Show #408: Your responsibility to be the hero

Show #408: Your responsibility to be the hero

Zig says to share your goals for accountability and encouragement, but to be discerning who you share them with. The root of goals…commitment. Why? It helps you overcome the obstacles that WILL come. You’ve got to be hard on yourself, and be the hero. These are just some of the topics we cover in this show. Thanks to HumanScale, Blue Apron and Earth Class Mail for their support of the show.

Hi, this is Kevin, and today we have episode 408 of Ziglar’s True Performance Show. Zig Ziglar speaks to us today, and we’re getting deeper into his goals methodology from Ziglar’s premier series, “Strategies for Success: Blueprint for Achievement.” This is part two on goals, continuing from show 406.

Hey, if you want to clarify, pursue, and work out your goals with others doing the same thing, kindred spirits, then check out You can join Tom Ziglar in live classes and a community of other goal setters and achievers.

OK, here is over 11 minutes of Zig onstage, then…we’ll break it down into actionable digestion.

Zig talks about sharing your goals with others. That can be a dicey proposition, so let’s debate it.

So…sharing your goals with others.

This is profound for two reasons:

  • Encouragement
  • Accountability

He says you share your give-up goals with everyone.
But you share your go-up goals with a select few.

With any goal, it’s still wise to be discerning who…you share with. But notice, regardless of the goal, Zig makes the assumption you will…share them.

Many people keep goals to themselves for two reasons:

  • They are embarrassed, which means you keep the goal small and don’t stand very strongly on it.
  • When you keep it to yourself, it’s so, so much easier to quit.

But yes…be discerning.

Often others, even and sometimes especially those closest to you, will feel threatened. Why? Because if you get up off the coach and go for a run, it highlights the reality that they can, and if they don’t want to do the work, they now may feel shame for their own lack. Share your goals with those who can handle it.

For those who are healthy enough, you will inspire and lift them.

For all, though, when you do achieve something of value, you have now shown it’s possible and helped give everyone permission to do it!

It’s the kid from a poor family who is the first to go to college, where you see the other kids and future generations go. Did they get smarter or richer? No. Their paradigm just changed because they saw it could be done.

One of the great, all-time stories that showcases this is Roger Bannister, who ran a four-minute mile after experts said for years that it was impossible. Within a year after he did it, so did 24 others. Now…it’s the standard of elite runners.

So add that into the mix for your motivation. Do you need to go after something to inspire those around you…and do you need to see it through and achieve it to take your family’s legacy up a notch?

Zig talks through the power of listing goals, but then hits on the main power…making a commitment. Don’t you love the story or movie where the character rises up from hardship and despair and weakness, maybe is even a slacker…and they find inspiration -- or just dire necessity -- that makes them pony up and fully commit to an endeavor! Oh, man, it makes our cells vibrate, as my wife would say.

What about us? When did we last have a lofty new desire, and not just dip our toe in, keep it to ourselves, or maybe fondly contemplate it, but absolutely commit to it? Make a hardline decision?

We do these when we have to. When a relationship gets critical and may end, we make changes or commit to counseling or stop or start certain things.

When we get laid off and have to find a new job, we do what needs to be done.

When we move and have to sell a house, drive cross-country, buy a house -- we do all that it entails…by change and effort.

We are capable, we’re just normally…reactive. Nothing is as motivating as pain and fear.

Desire, especially when things are ok, is much harder to make big commitments for.

But when we ARE proactive, we can make much greater decisions than when we are reactive.

Zig says the opposite of a committed life is a tentative life. That just…sounds bad. “Here lies Kevin Miller. He led a tentative life.”

Tentative - not certain or fixed; done without confidence; hesitant

The word “fixed” got me, because this is Zig’s point of goals. Without goals, we aren’t fixed.

Zig continues on about commitment and the primary power it gives us.

So, Zig says when you are committed and you hit an obstacle, not if…but when…if you are committed your thought is, “How can I solve the problem?”

Again, we’re a story, tv, movie-run culture. It seems like every epic movie is made up of a quest. A huge obstacle is encountered and one or more of the group says, “Oh, my gosh, we’re done for! We should have never tried. We’ll have to turn back now.” In the Bible it’s the Israelites hitting the Red Sea and lamenting they never should have left Egypt. But in the story, the hero finds a way. Even if they are struggling with their actual faith, their commitment is much greater than the obstacle, and they beat the odds to overcome and persevere…and we love them for it.

