Zig Ziglar (Hilary Hinton Ziglar) died of pneumonia on November 28. A sad loss to the personal development industry, Zig will be fondly remembered by us all for many things, but perhaps most importantly for a life well lived.
Hearing Zig speaking that first time, I remember that I had to concentrate really hard to cut through that thick Texan drawl to listen to what he was saying and not how he was saying it. At first, I found his accent a bit obtrusive, but after a while it seemed to matter less and then eventually, I got to love it. Zig is a man I would love to have met and sadly, along with the great Jim Rohn, will now not do so; at least in this life.
Of all the stories I heard Zig tell, I like the one about the man who used to go fishing for tiddlers. If he caught tiddlers, he was delighted. But every time he caught a big fish, he would sorrowfully throw it back into the sea. Seeing this behaviour, someone eventually questioned the man to find out why he was keeping the small fish and throwing the big ones back.
The reason he was chucking them back was that he only had a small frying pan. It is a wonderful analogue of what we, very often, do in our lives. There are bigger fish out there and you are capable of catching them too. You need to be prepared. You need to know what to do with them when you catch them. But, most of all, you need to have bigger expectations i.e. you need to get a bigger pan.
Another thing I remember Zig saying was – and I included the story in my book The Bible Secret – what he usually says to people when they say the reason they don’t go to church is ‘because it is full of hypocrites’.
“Don’t worry,” says Zig, “there’s room for one more!”
A devout Christian, I am sure the man will be up there right now preparing a little motivational talk for anyone that might be following him in the future. He will be full of sage advice, ready and willing to help those who need to understand the ropes. He will have it all figured out pretty soon, I imagine, and he will be already working on his next book. Perhaps it might be entitled, I Told You I Would See You at The Top!
With grateful thanks to Zig for his wise words and good advice, today, we bid him a fond farewell. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.