Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 1, 2012

Zig Ziglar

Zig ZiglarZig Ziglar died of pneumonia this past Wednesday at the age of 86. He was a renowned motivational speaker who enjoyed helping people achieve success in their careers and personal lives. Zig wrote more than thirty books over the span of his career. I have several of his books in my personal library and have read some more than once. I have also watched more of his motivational videos than I can remember. There was just something about his piercing insight and soothing voice that kept me coming back for more of his common sense elixir.

Zig’s own story is inspirational in itself. He was born in 1926, the tenth child in a family of twelve children. After the death of his father, his mother moved the family to Yazoo City, Mississippi where Zig grew up in poverty. After serving in the Navy in the Second World War, Zig found work as a salesman and soon became the consummate salesman. He started his career as a motivational speaker in the 1940s but did not write his first book, entitled “See You at The Top,” until 1975 at the age of 49.

Through his speaking and books, Zig dispensed the kind of wisdom that makes sense. “If you aim at nothing,” Zig cautioned, “you will hit it every time.” He often talked about the importance of taking the time to listen to and invest in others. “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” And, of course, Zig was an advocate of being kind and going farther. “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” It is worth Googling Zig Ziglar quotes, but it’s even better to read them in the context of his books.

Zig was a deeply committed follower of Christ. He came to faith in Christ at the age of 42. That commitment, said Zig, was the turning point of his life and impacted how he lived the rest of his life. For years Zig taught a Bible Study class at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. I purchased the videos of his class and started a Zig Ziglar video class at the church I served in those years. It was one of the most popular and well-attended classes we offered.

While serving in Irving, Texas, I had the unbelievable privilege of speaking at Zig Ziglar’s headquarters in Dallas. Zig heard through a mutual friend about a trip I had taken to share the gospel in remote villages along the Brahmaputra River in Bangladesh. I consequently received an invitation to share the story of my trip with his staff. I was nervous when Zig walked into the room. However, the moment Zig walked over and welcomed me I felt at ease. Jay Hellwig, his personal assistant, said that Zig “had the uncanny ability to make everyone he ran into feel like they were his friend.” I certainly felt that when I met Zig. Afterwards, he took the time to talk with me, to encourage me, and to personally thank me for sharing my story. For Zig, it was another day of doing what he did best. For me, it was one of the best days of my life.

Zig Ziglar and Omar


  1. Omar, it was so lovely to read your comments on Zig Zigler, who is one of my all time favorite speakers. I had the privilege of seeing him speak on two or three occasions, and was always inspired by his wisdom and encouragement.

    I am in Katy visiting my daughter and look forward to hearing you speak tomorrow at Kingsland. You are in my prayers this evening, dear friend.

    • Thanks, Jackie. Zig was a wonderful man who leaves a great legacy. Look forward to seeing you at Kingsland on Sunday.

  2. […] Zig Ziglar ( […]

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