Why Zig Ziglar Brought Me to Tears

Zig Ziglar and Dr. Tracey MarksI attended a marketing event last week where the great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar spoke.  I’ve never seen him speak in person, but have seen video clips of his powerful messages.  Two years ago he suffered a fall that resulted in a head injury and impaired his memory.  At 80+ years old he still speaks but now his daughter accompanies him and interviews him to keep him on track.

No matter what she asked him, he finished the thought with how much he loves his wife and nothing matters if you don’t put relationships first.  He was like a broken record that was stuck on grove playing the same thing over and over.  I guess in today’s parlance that would be a CD with a scratch on it.

It’s typical for people with head injuries to get “stuck” in their thinking and repeat the things that are important to them.  It’s similar to becoming disinhibited from alcohol.    Angry drunks are angry people who with alcohol let it all hang out.  Same goes for happy drunks.  The alcohol doesn’t turn you into a different person, it just makes you show who you really are and what’s really on your mind.

Back to Zig Ziglar.  It became amusing after a while when he told us for the 20th time how much he loves his wife.  I was deeply moved as I thought about how his head injury has revealed what this man is really about – love and commitment.  That’s the dominant theme in his heart that repeats endlessly.

It made me think – what if I were similarly injured today?  What would I be stuck on?  The answer to that lies in my motivations and priorities.

What about you?  What would we hear you talk about over and over?  Is how you spend your time a true reflection of what you think is important in your life?  It’s worth examining and adjusting if needed.  Life is precarious and things can change in an instant.  It’s too late for Mr. Ziglar to change his script.  But he doesn’t need to.

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  1. says

    Tracey, I was so sad to miss the BOSS event, but reading this post helped me feel like I got a little from Zig Ziglar’s speech. Thanks for sharing. It does make you take a step back and ponder what is TRULY important in life and how we often set it on the back burner. What a wonderful blessing it must be for his family to know how much he loves his wife. Such a treasure.

  2. Burnout Expert says

    Thanks Susan for your comment. Yes, BOSS was great, I’m sure I’ll be there next year. No doubt his love for his family is a prescription for healthy adjustment.

  3. says

    Tracey, what an awesome article. I’m wondering what my mind would be stuck on. I have an idea because I’m learning to reside in a special place of gratitude that seems to eb dominating my thoughts and actions. I love your work. I’m so glad we connected!!!

  4. Burnout Expert says

    Thanks so much Shalena. I’m afraid I had to do a little priority correcting myself so I can make sure I don’t get stuck on something unimportant.

  5. says

    This is such a great article. Just like they say “a drunk mouth speaks a sober mind”, when all of your mental filters, checks and balances and usual inhibitions are stripped away what’s left is just the pure rawness of what you think and how you feel about yourself, life and others. You did make me ponder—what would I be stuck on. Thanks!

  6. Burnout Expert says

    Hey Rashida. Thanks for the comment. You are so right about our raw thoughts being exposed. That why this was so touching.

  7. Sharon Hylton says

    Iwent to a women confrence in Niagara Falls, Canada in 1996 where Zig Ziglar had a personal workshop.
    What a blessing it was for me. At that time I had not personally met my biological father. Zig Ziglar ask us to write down the thing that bothered us the most and we should express what change we would like to see happen in our lifes. My request was to meet my father and sit in his lap. Zig simulate with me as my father. He volunteered to become my father for that moment and allowed me to sit in his lap. I did and I cried. I also got over my sadness of not meeting my biological father and never sitting in his lap. In a few weeks I will be going to meet my father for the first time.

    I want to thank Jean for sharing her husband with the world in such a profound way.

    My condolences and God bless you all.

  8. Gabe Lawrence says

    A wonderful insight about the unfortunate condition of a man I deeply admire and respect. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been scouring the Internet for info on Zig since I’ve heard of his passing this past Wednesday and your post has made me think. Sadly, I’m not prepared to be in a broken record condition. Again, thank you for the post and the picture! I loved that man! I’ll “see you at the top” Zig.

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