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MPR’s Brigid Shea interviews Zig Ziglar, author and Christian motivational speaker, who discusses pop Christianity, combining positive thinking, success, and monetary rewards. Program includes excerpts of Ziglar speeches and interviews with members at his events.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

(00:00:00) No doubt, we've all heard the term eternal optimist. Well now there's such a thing as a professional Optimist the term describes people who are part of a growing phenomenon in America. That is the rising popularity of the power of positive thinking the philosophy of positive thinking includes a smattering of the golden rule the basic guidelines of self-help psychology and theories of personal growth and development a good deal of Common Sense and a strong dose of what some call Christian ethics the professional optimists positive thinkers. Include Norman Vincent Peale Earl Nightingale W Clement Stone Zig Ziglar. Yes that is his real name and other lesser knowns, they all promote the power of positive thinking which is aimed at improving people's self Concepts and as a result their lives and livelihoods and the philosophy seems to work at least for those promoting the philosophy. In fact, so successful is the business of helping others improve their lives, but Ziggler who gave a seminar in the area recently made over a million dollars last year. Through the sales of his tapes and books and speaking engagements and he expects to make more this year. You might say that Ziggler sells tickets to success. His basic premise is that success and happiness are available to everyone who has a solid foundation in the Bible and who believes they can (00:01:16) succeed. I believe this I believe that happiness is available because I believe happiness is an inside job. I believe that security is an inside job. I believe that if we have that basic something that I fervently believe that you're going to be getting from this course and from new book that you will have a great deal of additional happiness because one of the things I'm going to be talking about throughout is the fact that you can get everything in life that you want. If you will just help enough other people get what they want. I don't believe you can make somebody else happy and not have a great deal of it rub off on you. And yes, I'm going to I'm going to be talking a lot about security which is an inside job. You see security is not in the job security is in the individual. It's what you do with what you Got it's how you see what you've got is how you react to other people and other conditions that make it so important and make it available and I believe ladies and gentlemen that everything I've talked about health wealth and happiness the whole bit. I believe they are everyone available. Now, I've got to confess that I'm a I'm an optimist. I guarantee you've never listened anybody to more optimistic than I am. You know, what an optimist says. That's the fellow who when he wears his shoes out. He does figures he's back on his feet. Okay. I am optimistic right now. Let me see if I can explain why I'm optimistic. I read the last page of the Bible. That's one reason, you know, the Bible tells me very carefully very clearly that the Lord has forgiven me for everything. I've done in the past that brings me right up to date Jesus Christ said, I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly that takes care of the present John 3:16 Says. I'm going to be with him forever and the 23rd psalm says I'm going to live in his house now with the facilities our universe at his disposal I got an idea is going to be son. Place and I don't believe he wants me in a Chicken Shack between here and there just can't believe it. So with my past forgiven my president sugared my future irrevocably guaranteed tell me what in the world have I ever got to be negative about (00:03:14) that was an excerpt from one of Ziggler's tape packets a set of six ninety minute tapes entitled how to stay motivated their carbon copies of his day long speaking seminars. I spoke with both Ziggler and some of the 600 people who attended the $25 per person day-long seminar in Moorhead recently will hear from interviews with Ziggler and from portions of his tape seminar and also from the people who attended throughout this piece. I wanted you to comment on the general phenomenon of the Norman Vincent Peale, 's and the Dale Carnegie's and in general the the people who provide motivation and inspiration for others, why is my need for them today? Why is there a need for people like you (00:03:56) well Bridget, of course, all you gotta do is pick up the newspaper. Are any other bits of information and you see the prevailing attitude of negativism in our country? And it's just mandatory. I'm part of a program to programs as a matter of fact going around the country these Mammoth motivational rallies and we were appearing in all the major cities in America and we have anywhere from ten to as many as 17,000 people in attendance and the doctor pills and the Paul Harvey as you mentioned. There are featured on these programs and I'm privileged to be along with them and we're having a definite impact in the cities when you get 10,000 people together for the same reason and that is to explore the motivational aspects of how we can do more and be more and be better people and do more for our families and for our country. You can tell after we've been in a city of the atmosphere literally is a better healthier moral atmosphere. To be a part of (00:05:01) now