Lee weighs the same as he did when he got out of the army when he was 20, 54 years ago. He does cardio and strength training.

He checks all of the physical areas, and actually implements the things that will keep him healthy.


He always makes time to be with his family.





Your diet affects your brain, be aware of it.


Having the things you need, and prioritize family and passions.

Trusting his financial advisors.


Making a difference and giving more than taking.


The best way to be successful is to have a great attitude.

Discipline to do the hard things and to get things done, to have empathy for everyone, and continually learn. (Get more exposure!)


Be around family, especially grandkids.

Traveling with family and friends.

Public speaking and seminars.

Show Transcription

[00:13] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, where we inspire your true performance. I’m your host Kevin Miller and today we go behind the scenes with Lee Cockerell, our guest in show 525. Lee spent 10 years as executive vice president of Disney where he was in charge of the entire magical kingdom, many resort properties and 40,000 employees! He gave us a great message, don’t miss that interview. But today we walk through his habits for success, going over the 7 spokes in the Ziglar Wheel of Life.

[00:46] He works to maintain the same weight he was in the army at age 20, and he’s 74 today. He has a Starbucks decaf every day, on no medication with great blood pressure. He spends a lot of time with family and stresses to his employees to never miss family, not even for work! He views his brain as having malleable software and works with experts to help him manage and succeed. He grew up poor and feels it hardwires the brain. Today he is still frugal, driving a decade old car and relies on his financial advisors. Spiritually he needs to do more work, he says. Has had some rough times, has been the bad guy and wants to be a better person. He built his career on discipline and empathy and admits he loves public speaking because he needs the “people clap”. Get Lee’s four books, the online Time Management Course and subscribe to Lee’s “Creating Disney Magic” podcast at

[01:50] So…come get inspired and equipped!

[02:27] 1. Physical: I think it all comes back to that time management keeping it alive under control. So and as far as my health I tell people I weight exactly what I did when I got out the army, when I was twenty. And I do that on purpose I watch it very carefully because I know getting overweight can really become a problem for you. I work out almost every day on a star master. I have strength training twice a week with a trainer I go to and people say what he do strength training for, I say because I don’t want to fall and break a hip but I’m in that ozone that obituary zone you know break a hip it’s the beginning of the end and you can bone density. This is a big deal and most people that need it are people that are above 50. You start losing bone density and then you make that fall and you break your femur you break your hip so I did that and so I’m in good shape. I’m 74 years old and I go on crazy you know and I can still bring my twelve-foot ladder in the house and change light bulbs and but I throw you don’t underestimate strength. It’s even more after 50, it’s more important aerobics and you really got to take care of that.

[04:03] I actually go to Starbucks every morning I have one cup of decaf coffee and then I come home and I usually have some fruit and a couple piece toast. I try to eat a salad for lunch or so many great places today I go to a place called Freshes, I go to Whole Foods where they have a salad bar, I do that and I’m just pretty careful and then I get my physical twice a year actually. I see my doctor twice a year. I just got the blood works morning make sure everything’s ok. I see all my doctors, I just got a cataract removed yesterday. I see my heart specialist make sure I’m doing ok, I just check I’m off you know and it’s really your health appointments, your medical appointments and I guess, I’m a good patient because I do what the doctor tells me and I don’t take any medication. So far so good you know my blood pressure is good pay attention to most people know what they should be doing they just don’t do it so.

[05:19] 2. Family: Even when I was working all those years and it’s a tough business the hotel entertainment business and I was working a lot. I go to work six the morning at home seven at night after going to the gym for an hour before I came home and but I didn’t do anything else after that but I spent the weekend with my wife and we’d go to lunch or go and take it whatever she wanted to do. With my son too, I talk to him once about it and I said Daniel, did you ever realize I was traveling all week and he said no, because I talk to him every night. I made sure I was home on Friday for his football game, I was at every event, I flew back from Japan wants to be it is last football game and I figure after they’re thirteen they don’t care if you’re there or not. But that was I spend a lot of time my family, we do everything in our branch it’s all grew up a mile from. We spend all of times together, we have dinner together on Sunday night, I’m available for them twenty-four seven they know it and it’s been fun my grandkids are twenty-two in one thousand and sixteen now. They have lots of concerns sometimes they want to talk about and it’s easier to talk to your grandparents because we know everything.

[09:56] 3. Mental: I really get the mental part now, I didn’t understand that you know what I used to think about depressed people. I thought used to think what it’s their problem, why don’t they pull themselves together boy did I learn a good lesson and when I had it, I stopped speaking. I quit all my work and I started doing meditation every morning. I saw a psychologist on Mondays, all psychiatrist every two weeks at Occupy. I’m sure on Wednesdays I exercised every day I my new job was to get better because you got to fight it. You can’t, you need to get help because when you have it you don’t want to do anything. I mean it’s like you sit on the couch and it’s horrible. I didn’t care if I saw my grandkids, that’s how bad it was. I’d never want to go back there. So I think a lot about how to quit drinking caffeine, I quit watching any cat T.V. that was violent, I started staying, quit watching the news that we started watching Andy Griffith is much better than C.N.N. So you know we just put ourselves in a different place to relax. I took the sugar out of my diet because that’s bad for anxiety, as caffeine is sodas. So I really got smarter about what’s affecting my brain and I could see a change as I went through those diet changes and routine changes and I think most people out there though get involved in this, they can fix the number of people under anxiety today in the U.S. is record levels I mean it’s way up there and it’s going to get worse.

