Climb your mountain

Whatever you wish to do, do it well. Perseverance is the only way to see it through to the end.

A few years ago, I scaled Mount Washington, the highest peak east of the Mississippi.

The last section of the hike was spent trying to find some kind of path over a huge pile of rocks that seemed to have been dumped on top of the mountain from the heavens. We would look ahead and see about 50 yards up before the rocks faded completely into the clouds.

After climbing 50 yards up, we would look up and again see about 50 yards ahead before the rocks faded into the clouds. This continued for 2 hours, but it began to seem endless, like we were trapped in the twilight zone.

And the drizzle didn’t stop all the while. [Read more…]

Zig Ziglar (1926-2012) Motivational Quotes

Zig Ziglar passed away yesterday.  He was perhaps the most effective motivational speaker of all time.  I recall a decade ago seeing him live.  He described his early days as a salesman: “I was not an overwhelming success. I was not even a whelming success. But I did sell a few things. I sold my car, I sold my TV.”

Of course, he eventually became a whelming success, and even became an overwhelming success. But only because he kept at it, inspired either by a dream or by a tight stomach. But he did not give up.

Along the way, he left us with some sound bites to ponder, probably the most famous of which is: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Zig Ziglar: "There are no traffic jams on the extra mile."

More Zig Ziglar Motivational Quotes

Here are a few more motivational quotes and snappy tidbits from Zig Ziglar. Which is your favourite? (I can’t decide between the tartar sauce and the traffic jam.)

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”

“A narrow mind and a fat head invariably come on the same person.”

“If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

“Other people and things can stop you temporarily. You’re the only one who can do it permanently.”

“Optimists are those who go after Moby Dick in a row boat with a bucket of tarter sauce.”

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

Success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.”

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”

“Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.”

“A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job.”

“If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

“Every choice you make has an end result.”

“Kids go where there is excitement. They stay where there is love.”

“When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.”

Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”

“Money won’t make you happy… but everybody wants to find out for themselves.”

“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.”

Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.”

“People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.”

“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”

“Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.”

“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.”

“Motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”

“Many marriages would be better if the husband and wife clearly understood that they’re on the same side.”

“Money will buy you a bed, but not a good night’s sleep, a house but not a home, a companion but not a friend.”

Thus ends the string of memorable quotes, although this is but a small sampling. Zig Ziglar has left his legacy in sayings that will be repeated for ages to come.

What Can You Achieve When You Really Believe?

What can you do when you really want to?


Yes, I said anything. Nothing is too big. But it helps to take it one step at a time.

Over three decades ago, 16-year old Jadav “Molai” Payeng came across a swarm of dead snakes washed onto a bare sandbar in a flood India’s Assam region. “The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms,” Jadav.

Whereas most people would stop at the weeping (if they ever got even that far), Jadav didn’t stop there. Instead, he planted a tree. Then he planted another. And another. And he kept planting trees. The barren sandbar is now a thriving forest of 1360 acres – including such wildlife as rhinos,tigers, apes, elephants and deer. The Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, believes this is the biggest forest in the middle of a river in the world.

Just one man planted every single tree. Each one from seed. Year after year.

He lives now in the forest that bears his name, selling cow and buffalo milk for a living. He moved in as a teenager so that he could oversee the project directly.

You Are Never Too Old

From the You Are Never Too Old Department…

A story that recently made it into pretty much every news outlet from Florida to Pakistan was how 80 year old Helen Collins remained calm as she made an emergency crash landing in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. (It skidded down the runway for 1000 feet before coming to an abrupt halt.)

The Cessna her husband had been flying.

When he suffered a heart attack.

With one operating engine.

With barely enough fuel.

Her son, Richard, a trained pilot, guided his mother down from the control tower. “She was calmer than everybody on the ground. She had it totally under control,” Richard Collins said. “The amazing thing is she landed that plane on one engine – I don’t know if there are a lot of trained pilots that could do that. I already knew I lost my dad; I didn’t want to lose my mom. It could have been both of them at once.”

Yes, you can accomplish amazing things when you put your mind to it. Don’t sell yourself short.

Define Success

Quick! What do happiness and success have in common?

Both are a matter of perspective. This point was driven home to me in an article I read in “The Toastmaster” magazine. A teenager sat next to Albert Einstein at a public gathering. The teenager asked Einstein what he did for a living. He replied that he studied physics.

The astonished teenager said, “At your age! I finished physics two years ago!”

Think about what you do for a living, for hobbies, for your family, etc. How do you describe what you do? More important, how does your own description about it make you feel? If your description does not sound like you are a success, maybe it is time to find a new description.

Why not share this thought with some of your close friends? You could have fun brainstorming together about how to redefine your job or your role as a parent, coach, worshiper, goddess, explorer or whatever else you might happen to be.

