I love a great motivational speaker. Zig Ziglar has always been a personal favorite because he is always so amazingly positive, so when I came across this excerpt from the book “Attitude is Everything: 10 Rules For Staying Positive” by author Vicki Hitzges, which shares a story about Zig I had to share it with you. But first I will share her 10 rules for staying positive:
1. Wait to worry
2. Keep an attitude of gratitude
3. Your health is your wealth
4. The serious benefits of belly laughs
5. Joy boomerangs
6. Losing the fight? Write
7. Keep the faith, baby
8. Learn to say “no
10. Surround yourself with Positive People
And here is the excerpt about Zig Ziglar from her book:
Years ago, I was the public relations director for motivational guru, Zig Ziglar. At the time, he was arguably the best-known, most loved speaker in the world. When audience members heard Zig, they witnessed a man chockfull of energy, vitality and joy. Having worked closely with him and known him well, I can tell you that the Zig you saw on stage was the real Zig Ziglar. In fact, I can’t remember ever seeing him when he was not happy and upbeat.
The Zig I knew was one carbonated guy
Every time Zig answered his home phone, he picked up the receiver and said with gusto, “This is Jean Ziglar’s happy husband!” And he meant it!
Awhile back one of Zig’s closest friends and I were discussing Zig’s aura of happiness. “Completely genuine,” his friend said. “I have never seen him down.” Then he added thoughtfully, but with love, “Hardly what you’d call normal.”
“What’s Zig’s secret?” I asked.
“I think,” he said, “it comes down to feeling grateful. Never met a guy more grateful than Zig. Period.”
You’d think anyone that grateful must have had an easy life. But that’s not so.
Zig started out poor. Dirt poor. His father died when he was six, leaving his mother to raise eleven children alone. The family was virtually penniless. Yet despite their poverty, Mrs. Ziglar instilled a strong work ethic in her children and raised them to believe that both she and God loved them. She also instructed her children to practice saying “please” and “thank you.” Those lessons stuck. Her formula of work, love and faith made their difficult lives easier. Gratitude made their lives enjoyable.
Zig once told me, “When we neglect to require our children to say `thank you’ when someone gives them a gift or does something for them, we raise ungrateful children who are highly unlikely to be content. Without gratitude, happiness is rare. With gratitude, the odds for happiness go up dramatically.”
Years ago, Zig created the popular phrase, “Have an attitude of gratitude.” According to Zig, “The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”
I love positive people so much. They lift all of us up. And what better time than Thanksgiving season to remind us to have an attitude of gratitude!
~Amy Rees Anderson