I just found out that Zig Ziglar, one of the great motivational speakers of our time, recently passed away. I have listened to Ziglar's recorded presentations and speeches over the last several years and have been heavily influenced by his ideas and his work. I believe that he is one of many people people who have had a great influence on my life.
My first experience listening to Zig's work was as a freshman at Snow College. I somehow came across one of his tape sets on goal setting, and I spent several hours listening to the tapes in the basement of the old campus library. (I actually used an extremely old cassette player that had giant baby-blue 70's style headphones.) Listening to those tapes, I learned some of the the fundamental principles of setting goals, and this knowledge acted as a seed of motivation and excitement about pursuing my own goals. Listening to those tapes in that library basement was the first time I wrote down the audacious goal of earning a master's degree, even as I wasn't yet sure in my ability to complete a semester of junior college. I have since earned that degree and even went on to earn a PhD!
I recently started listening to some more of his work and came across a speech he gave in the 1970s: How to Get What You Want. I found the speech at a time when I was making a strong effort to improve my health through weight loss and exercise. I listened to that speech literally dozens of times and was fascinated and motivated by the fundamental concepts he presented. I have used the motivating power of that speech (along with other sources) over the last few months to form new nutrition and exercise habits and have really improved my fitness and my health. It has helped change the way I think about myself and has helped me to move forward with my life.
An Exemplary Life Pattern
From what I have gathered about Zig Ziglar and his life, he has followed a pattern that is exemplary in many ways. He was a successful businessman. He was a man of faith and shared that faith with others. He devoted his life to serving and inspiring others. He focused energy on gaining new, useful knowledge and was constantly learning. He set an example of outstanding health. And perhaps most importantly, he was an example of a good husband and father. I love observing others live outstanding lives because it helps me to learn how it can be done, and Ziglar has stood as an excellent example.
Although I never met the man, I'll always grateful for the things I have learned from Zig Ziglar.
Ziglar's Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zig_Ziglar