The Secret to Motivation

What is the single best way to become a truly motivated person?  Yes, this is a trick question.

Motivate others.

That’s right, if you keep lighting sparks of enthusiasm under friends, family, colleagues and neighbors, you will notice an awe-inspiring transformation in your own attitude.  Sparks of enthusiasm will ignite on you, as well.  You, too, will be motivated.

It is virtually impossible to encourage people around you to shoot for their dreams, to go for goal, to reach for the brass ring without getting excited about your own.  The more you encourage others, the more the excitement carries you with it.

Think about all the people you know, or at least those you know well enough.  What are their dreams?  What are their goals?  Make an effort to find out.  Then make an effort to help out.  I guarantee that your life will be richer for your efforts.

Want to help motivate people starting right now, pass along this blog post on Twitter or FaceBook or Pinterest (buttons to the right).

READ ALSO: Zig Ziglar motivational quotes

Perseverence – Never Give Up

I was inspired by American Top 40 Countdown.  You might have heard of the band Lady Antebellum (Yes, it is a band, not a person).  Nevertheless, there is a lady in the band: Hillary Scott.

Hillary failed twice at American Idol.  Yes, she tried and did not make it past the first-stage auditions.

So she tried again.  And the second time, she also failed to make it past the first-stage auditions.

Don’t worry, Hillary.  You join a n auspicious line of “losers”, including Abraham Lincoln:

  • Started a business – bankrupt.
  • Ran for state legislature – lost.
  • Applied to law school – rejected.
  • Started a business – bankrupt.
  • Ran for state legislature again – won.
  • Engaged when his sweetheart died – heart broken.
  • Had nervous breakdown – bed-ridden for six months.
  • Ran for speaker of the state legislature – lost.
  • Ran for elector – lost.
  • Ran for Congress – lost.
  • Ran for Congress again – won.
  • Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
  • Sought the job of state land officer – rejected.
  • Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
  • Sought Vice-Presidential nomination – lost.
  • Ran for U.S. Senate again – lost.
  • Elected president of the United States.

READ ALSO: Define success

And Canada’s John Diefenbaker:

  • Moved to Wakaw to practice law – locals refused to rent him office space.
  • Ran for village council – won.
  • Ran for Parliament – lost.
  • Ran for Parliament again – lost.
  • Ran for provincial legislature – lost.
  • Ran for mayor of Prince Albert – lost.
  • Elected provincial party leader by default (nobody else wanted the job)
  • Ran for Premier – lost and lost his seat.
  • Ran for Parliament – won.
  • Ran for federal party leader – lost.
  • Ran for federal party leader – won.
  • Ran for Prime Minister – and won three consecutive elections.

Just who are you anyway?

What do you rely on for your happiness?

Do you make your own happiness? Or do you wait for it to come to you?

Do you create your own future? Or do you rely on tarot readings an fortune tellers?

Do you blaze your own path? Or do you follow people around you?

Do you work alone? Or do you prefer to run with the crowd?

These are not right and wrong answer questions. These are questions about who you are. Knowing who you are is important for making decisions in your life.

No matter how much you might fall in love with somebody because you share interests or because you like how they look or talk or smell, if you want to build a lifetime together, the person had better be compatible at a much more fundamental level.

Your next job might seem like fun because of the subject matter. Or the pay. Or because of location, or the company’s reputation. But if your position is not compatible with your personality, you will neither excel at you job nor enjoy it very much. It is one of the great urban legends that if somebody is a good vice president, they should be promoted to president. It takes a totally different personality to excel at being number one than at being number two.

You don’t have to be psychic to find your ideal place in the world. But you do have to know yourself.

READ ALSO: Define success

READ ALSO: Priorities


Do What You Are Good At

Here is some good advice for young Aspergians (people with the Asperger’s syndrome) that really is just as good for any of us.  Related to Autism, Aspergians find social interaction difficult and might also have motor difficulties and tend to get lost in themselves sometimes.  That often makes it tough for an Asbergian to fit into society; but it doesn’t mean he can’t.

In his book Be Different: The Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian, John Elder Robison says:

“Find out what you’re good at and stick with it. In school, a lot of emphasis is put on identifying your weaknesses and then improving them. That’s important if your weaknesses are holding you back, but it’s not the path to greatness.Greatness happens when you find your unique strengths and build upon them. Building up a weakness just makes you less disabled. Building a strength can take you to the top of the world.”

Not everything requires ideal social interaction to be successful. Not everyone has those skills. But everyone has some skills, and those skills can be honed for success.. Find out what you are good at, train yourself to be even better, find ways to optimize your opportunities with those skills, and just keep riding forward.