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.

5 responses to Maximum Motivation

  1. Sharon on December 5, 2012 at 1:23 AM Reply

    Dennis, I keep a book of favorite quotes at home, but don’t have it with me. Just want to say thank you and your respondents for bringing so many of them back to mind. I was in a small audience of a taping for a session in one of hte early video management training seminars created by a friend of mine. I will never forget his powerful presence and his wisdom. I definitely felt a twinge when I read of his death. He leaves a wonderful legacy of applied truth for all so many of us.

  2. Rod Partington on December 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM Reply

    I also loved Zig! God used him in amazing ways! A few of my favorite quotes (in addition to the ones above) are “Our purpose in life should be to see each other through,not see through each other.” “Experience is a hard teacher.It gives the test first,the lesson afterward.” “It’s not just the size of the dog in the fight;it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” (yes,that’s his quote) “The ladder of life is full of splinters,but you never realize it until you slide down.” “People judge you by your actions,not your intentions.You might have a heart of gold,but so does a hard boiled egg.” “Be yourself.You will make a lousy anybody else,but nobody else can be as good as you at being you.”

  3. Ray on December 1, 2012 at 8:14 AM Reply

    My Grandmother was like Zig in many ways she instilled into my father and me one of Zig’s thoughts . She and Dad always said treat others the way you want to be treated. Respect everyone for who they are not what they are. Color, life style, stature or appearance makes no difference they are all Gods children and need to be respected. It has served me well through my 66 years and will the rest of the way.

  4. Terry Frith on November 30, 2012 at 8:57 AM Reply

    I always liked the quote when he said “Someone told me that he won’t go to church because only hypocrites go to church.” Zig would say, well we always have room for 1 more, so why don’t you come.” I loved Zig myself. Thanks for reminding me of his quotes!!!!

    • Rod Partington on December 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM Reply

      Good one Terry! Made me laugh out loud…I needed that this morning. God Bless.

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