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Home » Zig Ziglar: How to Get What You Want (Full Transcript)

Zig Ziglar: How to Get What You Want (Full Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar’s talk: How to Get What You Want… 

Listen to the MP3 Audio:  Zig Ziglar on How to Get What You Want


Introducing speaker: At this time it is my pleasure to introduce to you, your next featured speaker. He hails from Dallas, Texas. He is a man who — we have a Dallas Texas resident here; welcome sir. Two of them, okay.

Your next speaker is a man who not only professes the greatness of individuals but has experienced the concept of greatness. He was number one in a sales force of over 3,000 salespeople. He was also number two in a sales force of over 7,000 salespeople. He’s a man who has worked very hard for the beliefs and convictions he possesses.

I’m delighted to say that he is the author of the very successful and popular book: See You at the Top, which is now in its ninth printing and has sold over 143 thousand copies in its brief existence. I’m also delighted to say that this book and the philosophy behind this book is now being taught to the young people in the schools throughout America in many communities.

Zig Ziglar, ladies and gentlemen, is making an impact – a great man who believes that it’s your aptitude, not just your attitude that always determines your ultimate altitude.

Ladies and gentlemen, would you please join me in welcoming my friend and yours, Mr. Zig Ziglar.

Zig Ziglar – American author, salesman, and motivational speaker

Thank you. Thank you. Just for a moment let’s play a game.

Let’s pretend that your telephone rings tomorrow morning. The voice on the other end says, “John, I’ve got some marvelous news for you. We’ve just won a trip to Acapulco. There’re going to be four of us that can go. They’re only two of us: my wife and myself. We leave at exactly 8:45. We’re going to stay on the beach four days. We will live in a millionaire’s villa. We will have everything at our beck and call. We will live the life of luxury for four full days. Now, remember, John, we leave tomorrow morning at 8:45. My only question is: can you be ready to go at 8:45?”

May I see the hands of those who could in fact respond and say: yes, I could go.

Just for a moment, let’s continue the game by saying: you got the telephone call. You accept it. Then all of a sudden it dawns on you: “Hey, I’ve got some things to do. As a matter of fact, I’ve got to do this and this and this and this and this. And as a matter of fact, you turn to your wife and say honey, I just don’t know whether or not we can make it or not. She says, now hold that phone John. She whips out a sheet of paper. She says now what’s the first thing we got to do. What’s the second thing? What’s the third thing? What’s the fourth thing? What’s the fifth thing? How many of you honest-to-goodness believe that during the next 24 hours you could get more done than you normally get accomplished in three four, five, six days? Would you hold up your hands please?

Here’s my question please: Why don’t you go to Acapulco tomorrow? Every day of your life: Why don’t you in your own mind say tomorrow I go to Acapulco if I get this done today? Do you realize that if you were to do that and schedule it and lay it out that it would be just a matter of weeks before you could in fact go to Acapulco at any time that you wanted to, or anywhere else you wanted to go.

I was coming in on the plane yesterday which is generally the way I fly. And I was sitting next to an old boy and I couldn’t help but notice he had his raw — his wedding ban on this finger. Now looked at him for a moment. I said, “Friend, you got your wedding band on the wrong finger.”

He said, “Yeah, I married the wrong woman.”

I don’t know whether he did or not but I am completely persuaded that most people have the erroneous idea about what it takes to be successful and then about what success is and about what life is. And I would like to, during these next few minutes, clamp down right inside of your mind. I’d like to clamp down in your emotions. I’m going to motivate you.

I’m going to say some things to you that are going to have an impact and you will, in fact, not be the same when you get up from your seats at the end of this evening.

On your trip to Acapulco there were several things involved. First of all, you had a very specific goal. Second, you had a time limit. And third, you listed the obstacles, the things you had to do in order to get the trip to Acapulco.

I’m going to talk to you tonight about goals. There are four basic reasons why people do not have goals. Number one, they have not been sold. Now friends, I’m flat going to sell you on why you got to have them. I didn’t say I wanted to. I didn’t say I was going to try to, didn’t say I hoped to. I flat said I’m going to sell you on why you must have them.

The second reason a lot of people don’t have goals is they do not know how to set those goals. I’m going to give you a basic formula for setting those goals. That will be precise if you will follow it.

The third reason a lot of people do not have goals is they have fear. You see, there’s a certain amount of risk involved when you say this I’m going to do. Even if you do not tell anyone else, when you set a goal, there’s a certain amount of risk involved.

Then the fourth reason a lot of people do not have goals is because they have a poor self-image. If you do not think you deserve success, if you do not think you deserve a bigger home, to be a million-dollar producer, to have an outstanding mate, or beautiful well-disciplined children who are productive — if you don’t think you deserve them, then you’ll do things that will keep you from getting them.

