19 Success Tips to Unlock Your Potential from Zig Ziglar, the Father of Motivation

Arzu Dokuzoğlu

Arzu Dokuzoğlu

İTÜ-Kimya Müh.

22 September 2021

There’s a reason why Zig Ziglar, who has worked for many companies as a marketer and manager, is widely regarded as the father of motivation, and that is his strong strategies and clear ideas that will make him one of the best in the business.
Here are 19 success tips to inspire you to take the right action and unlock your potential from Ziglar, who traveled the world from 2010 until his death, engraved in the minds with his personal growth and motivational speeches:

1. Create a specific and detailed goal.

“To build a house, you need a plan. Likewise, in order to build a life, it is more important to have a plan or a goal.”

The first success tip from Ziglar is to set yourself specific goals, because goals help you stay focused. Ziglar categorizes targets as:
Big goals: It is the type of goal that excites and motivates you. If you experience setbacks, focusing on these big goals will help you move forward.
Long-term goals: These can include monthly and annual goals.
Daily goals: Daily goals help you consistently progress towards your long-term goals.



Once you have your goals planned, you can make a plan for how to achieve them. Find out what obstacles you face, what you need to learn, and the people you need to meet to achieve your goals.
You do not need to understand and make sense of everything in the beginning. You can change your goals and plans as time progresses and things become clearer.

2. Concretize your goals.

“If you want to achieve your goal, you must be able to see it, smell it, touch it and taste it, know how it looks and how you feel in your own mind.”

Imagination is the most powerful tool at your disposal. You can achieve miracles if you use this tool properly.
So take a few moments each day to relax, clear your mind, and invigorate the kind of life you truly want to live. Imagine yourself with the good things you want in your life, like owning a house or taking a vacation. In doing so, imitate the emotions you will feel while making your dreams come true.



Concretizing your goals in this way helps you change your attitude, free you from your limiting beliefs, and your subconscious mind reprograms your mind with positive and empowering beliefs so you can move towards your goals faster.


3. Plan your day first thing in the morning.

“Every morning, think about what you are going to do. Thinking about what excites you as you plan your day refreshes your body and boosts your energy.”

A powerful tactic to help you reach your daily goals is to plan your day first thing in the morning. You can sit quietly and concretize in your mind all the things you will do today and how you will do it. As you visualize your day in this way, you are surrounded by positive energy that will motivate and help you make the perfect use of your time.




4. Build useful habits for success.

“Motivation helps you move forward, habit leads to success.”

Ziglar states that motivation does not last forever, but once formed habits last forever. Habit formation is difficult at first, but once it is formed, you continue it effortlessly.
To achieve success, you must replace your bad habits with good ones. For example, a good habit would be to wake up early in the morning, plan your day, and study for 1-2 hours without distractions. Remember that if you repeat a movement for 21 consecutive days, it becomes a habit.


5. Believe you can.

“Before you reach your goals, you are generally right when you think you can or cannot do it.”

If deep down, you don’t believe you have what it takes to achieve your goals and you will never reach them. That’s why it’s so important to believe in your abilities and support yourself to achieve your goals. Whenever thoughts of self-doubt arise, do not pay attention to them. Instead, shift your focus to strengthening your thoughts and increasing your motivation.




6. Optimize your ideas.

“Remember, you are where you are because of what is going on in your mind. And by changing what is in your mind, you can change what it is and where it is.”

As we grow, we unconsciously absorb many negative and limiting beliefs from our environment. Not straying from these beliefs limits you. Examine these thoughts and close where they arise. Shift your attention from negative thoughts to positive and empowering sentences. Program your subconscious mind by making positive suggestions to yourself.


7. Build a positive self-image.

“If you can’t see yourself as a winner, you can’t perform as a winner.”

How you perceive yourself in your mind’s eye is one of the most important factors that determines whether you will be successful or not.
You will achieve success if you think of yourself as someone who has what it takes to be successful. But if you think you are not good enough, you will see the reality reflecting that thought on you. In fact, your current reality reflects the self-image you hold within. Therefore, be conscious of the type of image you have of yourself in your mind. Ask yourself these questions: Do I think I can achieve success? Do I believe I deserve success? Do I see myself as a winner that everyone is looking for? Just being conscious of your self-image can help you change it from negative to positive.




