Ever since I passed myself off as a newspaper ad salesman in 1975 in order to attend a motivational seminar conducted by Zig Ziglar, I have been a fan of his.
"Zig" Hilary Hinton Ziglar is an amazing man. The 10th of 12 children, he was just six years old when his father died suddenly of a stroke. He began his career working as a salesman and transformed that career into a motivational speaking career with emphasis on Christian values.
I recently picked up on a tape from one of his latest talks in which he used a hand water pump to illustrate what he termed "the story of life, the story of success." Pumping vigorously on the pump, he empasized the need to prime it with a cup of water before ever expecting to get anything out of it.
"Just like in life, you've got to put something into it before you can get anything out of it," he added. "If you pump long enough, hard enough and enthusiastically enough, eventually the reward will follow the effort and you will have more water than you can ever use. Once that water starts to flow, all you have to do is keep a slow steady pumping action going in order to keep the water coming." he said. "The deeper the well, the sweeter, cooler and purer the water."
"We'll never know how many kids missed out on a scholarship because they did not study just 10 minutes more a day. We'll never know how close we came to a promotion because we quit too soon. We'll never know how much success we could have had if only we had pumped a little more."
He said there is a prevailing "reward me now and I'll produce later" line of thinking in society today. "It just does not work that way. You've got to put something in to get something out."
"Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly...until you can learn to do it well."
You have to think about that last line a bit but, as with everthing that comes out of Zig's mouth, it does make a lot of sense.