I watched the video “Goals: Setting and Achieving Them on Schedule” many years ago and realized quickly that the speaker, Zig Ziglar, was truly brilliant. He had a simple philosophy. If you know your goals, and want them bad enough, you will instinctively work towards them and ultimately find your success.
For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Ziglar, he spent his life as a salesman and motivational speaker, touring the country doing seminars and workshops on successful selling and life skills. He was also a devoted Christian and family man. There are numerous books, videos and audio tapes available. Each explains his various philosophies on goals, life, family, and religion and also recounts the results of his interactions with various audiences. He continued to do speaking engagements up to 2010 and published his last book “Born To Win: Find Your Success Code” in 2012. He died that year at the age of 86.
He believed setting goals is the basic step in the success ladder and that it applies to everyone. It requires us to look at what we really want to achieve and then the set our goals based on a reasonable timetable. Mr. Ziglar liked to use the analogy of an archer. Shooting an arrow into a target is easy if everyone understands that they must:
1. see and recognize the target
2. decide when they want to hit the target
3. are given a bow and arrow and shown how to shoot an arrow
4. want to, and believe they can, hit the target
5. practice shooting arrows
6. aim and shoot the arrow
Seems quite simple but think about what happens if you take away the first item. The fact we have the tools, want to succeed and believe we can, practice and even aim and shoot, are useless if we can’t see or recognize the target. If we haven’t set our own goals, we’re shooting into the dark with very little chance of hitting anything.
We need to think. The questions to ask ourselves can be easy. “Where do I want to be in one year, in five years, in ten years?” “Can I envision myself at those intervals?” “Do I have what I need to accomplish what I see?” “Can I get what I’m missing?” “Do I have a plan?” “What is my ultimate goal?” This seems simple enough, but giving ourselves time to think and decide is important. We shouldn’t rush our choices.
Once we‘ve answered the easy questions, the hard ones come next. We need to realize and control all the feelings and choices that restrict us, while embracing those that liberate us. “How bad do I want this?” “Do I have a driving force pushing me in this direction?” “Do I have the enthusiasm and positive attitude to keep going no matter what happens?” These are very important aspects of reaching our goals. If these factors aren’t considered and evaluated, our plan can become too difficult to follow and we’ll quit before we get anywhere.
Finally we look at a very important consideration. “Do I have the support of the important people in my life?” Life can be unforgiving and working toward a set of goals can be quite daunting. Without the support network of our friends and family, we would have a tendency to give-up at the first whiff of failure. Make sure those important people know where we want to go. Then we always have someone who will help us get back on track, if we start to derail.
My fellow writers please take note. Mr. Ziglar’s first book, “See You At The Top”, was rejected THIRTY times before Pelican decided to publish it in 1975. His remaining 13 books were produced by several different publishers from 1978 to 2012. Mr. Ziglar set his own goals and did whatever it took to reach them. Can you do the same?
This is a small part of Mr. Ziglar’s philosophy, and my own interpretation of only a few of his very important points. It is well worth it to read or see or listen to at least one of his inspirational and valuable messages.
I think this man might change your life. I know he changed mine.