Getting everything you want in life

Dennis Warden

was first introduced to the famous motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar during the summer of 1980, when I sold books door to door in West Virginia. 

Zig — I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me calling him by his first name — was my constant companion that summer through motivational cassette tapes as I drove through the beautiful scenery of West Virginia in my 1972 Chevy Nova. Believe me, selling books door to door you needed a lot of motivation.

When I returned to the University of Missouri, Columbia that fall to continue my education, I quoted Ziglar in a report for one of my classes, which I cannot recall now. What I do remember was this… the professor put a big red circle around the name Zig Ziglar commenting “who would have such a ridiculous name as that,” implying that I made it up.

Remember this was the early ‘80s before rap music and names such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Ice Cube and Tupac Shakur. Don’t forget Lady Gaga. I could go on and on. 

Zig Ziglar doesn’t seem so strange now.

In addition to speaking, Ziglar wrote over 30 books. His first book, See You At The Top, which I read that summer, was rejected 39 times before it was published in 1975. It is still in print today.

Here are some of his other books I have read that I recommend.

Ziglar on Selling

Secrets of Closing the Sale

Courtship After Marriage

Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World

You don’t have to be a professional salesperson to receive the benefits from his books and CDs.

In fact if you think about it, we are all salespeople. As parents we are always “selling” our children on doing their homework, eating right, etc. As a spouse we should constantly sell ourselves to each other. Most everything we do is selling in one way other the other. 

I was lucky enough to attend a conference in the 90’s where I heard and saw Ziglar in person. He passed away in 2012 on my birthday, Nov. 28.

Zig was much more than a motivational speaker. In a big way his teachings have helped me to be the optimistic person I am.

Here are some of my favorite quotes of his.

Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life — all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.

Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.

Positive thinking won’t let you do anything but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.

The best thing a parent can do for a child is to love his or her spouse.

The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.

End the day with gratitude. There is someone, somewhere that has less than you.

Perhaps Ziglar’s most famous quote is this, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” 

This is more than just a nice quote, it has become a philosophy of life for many people, including myself.

This simple act changes your focus, as an individual, away from yourself and outwards to those around you.

Instead of looking at your customer, spouse, friend or relative as a means to an end it encourages you look at them and ask “how can I help them achieve their goals, needs and wants.” By doing this you will achieve happiness, health and prosperity.

As Ziglar described it himself, this quote is “essentially an interpretation of the Golden Rule.”

If you are still looking for a “New Years Resolution” may I suggest this simple philosophy from my friend Zig Ziglar.