8. Don’t worry about what other people think of you.

“Don’t be bothered by criticism. Remember that the only taste some people have of success is when they hurt you.”

People will always have something to say and you can’t please everyone. Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about other people’s actions and opinions. Focus your attention on your priorities, because that’s what matters.


9. Learn from your mistakes.

“You haven’t really lost if you’re learning from defeat.”

Only people make mistakes. Therefore, it is important not to dwell on your mistakes. Instead, ask yourself what your mistakes are trying to teach you. While doing this, learn from your mistakes because it is an important factor for your personal growth.




10. Always be open to learning.

“Life is a class. Only those who are willing to learn for life can become the head of the class.”

The moment you think you know everything is the moment you stop growing. To be successful, you need to keep growing. Always be open-minded and always open to learning. Do not become a slave to your beliefs, teachings and ideologies.


11. Apply delayed gratification in your life.

“The root cause of failure and unhappiness is doing what you want most because you want it right now.”

Studies prove that delayed gratification is a key factor in achieving success. Make it a habit not to let distractions or short-term pleasures distract you from achieving your long-term pleasures and future rewards. The more you practice for this, the stronger your self-control will be, the faster you will approach your long-term goals.




12. Build solid relationships with your self.

“Apart from your relationship with God, the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. To have healthy relationships with others, we must be healthy internally, emotionally, and spiritually.”

Spend time with yourself. Know and understand yourself. The more you know yourself, the more you come into contact with your true nature, desires, and goals. Similarly, by getting to know yourself alone, you can begin to get to know others. Only by loving yourself can you start attracting the right people into your life. All of these traits are crucial to success.


13. Spend time alone.

“If you want to be a winner, you have to make time for silence. And you should do this at least three to four times a week.”

Ziglar is a major advocate of spending time alone. Spending time alone helps you reconnect with yourself. It also allows you to clear your mind and get life-changing ideas. So make it a habit to spend your time alone doing nothing.




14. Surround yourself with people who invigorate you.

“Surround yourself with people you love and want the best!”

Mostly people fall into two categories: lilies and leeches. Lilies are the ones that elevate you and leeches are the ones that bring you down.
If you are surrounded by leeches all day, they will drain your energy. They will make you feel less motivated and productive. Instead, when you surround yourself with good people, you will find yourself filled with positive energy to take action.
So make a conscious effort to remove toxic people from your life and surround yourself with people who inspire you to be yourself and accept you as you are.


15. Know how to be grateful.

“Of all the attitudes we can acquire, knowing how to be grateful is surely the most important and life-changing thing.”

Expressing gratitude shifts your mindset from lack to abundance. When you feel abundance, you attract it into your life. Therefore, be grateful for everything in your life every day.




16. Value your time and use it effectively.

“If you don’t plan your time, others will spend it for you.”

Use time as your most valuable resource. This is where planning your day comes into play. When you have a set plan, you automatically learn to say no to unproductive things.


17. Start slowly and improve as you go.

“The level of your performance depends on passion, determination and will.”

You can’t fix everything from the beginning. It also doesn’t matter if you are an expert in your field from the very beginning. You can start small with what you have and improve as you progress. Remember, the way to win the race is to be slow and steady.




18. Do not compare yourself to others.

“Carefully research who you are and the job assigned. Then dedicate yourself to this job. Don’t be influenced by yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others.”

To achieve your goals, it is important to know your strengths and abilities. Focus on your strong points instead of focusing on your weak points. When you compare yourself to others, you begin to see the points where you are missing and lose your perspective. Get rid of this habit and focus on yourself.


19. Be persistent.

“If you have a tough character, you will develop and acquire all the other qualities necessary in the game of life.”

And last but not least, you have to be persistent in your efforts even when the going gets tough.
Ziglar’s “See you at the Summit” His book was rejected 39 times before it was published in 1975. The book is still in print today and is considered an American classic. It doesn’t matter how slow you are as long as you persist.

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