This week, God welcomed into heaven a great influencer in my life, Zig Ziglar. Motivational speaker and author extraordinaire, Zig was known for his sales and positive attitude seminars that grew into packed arenas. I first heard him speak back in the late 80’s as a guest speaker at a conference in Indiana led by John Maxwell.  Then I led a study group video series by Ziglar, “Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World” in the 90’s. Around 2000, I heard him again at the American Airlines Miami Arena alongside an impressive line-up of speakers such as Colin Powell, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush and Larry King. Every time I listened to Zig speak, I went away motivated to the max!

Zig Ziglar, lost his father at age 5. Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, he was the 10th of 12 kids. He started selling peanuts on the street at age 6 and then mowing yards.

At age 12, he started working at a grocery store with John R. Anderson who treated him as a son. Mr. Anderson taught him that if you were kind to people and followed through with every promise, you would have a better career. Young Zig watched how Mr. Anderson treated African-American’s with respect and kindness in the deep south long before the civil rights movement. One of Zig’s favorite things to say was, “God don’t make no junk…color has nothing to do with it…it’s your heart.”

Zig Ziglar shaped me from a distance. He taught me to start looking at the positive side of every situation. So, in tribute to Zig, here’s some of some of his quotes that are favorites of mine.

“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.”

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.”

“Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.”

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

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

“You can have anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

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

“With integrity, you have nothing to fear because you have nothing to hide.”

QUESTION: Any Zig Ziglar quotes that have shaped you? Share them in the comment section below.

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