Creating a Positive Mental Attitude: Zig Ziglar-isms to Live By


Zig Ziglar was an author, salesman, and motivational speaker known for his many famous quotable sayings, as well as several great books about business, parenting, and faith. He has been writing since I was just a kid myself and has been an inspiration to me through many stages of my life. Although he passed away a few years ago, I still look to his work for inspiration and wisdom.

In this week's blog, I wanted to take a look back at some of Zig's most famous quotes and how they've impacted my life and way of thinking. His legendary positive attitude and commitment to helping others set a great example for all of us. In fact, I had Zig in mind when I wrote KIDmandment #3: Positive Mental Attitude.

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, & endowed with the seeds of greatness.”

This quote sets the foundation for developing a positive mental attitude (PMA). As adults, PMA allows us to take on the many challenges of life with grace, commitment, and confidence. As parents, it's one of the most important things we can model for our children. PMA is a gift that, when developed early in life, creates so many opportunities for happiness, meaning, and positive direction.

As Zig Ziglar reminds us, we have within us everything we need to have a happy and meaningful life. It's just a matter of remembering and being thankful for our gifts, not allowing ourselves to be trapped by our weaknesses, and giving those “seeds of greatness” the nourishment they need to grow. Developing a positive mental attitude is a great way to keep the sun shining and help those seeds blossom into success.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

I firmly believe that one of the greatest gifts our Creator gave us is the ability to choose our thoughts. Now we can't always help what we think, but we can choose what we dwell on and how we respond — our attitude. Parents can help their kids learn how to choose the positive thoughts over the negative thoughts, and create a PMA that will help them find happiness and success. We can teach them to deposit the good thoughts into their brains (as if it's a bank account) and discard the rest.

This is called Emotional Control — our ability to control our emotions, as opposed to letting them control us. Inevitably we will face challenges to our PMA, and the world will knock us down a little. By teaching our kids how to take the fall, we can help them get back up and try again with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. Our attitude towards the setbacks that we encounter can make the difference between staying down and feeling victimized or getting right back on top with even more determination to make it through.

“You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Positive thinking sets a foundation for our success, but thinking alone isn't enough. Positive thinking needs to be followed by positive doing! Negative thinking traps us in old patterns and false assumptions, but positive thinking provides a springboard for taking action in the right direction. People with PMA expect something special from their lives, they know the power of working from their “Why,” and this gives them the confidence to set and achieve their goals.

This Zig Ziglar quote is a great reminder that even when we lose sight of our positive mental attitude, we can dedicate ourselves to getting it back. When parents struggle to find the positive in a situation, we teach our kids to do the same. Only when we have a strong PMA can we teach our children to follow our example.

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

What a powerful idea! Giving back to our communities and making a positive impact on the world is vital to a happy and meaningful life, and the sooner we learn this lesson, the better off we all can be. This is also true for parents. Happy, positive, goal setting parents are more likely to raise children who do the same, so lead by example and become the person you want your children to be!

How do you maintain a positive mental attitude? Share your tips by tweeting @JeffOddo!