Tips From The Top

Zig Ziglar on having an Attitude of Gratitude and Getting over “an advanced case of Stinkin’ Thinkin'”

I was saddened to hear that Zig Ziglar passed away today after a short bout with pneumonia.

I was lucky enough to hear Mr. Ziglar speak a few years ago. I say “lucky” because, without the help of his daughter, Mr. Ziglar couldn’t have kept doing speaking engagements at all.

He had had a fall down a long flight of stairs, and lost his ability to access his short term memory. What that meant is that he didn’t remember anything about what he had just said – but all his stories, etc. from the past were locked away intact in his brain.

His daughter, who was not a public speaker at all, stepped in, and helped invent an “interview” format for Mr. Ziglar. In this format, they sat on the stage together in easy chairs, and she “prompted” him to tell his stories, answer questions, etc. If he repeated one, she would just chuckle and tell him “Dad, we’ve heard that one already,” much to the amusement of all of us listening…and him! What a great attitude!

It was amazing – seriously amazing. Without the love and attention of his daughter, Mr. Ziglar couldn’t have continued spreading his inspirational words. I was able to meet Mr. Ziglar, “The Redhead” (his wife), and his daughter after the event – and they were just as lovely and wonderful as you might imagine.

When writing my latest book Passive Income 101: a story of paying for college without selling your soul, I had a number of teens and 20-somethings read the original drafts to be sure I “got the language right” so to say. In the book, high school senior Alexzandra basically discovers works by such greats as Og Mandino, Robert Kiyosaki and, yes, Zig Ziglar.

I was astonished to find out that 100% of the dozens of readers had never heard of these inspirational leaders. By reviewing my book, they were prompted to go to YouTube to hear more – and some even told me that this prompted them to go on and get the books from these thought leaders.

I am so grateful for the Internet at times like this. Just by clicking over to YouTube, you can be inspired, uplifted, and de-funk-i-fied in a few minutes. As Mr. Ziglar himself says, you are what you put into your head. Long, long ago, my husband and I gave up watching the news because we’d always go to bed after dwelling on what was going wrong in the world. Instead, we took up a practice of spending a few minutes doing something uplifting. I have two books (one by Mr. Ziglar in fact) that have 365 days’ worth of quotes and thoughts, which you can read every day as you get up or before you go to sleep. It just takes a minute – but that minute can change your whole attitude.

I’m going to post some of my favorite “Zig Moments” here for the next few blog posts. They’re from YouTube, and I happen to also have them on a complete set of CDs of Mr. Ziglar’s most famous speaking engagements, which I bought personally from Mr. Ziglar those few years ago. I love to listen to them in the car – but it’s so, so much better to actually watch them!

I hope you enjoy – and I hope that if you need a bit of inspiration or a pick-me-up, you remember that they are always there for you through the “miracle of the Internet.” Thanks, Zig.