See You at the Top
Why you should read this book
If you feel like you’re at the bottom now, Zig Ziglar says that you only need six steps to be on the top. They are self-image, relationship, goals, attitude, work, and desire. Take these steps and the door of opportunities, happiness, riches, and good health will open for you. No matter who you are or where you came from, you have what it takes. If you want to upgrade and step up your life, this is the book for you.
Who should read this
Regular employees; Parents, teachers, managers, athletes; Anyone who wants to give more and achieve more
About the author
Zig Ziglar is a motivational speaker, author, and salesman. He has written over 30 books. He worked as a motivational speaker for decades. Zig Ziglar is an expert salesman. He gave many lectures and seminars for salespeople all over America.
See You at the Top
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Where are you in your life right now? Do you think you have reached the top of your abilities? Do you think you are the best that you can be? Maybe you feel like you’re not getting the most out of life. This book is perfect for you. Sometimes we see people we know and we say to ourselves, “If I can just be like that…If I could just have that, I will be successful.”This is a negative ways of thinking. Right now, you have everything that you need to be successful. You have your self and you have what it takes to be on the top. There’s a popular story of a dying old man. As he lies weakly on his death bed, he finds out that his house is built on a gold mine. All his life, the old man had been living in that house not knowing about the riches that were underneath. Riches that he owned.
Don’t be like the old man. The goal of this book is to help you tap into your potential. It’s to help you take action. It’s to help you maximize your abilities so that you and the people around you can live a better life. Imagine that you’re at the bottom of a staircase. You want to reach the top. There at the top is the door to tomorrow. It leads to happiness, wealth, peace, security, good health, and plenty of opportunities. Of course, you want to get there. However, the elevator is out of order. There is no quick way to reach the top. Instead, you must take all the steps. You will learn them one by one.
The first step is self-image. The second step is relationships with others. The third step is goals. The fourth step is attitude. The fifth step is work. And finally, the sixth step is desire. It’s time to take your first step. Your journey to reach the top starts now.
Garbage Dump Thinking
There is a gold mine within you. There is a kind, smart, talented, and successful person hiding. Maybe, the reason why you’re not at the top is because of garbage dump thinking. There is a saying that goes, “You are where you are because that’s exactly where you want to be.” Maybe you are broke. Maybe you are at a point where you are settling for less. Maybe you are not getting along well with your family or your colleagues. But is that really where you want to be? Is that really what you want in life? One way or another, you may be influenced by garbage dump thinking. Ever since you’re a child, people are giving you negative ideas about yourself and your life.
They are telling you “that’s all you can do” or “that’s all you can be.” But that is not true. Stop taking the garbage that other people throw at you. Whatever your background is, the only thing that matters is what you do and where you are headed. You cannot blame your parents, your relatives, your boss, or your community for what is happening to you. There was once a big garbage dump in a busy city. For 100 years, people dumped all their garbage there. Year after year, massive amounts of garbage were accumulated in it. One day, some progressive citizens saw something different in the garbage dump. Something changed in the way they see it. The citizens had a new perspective of the lot.
They started seeing it as a space for a grand shopping center. And that’s what they built. The people stopped dumping their garbage and they started filling it with good soil until there was a solid foundation over all that garbage. In a few years, that garbage dump became the most magnificent shopping center they’d seen. It was big, bright, and filled with beautiful products. The place most hated in the city became the most loved. All the people did was get rid of their old thinking. Right at this moment, all that garbage you carry is already part of your past. None of it matters. You can take this day as the first day of the rest of your life.
The Black Balloon
You have what it takes. You are cut out for this. Your success and your dream life start with you. Do not doubt yourself or make any more excuses. Do not wait for the big break to happen to you. The life that you’ve always wanted will be yours if you just believe in what you can do. There was once a man who sold balloons in New York City. When no one bought any, he released one balloon to attract customers. True enough, people came to him when they saw a balloon floating in the air. The man chose a different color every time. Sometimes it was white, sometimes it was red, or sometimes it was yellow. Suddenly, one little negro boy approached the salesman. The boy tugged at his sleeves and asked “Mister if you released a black balloon, would it go up?”
The man looked at the little boy with sincerity and understanding. He replied, “Son, it’s what’s inside those balloons that make them go up.”No matter who you are and where you are in life right now, you should know this. It’s what’s inside you that will make you go up.
