December 22, 2008

If it’s not true, it should be

The motivational fraternity, including Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar are suckers for a feel-good story. When we hear a good one we absorb it as gospel and share it with our audiences.


Poor Scottish Farmer saves Lord’s Son

I love the story about Alexander Fleming’s dad saving a young Winston Churchill from drowning. This resulted in Lord Randolph Churchill sending Alexander to St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London.
Alexander goes on to discover penicillin which saves Winston Churchill.
Man, it makes a great tale of one good turn deserves another and
there’s a reason for everything.


Famous Atheist Defends God


My heart warmed, when, none other than Albert Einstein
defended God in a battle of wits with a university professor. I always
thought he was an atheist. But, hey, don’t let the facts get in the way
of a good story.


Set Specific Goals To Get 97% Of The Wealth

My favourite story, which is the cornerstone of my goal setting workshops, is the study of the Class of 1953.
In 1953, researchers surveyed Yale’s graduating seniors to determine
how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. The
answer: 3%. Twenty years later, researchers polled the surviving
members of the Class of 1953 and found that the 3% with goals had
accumulated more personal financial wealth than the other 97% of the
class combined!


These great stories … aimed to inspire and motivate people to action … are all lies!



Myth #1

Class of 1953 story, according to Lawrence Tabak (who didn’t graduate
from Yale and never set any goals for the future) and the Fast Company Consultant Debunking Unit, this powerful and compelling story is untrue.


and well-respected motivators like Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Zig
Ziglar also bought into this story … as have motivational speakers in

South Africa

and the rest of the world, I’d suspect.


Myth #2

According to myth-busting website Snopes the Winston Churchill and Alexander Fleming story is a myth. Get the full story here.


Myth #3


Einstein could never have defended God because he was an atheist. In
his own words "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my
religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I
do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have
expressed it clearly." Read the full story here.


What Now?


I loved Brian Tracy’s answer to questions about the source of “The Class of 53” – “Heard the story originally from Zig Ziglar. If it’s not true it should be.”

Even if the story is not true, but inspires people to change their lives for the good and move on to greatness, is that such a sin?

Jacques de Villiers is a motivational speaker, writer and an influence consultant. The original article was penned 22 March 2006 and can be found on this page.

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