is it just an observation on your part? You've wandered around the city afterward and see people smiling or how your how do you measure that (00:05:08) you would measure that by the tremendous number of letters which we get from people who write in and say for example in my briefcase right there. I have a letter from a man who said, you know, I went to the rally and about one of your books and now but two of my daughters one of whom is only 8 years old and the other one is 12 years old and they are buying these ideas and they're more courteous and they're more enthused. So here was a man one man went to it but he takes information home and his wife and daughters benefit from it. We get letters from presidents of companies who say, you know, we took the concept home. We bought the books and the tapes and we've started this in our company and the attitude is so much better. Well you yourself were here part of the day, you know where you had over 600 people together and if you had a chance to talk with Of them are if you were standing close as they were leaving so many of them said, you know, I really appreciated being here. I'm going to do this you certainly had an impact here. I'm going to follow through on what you're saying. A (00:06:12) lot of times you need this little this little push to get you going. And if you if you need this then this is the place to get if you haven't had it, then you should have it a lot of times the people do need this just a little push to make him go and then they can make it. Otherwise the rest of us sometimes can make it without it. It's most valuable about what he said today if you can pick out one or two things. self knowing yourself . You have to like yourself and have respect for yourself before you can ever expect anybody else to do it. Is it something that you knew before but had to be reminded of or it's something I've been teaching myself and my children for years. Then what's so special about say hearing him say it again today because he's just putting on what I've always thought. You need to feed your mind good things all the time and there's so much bad and there's so much bad reading and you see so much negativism and the positive attitude and the fact that you need to feed your mind. You feed your body daily, but you don't you don't even think about feeding the mind and you need to feed it good things all the time. That was really the main thing that that I got out of it today that I am going to change about my life because I need to you know, feed that mind daily so much of its wasted secret puts great emphasis on the need to be a good Christian. If one is to truly succeed one view of Christianity says there is value in sacrifice and I asked Ziggler where the notion of sacrifice and suffering fits into his (00:07:42) philosophy major. Let me tell you what the Bible says. Okay. Now the Bible is very clear on it and it says Christ is take up your cross and follow me. The Bible says that we are to thank God. For everything which happens, I believe that yes, there is suffering in life. But I believe that if we put our emphasis on emphasis on suffering we seem to be forgetting that Christ came and lived and died on the cross. He suffered for our sins. He carries the burden that does not necessarily mean we don't have some difficulties in life, but it does mean that we're supposed to look to him for the solution. I believe in the optimistic positive power joy, peace, love compassion of Jesus Christ. Yes. I know there's going to be some suffering but I know that by believing in him that's going to be dramatically reduced and I think if I go around as a crying Christian, I'm not going to have very many people who want to join me in Christianity. You can't let money become your God and yet I'm going to also at the same time say that the more of it you make I believe you're morally obligated to earn as much as you legitimately and honestly can because this is the way you can render a great deal more service to your fellow man. If you earn it under the right principles than it is a magnificent thing to have and I don't know what your experience has been but I've had it and I hadn't had it and it is better to have it so enough said about money. Just don't let it be your god get as much as you want, but don't ever let the money get, (00:09:25) you know, part of what you said today was. I remember this line. You said God wants us to be successful. Now the term successful of course is open to to definition right, but it seemed to me that you were equating success with with reaching ones goals, and I also sensed of becoming wealthy of attaining material success now, Is there that connection and and does that seem to you in any way again sort of In conflict with with your religious (00:10:02) basis Reggie and I wouldn't take nine dollars for you asking that question. I'm just delighted to begin with what I said was that God loves you and he wants you to make it now in my presentation today. I simply said that health wealth and happiness are available. Okay, I stress the fact that many of my Christian friends asked me the same question you did. How do you equate that with Christianity and I always laugh and say it's easy because I think God made the diamonds for his crowd not Satan's Bunch. If you'll read your Bible, you'll discover. The Jacob was a millionaire Moses was a millionaire that Solomon was the richest man who ever lived and he Mojo wouldn't have qualified for the food stamp program. Now what I also said was that if You tied together. You see our whole seminar was built around the idea