The First Step: Self-Image
The journey to the top begins with yourself. It’s cliché but it’s true. If you do not believe in yourself, then how can you expect others to believe in you? The first step is to get rid of your negative self-image and build your positive self-image. You must see yourself in a different light. Imagine that one of your friends calls you one morning. He or she tells you, “Friend, don’t be disturbed, I don’t want to borrow any money and I have no favor to ask. I just called to tell you that you’re one of the most amazing people I know.”
“You are doing great things for your career and the people around you. I like being friends with you because I feel inspired and motivated to do better whenever I’m with you. Friend, you encourage me to be my best self. That’s all. I hope we can see each other again soon.”After hearing those words, you will surely feel better. You will see those positive things that your friend saw in you. Suddenly, your confidence will go up. You realize that you really can do amazing things. Once your image improves, your performance will improve as well. Now, there may be times when you feel unmotivated. There may be times when you think that this is all you can achieve. That this is all you can be. Each time you do, you are stealing from yourself.
There was once a talented painter named Emmanuel Ninger. He was very popular in the 1880s. Not for his portraits, but for his perfectly hand-painted fake dollar bills. One day, Emmanuel was buying turnips in the local grocery. He handed the cashier a 20-dollar bill. The cashier noticed that her fingers became wet with ink when she touched the money. She hesitated. But she let it pass. Emmanuel was a distinguished artist. Surely, he was not a fraud. The cashier accepted the money and gave Emmanuel his change. Later that day, the cashier had second thoughts. During that time, 20 dollars was huge money. She called the police. One police officer was convinced that it was a genuine bill. But the other one was puzzled about the ink that came out of it. They took a search warrant and went to Emmanuel’s home.
The police were surprised by what they saw. They found Emmanuel’s workspace in the attic where he hand-painted and reproduced these fake 20-dollar bills. They even saw one dollar bill left hanging to dry. Emmanuel was an expert artist. He was so good that he could replicate a 20-dollar bill with his masterful brush strokes. On that day, Emmanuel was arrested. The controversy caused his artwork to be sold for $5,000 to $16,000 each. If Emmanuel had put all that time and effort into painting more portraits, he would have made lots and lots of money. He would have been even more successful. But Emmanuel chose to use his extraordinary talent for something else. Maybe there are times when you feel unproductive. There are times when you let yourself be mediocre.
There are times when you let your bad habits and negative thoughts win you over. You know what they are and you have the choice to change them. You have the choice to be a thief or to become a genius. Only you can lift yourself. When you see yourself as this amazing person who can do amazing things, then you will perform well. Not only will your life improve but also the lives of the people you value the most.
The Second Step: Your Relationship with Others
As soon as you take a positive self-image, your confidence improves and you perform better. The same is true with the way you see other people. If you try to see the good things in a person, you will treat him or her better. And because of that, they will be good towards you and they will improve. Whether it’s your child, your neighbor, or your colleague, you will enjoy a better relationship with them if you change your perspective. Even if you don’t get along well with the person, do your best to see their positive side. You will see that slowly the situation gets better.
Once a businessman was rushing toward the subway. He dropped a dollar into a cup of an old man selling pencils. When he entered the train, the businessman had second thoughts and went back to the sidewalk. He looked for the old man and took several pencils from him. The businessman apologized. He explained that because of his haste, he forgot to pick up the pencils he had bought. He hoped that the old man wasn’t upset. “After all, you are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” The businessman said. A few months later, the businessman went to a social gathering. A neat and smart-looking salesman approached him and said “You probably don’t remember me and I don’t know your name. But I will never forget you.
You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a beggar selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a businessman.”That single encounter changed the old man’s life. Like a businessman, you can also touch other people’s lives most simply. You might know a child, a neighbor, or a colleague who is having a hard time. Or you might have one person whom you don’t get along with. Try your best to see the good in them. Maybe they only need to be cared for, to feel that they belong, or to feel that they are valued. Help them see that they are good, that they deserve to be treated better. Because of simple acts, you will see small improvements in the person.
“The way you see them is the way you treat them and the way you treat them is the way they often become.” What kind of children do you have? What kind of colleagues do you have? If you’re a teacher, what kind of students do you have? It will make a lot of difference if you just change your perspective.