Let’s look at number one. Let’s sell you on the idea of having goals. Are they important? At Yale University in 1953, they did a study of the graduating seniors. They discovered that of the graduating seniors, only 3% of them had definite predetermined written-down goals. Twenty years later, they did another survey of those seniors who had graduated. They discovered that the 3% who had committed their goals to paper had accomplished more than the 97% who had not written them down.

What about you personally? Have you got your goals laid out? Are you a meaningful specific or are you a wandering generality? Are goals necessary? I’m going to say emphatically yes. Can you imagine the chairman of the board of General Motors and somebody comes to him and says how did you get to be chairman of the board, General Motors? Do you really believe? He said well, I just showed up for work and they started promote, man. First thing, here you know. Here I am, chairman of the board, General Motors. No, I think you know that that is not the way that it happened.

What about you? Are you a wandering generality or are you a meaningful specific? How many of you are in the world of selling? Would you mind holding up your hands please? One of the major problems we have in the world of selling — a lot of times the salesperson is out selling and although they’re out there physically, what they’re saying mentally is I need to be home with the family. And then when they are home with the family physically, they’re saying mentally I ought to be out in the field selling.

And so when they’re out in the field they’re really back at home and when they’re back at home they’re really out in the field and they ain’t never know where.

People today complain of lack of time. It’s not lack of time that’s the problem. It’s the lack of direction. Are you a wandering generality or are you a meaningful specific?

Howard Hill was probably the greatest archer who ever lived. He killed a cape buffalo with a bow and arrow. He killed a Bengal tiger with a bow and arrow. He won 281 consecutive tournaments. He was never beaten in competition. As a youngster, I have seen Howard Hill in newsreels from 50 feet draw dead aim and split the center of that bullseye perfectly in the center and yet he could take the next arrow and literally split the first one. An amazing demonstration of skill and yet I’m going to look at you dead center and say to you: I could spend 20 minutes with you and at the end of that 20 minutes, dick, I could have any man in this audience or any woman in this audience hitting the bullseye more consistently than Howard Hill could have on the best day he ever had, provided we blindfolded Howard Hill and turned him around, so it would not know which direction he was facing and you rather obviously laugh and say, Ziglar, that’s silly. Of course, how could a man hit a target he could not see? That’s a pretty good question.

Here’s another one. How can you hit a target you do not have? Have you got one? Are you a wandering generality or are you a meaningful specific? Are you going to work tomorrow because that’s what you did yesterday? If that’s the reason, you’re going tomorrow you won’t be as good tomorrow as you were yesterday because you’re two days older and no closer to the goal you do not have.

You got to have those goals. A lot of people don’t have goals because of fear. I want to skip one and talk about this one just for a moment. I’ll be leaving on an airplane tomorrow for Toledo, Ohio. Now I got sense enough to know that some of those airplanes are coming down faster than they’re going up. It’s dangerous for that plane to fly.

You see in the newspapers where the ships leave the harbor and you see where some of them sink; it’s dangerous for the ship to be on the ocean. You read where people lease their homes and the lessee – the people who’ve rented the house they tear it up. It’s dangerous to let somebody move into your house.

And yet the engineers tell me that it’s more dangerous for that plane to stay on the ground, that it will rust out faster than it will wear out up into the heavens. They tell me that that ship will collect more barnacles in the harbor and become unseaworthy faster than it will sailing the high seas. And they tell me that that if that house stays empty that it will deteriorate faster than if you do not have someone living in that house.

Besides planes are built for flying; ships are built for sailing; houses are built for living. And man too was built for purpose. He was designed for accomplishment. He’s engineered for successes. He’s endowed with the seeds of greatness and the greatest danger we as human beings have is when we do not do anything at all.

Stop a hundred young men, age 25 on any street USA. Follow them until they’re 65 years old and of those who are still living, you will discover that only five of them have succeeded financially. It’s almost as if they had set out in life to fail. But I also believe one of the reasons is most people don’t understand this thing called money.

See, I think it’s all right to have money as one of your goals. Occasionally I speak to people and they say, well, I don’t want to make a lot of money. You know, I believe a man or a woman that would say that I’d lie about other things too. A lot of people don’t have it because they don’t understand it. They talk about cold hard cash and it’s neither cold nor hard. It’s soft and warm. Feels good. Beautifully colored. Not one says that redhead of mine over here ever said to me wait a minute honey, I got to go change clothes because what I’m wearing won’t go with what you’re carrying. As a matter of fact, it goes beautifully with it.

There was no a while I’ll have some of my Christian friends. They’ll adjust their halos and say, Zig, how do you reconcile all of that talk about money with Christianity? Now say it’s easy. I believe God made the diamonds for his crowd, not Satan’s Bunch. I read my Bible and it tells me Jacob was a millionaire. Moses was a millionaire. Solomon, the richest man who ever lived and old Job wouldn’t qualify for the food stamp program if you know what I mean.

