Zig Ziglar has proven to be an incredible role model for many people throughout his life. So much so that people will often approach him, full of inspiration, and declare that they want to be the next Zig Ziglar. “So often, in fact, that long ago Zig developed a standard response. When someone tells him, ’I’m going to be the next Zig Ziglar,’ he smiles and replies, ’Yes, and you’ll be a lousy one, too.’” Ouch.
In his book Successful Persuasion Through Public Speaking: A Conversation with Zig Ziglar, John P. Hayes explains the rationale behind this sharp response when he says, “Zig appreciates the compliment that such a statement carries, but it’s more important to him to teach would-be speakers the realities of life.” In reality, you cannot be somebody else. In reality, you cannot even be like someone else. In reality, you need to be the best you that you can be… because you can never be the same person as somebody else.
Ziglar wants people he inspires to know, “If you cannot make it being yourself, you cannot make it as a phony. You just cannot be somebody else.” He is right. You have to be you before you can even think about attaining success; otherwise, you’ll never reach success because you will always be living your life trying to be somebody that it is impossible you become. You cannot be somebody other than yourself.
You’ve got to be before you can do and do before you can have.
“You’ve got to be before you can do and do before you can have.” Ziglar famously uses this line as another personal credo in his life in order to remind people of the importance of living their own life. In attaining success, people must truly dedicate themselves to becoming the best version of themselves possible. They need to understand their own reason for acting the way they do, their own foundations in life. People need to understand what drives them, what motivates them, what pushes them and what leads them towards the goals they set.
The difference between achievement and failure is the people who keep going when the road to attaining success gets rough. People who know their own identity are the most effective at attaining success because they understand the reasons for doing what they do.
When the road gets rough and goals seem far off, people who are trying to be somebody else are more likely to give up. They aren’t seeking their own truth or their own goals, so they can provide a surplus of reasons as to why they can and will switch tracks in life and do something else. They can provide a reason for giving up. People who are being themselves and seeking a goal because of their own personal reasoning are more likely to stick it out and grow from difficulties rather than turn over a new leaf and start over somewhere else without ever overcoming the challenges they face. It is these challenging moments that grow individuals as people, and so, therefore, before attaining success you must truly “be before you can do and do before you can have.”