The Third Step: Goals
At this point, you have a good self-image, and you enjoy a good relationship with others. You work hard and keep yourself busy. But what for? What is it that you like to achieve? Goals are very important. Without them, you will be lost. You will be working without direction. There was once a biologist who made an experiment with “processionary” caterpillars. These caterpillars were blind. They followed the one that is in front of them. The biologist arranged them on the rim of a flower pot, one caterpillar after another. They formed in a way that the first caterpillar touched the last one. Inside the flower pot, the biologist planted pine needles. That was the favorite food of processionary caterpillars. But round and round, these creatures go on the rim of the flower pot. Not one of them touched the pine needles.
Minutes, hours, days, and nights go by. The caterpillars kept on making their circles. After seven days and seven nights, the caterpillars dropped dead. They died of hunger and exhaustion. They did not know about the pine needles standing nearby. You may be like the caterpillars sometimes. You’re always busy and you follow the activities of people around you. Maybe you have no reason for doing what you do aside from the fact that everyone else does it. This is the wrong way of thinking. This will certainly not lead you to the top. J.C. Penny once said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk.” Whoever you are and whatever you do, you must have goals.
If you don’t have a goal, you’re like a football player wandering around the field. But if you have a goal, all your actions are directed to it. Everything that you do is full of purpose and meaning. Goals require you to make the most out of every minute. It unleashes your willpower. Famous athletes gained their reputation because they always have a goal. More importantly, they challenge themselves to do better every time. Roger Bannister is a professional runner. One day, he set this goal for himself. “I’m going to run one mile in four minutes.” His coach told him that his best record was 4 minutes and six seconds. “I’ve figured it out scientifically and I doubt if that record will ever be broken.” The coach said.
“You run a four-minute mile? Why your heart will come right out of your body? You can’t do it.” The doctor said. Everybody thinks that the 4-minute mile was just beyond human capacity. But Roger was never discouraged. He put his mind to the goal and he did it. Roger was the first runner who did the 4-minute mile.
The Fourth Step: Attitude
Good income, fulfilling career, a loving family, good health, happiness, and the respect of other people. All of these can be yours if you have the right attitude. In any situation, you have the choice to react positively or negatively. It’s your choice to do excellence or mediocrity. It’s your choice to be an optimist or a pessimist.“Attitude is the little thing that makes the big difference.” It’s like the second difference between the race winner and the first runner-up. It’s like the 5-minute delay on a wall clock. Attitude is the difference between winners and losers.
A mediocre student may only aim for good grades but the excellent student aims for knowledge. A mediocre salesman may only aim for the quota but the excellent salesman aims for better service. Once there was a group of men working on the railroad on a very hot day. A train slowly passed by. The men couldn’t help but notice the last car was customized and air-conditioned. When the last car was in front of them, the window opened. “Dave, is that you?” the passenger said. The friendly man was referring to the leader of the crew, Dave Anderson.“Sure is, Jim. It’s really good to see you.” Dave replied. The two friends exchanged pleasantries with each other. Jim invited Dave to visit his home.
Jim Murphy was the president of the railroad company. The crew was surprised that David knew him personally. When Jim’s train left, Dave explained why he was good friends with the big boss.20 years ago, Dave and Jim used to be part of the same crew. They worked on the railroads together. They built their friendship under the hot sun. But then, Dave worked for the $1.75 per hour while Jim worked for the improvement of the railroad. One of them got to lead a crew while the other got to lead the whole company. Dave settled for mediocrity while Jim strived for excellence. The man with the right attitude reaped the rewards. The pessimist always says “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The optimist always says, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
The pessimist makes excuses while the optimist makes solutions. For the pessimist, the glass is half-empty because he takes water out of it. For the optimist, the glass is half-full because he puts water into it.“In life, the difference between success and failure is often only an inch or two.” Once, two realty agents attended a party. General Motors was on strike at the time. It made a huge impact on the economy. For the pessimist man, it was the worst time to sell. People can’t buy food, shoes or clothes. They were not interested in buying a house. “I haven’t sold a house for so long. I’m afraid that I might go bankrupt.” The pessimist kept rambling on about his negative ideas.
Then a newcomer arrived to lighten up the mood. The woman was also a realtor, but she was very optimistic about what happened. She said that many buyers contact her because the price of properties was cheap. The strike at General Motors was causing the prices to drop. The woman kept on helping her buyers find their dream house. “If this strike goes for six more weeks, that’s all I would need – just six more weeks and I could save enough money.” The optimist woman said. They have the same situation but the woman faces it with a smile on her face. Because of her positivity, good opportunities open for her and so the optimist woman succeeds.