No, money’s all right. As a matter of fact, you cannot get too much money unless the money gets you. You know, Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes that he who seeks silver will never be satisfied with silver. Now if money becomes your gods, you got a problem. You’ll never have enough. We know that’s true because in the last two years, five billionaires have died, none in Dallas. Somebody said I wonder how much money Howard Hughes really left and somebody else said he left it all.

So if anybody asked you how much you’re going to leave, say same as Howard Hughes. You’ll be telling the truth. Now having said all of that, let me see if I can tie it back together I believe and I’ll make this statement 40 times in my book that you can get everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.

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For example, if you’re a salesman or sales lady, if you were selling a product that solves a problem, then you’re helping someone else get what they want which is the solution of the problem, so you get what you want and what you deserve. If you’re in management and your productivity and the productivity of your people is important to your income, if you can train, enthuse, inspire, motivate your people to be successful, then your rewards are going to be greater. You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

See, we can get what we want if we can give you some thoughts or some ideas or some motivation or some stimulation, if we can in fact leave you something so that when you go home tonight, you will be a better man or a better woman or a better boy or a better girl. Then you will be more successful tomorrow.

Yes, there’s danger in setting goals but there’s infinitely more danger in not setting them. Then a lot of people do not know really how to set goals. I’d like to share it some length with you on that.

I started writing this book. I started writing this book and I kind of got excited about it. I put in there some words: you can go where you want to go; you can do what you want to do’ you can be like you want to be. Man, I wrote those words and I said, now Ziglar, that’s pretty good. As a matter of fact I got to talking to myself which is perfectly all right. It’s all right even to answer. But if you ever catch yourself saying huh, to the answer you got a problem.

Well I called myself with a problem — you know, I was saying huh because where I said you can be like you want to be, I looked down and there was a 41 inch waistline and 202 pounds of Ziglar and the thought occurred to me that one of these days that I might bump into some of you and I could just imagine this conversation taking place. I could imagine you saying Ziglar, do you believe that stuff you write? I was going to say all huh. Then I was going to imagine you saying do you believe all of it. I was going to say man, yeah.

Then I could imagine you poking your finger in that 41 inch waistline and saying Ziglar, do you really believe all of it? And then I was going to have to say well, you know, we do take a little literary license every once in a while. But I knew I had to make a decision. I either had to take those words out of that: you can be like you want to be or I had to do something about me, not only that but my boy was 8 years old at the time and I think every father ought to be able to with his children until they’re at least 12. And the rate I was going I wasn’t even going to be able to catch mine.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when that red head of mine kept telling me to hold my stomach in and I already was. So I went down to Cooper’s clinic. Now Cooper is the guy who wrote the book aerobics. When you see somebody out jogging you can rest assured that’s Kenneth Cooper who had an influence on him. Well it’s a five and half hour examination.

First thing they did was took two quarts of my blood. Well it looked like two quarts; they filled so many bounds. I thought they were opening a branch of the blood bank right there. Then they dunk me in a tank of water three times and the purpose was to determine the percentage of body fat that I had. When I got through, they told me that I was 23 and nine-tenths percent pure lard.

Then they put me on the treadmill and you know on the treadmill, the longer you can walk the better your physical condition and the worst possible condition was horrible. Well I was determined to get out of horrible into just awful, and I made it by four seconds. When it was all over the young doctor Dr. Martin, skinny young doctor runs in the Boston Marathon does the good things, call me and big smile on his face optimistic a real PMA advocate probably reads success unlimited on top of it, call me and it was big old smiley said Mr. Ziglar we’ve got marvelous news for you. We’ve run these figures through the computer and according to our computer and we know it’s right, you sir are not overweight.

However he said according to the computer, you are exactly 5 and ½ inches too short. And I said well doc, that’s pretty bad. And he said no, actually you’re in remarkably good physical condition for a 66 year old. And I said, doc I’m 46. He said you’re in awful shape. As a matter of fact if you were a building I’d condemn you and I said well doc, what can I do and he whipped out a sheet of paper stick in my book and by the time he got through, telling me what I couldn’t do I was kind of like the little boy who asked his daddy a question and his daddy said well son, why don’t you just ask your mother? Little boy said dad, I just didn’t want to know that much about it.

I got home. And that redhead of mine said honey, I said you want to be out running all over the neighborhood; I suppose and I said yep. Well she said if I’m going to have a 46 year old fat boy running all over the place I’m going to get you looking as good as I can so she went down and bought me a fancy running outfit and I’d already gotten some fancy shoes, or when I did something that was really ugly but I hadn’t read and lenders at the time and I’m going to use that as my excuse, although I really knew better you know, and says that you should not steal pages out other folks magazines,

Well there was a page in one of the doctors magazines advertising jockey shorts. Now I don’t know if you folks in Minneapolis read the jockey short ads or not. But if you don’t the next time you see one you should at least look at the picture. You’ll find out in a hurry they don’t put jockey shorts on fat boys. At least they don’t have a good year. So I hung it up in my bathroom and I said now there’s my hero, that’s the way I’m going to look.

