Motivational Misconceptions and other Self-Help Things That Are Not 100% True

Zig Ziglar (Dad) may be the most quoted person in the world.  He is also one of the most misquoted people in the world.  Here are a few “misconceptions” about things that he talks about, and gets misquoted on.

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”  Or, “Whatever the mind can conceive, and you believe, you can achieve.”  Well, Dad never said either one of these things.  First off, by themselves, they are not true.  For example, I often dream about dunking on Shaq in the morning and then smoking Tiger Woods in the afternoon.  Trust me on this: not gonna happen.  Even if I had this “dream” at three years old and worked 12 hours a day on it my whole life, it’s not gonna happen.  (Although secretly I believe I could take Tiger; just don’t tell him because I hear he laughs pretty loudly.)

So what does Dad say?  He says, “A positive attitude will let you do everything better than a negative attitude will,” and he says that until you dream what you want and then set a plan in place to get it, it is very unlikely you are going to achieve your dream.  “How can you hit a target you don’t have?” is Dad’s quote.

Another famous quote of Dad’s is this: “The economy is neither good nor bad ‘out there.’  It is either good or bad between your own two ears.’”  His point is that until you get your thinking right, you don’t have a chance.  He says, “Life is tough, but the tougher you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you.”  In other words, the economy (or anything else you can think of) is likely against you, but until you get your thinking right, and then work hard with a lot of discipline and integrity, it is unlikely you are going to be very successful.

Why do I bring up these “nits”?  Because if you really, truly believe that all you have to do is “dream and believe,” then you are likely headed for a huge failure.  Your dreams must be based on reality and backed up with incredibly hard work, discipline, and character.  Like Dad says, if Shaq decided he wanted to become a jockey and win the Kentucky Derby, he would have a better chance if he carried the horse!

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11 Comments on “Motivational Misconceptions and other Self-Help Things That Are Not 100% True”

  1. Bandade Says:

    “Your dreams must be based on reality and backed up with incredibly hard work, discipline, and character.”

    Who do I quote this one too? I like this one.

  2. Troy Pate Says:

    Great blog article Tom. Put’s me in mind of the story Zig tells about in one afternoon he can have you shooting as well as the champion archer- as long as we blindfold the archer and spin him around and round!
    One of my favorite Zig quotes (I have many!) is “The primary reason for frustration & failure in life is that we trade what we want most for what we want now.”

    ~Troy


  3. As I said on Twitter, people take things too literally. A dream, and a vision is important. But without action the vision is just a hope(that sadly will never come true).

    Growing up I’ve learned that self discipline is important. Not everyone can do what they want all the time. That’s why Covey says in 7 habits, successful people put first things first. One of the most significant factors between successful and unsuccessful people.

    One quote of your Dad’s that has really motivated me is: “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” It shows the importance of both mission and action. Lots of people work hard going nowhere, some spend a life preparing for nothing and some balance between the two. Which IMO is also keeping focused.

    Have a great day!
    Clinton

  4. anita Says:

    “…if Shaq wanted to win the Kentucky Derby…” …too funny, I will be envisioning that and laughing about it all weekend. Great post!


  5. […] 4. Tom Ziglar, son of Zig Ziglar, shares several “Motivational Misconceptions“. […]

  6. Kathryn Lang Says:

    The quote “what the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve” comes from Napolean Hill. He’s talking about the idea that all success begins with a focus of purpose.

  7. Kevin Says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    I know most on web now-a-days don’t take time to research (especially quotes) for accuracy.

    Here are is one that I have of your father on my site:
    “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar.

    Haha, is that one correct?


    Thank you,
    Kevin
    On Twitter as @glycotrainer


  8. […] Motivational Misconceptions and other Self-Help Things That Are Not 100% True Because if you really, truly believe that all you have to do is “dream and believe,” then you are likely headed for a huge failure.  Your dreams must be based on reality and backed up with incredibly hard work, discipline, and character. via tomziglar.com […]


  9. Thanks for setting the record straight, Tom.
    It’s an awful thing to be misquoted.


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