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Motivational Lessons from the Late Zig Ziglar

By Aoife Gorey

World renowned author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar unfortunately lost his short battle with pneumonia on Wednesday at the age of 86.

The acclaimed business icon has been a household name for over 50 years before his retirement in 2010. Millions of people around the world including presidents and world leaders have been impacted by his theories, practices and publications.

Zig Ziglar touched the lives of many Profiles International employees and today, we pay tribute to a man whose legendary work will live on in his absence.

In loving memory of Zig Ziglar 1926-2012

“It’s not lack of time that we suffer from, its lack of direction and commitment in our lives.” – Zig Ziglar

For decades, Zig Ziglar has motivated and inspired millions of people to be better at whatever they do for a living. Ziglar’s ideas about creating a sense of urgency are exemplified in his “Day Before Vacation” story. A personal favorite of mine, this technique can have a tremendous effect on your productivity and the ability to motivate your employees.

Many of us are preparing for Christmas vacation, working extra hard to ensure all loose ends are tied up before leave. Think about your last day at work before you went on your most recent vacation. Didn’t you get as much done in that day as you would normally get done in two, three or even four days?

Look at what Ziglar says you probably do on the day before your vacation:

Two nights before your vacation, you likely sat down with your laptop, iPad or even a piece of paper and listed all of the things that you had to complete the following day – your must do’s! (“I must do this and I must do that…”). Then, you mentally committed to completing them all before you left the office the next day.

On the morning of the day before your vacation, you arrived at the office on time -maybe even early. But you didn’t head for the coffee machine or to catch up with co-workers. You headed straight for your office, shut the door and tackled the first must do on your list (the sign of a motivated employee). You probably also did things out of order. You took your least favorite task on the list and got it out of the way quickly, instead of having it hanging overhead all day long (the way you normally would). With that tough one out of the way, you were feeling pretty good, and so you tore into the next task on your list and then the next one after that. When someone came to chat about last night’s football game or TV show, you politely but firmly informed that person that you were just too busy – and then you got back to business.

As you completed each of your must do’s, you felt your energy rising, so that by halfway through the day you were buzzing with a sense of accomplishment that drove your enthusiasm level even higher. Your obviously energized and enthusiastic demeanor began to motivate employees and colleagues around you. They started to ramp up their efforts and became similarly enthusiastic. The atmosphere in the office got a little extra spark and this lifted you even further. At the end of the day, you had all of your must do’s completed. You doubled or maybe tripled your performance on this day because you had to, so tell me… now that we know it is possible, why do we not do this on a daily basis? Think about it….if planning one day of your life can make such a radical difference in that day, think what a difference a game plan for life would make.

“According to research, a little over one hour a day is wasted in idle conversation, much of it gossip that has nothing to do with a job. An hour a day is five hours a week, that’s 250 hours a year, that’s 6 weeks of life totally gone to waste.” – Zig Ziglar

Watch the master himself in action:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T4v8gImerIQ

Treat every day like it’s the day before your vacation and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results in your personal and professional lives. Take control of your own lives. Learn more about personal and professional development from Zig Ziglar. You will not regret it. www.ziglar.com

To leave your condolences for Zig, his website asks that you visit his official Facebook Page here.

What have you learned from Zig Ziglar? How did his teachings impact your life?

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