Well the next morning that alarm clock sounded off and I hopped out of bed and put that fancy running outfit on and hit the front door and ran a block. Oh but the next day I did lots better. I ran a block and a mailbox. Then the next day I was a block and two mailboxes and a block and three, and a block and four and a block and five. One day I ran all the way around the block, came back in, walked the whole family up, and said guess what dad has done.

And one day then I ran a half a mile; then one day I ran a mile; one day I ran a mile and a half; one day I ran two miles, started doing the situps only eight the first day, then 10, then 20, then 40, then 80, then 120, then 200; started doing push-ups only six the first day; then eight, then ten, the 20, and 30, and 40. Today I do the GI push-up that just means you push up in the air and slap your hands while you’re in the air I’ll tell you it’s different from the others.

That weight started coming down from 202 to 165. The waistline dropped from 41 to 34. Oh I know a lot of people have said to me, yeah but I bet you were dieting religiously which is partially true, because I did quit eating in church.

Now please understand I am NOT here to try to talk you onto going on a diet. I’m here to talk to you about goals. As a matter of fact I talk about it as much as I do because it involves every single principle of goal-setting. First of all, ladies and gentlemen, my credibility was at stake.

You see if I’m going to write in my book you can be like you want to be, if I’m going to stand up in front of you and say you can be like you want to be and I come waddling out at 202, there goes credibility. If I get up here and acknowledge Jesus Christ one moment and tell you a dirty joke the next, there is no credibility.

See, credibility is a tremendously important thing. That was first. And the second thing that was my goal, you can’t reach somebody else’s goal. That’s the reason I say don’t let me talk you into going on a diet. That’s serious business. If you want to lose weight you start by going to your skinny doctor for a thorough examination. Now if he’s not skinny, swap doctors.

See there’s something missing from a credibility point of view when a fat doctor tells you you ought to lose weight. Get you a skinny doctor and a thorough examination, that goal was mine. You cannot reach somebody else’s goal.

The third thing about that goal was the fact that it involved a big goal. If you’re one for writing down phrases, please write this one down. You see in order for a goal to be effective, it must affect change. And if it doesn’t affect change, then the probability of you reaching the goal are pretty slim. 37 pounds made a difference in me. I run into old friends all the time and they say hey you’ve lost some weight. There’s a difference.

In order for it to be effective, it’s got to be big because it’s the big goal that creates excitement. It forces you to reach in and utilize that which is there.

And the next thing about the goal although as a practical matter it was an intermediate goal, I’m going to use it for illustrative purposes as a long-range one. When I wrote this book I was convinced it would sell. I sent it to three publishers. They were convinced it would not sell. They wrote me back said we don’t think it’ll sell. Now when it got to the fourth printing they wrote me again said hey you know we think that thing’s going to sell. But at first they said no. I believed that it would. I believed on so ladies and gentlemen that it would sell well. I was enthusiastic about, I did a lot of work on it.

So I decided I was going to go ahead and print the book myself. Now most authors who print their own book they generally print a thousand copies, maybe 2000, in rare cases 5000.

But I believe the next point about a goal is tremendously important. I believe you’ve got to have commitment. I made that commitment. I ordered 25,000 copies for that initial printing. Can you imagine me with twenty five thousand copies in my warehouse saying that I weighed 165 pound because you see the first thing I wrote in the book was that I weighed a 165 pounds that I had a 34 inch waistline and the day I wrote that I weighed 202 pounds. Can you imagine me stuck with a warehouse full of books saying I weighed 165 and I come walking out and said it works.

I’ve made a commitment. You got to have those long-range goals and the rule is a simple one. You go as far as you can see. And when you get there you’ll always be able to see further. The doctor told me I had to lose 37 pounds and that was specific. See that’s another point about goals, it’s got to be specific. You can take the hardest day the world has ever seen, take the most powerful magnifying glass you can buy in any store, hold that magnifying glass over a pile of newspaper clippings on that hottest day, and you’ll never start a fire if you keep the glass moving.

But the moment you hold it still, you harness the power of the Sun, you multiply it through the glass and boom. You’ve got a fire. You cannot make it as a wandering generality. You’ve got to have a very specific target. 37 pounds was a very specific target. My target date was 10 months down the road. So I looked at the 37 pounds divided by 10, it came out 3 and 7/10 pounds; boy I got excited. 3 and 7/10 pounds a month, why anybody can do that it’s easy. As a matter of fact I was so convinced that I could lose three and seven-tenths pounds in a month that I didn’t even bother to get started the first 28 days.

Yeah, greatest labor-saving device ever invented was tomorrow. So the other point, if you’re going to do anything you got to break it into a daily basis and you got to get started. Now I was raised down in a small town in Mississippi, Yazoo City Mississippi. Now today there are a lot of people that try to impress folks by telling them they’re from Yazoo City. But I really am.

