Zig Ziglar has been a favorite speaker, motivator, and teacher of mine for many years.
I had the privilege of listening to him speak in Pittsburgh several years ago, and although he was getting on in age, he could still bounce around the stage with as much passion and enthusiasm as anyone.
As you may have heard, Zig passed away last week. The world lost not only a great leader, but an exceptional man.
In an age where it seems that nothing is sacred anymore, Zig remained not only a master motivator, but a wholesome symbol of success done right.
In honor of Zig, I’d like to share a story that he loved to tell, as well as one of his blog posts from earlier this year.
Both of them explain the importance of action and persistence.
One of my favorite pearls of wisdom from Zig is this: “You can have anything you want, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
Our job then is to get helping. Get moving. Do something positive and productive every single day.
You don’t have to be in an all-out sprint, you just need to be moving forward. Continually. And with great resolve.
Many of us have everything we need to be ultra-successful, but never get around to implementing it. You plan on doing it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.
In the following video Zig tells a short story that drives this point home. I know it really struck a chord with me the first time I heard it.
He explains that greatness is right around the bend, but most of us fail to take that first step. Instead, we allow ourselves to get “Cooked in the Squat”.
And now, here’s Zig’s post from earlier this year.
Ready, Fire, Aim!…
The Bull’s Eye is “Hitable”
By Zig Ziglar
Somebody once said that the major difference between a big shot and little shot is that the big shot is the little shot who keeps on shooting. There’s much truth in that witticism. The reality is, no matter what our target might be, we seldom hit it on the first try unless the target is low, which means the accomplishment—and the rewards—will be insignificant.
In bow shooting, experienced archers will test the wind by using the first shot to judge its strength and direction, enabling them to zero in on the target with their following shots. In short, archers learn from their mistakes. That’s good advice for all of us.
Success in business, athletics, science, politics, etc., seldom comes on the first effort. Walt Disney went bankrupt a number of times and had at least one nervous breakdown before he made it big. Athletic skills are acquired over a long period of time and after countless hours of practice. Authors by the hundreds can tell you stories by the thousands of those rejection slips before they found a publisher who was willing to “gamble” on an unknown. It’s more than just a cliché that persistent, enthusiastic effort produces powerful, positive results, that failure is an event—not a person—and that the only time you must not fail is the last time you try.
Whatever your target might be, chances are good that you’re not going to hit the bull’s eye on the first effort you make at being “successful.” The key is persistence and the willingness to try again in the face of those early misses. You can learn from those early mistakes and if you do keep on shooting, it’s just a question of time before you, too, are hitting the bull’s eye. Give it a try—keep shooting—and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
R.I.P. Zig! Thank You for the wisdom and the inspiration!