The central theme of the book is that anyone in this world can have almost anything they want in life if he or she will just help enough other people get whatever they want in life. I highly recommend this definitive work to anyone who wants to improve his or her lot in life.
The story I related is titled “Kicking the Cat”; and it is contained in the original book beginning on p. 219. As quite a few people have asked for the story since I read it, I will point out that it is available (from the original book) online on Google books at the web address listed below. As the original work is copyrighted, I will direct you there for the full story.
There are, however, several shorter versions of the story available widely on the internet. One particular version occurs quite frequently. I re-post this shortened version here for your enjoyment.
Whose Cat Are You Kicking?
Mr. B was the top dog in a very large company. Every morning, he met some of his buddies for breakfast. One morning, he lost track of time, looked at his watch, and realized he was going to be late for work. He left the restaurant and jumped in his car. He barely had the engine started when he threw it in reverse to back out. He burned rubber leaving the parking lot. As he got on the freeway, he put the pedal to the metal and took off.
As he sped down the highway, he looked in his rear view mirror. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the flashing lights. He pulled over and rolled down his window.
“Where are you going in such a hurry?” the officer asked.
“I need to get to work,” he replied abruptly, “I’m a very important man,” declared Mr. B.
“Well, you’re not above the law,” the officer said.
“I didn’t say I was … but shouldn’t you be chasing real criminals and leave me alone?”
That was the wrong thing to say, because the officer replied, “I’ll leave you alone in a few minutes. Let me see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.”
Mr. B handed him the requested information. Then he sat there and stewed. As the minutes passed by, he got more and more angry.
The officer came back and handed Mr. B a ticket, along with the rest of his documents. Mr. B grabbed them out of the officer’s hand, rolled up his window, and took off down the road.
By the time Mr. B finally arrived at work, he was very unhappy about how late it was. The first person he saw was his sales manager.
“Good morning, Mr. B” said the sales manager with a smile.
“There’s nothing good about it,” barked Mr. B, “I want to see you in my office NOW!”
The sales manager followed him into his office, and Mr. B threw his coat down on the couch, obviously peeved. “You fell short of your goal last week for the second week in a row. I want to know what you’re going to do to get back on track and I want to know now.”
“Mr. B,” the sales manager objected, “We just talked about this yesterday. We have four big deals. Any one of them will put us over the top and I’m sure we’ll get at least one of them.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Mr. B blurted out while looking at some papers on his desk. “You’re dismissed.”
The bewildered sales manager walked back to his office, and promptly yelled at his assistant for not having the documents ready for him to sign, despite the fact he’d just given them to her.
The assistant stormed out into the lobby, threw the pile of documents on the receptionist’s desk and said “I need these typed right now, and don’t go to lunch until they’re ready.”
The receptionist arrives home, late because of the extra work she had to do, that wasn’t even part of her job. She sees her twelve-year old son, pants pocket torn, lying on the floor in front of the television, and she lays into him. “I work hard all day to buy you clothes, and I get home from work and see you’ve torn another pair of jeans, and all you do is lie around the house. I would appreciate a little help around here. No more television for you… Go to your room.”
Muttering to himself about the unfairness of it all, the boy heads to his room, when the family cat unwisely chose that moment to cross his path. The boy kicked the cat, and sent him scurrying from the room.
Again, the full story as told by Zig (and referenced below) has many more details and is much more entertaining. But either way, of course, this story begs us to ask a question: “Wouldn’t it have been much better, for everyone involved, if Mr. B had just gone directly to the receptionist’s house and kicked her cat himself?”
And yet, a far more significant question is this: Just whose cat are you kicking? And why? You see, it is all too easy to go through life taking your frustrations out on others when the mature thing to do is to ask yourself if perhaps you are the one who needs a good swift kick!
In truth, it can be hard to admit our own shortcomings. But when we finally learn to do this, we might just wind up making the world a better place - not only for ourselves, but for most everyone else we know as well.
Perhaps this is a little of what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he told the Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 11:31) that if they were a bit more discerning with regard to themselves, then they would not come under so much judgment from others, and especially from God.
Zig certainly believed this. For one of his favorite admonitions was this: “Once you can learn to be tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you!”
ORIGINAL STORY SOURCE: https://books.google.com/books?id=Qpsni-4L5mAC&pg=PA221&lpg=PA221&dq=kicking+the+cat+zig+ziglar&source=bl&
icking%20the%20cat%20zig%20ziglar&f=false. Scroll to page 219 for the beginning of the story.
SHORTER VERSION SOURCE: Available widely online. See for instance: https://tsrcinc.net/motivational/whose-cat-are-you-kicking/ among many other sites.
Lastly, a many great Zig Ziglar quotes such as the one above can be found at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/z/zigziglar381973.html.