As a matter of curiosity how many of you here today have never been to Yazoo City, Mississippi? Never been, OK? Well I think everybody ought to have something to look forward to. When I was a boy, we lived next door to some rich folks. I know they were rich, brother burn because they had a cook. I know they were rich because the cook had something to cook. During the Depression that was a sure sign of wealth and I was over there for lunch one day as I tried to be most every day. And cook brought the biscuits out, no exaggeration those biscuits were no thicker than this wristwatch.

Now looked at him for a moment, I said Maude, what in the world happened to your biscuits? She reared back, gave that big old-timey life and said well I’ll tell you about those biscuits she said they squatted duress, but she said they just got cooked in the squats. Hey you know anybody that gets cooked in the squat. You know anybody that’s really going to do something as soon as the kids get out of school and then I’ll have more time to do those things, then the kids get out of school and say well I didn’t realize it but I got to take them everywhere whether the kids get back in school then I’ll really get busy. Kids get back in school let’s say well we’ve got a winning football team this year got to support the team, we loved the football season then I’ll really get busy; football season is over, they say well you know it’s Thanksgiving and Christmas now and New Year’s, well after the holidays then man I’m really going to get busy, after the holidays they say well you know the weather is just so bad and isn’t this the worst winter we have ever had, whether the weather clears up a little bit, then I’ll get busy.

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After the weather clears up, they say well you know this is the first chance I’ve had to play a little golf or go fishing, will I get that out of my system. Then they say well it’s almost time for Easter. Well, after Easter, after Easter they say well you know it’s now almost time for the kids to get out of school but that’s where we came in, what is it.

See the people who wait for eight month till they move out or John to get on the day shift or for them to swap in the old clunker or until we get a new governor or a new administration the people who wait for external changes before they make an internal decision, will get cooked in the squat every single time. I can guarantee you.

You’re going to reach your goals, you got to make up your mind. You do something today. You can’t do everything at once and if I would relate back to weight it’s appalling to me to have somebody come up who’s 150 pounds overweight and say they’re going to lose it in three months time. Friend it took you 40 years to put it on; don’t take it off like that.

I took mine off and kept it off because I changed the thing that put it on, a habit: I ate too much regularly. I didn’t gain 37 pounds in one weekend. It is one more bite that’s done me in. It’s the little things. I looked at that weight and I realized that all I had to do was lose one and nine-tenths ounces a day and if I lose one and nine tenths ounces a day then yes I’m going to lose that weight.

Ladies and gentlemen, to the ounce and to the day, ten months I had lost exactly 37 pounds. I had set the goal and I had reached it. Now a lot of times people come to me and they say Zig, tell me the truth. I’m always amused that people that say tell me the truth, they’re implying I guess that have been lying up until then. Tell me the truth now Zig how did you feel about getting up in the morning and going out there and doing that running, how’d you feel about it, I’m going to tell you the truth I hated it.

Man, that alarm clock could sound off, you know and I’d lay there for a minute and I think to myself Ziglar, what’s a 46 year old fat boy like you doing getting up running all over the neighborhood; your buddies are sound asleep; what are you trying to prove? And then I’d look down at that 41 inch waistline and I would say Ziglar, do you want to look like you or do you want to look like the guy in the jockey shorts?

Well I didn’t want to look like me. No way. So I’d get out of bed but just because I was running that didn’t mean I had to like it. Man, I’d get out there and run, I don’t know what I’m drawn to. I can like a teenager and everybody else sound asleep and here I am doing a fool thing like this, that’s crazy you know, and off I go and don’t you think for one minute I didn’t tell everybody about it either. Friends, relatives, strangers everybody I came in contact with, I tell them about that enormous sacrifice I was making.

Listen at one time — at one time in my life I could get up and make you a speech and I could put a strain in my voice and a pained expression on my face and I could say friends, you gotta pay the price. Oh what a bunch of baloney that is. I ran in the snow of Winnipeg, Canada. I ran in the sands of Acapulco, literally I ran in the orange groves of Florida. I’ve run in the rain right here in Minneapolis and then one day ladies and gentlemen I was running in Portland, Oregon. Beautiful day never forget it, about 78 degrees.

I was on Portland State University campus. It was about 12:30 or 1:00 o’clock; I was scheduled to speak I believe at 4 o’clock. And I was out running and as I was running on that campus I looked around some of the kids were laying on blankets reading, some were studying, some were courting, some are just relaxing. Here comes old Ziglar run and bottom, you know sweat running, down my back sweat running down my legs, you know and for the first time that day it dawned on me that I was not paying a price.

For the first time that day ladies and gentlemen, dawned on me that I was having the time of my life. It dawned on me that I was enjoying every single step that I was taking. Today at age 50 I can run two miles faster than 98% of the college kids of America. I’m stronger than I was a quarter of a century ago. I can do things that I could not have dreamed of doing just a few years ago. I contend that you do not pay the price for good health; you thoroughly enjoy the prize; you pay the price.

