Zig asks, “What do you believe about yourself?!” This dictates everything you do in your life. Your decisions, your actions, your successes and failures. For the most part, you get to choose what you will and won’t believe about you. That’s the good news. The current, unfortunate, news is…we all tend to believe what others say about us. Especially those closest to us. It shouldn’t be so. Listen in to hear Zig. Thanks to Braintree and Wealth Front for supporting this episode.
Hi, everyone, this is Kevin, and this is Ziglar’s True Performance Show, episode 420, and today I bring you…the man, the legend…Zig Ziglar. The guy who influenced over 250 million lives. A man who left this earth nearly four years ago, but whose message of hope and inspiration not only continues…but is growing. Through the voices and lives of…you. And me. And millions.
Today is a clip from Zig I had never heard before. And it’s one of his more serious messages.
The story of the dunce who lived as a dunce because he was told…he was a dunce. When his test showed he was, in fact, a genius, he began to live as a genius.
This is a story very similar to another Zig likes to tell, of the man who owned a bunch of land. They found one of the biggest oil wells of all time, Spindletop, on his land, and he “became” a multi-millionaire. But Zig likes to point out that he was a multi-millionaire the moment he bought the land, he just didn’t know it. And it required bringing forth…the oil.
Seth Godin is famous for stating we are all artists, we all have our own form of art, but it doesn’t add up to much UNLESS…we can deliver it to the world.
So…what about you? What if you’re not a hidden genius? What if you don’t own land with millions of dollars of oil beneath it?
So what if you are not actually a genius or sitting on million-dollar land?
But what if you are functioning at 80% of your potential? 45%? 15%? Do you have more in you? Do you have an untapped talent, ability or skill? Of course, you do.
On one end you can believe you are the worst, the weakest, and most lacking person on the planet. On the other end you believe you are superhuman, immortal, and a God. Chances are, nobody listening to this believes either of those. The question is…what do you believe about yourself? Because the pithy statement is completely true. If you are sane - you are…what you believe you are. You are living up to the potential you believe of yourself.
I was talking recently with a friend about this. He’s a revolutionary doctor that you’ll meet here in this show eventually. We were referencing Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, where he talks about the study that shows successful people aren’t brilliant, genius, and superhuman. They just had opportunity and put in more work than the rest. 10,000 hours, actually.
So my friend said, “So, on a pro basketball team, they’ve all put in their 10,000 hours. Then…there is Michael Jordan. What made him so amazing?”
My friend and I have another friend. He’s a neuro-therapy expert down the mountain in Colorado Springs. Many of his clients are elite athletes at the Olympic Training Center…. who are paying big bucks for…the mental edge. Do the gold medalists have more skill, ability, and lucky genetic makeup? Or simply a better mental reality? More confidence and belief and ability to visualize winning?
Folks, there may not be a scientific study to prove it, but as we say in medicine, there is evidence-based proof…that it’s not all skill, ability, genes, and luck that make winners. It’s those who believe more…who believe they can do it. Or maybe even when they don’t fully believe…they just want it more.
There is an awful lot we believe we couldn’t really do, but if a gun were put to our heads or the head of a loved one, or a million dollars was offered…we’d probably rise to the task…belief or not.
One of my sons raced track last year for the first time and was lamenting before the race how he expected to do poorly. 100-yard dash. I coached him on how to do the race. He took off, found himself at the front, and won. Nearing the end, he looked back at the next guy and got this silly smile, like, “I can’t believe this, I’m going to win!” And after that he now thinks of himself as fast.
Back to us. What limiting labels have we been given, by others or ourselves, that we believe? What excuses have we made because of things that have happened to us? What agreements have we made with ourselves?
Limits that are self-imposed. The dunce wasn’t forced to be, act, and live as a dunce. He was told he was because of various reasons, and he agreed and embraced the label. There are plenty of other people told negative things about themselves who rebelled and achieved great things.
Folks, hardly any of you listening have never heard this kind of message and teaching. You have. You nod to it, but…have you taken it captive and set your face and will to it? To understand it and do something about it?
What do you desire for yourself and your life, and why do you believe you can’t do it? Is that belief factual, or something you’ve agreed to for various reasons, but it’s not an absolute truth like gravity?
Feel free to stop this recording now, and do this life-altering exercise.
Next, Zig tells the story of the dwarf who was told she couldn’t learn. Until…someone said she could. Then she did.
OK, this just angers me a bit. We, as humans…you AND me…are so gullible. When people we encounter, especially those we think know, tell us what we are, we believe them! Folks, I love my wife immensely. She is one of the most amazing humans on the planet, I really believe it. She infuriates me, and I’m tragically fallen for her. She is brilliant, literally a very high I.Q. She is…well, I could sing her praises. She knows me better than anyone. But here is the kicker. She has times of emotion and anger and she says things about me that aren’t…the kindest. Even in times of care and sanity she has said things about me that...I know in my heart, she is wrong about. She is not perfect and she is not God and she is not all-knowing. She is speaking from her pain and damaged perspective of her own life. As we all are.
So, even with this soul that I love and cherish and respect above nearly anyone else on the planet, I have to recognize…her imperfections. Her brokenness. And I have to walk in my own truth. And the same for her. I could tell you what I believe about her, and some of it would be true, some would not. I might have a viable reason to have a perspective on her and label her a certain way, but…that doesn’t make it true.
You and I don’t have the right to take what someone else says as gospel truth. That’s irresponsible.
And again, to what we say and think about ourselves…
As the quote…spoken by many different people it’s attributed to…says, “Don’t…don’t…please don’t believe everything you think.” And don’t automatically believe the things even those closest and most beloved to you…think. They may speak in love, but they are speaking as broken people.
People are only human. The best meteorologists in the world are only correct a percentage of the time. The best baseball batter in the world only hits a percentage of the time. The most brilliant and beloved person in your life will be right about you only a percentage of the time. And they will NEVER speak about you from a place of pure love and understanding and insight. It’s impossible.
Only you can know you best, and only you can choose what to believe about yourself and believe what you are capable of.
Zig’s next big statement is:
“If you can have hope, you can take action.”
So, conversely, we must surmise that without hope…you can’t take action.
Folks, that’s a big deal. Hope is not:
- Or even probable odds
It’s desire, expectation, ambition.
Zig’s story of the kid who went to church…
“You are a child of God. That’s quite an inheritance you’ve got there! Now, go and see that you live up to it!”
Wow. Let’s just stop for a second. Literally…a moment of silence. This isn’t entertainment, folks, this is your life. You. Me. Our lives.
That boy was given a charge and a blessing. And it wasn’t 30 years later that he became a governor -- it was that day.
Today, what charge and belief can you and I accept that will claim your inheritance and reality and achievement now…even if it takes a year or decade or more to actually come to fruition?
Talking with my partner about what we feel called to, at the end he asked the question…what have we accomplished? To which I replied…this was highly valuable. Because we are clarifying the end result, which will help shape every decision we make in the business, and even our lives, toward it.
We’ll end citing one of the last things Zig said in the message. He cited being 45, broke and in debt. And he said,
“Nothing happened until I really looked at who I was.”
And, I’d add…who I was choosing to be and allowing myself to be. Agreeing to be.
What do we believe about ourselves?