to-door.

Ziglar's long career in motivational speaking has been criticized in recent years as typical of the feel good Dale Carnegie/Norman Vincent Peale corny self-talk that claims if you think of yourself as successful you'll automatically become successful. Ziglar responded, “People often say motivation doesn't last. Neither does bathing — that's why we recommend it daily.”

However, the truth is that though Ziglar's message was about positive-thinking, he insisted it was to motivate hard work that he was all about. He believed that success wasn't possible without commitment and tremendous effort and used his own life as an example.

No stranger to failure, Ziglar had ups and downs in his career, as well as in his private life including the personally devastating and tragic death of his adult daughter in 1995.

One of the things I like most about Zig Ziglar's teaching was his focus on action not just positive thinking. Here are two of my favorite Ziglar quotes:

“You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

“If you wait for all the lights to turn green before you head to town you'll stay at home the rest of your life.”

Do you have motivational sayings that you use in your own life to help you get out of bed in the morning or keep up the good fight? Share them in the comments section:


Art Johnson

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