A gifted, insightful, and highly motivational speaker and business advisor, Zig Ziglar, passed away on November 28th, 2012. In the month since then, I've been meditating on many of his quotes that have helped to shape my worldview.
“People do not wander around and then find themselves at the top of Mount Everest."
People make so many New Years resolutions that fail- usually because the "Holidays" are setting us up for failure from the start. We come from a perspective of making up for bad decisions instead of actively building positive circumstances for success. We also typically don't know why we are doing what we're resolving to do, other than very basic surface elements. For example, do more exercise to lose weight.
“You hit what you aim at, and if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.”
We have to be specific about our goals. More like, I want to lose weight so I can look great in the suit I'm wearing to make that speech to impress my clients at the annual conference. My overall health must improve so that I exude the best possible energy and vitality, which will help bolster my confidence and effectiveness when conveying my message.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
Goals should be specific in both Why and How. I'm going to run 3 times a week, building cardiovascular endurance until I can run a 5k distance in 30 minutes or less, by the time of the conference, which is 5 months from now. I also intend to improve my sleep cycle so that I sleep the same 8 hours each night. To bolster than habit, I will read quietly in my bedroom under soft lighting for 30 minutes before falling asleep, instead of my current habit of watching television and eating sugary dessert foods during that time.
“We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new beginning ”
Don't get caught up in past challenges and don't let yourself talk your way out of goals because of current circumstances. If you're living above a desperate survival level of income, the vast majority of lifestyle changes that can positively impact your health goals are cheap and/or easy. Sleep patterns and basic cardio exercise should have very little to do with your bank account.
“If you want to reach a goal, you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.”
Write the list of goals, print out the list of goals, and keep it handy enough to read everyday. Put it on the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, or on the coffee pot. Read it daily to encourage yourself to not be distracted by habits and commitments that deviate from the goals.
“You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.”
The aforementioned reading instead of prime time television shows about dead bodies and nightly news about killers of healthy, vital bodies is a good example of this. Find something positive to put in your brain. Don't go to a bar for social interaction...Do go to Church for social interaction.
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Social interaction with positive, hope-building people works best when you are also contributing to the relationship. When we only take the positive energy for ourselves, instead of fostering fresh, good vibes, the suppliers quickly run out and try to find other, more encouraging peers for themselves. An investment of positivity and selflessness in a relationship will be rewarded hugely in the end.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
The successful folks will spend their 24 hours as effectively as possible. Again, if you are taking away more than you contribute, you will get written off as a draining force. Keep your upward progress and direction in mind when following your goals and aiding people in reaching their respective goals.
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."
You don't have to be smart or rich to get started on this positivity building journey. Just be organized and open to the experience. Everest is a big mountain, attitude is the only thing that is a constant throughout the climb of your life. Your aptitude at given challenges along the way will change drastically- bringing us to the failure part.
“Failing is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.”
You may fail at a specific event, but that does not make you a failure. Nobody knows how to do everything. That's why we climb mountains with a team of people- some are guides, some are good at building fires, and some are good at physically climbing.
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember ~ the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you. ”
I love this one- you know you're doing something right when people start to pick on you. Pretty soon you will realize that they are still on the ground and you are half way up the mountain.