Zig Ziglar on What Life is Like at the Top



“People do not wander around and then find themselves at the top of Mount Everest.” — Zig Ziglar

A while back I heard Zig Ziglar describe what it’s like to be at the top.

I remember his powerful words and his signature Southern drawl, as Ziglar spoke his profound words of wisdom.

His words echoed in my mind.

Zig Ziglar had a way with words, and he painted a very vivid picture of what life can be like when you focus on success from the inside out.

Zig Ziglar’s Inspired Moment of Creative Genius

As the story behind his prose goes, Zig Ziglar was visiting his wife’s sister who had Multiple sclerosis (MS).  Ziglar likes to fix problems, but this was a problem that couldn’t be fixed, and he struggled with that.

On this particular visit, Ziglar was really feeling down and out.  Then, in a moment of inspiration, one that Ziglar described as one of his most creative moments, he wrote what it’s like to be at the top.

And, he wrote his words on the back of a motel bill, which was the only paper he had available at the time.

You are at the Top When …

Here is how Zig Ziglar described what it’s like at the top …

You are at the top when:

You clearly understand that failure is an event, not a person; that yesterday ended last night, and today is a brand-new day.

You have made friends with your past, are focused on the present and are optimistic about your future.

You know that success doesn’t make you, and failure doesn’t break you.

You are filled with faith, hope and love; and live without anger, greed, guilt, envy or thoughts of revenge.

You are mature enough to delay gratification and shift your focus from your rights to your responsibilities.

You know that failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong.

You are secure in who you are, so you are at peace with God and in fellowship with man.

You have made friends of your adversaries, and have gained the love and respect of those who know you best.

You understand that others can give you pleasure, but genuine happiness comes when you do things for others.

You are pleasant to the grouch, courteous to the rude and generous to the needy.

You love the unlovable, and give hope to the helpless, friendship to the friendless and encouragement to the discouraged.

You can look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion and up with gratitude.

You know that “he who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all.”

You recognize, confess, develop and use your God-given physical, mental and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind.

You stand in front of the Creator of the universe, and He says to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

How is that for waxing some prophetic prose?

The Bottom Helps You Appreciate the Top

By painting a picture of what life is like when you are at the top, Zig Ziglar also painted a picture of what life is like when you are at the bottom.

The top can seem so far away from the bottom.

But the whole point why Zig wrote this was to inspire you that top is worth the climb.

The most interesting thing to me here, is that it’s not a financial climb, or a career climb. Instead, Zig laid out a character climb.

And really, it’s just a way to be.

At any time, you can choose to be at the top.

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  1. Greetings and Thank You!

    “[G]enuine happiness comes when you do things for others….You recognize, confess, develop and use your God-given physical, mental and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind.” (Ziglar)

    J.D., Thank you for continuing to do good things for others.

    This post was especially helpful to me on this day. Being reminded of genuine happiness having its origin in the doing of good while living out a life given unto magnifying God’s glory is exactly what I needed.

    God bless and keep you and your family,


    • Hey Daniel — thank you!

      > doing of good, while living out a life
      Well put, and when we rise to the challenge and answer our calling, that’s how we make our soul sing.


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