49 Great Quotes from Zig Ziglar

The Human Exclamation Point

“Today is a brand-new day. And it’s yours.” These are the words of the late Zig Ziglar, the American motivational speaker who died in late 2012, at the age of 86. Zig Ziglar was sometimes called “the human exclamation point”. He was always brimming with enthusiasm and positive energy as he led his revival-like “success conventions” until his retirement at age 84. Zig’s pithy maxims were delivered with a characteristic upbeat demeanor and Southern drawl which to some may seem over-simplified and perhaps even shallow. But there is a tremendous depth to his “can do” philosophy of positivity that continues to out -live the man himself.

Zig Ziglar’s Life and Career

Zig Ziglar was born in Alabama the tenth of twelve children and grew up in Mississippi. Zig’s father died when he was only five years old and so he learned to work at an early age, selling vegetables and delivering newspapers to help keep the family fed. A World War II veteran, he served in the United States Navy Training Program while attending the University of South Carolina. In 1944, he met his life-long love, Jean. They married just two years later and remained happily married for sixty-six years. He celebrated his last wedding anniversary just the day before his death. Zig is also survived by two of his three daughters and his son, Tom.

Zig Ziglar’s motivational career began by accident in 1965 when he filled in at a motivational seminar for a speaker who did not turn up. By then, he had established himself in a successful career in sales. After years of constantly changing locations, Zig was soon to be appointed as Vice President and Training Director of an automotive company and settled in Texas permanently. In 1974, after becoming a born again Christian, he wrote his first book ‘See You at the Top‘. The book was originally rejected by over 30 publishers but went on to become his most successful work. He went on to write over two dozen more books with titles such as ‘Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World‘, ‘Staying Up, Up, Up in a Down, Down World‘ and ‘Born to Win‘.

A Lasting Legacy of Positivity

Zig Ziglar books, speeches and even his very life extolled the virtues of not just positive thinking, but the importance of positive action as a key to success and the advantages of living a balanced life. Zig Ziglar’s life was a living testimony of the wisdom of his words. He practiced what he preached; he was a loving husband and father, church and community leader and a successful business person. Zig Ziglar was an inspiration to many thousands and perhaps millions of people. I hope that you find the quotes I have selected don’t just make you feel good for the moment, but inspire you to working harder and living a happier, more purposeful and productive life.


Zig Ziglar on success:

“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.” — Zig Ziglar

“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.” — Zig Ziglar

“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar

“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” — Zig Ziglar

“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.” — Zig Ziglar

“Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on working hard:

“There is little you can learn from doing nothing.” — Zig Ziglar

“Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.”

“The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.” — Zig Ziglar

“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” — Zig Ziglar

“When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.” — Zig Ziglar

“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” — Zig Ziglar

“Everybody says they want to be free. Take the train off the tracks and it’s free-but it can’t go anywhere.” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on kindness and friendship:

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” — Zig Ziglar

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar

“Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.” — Zig Ziglar

“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.” — Zig Ziglar

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”

“The way you see people is the way you treat them.” — Zig Ziglar

“Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on motivation:

“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

“Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” — Zig Ziglar

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember ~ the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” — Zig Ziglar

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission” — Zig Ziglar

“If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on attitude:

“You can succeed at almost anything for which you have unbridled enthusiasm.” — Zig Ziglar

“Ask yourself a question: Is my attitude worth catching?” — Zig Ziglar

“Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.” — Zig Ziglar

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” — Zig Ziglar

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” — Zig Ziglar

“You are what you are and you are where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You change what you are and you change where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on character:

“If you’re sincere, praise is effective. If you’re insincere, it’s manipulative.” — Zig Ziglar

“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” — Zig Ziglar

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” — Zig Ziglar

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” — Zig Ziglar

“Make today worth remembering.”

“Every choice you make has an end result.” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on happiness:

“Happiness is not pleasure, it is victory.” — Zig Ziglar

“If standard of living is your major objective, quality of life almost never improves, but if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves.” — Zig Ziglar

“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.” — Zig Ziglar

“The more you are grateful for what you have the more you will have to be grateful for” — Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar on failure:

“If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” — Zig Ziglar

“Failure is an event not a person” — Zig Ziglar

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now” — Zig Ziglar

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” — Zig Ziglar

“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” — Zig Ziglar

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” — Zig Ziglar


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