Selling Power Magazine Article

Motivation from the Master
Malcolm Fleschner

Zig Ziglar has helped millions find the ability and drive to succeed. For more than 30 years, this motivational marvel has wowed audiences around the world with his simple yet penetrating insight into personal achievement. In books and seminars, Ziglar’s message transcends mere motivational speaking. While he believes that attitude plays a key role in determining success, Ziglar stresses the importance of balancing a positive attitude with the hands-on abilities necessary to accomplish our dreams. As always, Ziglar has a ready anecdote to illustrate his point.

“When I was in the seventh grade, I went out for the boxing team. I weighed a whopping eighty-two pounds. I was very confident, because I had enjoyed a certain amount of success as a playground gladiator. The guy I was going to spar with weighed about sixty-two pounds, and I just knew I’d kill him. What I did not realize was that he had been on the team for two years already. It took him about three seconds to figure out that the straightest distance to my nose was a left jab. Two seconds later, he figured it out again. And again and again. Since more than my feelings were getting hurt, I decided I was too busy for the boxing team.

“But then the coach took me aside and started teaching me some fundamentals. Within a couple of weeks, I was able to hit my opponent once in a while. I quickly learned that the hitter had more fun than the ‘hittee.’ After about three or four weeks, I was actually winning. And the point here is that when I went into the ring the first time, I had a great attitude; I was positive, optimistic, enthusiastic, and highly motivated, but I was about to get killed. When I added the skill to the attitude, my effectiveness went way up. Neither attitude nor ability alone will get you there. You need them both to be successful.”

Besides attitude and ability, Ziglar’s recipe for success includes many additional ingredients. Part of the problem facing many people, he says, is that they lack a clear destination in life. And without a destination in mind, it’s nearly impossible to find your way. By contrast, Ziglar can enunciate a clear definition of success.

“Many people are mistaken in equating success solely with money,” he says. “To me, success means getting a reasonable amount of the things money will buy and all of the things money won’t buy. Money is not the most important thing, but when you need it, there are few substitutes. So while I like the things money can buy, I love what money won’t buy. It bought me a house, but it won’t buy me a home. It would buy me a companion, but it won’t buy me a friend.

“Then the second part of what success means relates to when you’ve dealt with the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of life. If I made millions and destroyed my health in the process or neglected my family, that’s not success.”

Unlike some speakers who talk a good game but fail to live up to the ideals they espouse, credibility is not an issue for Zig Ziglar. If he talks the talk, he walks the walk, too. When he tells audience members that physical fitness will increase their energy, help them perform better, and improve their lives, he’s speaking from experience.

“Twenty-five years ago, I made a decision to do something about physical fitness,” he says. “Since then, I’ve been eating sensibly and exercising regularly. Today my exercise regimen includes vigorous walking five to seven times a week and a twenty-minute routine involving push-ups and stretching, as well as weightlifting. Now at age seventy, I can stay on the treadmill five minutes longer than I could when I was forty-five. That means that I have more documented energy today than I did twenty-five years ago. Does that enable me to be more productive? Of course it does. Do I have more fun at it? Absolutely.

“Now some people say, ‘I have (continued on page 2)
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