How to Stay Motivated in a World Without Zig


“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Zig Zigler’s legacy and timeless message of motivation — and seeing you “At the Top”– lives on in this “How to Stay Motivated Series”.

Zig Zigler belongs to a special time and unique group of speakers and authors that set the stage for many successful motivational speakers/authors like Tony Robbins and so many, so-called, new breed of “life coaches” that pervade boardrooms, hotel banquet rooms, conference halls and Amazon today.

He was not the first and certainly won’t be the last, but Zig has staying power, zeal and zest because motivation is a subject and emotion that requires constant self-examination and there is always an audience to consume it.

In my examination, motivational speakers seem to come in waves beginning with Earl Nightingale, W. Clement Stone, Orison Swett Marden. Next wave: Zig Zigler, Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy, Deepak Chopra, Les Brown. etc. Next wave: Anthony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Covey, Canfield, etc. More recent motivators like Dr. John Demartini and Seth Godin (who I also read). More waves of motivators will come. Some sailing us into our destiny, others sadly steering us into an iceberg.

Bottom Line: We need motivation long before and when we run aground. But we also need the right kind of motivation from the right people. Intentions are everything.

Zig is there to give us the necessary, honest pep talk. Inspire us to stretch and speak to us when we’re feeling down. He also gives indispensable advice about not waiting until your down to get motivated. He has always had a relatable writing style that is conversational and speaks to the reader one-on-one, albeit sometimes righteous. He asks pointed questions, followed by germane anecdotes. If you’re in sales and marketing, you know his name and philosophy. Face it, it takes a tremendous amount of focus and motivation to sell anything and sometimes selling yourself is the hardest thing you’ll do.


Here is the thing: Don’t expect overnight success. Don’t expect it from one book. It will take time, as Zig points out, to master honorable qualities. It will take time to unlearn bad habits that are holding you back. It will take discipline and tenacity. It will take clarity and certainty when everyone, or everything else, around you is negative. You alone will have to master personal obstacles. In all that, Zig won’t motivate you. You will have to do the heavy-lifting and it will be both a Herculean and Sisyphean task. But, I have always found that anything a person puts their mind to they can achieve. I have seen results with some of these core principles outlined in his books.


Understand that when I say Zig won’t motivate you, I am reiterating what he writes in this book. As he explains in one of the chapters on Maintaining a Winning Attitude when people used to compliment him on changing their lives. Zig said, “I did not change their life. The realty is we have some principles and some philosophies that are absolutely iron-clad- they will work. But it is your choice: Do you put in the work? If you take the philosophy, put it to work, that what changes your life- not Zig Zigler, not anybody else. It is what you do. It’s a do-it-yourself job.”

A CAVEAT TO ZIG’S FAMOUS ADAGES: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Times have changed. People are more competitive than ever. Zig lived during the Depression. We have all been through the Recession. It has changed us. I live in Los Angeles and have been in the entertainment industry, this rule, as nice as it seems, often does not always apply. You can get used and abused being too nice with the wrong people. I have helped out many people that don’t understand the concept of reciprocity or gratitude and so, I would add: You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other of THE RIGHT people get what they want.”

There are always red flags and early warning signs. Use your instinct. But stay true to yourself, don’t listen to people that are negative and maintain a positive and realistic attitude. Attitude is everything. Know where you are going. Because as Winston Churchill once said, “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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