Note from Mark Timm, CEO Ziglar Family: Monday, November 6th, would’ve been Mr. Zig Ziglar’s 91st birthday. Although he’s been in his Heavenly home for nearly 5 years, his influence continues to grow. It is conservatively estimated that he inspired greatness in over a quarter of a BILLION people in his lifetime, and we know that number is rising daily as the next generation comes to know his wisdom through his books and recordings, and especially through the good work of his children as they carry on his legacy.
Mr. Ziglar put faith and family first, always, and so his influence on his own children was immeasurable. In this post, Cindy Ziglar Oates, Julie Ziglar Norman, and Tom Ziglar share some special memories of their dad. You’ll find wisdom to apply to your own family life, too!
I think of two things when I think of Dad, and the two words are influence and example. The way Dad lived that out is by understanding that you've really got to be an example first before you can have influence. Example means you're doing it, and influence means you're hoping that others will do it.
In our family of course, one example was that we went to church. I have so many memories from church. One of the things that I really remember is that Mom and Dad always sat down at the front, like in the second row, right in the action.
I was always wondering, "Why does Dad do that?" But I grew to understand that he wanted two things:
First, he wanted to hear the message clearly and to maintain his attention. And second, in our church at the end we always had an invitation, and many times young children would come down — eight, nine, ten years old. And I can remember looking over as these young children would come down, and I would just see tears from Dad's eyes as he was just so grateful and so joyful that these children had come down to be a part of the church and a part of the faith in many cases.
And so by that example and that influence, now whenever I go to church it's like I've always got my eye out for the kids. Because that really is what it's about. In family life and around faith, we should be asking, “How do we set the example? And how do we have influence that carries on, a legacy that goes through generations?”
Cindy Ziglar Oates:
I think one of the biggest influences that Dad had on me was when he would do his morning quiet time. First thing in the morning, he was always in his Bible studying.
When we used to go to our lake house in Holly Lake, Dad would always be the first one up, and I was always the second one up. I would come down the stairs and see him doing his quiet time, so I started doing quiet time with Daddy, and it was just so special.
So the influence he had on me was that to this day I still do my quiet time in the morning, and if I can't, or I don't get around to it, my day's just not the same. It's hard to explain, but I think that influence on me has really changed my whole life for the better obviously, but I'm so grateful that he set that example.
Julie Ziglar Norman:
I want to share what my father said when he got the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, because this is a perfect example of how he'd lived his faith. When the doctor said, "Mr. Ziglar, I'm so sorry to tell you that you have Alzheimer's," my dad just kind of shook his head and he went, "Mm, mm, mm." — like he always does.
Then he spread his arms wide and he said, "You know, it's kind of sad to think about all of this coming to pass." He was talking about the effect it would have on his speaking career and what he had done for so many years.
"But when I really think about it," he said, "I can't help but get excited, because, did you know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ went ahead of me to prepare a place that's so grand I can't even imagine it?"
My father's positive attitude towards what is the next most wonderful thing is related to the fact that he always knew where he was going to end up. Daddy always said, "It doesn't matter where you start. All that matters is where you end up."
Daddy always had a bonus session, whenever he did a seminar, and he would invite people, saying, "Do you want all of the information about how to be really successful in life? Or is this enough? If you want all of it, I'm going to have a room over here that I'd like to invite you to, so you can hear the rest of the story."
And when they would come in, he would share with them his personal testimony of how he came to know the Lord, telling them the difference it made in his marriage, with his family, and with his career. Family is where it begins. That's where you have the influence to help bring your family to knowing the Lord and Savior. Spiritual life is the most important thing. Daddy always put God first.
So I would challenge you, be the example that your family needs to see. Share the grace, the love, and the kindness that my father did. Your family will adore you like all of us adored my father.
A final thought from Tom:
We share these things with you because nothing is more important than your faith and your family. And if you set the right example, if you do the right things and you demonstrate your faith kind of the way Zig Ziglar, my father did, then that will have an influence on your family that will ripple through eternity.
NOTE: In honor of Mr. Ziglar’s birthday on Monday, November 6th ONLY, every item in the Ziglar Store is on sale at a 50% discount. Nothing is excluded — every item, no matter the price point, is 50% off! Enjoy this special “birthday gift” by clicking here to visit the online store!