With Gratitude to My "Big Brother" Zig Ziglar by Floyd Wickman
First, let me say thank you to all of you who have so kindly reached out to me after the passing of my good friend and mentor Zig Ziglar. I've gotten dozens of calls and hundreds of messages and I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me. What strikes me most is how many times in these heartfelt condolences people have told me that because of my passing on what Zig has taught me - they have learned more, done more, had better lives. I'll be that messenger anytime. Zig's messages - his vision - and his example are truly inspired and I am forever grateful to have had the ability to know him, love him and share his words with so many.
I am also so blessed and so amazingly glad that I had an opportunity to see Zig just ten days ago when I visited with him in his nursing home. And while we weren't able to have a two-way conversation - I was able to say just about everything that I wanted to say and would like to believe that he heard at least part of it all and understood. Most importantly - what will forever be in my mind was the look on his face as I was walking away. I was way down the hall when I turned and looked back and Zig had a little smile on his face as if he knew who I was, what he's meant to me and that we'll see each other again.
If I had to count the lessons that Zig has taught me, the direction he's given and the advice he's bestowed in the last 37 years - the numbers would be astounding. If I had to choose a few favorites though they'd be...
1. You can never be a 'has been' when the best is yet to come.
2. Don't worry -- that's God's job.
3. (And this is a big one...) Encouragement is the fuel that drives HOPE.
Many, many times over the years when he was giving me advice or direction he'd start with, "Floyd, what I would encourage you to do is..." It took me a long time to realize how very powerful that word was. The first time I met him and I showed him my 5-year goal he said, "I see no reason why you couldn't accomplish that goal and I ENCOURAGE you to work towards it." Then he said, "You're a winner Floyd, keep it up!" I wish I could share with you how much those words have impacted my life.
Zig gave me permission to call him my 'Big Brother,' which I never had. He also authorized me to write my book Lessons From My Big Brother Zig. I think when I do - the greatest tribute that I can do for this extraordinary man is to ENCOURAGE all of you to learn as many of Zig Ziglar's lessons as you possibly can. I assure you, if you do - you'll live the life you've always dreamed of.
Here's to you Big Brother - until I see you again!