Lessons from Zig Ziglar


 “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”  – Zig Ziglar

A legend passed away Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. Zig Ziglar, a widely popular motivational speaker, died at the age of 86. While many were teaching and speaking on subjects like sales, management, and interpersonal skills, Zig began speaking to people about how to be their best and reach their potential. He was the father of motivational speaking.

I first heard Zig on an audio tape when I was in high school. I was intrigued, encouraged, and motivated to do more and be more. Several years later, he spoke at my college graduation commencement ceremony at Oklahoma Christian University. It was my first time seeing and hearing him in person. Even in his early 70’s, he had the enthusiasm and energy of a college student. His words that day inspired hundreds of graduates and their families to find a purpose and lead in life with gratitude and character.

I went on to read most of his books and listen to many of his audio recordings. His message never got old and was always rooted in character. With his southern draw, humor, and laid-back speaking style, Zig was one of the best communicators I have ever heard in both content and presentation. His life is a testimony to the power of leaving a legacy. His ideas and words helped many and will live on for many generations.

Here are 5 things I learned from Zig and his associated famous quotes.

1. True success is found in helping others succeed. 

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

“The foundation stones for balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty.”

2. Your attitude reflects your thoughts and determines your happiness.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

3. You won’t reach a goal you never set.

“A goal properly set is half reached.”

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

4. Failure is just a lesson on the journey of life.

“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.”

“When you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”

“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street”

5. You determine your level of motivation through your thoughts and actions, nobody else.

“Of course motivation is not permanent, but then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”

“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”

“You are the only person on earth who can use your ability”

2 thoughts on “Lessons from Zig Ziglar”

  1. Great points Jason. As a fellow fan and student of Zig your article really resonated with me. Zig has a big impact on me personally and on my career. He will be missed.

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