You pay the price for failure. You pay the price for a poor marriage. You enjoy the prize of a good one. You enjoy the prize of success. You just look at the people who’ve made it and the people who have not made it. I believe we’ve got to change our vocabulary.

See, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t believe you pay the price I know that you enjoy the prize. And I believe we need to change our vocabulary. I’m really talking about changing an attitude; am I not? See that’s what we’re talking about here at these PMA rallies. Changing attitude. We live basically in a negative world.

An overweight person sits down the table and says everything I eat turns to fat. Well that’s negative. Mother sent your child off school and says now don’t you get run over. That’s negative. We live in a negative world and we become part of what we are around. Did you know that two-thirds of the medical students acquire the symptoms of the disease they study? Common cold we know that if we get medical treatment that the average life of a cold is a week. If we don’t get the medical treatment the average life of a cold is seven days. They don’t know what causes the cold; they don’t know what cures it but they do know who gets it.

The odds are over ten to one that when you get the cold it’s because you’re emotionally depressed, you’ve got stinking thinking, which if it continues long enough will lead to hardening of the attitudes. You become part of what you’re around, classic case. You take a southern boy or girl and send them up north and in a matter of months they’ll pick up an accent. You’ve noticed it or you can take a northern boy or girl and send them down south and in a matter of months we’ll have them talking normally.

You become part of what you’re around. What can we do? Well let me give you another classic case. Reported in the July 1976 issue of Success Unlimited magazine, in Israel there were a large number of immigrants from the Orient and a large number of immigrants from Europe arrived at about the same time. They did an IQ evaluation on both groups. The average IQ of the children from the Orient was 85. The average IQ of the children from Europe was 105.

On the surface it appears that the European Jewish children were a little smarter. But they put all of these kids together in the kibbutz where the direction is positive, where the input is you can do it, where the dedication is complete, where they build up the motivation, the drive, the direction is fantastic and four years later the average IQ was exactly the same thing: 115. You can change; you can grow.

The greatest message I could ever give to you is that one simple thing. Yes you can grow. I say it with all of my heart. I know in my mind that man was designed for accomplishment, that he’s engineered for success, that he is endowed with the seeds of greatness. You can start from where you are with what you’ve got and so long as you build on a moral foundation I believe you can get anything you really want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.

I’m going to share a story with you. I think it’s the greatest story that I’ve heard in my lifetime. The story goes back nearly 13 years. I was speaking in Kansas City and there I met a man. His name is Bernie Lofchick. He’s more than a friend, he’s a brother, he’s in the audience right over here. Bernie Lofchick — a stand up brother Bernie. Bernie Lofchick told me this story.

He said, Zig, when our son was born our joy knew no bounds because we already had our two daughters. Now we had our son. The family was complete but he said it wasn’t long before we knew something was wrong because his head hung too limply on the right side of his body but the family doctor said he would outgrow it. We knew better so we took him to a specialist. The specialist diagnosed his condition as a reverse of clubs feet and treated him for that but he said we knew Zig, it was more serious.

We took him to one of Canada’s top specialists and after an exhaustive examination the specialist said this little boy is a spastic. He has cerebral palsy. He’s never going to be able to walk or talk or count to ten. I’m going to suggest that you put him in an institution for his own good and for the good of the quote “normal members of the family”.

Brother Bern looked at me and said you know Zig, I’m not a buyer. I’m a seller. I could not buy the idea that my son was going to grow up being a vegetable, so we took him to another doctor who told us the same thing. And then another and another and yet another and another until 30 doctors said there is no hope. Then I heard of a doctor Pearlstein down in Chicago. They got an alternate appointment so that when someone else cancelled they could have that appointment because Dr. Pearlstein was booked two years in advance and 11 days later a little boy from Australia canceled and they went to Chicago.

Dr. Pearlstein examined David, perhaps as no child has ever been examined before and when he finished he said this little boy is a spastic. He has cerebral palsy. He’s never going to be able to walk or talk or count to ten, if you listen to the prophets of doom. But he said I want you to know that I am NOT problem conscious. I am solution conscious. And yes, I believe there is something that can be done for this boy if you are willing to do your part.

Well obviously Bern and Elaine Lofchick said, Doctor, tell us what to do. We will do anything.

The doctor and the therapist and the nurses spelled it out in minute detail. They said you’re going to have to push this little boy beyond all human endurance. Then you’re going to have to push him some more. You’re going to have to work him until he falls. Then you’re going to have to pick him up and work him some more. You got to understand that there is no stopping point, that if you ever stop he goes back. You got to understand that there might be months and even years when you will be unable to detect any change but you got to stay with it. And one last thing don’t ever give him therapy in the presence of another victim of cerebral palsy, because if he sees them taking therapy he will inadvertently pick up those awkward movements. You see, we become part of what we are around, whether it’s moral or immoral, whether it’s good or bad. Stay with it long enough and it’s going to rub off on you.