Folks, in our lives…we are the heroes. If there is to be a hero, it’s got to be us. The world needs us to be a hero. Your friends and family need you to be a hero. God needs heroes to step up and say, “Yes, I’m willing.”

On the topic of God again, have you noticed that most biblical stories exist of God giving a vision or task or calling to someone, they go after it, and God allows some insurmountable obstacle to arise? Does that seem illogical to you, like it does to me?

If I was Moses and I hit the Red Sea with thousands of people in tow, my first reaction would have been…” Holy moly, I made a bad decision. This must not have been what God meant.” And I would retreat or try to solve it in my own strength. That’s fairly human.

But as a friend once stated to me -- and I’ve held onto it ever since, “Would God ever call you to something that didn’t require His participation?” Hmmm…that stopped me in my tracks. Are the obstacles allowed to ensure I’m seeking help?

To that degree, aside from faith, we, as humans, seem to have been made for community and relationship. Yet, as we isolate more and more in our private lives, we are going about everything pretty much solo. Obstacles should cause us to reach out for help and quit being an island unto ourselves. That’s a truth I know intellectually, but really struggle to live out naturally.

What gets me just as much in this scenario is as a parent…I’m teaching my kids to be heroes, how to commit, or…to be tentative. My greatest influence to them is my example, how I live my life before them. Do I show them a Dad that is strong and stalwart and devout and heroic and going for it, or a Dad who is safe, secure, and tentative? Do they want to be inspired, or have the latest version of Xbox? Though regardless of what they may think they want…what is best for them? They are not mature enough to decide everything that is best for their lives; that’s why God gave them us -- their parents!

Aren’t you glad Zig was committed and heroic? Folks, I get to be close friends with Tom Ziglar. There are stories of Zig’s exploits and decisions that would make you squirm. All good intent and good heart, but business decisions with millions on the line that brought all he’d built to a perilous place. He swung for the fence, and it’s why he’s here with us today…his devotion to his calling, his legacy, inspiring an entire world. It’s part of what kept me from my own personal ruin and mediocrity. And does still today.

Next, Zig said something that troubled me at face value. If it weren’t for the fact of knowing Zig and his legacy and character…it would really trouble me. But for a good many of you, this will be relevant.

He said the harder you are on yourself, the easier everything else will be.

Folks, there are two sides of that coin. Zig is speaking to a good many people who aspire to very little. They don’t expect much from themselves. They don’t push themselves much. They are playing small. They have a poor self-image. They lack discipline and strength. And he’s calling them to rise up and be the incredible creatures they were meant to be, living out the gifts they were meant to live out. That is valiant and inspiring!

But on the other side, there are many -- and you’ll know who you are -- who are way TOO hard on themselves. Merciless, actually. They are never good enough. They live in shame often. Not only do they never live up to enough, nobody else does. This is not what Zig is talking about. And, folks, this is my personal struggle.

But it’s so much of what made Zig so amazing and such a standout anomaly. He was strong and committed and heroic. But, as Tom Ziglar shared with me around a bonfire at my home with my family sitting around, the thing that stood out about Zig was…at the age of 45, he gave himself to faith in Jesus Christ and became a broken man.

For the many thousands of listeners who do not express a faith in Christ, being broken is not exclusive to following Christ. It’s about humility and acknowledging your humanity and innate frailty and equality with others, not superiority. But being broken and humble is not being small and weak. It’s grace and strength!

Zig had high expectations for himself, yet had immense grace for himself. So, on the same hand, he’s calling you to more but also expecting you to give yourself grace.

He cites the power of stating, “Here’s what I am going to do” over and over until you finally state, “Now I’m doing it.”

Once it becomes a decision, your mind develops a plan of action. “No responsible person makes a commitment until they develop a plan of action.”

Which is a “Ready, aim, fire!” approach. That is best, overall. But I know there are times where he, and we, get inspired…make a decision and commit. Then…figure out the plan before we take action. If that’s you, I guarantee Zig would approve. "Leap, and the net will appear." John Burroughs

But, what’s of utmost importance is the three ingredients, if not the order:

  • Here’s what I’m going to do! – Inspiration and decision
  • I’m going to do it. – Commitment
  • How am I going to do it? – The plan of action

You’ve gotta have all three.

Thanks for joining me as we strive to further inspire…our true performance. Have an awesome day!