The Zig Effect

While preparing for a very special edition of “Born to Win” in Dayton, Ohio, I decided to write a tribute to the late Zig Ziglar.  It’s wrapped in a story about a recent adventure I had and ends with a video that David Wright and I made with Exit Row Productions.

The Magic Number is 140

It was a sunny Saturday morning when David and I made an impromptu visit to a book store clearance sale.  Table after table of leadership, personal development and business books were reduced to $2 or less.  It would be a gross understatement to say that I bought several.

While digging through the stacks, I found a book that reminded me of Zig Ziglar by way of a Tom Ziglar quip.  Tom said that Dad must have been a prophet.  Somehow he knew that Twitter was coming because most of his quotes are 140 characters or less.

“Twitter Power”  by Joel Comm

Quotable People

Another deposit to my shopping cart was a collection of quotations.  I expected it to become a valuable resource for my writing.  It was an unexpected reminder of the highly-tweetable Zig Ziglar.

“The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time (In Two Lines or Less.)”
by John M. Shanahan

Wasting no time, I flipped through the pages and enjoyed some powerful and tweetable quotes.  Almost every one was a brand new experience.  Here are two that I like:

“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.”
–Harold Wilson

“Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.
— Charles de Gaulle

I happened to notice that many of Shanahan’s selections were attributed to people known by just one name, such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Heraclitus, Homer, Euripides and Anonymous.  I wonder if dropping my last name will help me make it into his next collection.

"Because Your Potential Matters!"


It seems that my antenna is always up.  My mind is always seeking new gems of wisdom and inspiration, hoping to  connect with the thoughts floating around in my head.  As I unpacked the rest of my treasures, I made another Zig connection.

“Tuesdays With Morrie”  by Mitch Albom

“Tuesdays…” is the true story of a relationship between Morrie, a college professor who is dying from ALS, and the author who is a journalist and former student. Like Zig, Morrie was a charismatic personality who had a special way with words.  Although Morrie’s emotions and thoughts were complex, he had a way of making them real and accessible to Mr. Albom and others who were on the other side of his disease and dying experience.  Morrie often expressed his insight in short sentences called aphorisms.  Consider the following example from the perspective of a man who knows he is dying.

“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.”

Reading this book a year ago was an experience I’ll never forget.  Seeing it again on Saturday reminded me that stories like Morrie’s take us beyond words and are strangely uplifting, rich with inspiring lessons about life.  Saturday was also a day when I was reminded that the best things in life are meant to be experienced, not explained.  Could these perspectives be the influence Zig has had on my attitudes and beliefs?  I think so.  Let’s just say that they are part of “The Zig Effect!”

To experience “The Zig Effect”,
click here and enjoy a tribute to Zig, using Zig’s own words.

Home Runs, Strike-outs and the Alphabet

The alphabet, that wonderful invention that makes possible the books and blogs we read, begins with just one letter.  Likewise, every song begins with that first sound.  Is this a coincidence?

“Why is the alphabet in that order.  Is it because of that song?”

— Steven Wright

In baseball, every strike-out begins with “Strike One!”  Every Grand Slam home run begins with someone getting on base.  Every perfect game begins with someone making an out.  Have we discovered a pattern?

Let’s consider a few more thoughts about small preceding big such as, “Every ending has a beginning and that beginning is something small.”  Sure, occasionally some big thing intervenes in life to stimulate amazing outcomes.  But, without the countless little things that came before and those that followed, that one big thing is impotent and meaningless.

Here’s another. “Everything that matters began with something and that first something began with a decision that led to an action.” Big or small, our lives are driven by decisions.  Then there’s this one.  “Everything big or small matters because it is both the next step in the chain and the first step in a new one.”  Putting these two together leads to this interesting thought.  “Small decisions are the big connections in the chain of life.”  I suspect the truth is that if we could see our lives with perfect vision, memories and understanding we would realize that our greatest achievements were the result of a miles-long chain of seemingly insignificant decisions and actions.

Investing in yourself and others is one of those little things
that’s really not so little.

Go to:
and grab onto such an opportunity that’s waiting for YOU!

Why is it that human beings overlook or ignore the significance of the small, placing their hope on the promise of something big wrapped in a pretty bow?  Here’s the million dollar question.  “What small things are you neglecting that are keeping you from something you really want and need?”  Could it be apologizing to someone you hurt?  Maybe it’s that book you’ve been putting off or procrastination about cleaning your desk.  Then again, maybe it’s something truly big like making room in your life for God.  Take hold of enough of the right things, big or small, and you’ll find yourself beyond success at the very edge of significance!

Book Update

Finally, the book you’ve all been waiting for is almost finished.  Okay, maybe YOU haven’t been waiting, but Mom and a few others have.  Either way, with two other writing projects out of the way, I thought it was about time to finish mine.  The book, originally entitled “The ABC’s of Professionalism” has a new name:

Professionalism from A to Z

26 Qualities of a Career-Minded Person

It will be available in August from Greyden Press and other outlets (to be announced.)  More details and a sneak preview will be here in June.  Thanks for your interest, patience and support.

— Clancy