The Lofchicks went home, and built a little gymnasium in the basement of their home. They hired a physical therapist and a bodybuilder. It took him a lot of months but one day David Lofchick could move the length of his own body. It took him several years but one day the therapist called Bernie home and said I believe David is ready and Bernie rushed home.

David Lofchick was down in the basement and on a little mat getting ready to do a push-up. As that little body started to rise into the air the emotional and physical exertion was so great there was that a dry inch of skin on that little body. When he finished that one pushup, mother and dad, little David, and the sisters and the therapist and everybody broke down and shed those tears which so eloquently say that happiness is not pleasure; happiness is victory.

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The story, ladies and gentlemen, is even more remarkable, when they know that one of America’s leading universities had examined this little boy and said there’s no motor connection to the right side of his body, he has no sense of balance, he will have extreme difficulty even being able to walk and stand straight, he’ll never be able to swim or skate or ride a bicycle.

On October 23, 1971, my wife and I had the privilege of flying to Winnipeg, Canada to attend the bar mitzvah of little David Lofchick. Oh how I wish you could have been there. How I wish the television cameras of the world had been clearly focused on what we saw as this little boy walked to the front of a synagogue tall and straight and strong. I wish you could have heard him as the words — uttered those words that moved him into the manhood of the faith of his forefathers. I wish you could have seen what we saw knowing what we knew because you see at that time he had done as many as eleven hundred push-ups in a single day. He had run as much as six miles non-stop. He was shooting golf in the high 80s, one of the best table tennis players in Winnipeg, Canada, he had entered as a seventh grader, St. John’s Ravens court school for boys where this little boy who was never going to be able to count to ten did quite well in 9th grade mathematics.

February 1974, he qualified for an unrated $100,000 ordinary life insurance policy. So far as we know the first and only time this has ever happened.

And I tell you the story of David Lofchick because it involves so many of the principles in which I believe it begins with the right foundation of honesty and character and faith and loyalty, and yes, love. Oh! What a love story this one is!

You see every night this little boy used to have to put his braces on and every night he would say, dad, do we have to put him on tonight or mom can’t we just leave him off tonight or do we have to put him so tight and you mothers and fathers know what I speak of when you have a little boy with tears running down his cheeks, pleading don’t put them on tonight.

But because they did love him so much. They did not listen to the tears of the moment because they wanted to see the laughter of a lifetime. And that, ladies and gentlemen, really what love is all about, because you see so many of us as parents are reluctant to do for the child what is best for the child, because we fear that child then might withhold his love from us, not knowing that over the long haul the best way to guarantee his love is to demonstrate ours by acting in his best interest.

I tell the story of David Lofchick because it involves so many of the principles in which I believe they had a beautiful relationship with others, the doctors and the nurses. You see, they all had a part — the therapists all had a parts; you don’t climb the high mountain by yourself; it is in conjunction with others that we really accomplish the major things in life. That’s why I like to tell the story of David Lofchick because it’s a story of cooperation.

I tell the story because it’s a story of goals — of big goals of lifetime goals, of monthly goals, weekly goals, hourly goals, even ladies and gentlemen. I tell the story of David Lofchick because it involves so much in attitude. You talk about attitude, this boy since he was too small to carry it, used to have his own cassette player and every day that little mind was fed with the good, the clean, the pure, the powerful, the positive messages over and over and over: you can do it son; you can do it.

See, we live in such a negative world, that unless we deliberately read the good books daily, unless we deliberately regularly feed our minds with, those motivational recordings, that in essence remind us over and over in a negative world that we ourselves can be positive if we have the positive input.

Yes, I tell the story of David Lofchick because I believe it has so much to do with one of those things that so many times we as individuals have a tendency to overlook. As a matter of curiosity and — I’m almost through – of course, you know when us Baptists say final, that don’t necessarily mean immediately; that just means we’re getting close, but I tell the story of David because it emphasizes so many of the things in which I believe I’m just curious how many of you had already noticed this chrome-plated pump sitting here on the — that’s amazing.

You know, I’ve noticed something — when I get aboard an aircraft with this pump, almost without exception, I’m the only passenger that’s got one. And so I’ve got to assume by that that they must be getting scarce. I believe — I believe this — I believe that this pump is going to sum up what I want to say about life and what I want to say about David Lofchick.

Got a couple of good friends down in South Alabama. Their names are Bernard, Haygood, and Jimmy Glynn. They were out riding through the South Alabama foothills one day and they got a little bit thirsty. They pulled behind this old abandoned farmhouse. Bernard was driving; he hopped out, he ran over to this old pump and he grabbed the handle and he started the pump. Now just as a matter of curiosity, how many of you good folks up here in a big city have ever used one of these old water pumps? Hey, that’s fantastic.

Okay. Well, it was hot; it was August. No, Bernard wanted to drink the water. After he’s been pumping a couple of minutes he said, Jimmy, better get that old bucket over there and dip some water out of that creek; we’re going to have to prime the pump. How many of you know what I’m talking about when I say you got to prime the pump?