[13:32] 4. Financial: Well part of it’s a problem because I grew up poor and then my mother was always worried about money and that goes up there in your hardwired brain to so but we were frugal my wife and I we didn’t need all the big stuff, we lived at the cities, we lived in weight and have a car and went to public transportation. Currently today my wife’s driving her car which is ten years old and mine is eleven because we don’t need those things to let anybody know who we are. You know so we’re just very frugal I have to financial advisers, I separated them and that’s what’s in the two so I can watch each one took it on. I have a good tax accountant that advises me on what to do, not do and we don’t have any debt, we know always live frugally. And then but we do have the things you know we like to travel, so we would spend our money on travel before a new car probably and go to new places we just went to Russia, Hong Kong, Thailand and all these places and I learned a lot doing that. So I think one thing I’ve done is to trust my financial advisers, I’ve known one of them for thirty years from the other one for about fifteen. I trust them they take care of me, we have ups and downs in the market. I don’t ever take any money from market and a lot of people say well when the market went down in ‘87 five hundred points, a lot of my friends sold everything. You got to have people advising you that you trust. Because probably was up to me I would have done the same thing but they I trusted them and they said no, let it go.

[16:00] 5. Spiritual: you know that’s when I need to get more work on, I really when I went through with my wife and then another time we had some other issues and I got into up with anxiety of second time and I must say I question my spiritual beliefs sometimes during that period. It was the roughest time I’ve ever been through in my life and many of the things that happened. But eventually you know I come back around to, I need to believe and I need there to not blame anybody else and I need to I think about that a lot, I think every I must say I used to be a bad guy kind of, I didn’t treat people very well. I wake up every morning now and try to think how can I be a better person and how can I make somebody’s day and how can I help somebody. Whoever it is I meet somebody every morning whether it’s just they want to talk to me, somebody need some help in tough time and I used to be the taker and now I think I’m the giver and hopefully are making a difference in people’s lives.

[17:23] 6. Career:  I would tell anybody listening out there are guarantee the number one thing I think is without a doubt the reason I was successful in the reason they will be is attitude. I have a great attitude and now I used to say when you don’t have a college degree you better have a good attitude. People will help you, they like you, they if you’re available you do whatever needs to be done. You take on the hard work, attitude is everything and then I think the other side is the discipline. You know being organized enough that I can take on whatever they give me, I can get it whether I get it done or I get somebody to do it but they will. It will be a feminist and discipline and empathy I think are two of the big things to make you successful and for you to be able to live with yourself. The discipline to do the hard things get the right things done and the empathy to understand where people are coming from and how you can step in and everybody is different and you can’t treat everybody the same and you’ve got to understand those things. And so discipline and empathy has helped my career dramatically.

[20:15] 7. Personal: The personal things of my life caught in this that I love to be around my grandkids. So we go to cook, well to Boulder to visit our granddaughters and cards when we go to Miami and as our grounds on that, will be here tomorrow and she’s getting in today. We like to travel and we have friends all over the world. We like to go there be with them, often we travel with friends. Just came back from a river cruise in Hungary and Czech Republic with some friends and frankly I like public speaking and giving seminars somebody said why, I said because people clap, I want to be loved and they like me and when I play golf nobody claps. So I can play golf. So I like what I’m doing, I do it for free all the time. I don’t charge the military. I went to Baghdad there in the war and at thirteen seminars during the Iraqi war with general, I do it for free for military. I just it’s free with different sheriff’ss departments I mean it’s just fun because then they call me and say wow we never thought of that, could you help us. Not sure I could sit at home and watch T.V. or I can go help somebody and then occasionally people pay me and that’s even better.

[21:57] What habit did you resonate with? What inspired you? Let Lee and the Ziglar team know by leaving a review in iTunes! Get Lee’s four books, the online Time Management Course and subscribe to Lee’s “Creating Disney Magic” podast at Coming up next in show 527 we ask about…Your reality. Is it real? Or is it only as you perceive it and can you alter it – right now? Are you limiting yourself and merely need a paradigm shift to dramatically catapult your life for the better in a short amount of time? This is a continuation of show 524 where we listened to a clip from Zig Ziglar on our true potential. If you missed it, go listen to show 524. Today, coming from the same message from Zig, I asked on my agentkmiller Facebook page, “Do you believe reality is in fact, real? That it is concrete and black and white? Or do you believe “reality” is what we make of it?” The Facebook comments really brought up some interesting perspectives about this. Michelle Prince and I take you through them in hopes of helping you alter what you perceive as your reality. I will tell you, it helped us further change our own beliefs! Till then, thank you for letting me walk with you, as we inspire our true performance…together!