Ingram Blog

Born to Win Excerpt

The late Zig Ziglar was a motivational speaker, teacher, and trainer who wrote more than 30 celebrated books on personal growth, leadership, sales, faith, family, and success. Recognized by his peers as the quintessential motivational genius of our times, he is still considered one of the most versatile authorities on the science of human potential. Tom Ziglar, CEO of Ziglar, Inc., also carries his father’s philosophy: “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” He joined the Zig Ziglar Corporation in 1987, and is boldly taking Ziglar, Inc., into the world of social media.


Chapter 11: Expect to Win

Have you ever watched people bowl? Many of them go through a little ritual before they actually get to the point of hurling their bowling ball in the direction of the pins. They carefully lace up their bowling shoes, and then the hunt for the perfect bowling ball begins. They may put on a bowling glove as well as an elbow brace. As they step to the line they glare at the bowling pins and get into their approach posture. Then they step forward and release the bowling ball down the alley. That’s when it gets interesting. As the ball rolls toward the pins the bowler starts deploying facial expressions, body language, and hand signals to “guide” the ball into the best impact point on the pins. As they see the ball drifting into a less-than-perfect point of impact they begin to give voice commands to the ball to correct its course. Of course, once the ball is released it is on the way, and there is nothing the bowler can do to change what is going to happen. The bowler could just as easily release the ball, turn around, and not even look at the impact of ball and pins. The results would be the same.

The bowling illustration demonstrates the futility of “worrying” about results. When you have set your goals properly and planned the action you need to take, as I have suggested in this book, it’s a waste of time, energy, and emotion to worry about the results of what you have set in motion. When you execute an action step, it is like releasing a bowling ball. The results ball is rolling, and there is little you can do to change the point of impact. Worrying about where the ball will impact the target won’t improve or change what happens. The results will be the fruit of how well you prepared and planned and executed the action.


Worrying about the results will not change them.

I certainly recognize that a certain amount of worry is just part of being human. People have concerns about many things. There are legitimate concerns about money and financial security. There are legitimate concerns about health issues, and there are concerns about our personal and professional relationships. People want all of these things to go well in their lives, and a certain amount of worry and concern is normal. But there is another kind of worry that is not only dangerous to your health, it is dangerous to your success. The kind of worry I’m talking about is “imagined worry.” Imagined worry is when you spend a lot of time thinking about the future and what might happen in your life that could be terrible. My late friend Mary Crowley said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination,” and she hit the nail on the head with that remark.

Now you might be wondering why I’m so concerned about worrying and what it has to do with success and expecting to win, so I’ll tell you. Worry is the most significant factor that relates to the root of negative thinking. As a matter of fact, worry just might be the engine that starts negative thinking, and if you are involved in negative thinking, you will not expect to win. If you spend an excessive amount of time imagining all the bad things that can hap- pen in your life, you will become a person who is problem-conscious, not solution-conscious. There is perhaps no greater example of how this can be so dangerous than when it involves worrying about health issues.

I have known many people who receive bad medical reports, and when they hear the news, they begin to worry so much about it their life may as well have ended at that moment. We all know people who suffer this way and we suffer with them. There doesn’t seem to be a single thing we can do or say to encourage and lift them up. On the other hand, we all know people who suffer in the worst way and never make mention of their struggle. In fact, they seem embarrassed if we catch them grimacing in pain or taking a bad step. They don’t want attention focused on what they can’t do or how they hurt and suffer; they want to be “others” centered and get their mind off of their disability. These individuals have accepted their issue as a part of life and have decided to make the very best of their circumstances. They are an encouragement and example to everyone blessed enough to know them!

Yes, they have bad days, but they choose to focus on the good days and what they can still do. They live in the moment and know full well that tomorrow will be what it is and they can deal with it when it arrives, not before.


Worry is the result of thinking and imagining what might happen in the future. I want to stress the word “imagine.” The only reality people have is what is going on in their lives today. It is in the events of the day that life transpires, and anything based on tomorrow is pure speculation. I’ve learned that if you have planned and prepared, you can have reasonable expectations about the future. If you take care of your health through a good diet coupled with exercise, you can reasonably expect good health in the future. If you save and invest your financial resources, you can reasonably expect to have financial security in the future. If you live by principles of love and service to others, you can reasonably expect to have good personal relationships in the future. Good action today will produce good living tomorrow. Reasonably good expectations for tomorrow are based on positive thinking and prudent action today.

Try this: instead of imagining all the bad things that might happen to you in the future based on your fear, start imagining things working out. There’s a song titled, “What If It All Goes Right?” by Melissa Lawson. The second line of the chorus is, “What if it all works out, what if the stars all line up… ” You have to develop a what if it does go right and work out expectancy if you want to be the winner you were born to be.


Throughout my career I have shared the story of Bernie Lofchick and his son, David. Bernie has been a lifelong friend, and we have been so close I refer to him as my brother even though we are not related. When David Lofchick was born, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and doctors predicted he would be chronically crippled his entire life.

The only thing wrong with their prediction is that they did not know the positive optimism of David’s father (my brother Bern). The Lofchicks did not throw up their hands and accept the idea that their son had no hope of a normal life. They did not worry and begin to imagine all the bad things that could result from David’s disease. They immediately began to look for solutions and positive alternatives that would give David a good life. After many consultations with experts on David’s disease, they found one doctor who gave them some positive hope for David’s future. That doctor told them if they would begin a rigorous, daily exercise regimen for David, and consistently maintain that exercise program, his life might be saved from the gloomy forecast predicted for him.

Book Title: Born to Win
Author: Zig Ziglar and Tom Ziglar
ISBN: 9781613398333 | $18.99 PB | Made for Success Publishing

Cover and excerpt from BORN TO WIN by Zig Ziglar and Tom Ziglar. Text copyright (c) 2015 by Tom Ziglar. Reprinted by permission of Made for Success Publishing. All rights reserved.