Well, for you non-pumpers that just means that you got to put something in here before you can get something out here. See a lot of people stand in front of the stove of life and say stove, now give me some heat, then I’ll put some wood in you. Lot of times the secretary says boss, give me a raise, then I’ll start coming to work on time.

So many times a student will say, teacher, just give me a passing grade this semester, my parent’s going to tear me up if I don’t have a passing grade, then next semester I’ll guarantee you I’ll study. Can you imagine the farmer saying Lord, give me a crop this year and I promise I’ll plant next year.

No, it doesn’t work that way. First of all, you got to put something in before you can get something out. Well, Oh Bernard wanted that drink the water. I mean it gets hot in South Alabama and he was just pumping away and pumping away and I’ll tell you that sweat was beginning to come off up and he said you know, Jimmy, I just don’t believe there is enough water down there. No, Jimmy said, yet is Bernard you know in South Alabama the wells are deep and we’re glad they are, because you see the deeper the well, the cooler, the cleaner, the sweeter, the purer, the better taste in that water is. And is it that the story of life; isn’t it true that that prospect that you really have to work on the most when you find that do make that sale, isn’t it true that that’s the one that really gives you the most satisfaction?

Isn’t that the one — isn’t it true, ladies and gentlemen, that the boy or the girl who was available to every Tom Dick and Harry or Mary Sue and Jane come down the pike, those boys and those girls are not the ones that make the kind of husband you want and the kind of wife that you want.

Isn’t it true that the things in life that have value that you got to do some pumping borewell, Oh Bernard, man, he wanted that drink of water. I mean by then he was really working up the sweat. But you know there’s always that question: just how much pumping are you willing to live just for a drink of water and finally Oh Bernard, just threw up — and said Jimmy, they’re just sitting in the water down there. Jimmy said don’t stop Barnard, don’t stop. If you stop it goes all the way back down and then you’ll have to start all over.

And isn’t that true? See, there’s no way you can look at that pump and say yeah just two more strokes and I got it because you might have to pump another ten minutes. There’s no way you can look in the head of that prospect and say yep just two more closes and I got him because you know it might really take a lot of pumping. But this we know — we know that if we pump long enough and hard enough and enthusiastically enough, that eventually the reward that follows the effort will always bring forth the reward.

And if you notice that once you get it to pump in, that then all you got to do is just keep a little ease, the steady pressure on it and man, you’re going to get more water. Then you know what to do with.

Isn’t it true that when things are good, they get better and when they’re bad they get worse? And it’s got nothing to do with what’s going on out there; it’s got everything to do with what’s going on between your ears. You see your business is never good or bad out there. Your business is good right here between your own two ears.

And if you’re thinking is stinking your business is going to be in exactly the same shape. I tell the story of the pump because that too says something about David Lofchick. For one solid winner, David set the alarm clock one hour earlier than any other member of the family. The wind chill in Winnipeg, Canada hits as much as 80 degrees below zero. He put those skates on. He literally crawled out to the frozen ice and it took him one solid winter to learn how to stand up.

Later he skated on the neighborhood hockey team. Now I tell the story ladies and gentlemen because you see it wasn’t easy but I think if you were to talk to David Lofchick today he would tell you that you do not pay the price for good health. You enjoy that prize.

I tell you the story because you see that today is a sequel to the story I was speaking out in Amarillo, a young couple seated down on the front row were visibly moved with a story and they came to me and they got the address of the doctor who had taken Dr. Pearlstein’s place on his death and they went to Chicago and this doctor examined their little girl whom they said had cerebral palsy. Little girl was about 18 months old and this doctor examined their little baby girl very carefully and he said this little girl does not have cerebral palsy. It was a misdiagnosis. She was simply born prematurely.

She has all of the symptoms today of cerebral palsy because you have been treating her for the disease and she now has acquired all the symptoms. They started treating her as a normal child, beautiful and happy and moving well today. Or you become part of what you’re around.

The way we treat people gets to be so tremendously important. You know, folks, I’ve had so many people to be so nice to me in my lifetime. I know that for the first two and a half years I sold, I was almost a complete failure. A man named PC Merrill came along and said in essence you can do it and he made me believe it.

Before the year was over, I was number two out of over 7,000 salespeople. My whole life changed because the man said to me: you can do it. Oh I wish I could look you in your own eyes dead center and say you can do it, because you can.

I’m just convinced that God wants you to make it, believe in you because you’re unique. There have been over 10 billion peoples to live on the face of this earth, there’s never been another you. Believe in your fellow human being. Believe in what you’re doing, the company you represent, the product you sell if you’re a salesperson. Believe in our great country. It’s the greatest land on the face of this earth and the infinitely more important than anything I or any other speaker who will ever address you will ever say believe in Almighty God, because if you do I’m going to close not by wishing you a good day, I’m going to close by guaranteeing you a good forever. And I truly will see you at the top.

Thank you and God bless you.


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