Staying Up, Up, Up in a Down, Down World

I believe you get back what you send out.  I am a very “up” person and people frequently ask me how I maintain my enthusiasm.

One of the fun things I do is to give people my special greeting.  Whether it’s eight o’clock in the morning or eight o’clock at night, I always try to greet others before they have a chance to speak to me.

My greeting is always the same, whether I’m in Auckland, New Zealand, or Augusta, Maine.  I use an enthusiastic “Good Morning!”  Interestingly enough, 85% of those who respond will respond by saying “Good Morning” – even if it’s eight o’clock at night.  Many of them cut it short before they finish the word “morning,” and then say, “It’s not morning!”  And I respond, “Then, why did you say, ‘Good Morning’?”  They tell me it’s because I said “Good morning.”

The point I make is significant.

If you go out in life looking for friends they’re hard to find; but if you go out in life to be a friend, you will find them everywhere.

What you send out is exactly what you get back.  You send out a “good morning,” and in most cases you’ll get back a “good morning.”  Send out a cheerful, positive greeting and most of the time you will get back a cheerful, positive greeting.  It’s also true that if you send out a negative greeting you will, in most cases, get back a negative greeting.

How to Reproduce Cheerful, Upbeat People

There are benefits of greeting people with an enthusiastic “Good Morning!” even when it’s 8:00 p.m.  The reason is simple: The best way for me to feel upbeat and optimistic is for me to make an effort to make others feel upbeat and optimistic.

Admittedly, on rare occasions I get back a less than chipper reply, but from my perspective that’s their problem and not mine.  For each stinking thinking reply I get, I get back a hundred positive ones.  The other reason I say “good morning” is that I always believe the best part of the day is still in front of me.  As far as I’m concerned, the use of the word “morning” is legitimate.

When someone beats me to the draw and says something like, “Good morning, how are you?” I always respond in one of two ways.  I will either say, “Better than good, and that’s an understatement,” or “Super good, but I’m getting better!”  Almost without exception after an interchange like that the other person is smiling.  When I cause someone else to smile I leave them slightly better than I found them, which makes me feel better.

Phase two of this approach to life is what I say when I part company with an individual.

Instead of the usual “Have a good day,” I say, “I’ll see you at the top!” which also brings a smile.  Just in case you’re wondering if that is the “real world,” my answer is, “You bet it is!”

One of the interesting psychological truths is that logic will not change an emotion, but action will.  This approach is initiating a physical action which will, in fact, make me feel better while also making the other person feel better.  This validates the concept that you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

The Truth About Creating Positive People

Just what can positive thinking do?

To be candid, some people have given positive thinking a bad name.

I can’t stand to hear some gung-ho individual say that with positive thinking you can just do “anything.”  If you think about that one for a moment, you recognize the absurdity of it.

As a ridiculous example, I’m a positive thinker, but I could never slam-dunk a basketball or perform major surgery – or even minor surgery – on anyone and expect that person to survive.  Nate Newton, the former 300-plus pound lineman for the Dallas Cowboys is positive, optimistic and outgoing but he’d be a complete failure as a jockey or a ballet dancer.

It’s safe to say that positive thinking won’t let you do “anything.”  However, it is even safer to say that positive thinking will let you do “everything” better than negative thinking will.  Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have, and that is awesome.  It works this way.  You can walk into a dark room, flip on the switch and immediately the room is lighted.  Flipping the switch did not generate the electricity; it released the electricity which had been stored.  Positive thinking works that way – it releases the abilities in which you have.

The student who hasn’t studied and prepared for the test won’t be helped by “thinking positively.”  However, positive thinking will help the student who has studied and prepared by “releasing” the stored knowledge when the questions are asked.  To express it in a different way, knowledge breeds confidence; confidence breeds enthusiasm; and enthusiasm is an important key to being and doing more with your life.

Buy the positive approach to life and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

Share your favorite Zig quotes here.

[Ed. Note. Zig Ziglar was known as America’s Motivator.  He is best known for his inspirational messages of hope through his 29 books and numerous audio and video recordings.  To be inspired visit his website at]
  • 22
  • I never had the privilege of meeting Zig personally, but I did have the opportunity to see him speak live either 2 or 3 times. My favorite specific encouragement of his is, “You can get anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” My favorite illustration is the pump handle, how the best way to start any project is to “prime” the pump by pouring yourself into it and pumping like crazy. Then when the “water” starts flowing, you can keep it up with just a slow, easy touch. I’ve used that story dozens of times in my own speaking to groups. It would be time very well spent to go back and listen to some of his tape programs.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Well said, Dennis, thank you!

  • John Story

    Zig once said that people who do well at public speaking are perceived to be smarter than what they actually are. This is a motivation for me to participate regularly in Toastmasters.

  • This is one of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes. I have many but I choose this one today.

    “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
    Zig Ziglar

  • Juli

    “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

  • I had the good fortune to meet Zig several times. He was the same in person as in his talks and books — very open, sincere and straightforward. His son Tom is continuing a fine tradition.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Well said, Paul.

  • Le Thi Nhung

    Hi Zig Zigzag
    I already reach book of you See you at the top must translation VietNam one book very good in that have certain number of thief . You have known not something I also is one thief that you and hair red of you very must in book that already teach every person make making good for society. I hope one day I will meet you and speak truth much because now I also yet good so much about speak english. Good luck to you and have much successful in write book

  • AbdulKabir Sarumi

    Quality Thinking ; Quality Product. Zig Ziglar was a guru on motivational talks and words in his life time. May his gentle soul found peace in heaven. Amen. Let we that are still living keep the flag flying. God help us all ! Sarumi ( The Prosperity Spreader)

  • Hugh A. Benham

    You can choose to be on the negative side of the equation seeing everything that is wrong or you can choose be on the positive side and radiate smiles. Particularly tough when negative energy and individuals surround you. I did not have the good fortune to meet Zig in person, however I do have the ability to reflect and experience his teachings and Craig’s through technology. Oh what wonders The Universe reveals to us in every moment! Truly Blessed!

  • Prudent Ify

    Wow! That was awesome. I do appreciate U sir for those words of wisdom which has transformed my life for good.

  • Thank you Zig Ziglar for this wonderful post. I really liked the part where you described “How to Reproduce Cheerful, Upbeat People”. I will definitely visit again to read more such posts.