that you can get everything in life you want if you'll just help enough other people get what they want. In other words. If you can solve a problem for someone then you're going to be rewarded as a result of solving that problem. So the more problems you solve the greater your Awards as I say to sales people if you sell a product which solves a problem then you can actually measure the number of people you helped by the rewards which you receive and I'm talking about financial rewards. (00:11:27) Now Ziggler also believes healthy relationships with others are a necessary part of having a good self-image and he includes what resembles a little marriage counseling in his (00:11:37) seminars. Now, you must surely know but I'm one of those old-fashioned guys who believe in God and family and country that those vows for better or worse are not just words their opportunities to stay and go together. Let's look This thing we call marriage and courtship and and let's look it at some of the ways that I think we can each improve our marital relationship. There's some there's some things that we can do fellas to begin with. I think go to kiss your wife. Goodbye every day, and I'm not talking about kiss her. Goodbye like a little sister or even your big sister. I think for your own good you ought to kiss her. Goodbye. Let me tell you why some West German insurance companies have just released a rather significant study. And they say that the man who kisses his wife. Goodbye every day has a life expectancy of that's five years longer. Not only that not only that fellas but he will earn 20 to 35% more money and he'll have 50% less time lost on the job. So to create a happy marriage kiss her. Goodbye. Let me give you the best advice. I can ever give you you you go back to courting her exactly like you did before you married her remember how it was, you know, you'd get so motivated and you and you know, you couldn't wait until 5:30 came boy you got off at then and then it won't be a few more minutes. I'll get dressed and I'll be out there and I'll see that sweet little thing. Oh, I'll be there you're on in five minutes late. You know what you're Get on telephone and say honey. I'm in five minutes late, but no worry. I'm going to be there. You know what you'd say girl, just so that's all right, sweetheart. I'll be ready to go when you come. And of course you were not you made the rest go away to respectable five minutes that you should make him wait and you know what happens when you come walking out you always have the best side of you know, I mean just the granted and then you know, you would have a have another problem and you know, you know what the problem would be your little girl. Yeah, it's perfectly healthy and she's been running up down those front steps for 19 years, but now all of a sudden you questioned her ability to negotiate those steps. And so you help the poor little thing up and down them then you get out to the car and that is a monstrous door and started no female girl could be expected open one of those big old things. So you open the door and helped to really get down to the restaurant and you know what the situation was there's this huge chair must have weighed 10 pounds and certainly no female girl could be expected to move a big old chair like that around so you held it and you assisted her you go to a social event and you know, you'd get there and some predatory male. Mike his approach and you would talk that little gal behind you and you would stick out your hand there and during the course of the evening, you know, the rest of the story people will think you were siamese twins and then one day you got married now, there's some specifics I believe also that we can do I think the husband needs to bring the wife the details of what's going on. I believe that the husband needs to write his wife little love letters every once in a while. I think you ought to call her every time he's got three minutes wherever she is not every time obviously but or once or twice a week and just say honey, I had them in it wanted to call you and let you know that I love you. I believe girls if you send your husband off to work every day with a cold lunch that you ought to put a warm note right in that Lutz to let I know that you will be glad when he gets home. I believe girls had when he does get home, but you ought to if you get home first, I don't believe you ought to be in the back of the house saying that you honey. I think you ought to be at the front door letting him know that you know, it's honey, and that you are delighted to see him (00:15:48) the general question. I want to get at is how your message of very traditional family types of living sits with feminist. So have you ever come up against a reaction from any, (00:16:03) you know, interestingly enough. I have never had one to come up and say I don't agree with what you're saying now, they might have felt that way but they never expressed it. I have a very fervent belief that what every woman wants who's married is that they want a man they can look up to But one who will not look down on them (00:16:25) see this message of avoiding negative stinkin Thinkin as he calls. It must have hit home because although he expressed his opinions for about eight hours few of the people. I spoke with after the seminar found fault with much of what he said as one woman put it you take the best of what he says and disregard what you don't believe a Ziggler would say in closing a conversation. See you at the top. This is Bridget Shay.


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