Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who wrote more than 30 books and focused on positivity and leading a balanced life, died Wednesday in Texas. He was 86.
Ziglar, who had been suffering from pneumonia, died at a hospital in the Dallas suburb of Plano, said his personal assistant, Jay Hellwig.
With an aim at helping people achieve success in their careers and personal lives, in addition to a focus on Christianity, Ziglar was a prolific speaker who appeared at events alongside world leaders including several U.S. presidents and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
"Mr. Ziglar was the same guy behind the closed doors as he was preparing for his presentations to thousands of people that he was when we were sitting at the kitchen table and he was reading the newspaper," Hellwig said.
Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham, Ziglar's friend and pastor, said Ziglar "truly was filled with faith."
"He was positive. He was hopeful. You just never heard negativity from Zig Ziglar," Graham said. "It wasn't just something he did on a platform. This was who he was. This is how he lived his life. And he helped so many people."
"He was a leader of leaders and a mentor of mentors and all that you can say," he added.
Ziglar started his fulltime career in motivational speaking when he was in his 40s. His first book was "See You at the Top."
Hellwig said Ziglar "accepted Jesus Christ as his savior" at the age of 45 and "ever since, that day is what he said was the turning point of his life."
"He also had the uncanny ability to make everyone he ran into feel like they were his friend," Hellwig said.
Ziglar was a World War II veteran who grew up in Yazoo City, Miss., and then went to work in sales for a series of companies, where his interest in motivational speaking grew, according to his Plano-based company's website. Hellwig said Ziglar moved to Dallas in the late 1960s.
Ziglar's company, which features more than a dozen speakers advocating the "Ziglar Way," offers motivation and performance training.
His book, "Confessions of a Grieving Christian," was written after the 1995 death of his oldest daughter, Suzan Ziglar Witmeyer, at the age of 46.
After a 2007 fall down a flight of stairs left him with a brain injury, Ziglar, along with another daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, wrote "Embrace the Struggle," a book that described how his life changed after the injury.
In addition to his daughter, Ziglar is survived by his wife Jean, with whom he celebrated 66 years of marriage on Monday; his son, Tom Ziglar; and daughter Cindy Ziglar Oates.
A memorial service is set for Saturday at Prestonwood Baptist Church.
I personally have many emotions going through me at this time. So many flashbacks, I can say without a doubt, if not for Zig Ziglar I certainly wouldn't be writing this tonight. Those of you that have heard my story, understand what a positive impact Zig made on my life. The most life changing statement I have ever heard is:
"You are where you are in your life because of what has gone into your mind, and the ONLY WAY to change where you are is to change what goes into your mind"
Many people have heard those words. I am thankful to be one of the few that heard, and made radical changes almost immediately. Many times in the early days, when I wanted to throw in the towel on the whole Entrepreneur thing I would hear Zig ringing in my mind "The only difference between a big shot and a little shot is a big shot is a little shot that kept shooting"
WoW I am a bundle of emotions right now. When I lived in Plano, Texas for a few years I had the opportunity to attend Zig's Sunday school class, and had coffee with him in Louisville when the Success road show was in town. I could go on and on, but I won't for now. I just wanted to make sure our readers had the news and if you have and old Zig audio program, it would probably be a good idea for all of us to listen to See You at the Top, one more time!
Difficulties impact me—they do not define me.
Challenges mold me—they do not make me.
Praise may encourage me—it is my own vision that inspires me.
Successes may spur me on but it is my own reward that satisfies me.
Pain may permeate but my heart and hope prevail.
Abundance may pave the road but it is generosity that lights the way.
As long as I'm breathin'—I'm livin'.
My way. Beginning every fresh moment—now!
When we do activities that are not part of our
comfort zone it is normal to have fear in
However if we persist long enough the
uncomfortable will be comfortable.
Fear of the phone is probably the number
1 fear that holds distributors back. Some
have and some don't. Those that don't
have don't understand why others do .
For many people they have to over come
this fear once and for all if they expect
their business to move forward. You
can conquer this fear, this will help.
A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…
You will never look at a cup of
coffee the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and
told her about her life and how
things were so hard for her. She did not
know how she was going to make it and
wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting
and struggling. It seemed as one problem
was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled
three pots with water and placed each on a high
fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs,
and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.
She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners..
She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.
She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a
Tell me what you see?
‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to
feel the carrots. She did and noted that they
were soft. The mother then asked the daughter
to take an egg and pull off the shell. She observed
the hard boiled egg
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip
the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted
its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What
does it mean, mother?’
Her mother explained that each of these objects
had faced the same adversity: boiling water.
Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong,
hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected
to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell
had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting
through the boiling water, its inside became
The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boiling water, they had
changed the water.
‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter.
‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do
you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with
pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and
lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart,
but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit,
but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship
or some other trial, have I become hardened and
Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am
I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually
changes the hot water, the very circumstance that
brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases
the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean,
when things are at their worst, you get better and
change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their
greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot,
an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you
sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough
sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to
make you happy.
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the
best of everything; they just make the most of
every opportunity that comes along their way.
The brightest future will always be based on
a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life
until you let go of your FEARS about past failures
When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is
smiling and everyone around you is crying.
May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!