Came across this quote today on one of my old presentations. I don’t remember where I got it, or who originally said it. The presentation was about envisioning success. In my notes, I wrote “Personal vision is the ability to see beyond our present reality, to create, to invent what does not yet exist, to become what we not yet are. It gives us the ability to live out of our imagination instead of our memory.” And ended with this quote:
On the first session of my Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage class, I will often tell the participants that while they will hear exactly the same thing from me, read the same material, and participate in the same exercises, their attitude will determine how much they will benefit from the training. As Lou Holtz says, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
Positive mental attitude is so important that Laurence Gonzales, contributing editor for National Geographic and author of the book Deep Survival, states that in AirForce Survival Training and in Military Bootcamp, “Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)” is the first item on the checklist. He says that PMA is the single most critical factor in determining who survives and who dies.
And there’s no doubt: maintaining a positive mental attitude allows us to recognize the opportunities in every situation.
And so as we embark on the New Year, let me leave you with a quick story:
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat. “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” he announced. Then, he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed.
“Strrrrriiiiiiike One!” he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. “Strrrrrriiiiiiike Two!” he cried.
The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. “Strrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiike Three!”
“Wow!” he exclaimed. “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”
At the beginning of our relationship, my swift emotional recoveries confounded my husband. He couldn’t understand how I could get over things so quickly. Is it that I’m hard-headed or just plain heartless? At first, I told him about the concept of Human Dynamics developed by Sandra Seagal (which explains how people process information and experiences) and that I am “physically-centered” – very systematic and practical, primarily concerned with progress and results rather than logic and structure.
Then, I had an “A-ha!” moment – perhaps it had nothing to do with my “information processing center” nor my heart of stone. I was just an Über-Optimist. A textbook Pollyanna (minus the denial and passiveness). How could one remain upset when one truly believed that there is always a positive spin to unfortunate events?
In Stephen Covey’s book, First Things First, he talks about living life guided by a “compass” of purpose and values rather than a “clock” of schedules and due dates, and where the long run is where we go for life balance. By focusing on the big picture, our ultimate legacy, we can identify what roles and activities need our attention right now, helping us determine what battles to face and decisions to make at each moment.
For example, on your way to visiting with family, are you really going to waste your time chasing after that rude driver that cut you off on the freeway, just to shake your fist impotently at him, or focus on driving safely so you can spend quality time with your loved ones?
Often, we’re distracted by what’s most urgent that we forget about what’s most important. This leads to frustration, dissatisfaction, and disappointment. By valuing and living in a “state of abundance”, we’re able to appreciate the little victories in life and find meaning in everyday occurrences.
We could all learn from Viktor Frankl, Holocuast survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, who says that “Life has [a purpose and] meaning under all circumstances, even in the most miserable ones.” He also said that “Everything can be taken from a man, but the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
So today, and everyday, I choose to be grateful. Hopeful. Happy.
Here’s to a wonderful 2013!
On November 28, Zig Ziglar — the “master of motivation” — passed away at the age of 86.
Born Hilary Hinton Ziglar in 1926 in Alabama, Zig has authored more than 29 sales and motivational books, including Selling 101, Over the Top, and Born To Win: Find Your Success Code.
I’ve always admired Zig and refer to many of his quotes during my own sales training sessions for Dale Carnegie. A fellow graduate, he began his career in public speaking and training as an instructor for the Dale Carnegie office in New York City in the early ’70s. I’d like to think that we are kindred spirits.
My favorite quote is his response to the buying objection “The price is high.”
I don’t think there’s any question about the price being high.
When you add the benefits of quality
Subtract the disappointments of cheapness
Multiply the pleasures of buying something good
And divide the cost over time
The arithmetic comes out in your favor.
If it costs you a hundred dollars but does you a thousand dollars’ worth of good, then by any yardstick you’ve bought a bargain, haven’t you?
Here are a few other gems that have served me well over the years. We’ll miss you, Zig.
You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.
It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.
Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.
You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.
Stop selling. Start helping.
The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.
It’s easier to explain price one time than apologize for quality forever.
Objections thrive on opposition, but die with agreement.
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.
A goal properly set is halfway reached.
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude
Do you have your own favorite Zig Ziglar quotes? Would love to hear about them!
- Motivation guru Zig Ziglar dies at 86 (cnn.com)
- Zig Ziglar dies; motivational speaker focused on positive thinking (mercurynews.com)
- Zig Ziglar: 10 Quotes That Can Change Your Life (forbes.com)