Zig Ziglar – Inspiring Life Lessons From The Motivator

Kumar Gauraw

The superstar motivational speaker and personal development legend, Zig Ziglar passed away on November 28th, 2012 at age 86. The sad news came along with this quote from him that has been a driving force in my life:

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. ~Zig Ziglar [tweet this]

Zig Ziglar - The Motivator Speaking To The Audience From The StagePhoto courtesy of Bill Butler

He was known for his clever way with words that inspired millions of people around the world to stop looking for shortcuts to success; and instead, earn it the old-fashioned way by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.

His book, See You at the Top: 25th Anniversary Edition has been my all-time favorite. The incredible life lessons he shared in this book have inspired people from all walks of life around the world to take charge and make a difference in their lives.

Positive thinking won’t let you do anything. But it will help you do everything better than negative thinking will. ~Zig Ziglar [tweet this]

Zig Ziglar lived a difficult life. Born in 1926, he was only 6 years old when his father died leaving his mother to raise him and his 11 siblings alone during the great depression. His mother did not have much of a formal education but she worked hard and raised the children with strong moral values.

Coming from such humble background, Zig Ziglar became a global leader in the realm of positive thinking, self-improvement and motivational speaking. His life has been a tremendous success and an inspiration to millions.

Here are my favorite top 5 life lessons we all can learn from Zig Ziglar’s legendary life:

A Goal Properly Set Is Halfway Reached.

Zig Ziglar’s suggested this incredible 7 step process of setting goals for success in every area of our lives. Here are those 7 steps:

  1. Identify, define your dreams and goals, and write them down.
  2. Set the deadline because that is what makes it a Goal. Without a dealine, it’s just a wish.
  3. Identify the obstacles.
  4. Identify the people, groups and organizations that can assist you in achieving your goals.
  5. List down the benefits of achieving your goals.
  6. List down the skills you need to acquire to achieve your goals.
  7. Develop and write down a game plan to achieve your goals.

These powerful steps have helped me be on top of things and be in control of my life. For more details on these steps, I highly recommend you to get hold of the book, See You at the Top: 25th Anniversary Edition.

Don’t Confuse Activity With Accomplishment.

In the video talk from Zig Ziglar I shared earlier in my post How To Reduce Stress And Increase Productivity For A High Quality Life, he talks about this in detail.

However, the message is simple, just because you are busy, doesn't mean you will achieve your goals. The only activities that are in synchronization with your dreams and goals may lead to success.

Believe In Yourself

If you do not believe in yourself, who else will? Zig Ziglar believed that self-confidence is a pre-requisite to any worthwhile success. He was so passionate on this subject that he published his audio CD by name Success and the Self-Image. I highly encourage you to listen to this life changing talk.

Be An Encourager – Help Others Succeed

Zig Ziglar believed that the surest way to achieve our dreams and goals are to help enough other people achieve their dreams and goals. He always taught that the best way to unleash our true potential is to take our eyes off ourselves and put it on others. By helping others, we actually help ourselves.

That is the reason he loved the sales profession and then eventually switched his career path to be a motivational speaker. He wanted to make a difference in the world and he achieved the goal!

Focus On Personal Growth – Be Willing to Learn

Greatest leaders are the greatest learners. They always keep an open mind to new information. They are always exploring new ways to improve themselves, their knowledge and their skills. Zig Ziglar talks in depth about personal development in his book, See You at the Top: 25th Anniversary Edition.

He not only taught these principles, but he also exemplified them through his own life. Zig Ziglar became one of the greatest motivators of our age, traveled the world, encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring audiences across the globe for more than three decades. A life well lived!

As I close, here is a Zig Ziglar Memorial Video that I highly encourage you to watch. A phenomenal video in the memory of the motivator:

Question: Have you read any of the Zig Ziglar's books, listened to his audio CD programs or attended his seminars? What do you like about his teachings the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

17 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Kapil

    Gauraw sir,

    I learn one/two things everytime I come to visit your website. I had heard about Mr. Zig Ziglar, but reading your blog, I came to know about the things about him that I would not have learned otherwise. I also liked the 5 things you said we all can learn from his life. So true…. these are the principles all successful people have followed.

    Thank you for  always helping me improve my personality and my thinking. I admire your generosity.

    • Thank you, Kapil. Appreciate your feedback and glad to know you enjoy my posts.  

  2. Twitter:
    “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”, is my favorite quote from Zig Ziglar. His cleaver ways with words, his enthusiastic style was contagious. His teachings surely impacted our lives in a very positive manner. I love his book “See You At Top” and many many stories with messages. I am going to read this book again. May he rest in peace knowing that his life has been a life that will continue to inspire people even after he is gone.

  3. Jim

    My favorite quote from him is, “Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.” -Zig Ziglar 

    • Thank you Jim. That is a great quote from him. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Twitter:
    Hello Kumar,

    Zig’s style of leadership was very easy to understand and, therefore, was and is highly relatable.  
    By way of example, he lived his values which he imparted through practical life experience.

    Zig offered plenty of sound psychological advice in his teaching. “Quit your stinkin’ thinkin’ and get a check-up from the neck up” is still my favorite Zig quote.

    We have lost a great one, but I know that his legacy will live on to inspire millions in the years ahead.

    Kind Regards,

    • Thank you for the awesome acronym for ZIG word itself. And no questions, his legacy will live on…
      Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts.


  5. Fonda Waddell

    Hello Kumar,

    Great work Kumar,
    Mr. Ziglar was an awesome role model, as well as a motivational speaker.I do not have all of his books,  but I have in my possession your recommendations from last year.    A positive man who always spoke positive words. He will be missed.  My prayers goes out to his family and friends.

    Kumar, thanks for another informative post.


    • Hi Fonda,
      It is great to hear from you, my friend. Thank you for stopping by and dropping your thoughts. Hope you are having a wonderful time.

  6. Hey Gauraw, those are really inspiring life lessons. I admit not knowing much know Zig Ziglar, so thank you for letting us know little bit about his life and his story too.

    Thanks again.

    • Ehsan,

      You are very welcome my friend. I am glad this post added a new piece of knowledge in your repository. Thank you 🙂

  7. Your article makes me want to read Zig Ziglar! Thank you!

    • Thank you Cendrine! He was absolutely incredible human being! Thanks for dropping by.

  8. RanjanGupta

    Nice work Kumar, I did not about Zig Ziglar before reading this blog; I really inspired and found. He spread his message of positive attitude, motivation and success through stories punctuated with short quotes that became legendary among his followers, 
    such as:
    • “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.”
    • “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”
    • “Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”

    • Thank you, Ranjan ji. I enjoy your commentary every time.

  9. Twitter:
    “A mind with positive attitude can tackle any hurdle in life”
    This is what a power of positive attitude which are mostly boosted by motivational thoughts or an article like this.
    Its not like you can not do that, its like if it is not going to be happen this way than use another way.
    Glad to read this article.
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Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.