Years ago when I lived in Dallas, Texas, I had the opportunity to work with Zig Ziglar. It was one of the best experiences of my life! There are some famous people I have gotten to know and the more I got to know them, the more disappointed I became. With Zig, it was just the opposite. The more I got to know him, the more impressed I was. He was a real man of honesty, character and integrity. He has been an important influence in my life. We lost him a few years ago, but I know I will see him again!Years ago when I lived in Dallas, Texas, I had the opportunity to work with Zig Ziglar. It was one of the best experiences of my life! There are some famous people I have gotten to know and the more I got to know them, the more disappointed I became. With Zig, it was just the opposite. The more I got to know him, the more impressed I was. He was a real man of honesty, character and integrity. He has been an important influence in my life. We lost him a few years ago, but I know I will see him again!
One day we were talking about motivation and how it is a lot like bathing – it is something we have to do every day. In that conversation he made the comment that there is also a big difference between being “on” and being “up”. When I asked him what he meant, he told me a story I will never forget.
Zig said that one evening he was speaking at a conference about the power of positive thinking, the importance of staying motivated, and how important each person’s attitude is on a daily basis. The next morning he was in line at the cafeteria getting his breakfast when a woman from the conference walked up to him and said, “Well, Mr. Ziglar, you don’t look very motivated to me this morning!” He stood there sort of stunned for a moment wondering what a motivated person was suppose look like when going through a cafeteria line. He assumed the woman thought he should be dancing or singing or doing cartwheels, or something, while getting his breakfast. But, her comment led him to think a little further about the whole aspect of motivation. He finally decided that there is a big difference between being “on” and being “up”.
When a person is “up”, that means they have made a deliberate choice to have a good, optimistic attitude. They have made a decision to look for the good, the pure and the positive in everything they face each day. They look for ways to help make things better or how they can make a positive difference so that circumstances turn out as well as possible. On the other hand, a person who is “on” can turn it on or off as needed. They come across as fake. You can almost see in their face or hear in their voice when they begin to turn themselves on in order to impress someone. They dance around through life, trying to be noticed and let everyone know how wonderful they are! Evidently, by her comment, that was the lady’s expectation of Zig. She was expecting a constant, on-going show. Zig concluded that anyone who is “on” all the time is probably ON something!
I never will forget that conversation. It helped me to differentiate two small words that have made a big difference in my life. I don’t want to be “on”. I don’t want to be a fake. I don’t want to be the kind of person who turns it on when they are on stage or in the lime-light, and then turns it off when they are with just one or two people. I want to be the kind of person who constantly chooses to be “up”. That means that in spite of the difficulties of life, or the current circumstances in which I find themselves myself, I will make a deliberate choice to have a good, positive attitude. I realize that there are good things constantly taking place around me, and if I will look hard enough for them, I will find them.
What is going on in your life right now? Do you find yourself having to “turn it on”? Are you forcing yourself to be a fake and do things that you know are just not you? If that is the case, it won’t be long before you will have to be ON something in order to keep the show going. If, on the other hand, you choose to be “up”, you will be dealing with a different aspect of your life. You will be focusing on your own personal choices and attitude. This will cause you to look for the good, the pure, and the positive in your own life and the circumstances taking place around you.
I know this is not always easy. Sometimes we all stumble into turning it on and off when needed. But, I have found that it is far better to choose to be “up” rather than “on” and not allow the circumstances of life to destroy me, but rather, to help me.
The difference between being “on” and being “up” is only two letters. It is amazing how two little words with two letters each can make such a HUGE difference!
Even though I sometimes stumble, I still choose to be “up”. Being “up” is a whole lot better than being “on”. Apply this concept to your life this week and watch what happens!
Tip: There’s a big difference between being “on” and being “up”!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm
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