The Fifth Step: Work
One employee was asked, “How long have you been working for this company?” The young man answered, “Ever since they threatened to fire me.” Meanwhile, one employer was asked, “How many people are working for you? The boss answers “About half of them.”It’s funny how people want to quit even if they had just started the job. Many people hate Mondays. Many people are not motivated to go to work. But this frame of mind will not get you to the top. Love your work. Give it your extra effort, extra enthusiasm, and extra loyalty. You may think that you are underpaid or that you have a terrible boss. But do the hustle anyway. You may not be rewarded in your current job but plenty of other good things will come your way.
Once there was an errand boy named Charles. He never walked while doing errands for his boss. He ran all the time. That is how eager he was to get a raise. Charles was sure to get it. If his current employer would not give it to him, many other employers would be willing to. That was because they saw this hard-working young man always running around the streets. Who wouldn’t want an employee like Charles? Arrive on time and face your work with enthusiasm. Do what is expected of you. Do more than what is expected of you. How can you be paid more if you are not doing more? Your boss will probably tell you, “I will give you the raise you seek. It is to become effective when you become effective.”The most successful people do not treat their work as work. They even enjoy it. They are very much involved with what they do, and they are proud of the progress they were making.
John Nevin worked as a salesman of encyclopedias. He dedicated himself to his job. He loved his work, he loved his family, and he loved his job. The right perspective led him to success. John was lucky to have his job but he made it so that the job was lucky to have him. He used to be a part-time salesman until eventually, he became a managing director. Do you think John would have reached this far if he were unmotivated? The secretary cannot say to the boss, “Give me a raise and I’ll improve my work.” The salesman cannot say, “Make me a sales manager and I’ll show you what I can do.” Rewards do not come first. That’s just the way life works. Exert extra effort in your job and you will get extra in return.
The Sixth Step: Desire
You started your journey with a positive self-image. You begin to see the good in other people as well. You set up your clear goals and arm yourself with the right attitude. You commit yourself to work. At this point, you only need one more ingredient to be at the top. That is desire. Desire is what makes you perform at the highest level. It makes you go at full speed. It may be that the odds are against you but with desire, you can make everything possible. Give it your all. Whatever you do, always aim for high performance. The biggest competition you will ever have is yourself. Do not put limits on what you can do. Desire is so powerful that it can transcend physical barriers.
Rev on the engine and you will soon find yourself at the top. There was once a boxer named Billy Miske. He has fought many strong opponents. He had competed for the world heavyweight championship. But when Billy was 25 years old, he was diagnosed with a serious illness. The doctors advised him to quit boxing. Billy didn’t stop though. Boxing was the only way he knew how to make money. His family counted on him. Billy continued to fight until he was 29 years old. At that point, he was already diagnosed with kidney failure. His health declined quickly. Billy became too weak to train at the gym or find another job. He had no choice but to stay at home. Billy suffered from the illness but he suffered more from seeing his poor family.
Christmas was getting near. Billy wanted to give his family a merry Christmas. It was the least he could do for them. Billy took all his strength and visited his manager Jack. He persuaded Jack to arrange a fight for him. The manager declined but Billy would not take no for an answer. He knew that he wouldn’t last long. This Christmas may be the last happy memory he would have with his family. Jack told Billy to get in shape. But Billy decided to reserve all his strength. He promised Jack to give it his all in the fight. Against his better judgment, the manager found a good opponent for Billy. The boxing match was to be held in Nebraska.
Billy was to fight John Brennan who was also a seasoned fighter like him. It was several months ago since Billy set foot in the ring. His body was weak, but his desire was very strong. He went home with $2,400. Billy spent all his prize money on the happiest Christmas celebration that his family had. On December 26th, he was rushed to the hospital. Billy died on New Year’s Day. His friends could hardly believe it. Just six weeks ago, Billy knocked out his opponent in round four. That is the power of desire. That is the strong power behind Billy’s last punch.
You learned about the six steps to the top. They are self-image, relationship with others, goals, attitude, work, and desire. Anyone can reach the top. There is no requirement of age, gender, education, or work experience. What you need to do is follow the steps. The door of happiness, love, riches, good health, and many opportunities will open for you.