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Remembering Zig Ziglar: Motivational Speaker’s Top 21 Quotes

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Image via Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

  

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After a brief bout of pneumonia, famed motivational speaker and prolific author Zig Ziglar died Wednesday in Dallas at the age of 86. A fount of kitschy, home-spun knowledge, Ziglar was known for his large, arena-packing, revival-esque seminars. Saying success hinges upon attitude and motivation, not smarts and brown nosing, Ziglar cultivated a devoted following over his decades long career.  

Assembled below are some of Ziglar’s most memorable and thought provoking quotes and truisms. Share your favorite Ziglar moments in the comments.

Ziglar's Top 21 Quotes:

  1. “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
  2. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
  3. “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”
  4. "Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street”
  5. “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
  6. “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
  9. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
  10. “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
  11. “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
  12. "Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have."
  13. "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."
  14. “Have you ever noticed that people who are the problem never realize it? They’re in denial. They think denial is a river in Egypt!”
  15. "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.”
  16. “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now”
  17. “Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.”
  18. "It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through." 
  19. "If you want to reach a goal, you must 'see the reaching' in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal."
  20. "Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
  21. "There are no traffic jams on the extra mile."
(Image via Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com)

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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