A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 08, 2012
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last—well, neither does bathing”

Billy Sunday (1862-1935) was a popular American evangelist. Someone once commented to him that his conversions don’t last. Sunday replied ( a version is cited in print in 1917), “Of course conversion doesn’t last; neither does a bath; but it does you good.” Reverend Billy Graham used Sunday’s line in 1974—“Religious conversion may not last long but neither does a bath...but it does you good to take one.”

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily” has been credited to business author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar since at least 2002, but it appears that others have used the line before this. “Motivation doesn’t last ‘but neither does a bath, and both are necessary every day’” was cited in print in 1975, credited to J. N. “Chris” Christianson of Idea Mountain, Inc. Popular speaker Jim Cathcart wrote in 1990 (and in a slightly different version in 2002):

“Upon learning that I was the President of the National Speakers Association, he said, ‘You must be one of those *motivators*,’ and then added, ‘Motivation is no good because it doesn’t last.’ To this, the flight attendant standing nearby added, ‘Neither does a bath but it’s still a good idea now and then!’”


Cathcart Institute
About Jim
For three years in a row Jim Cathcart has been selected as one of the Top 5 Speakers on Sales & Service in an online survey of over 13,000 people. With over 35 years of professional speaking around the world, Jim Cathcart is one of the best known and most award-winning motivational speakers in the business. He has delivered more than 2,700 presentations to audiences in every state of the US, most provinces of Canada and countries from Scotland to Singapore.

Google Books
12 May 1917, The Villager (Katonah, NY), pg. 11, col. 1:
CORRESPONDENCE
To the Editor of THE VILLAGER: In the end of your generally admirable article on the revivalist Billy Sunday, you quote his statement that “Of course conversion doesn’t last; neither does a bath; but it does you good.”

Google Books
August 1921, American Gas Association Monthly, pg. 411, col. 2:
“Some old minister went to Billy Sunday one day and said: ‘You’re a fake. You get people all stirred up. They hit the trail. But your conversions don’t last.’ ‘Well,’ said Sunday, ‘neither does a bath.’”

Google News Archive
27 July 1974, The Daily Item (Sumter, SC), “Timely Quotes,” pg. 6A, col. 5:
“Religious conversion may not last long but neither does a bath...but it does you good to take one.”
-- Rev. Billy Graham conceding conversions are usually shortlived.

Google Books
Wines and Vines
California Vineyardists Association, Associated California Fruit Industries
Volume 56
1975
Pg. ?:
“Better living for better management” was the lunoh topic offered by J. N. “Chris” Christianson at the Wine Institute’s winter board meeting at Palm Springs. Christianson, 320-pound president of Idea Mountain Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., urged winemen, faced with record wine inventories, to build a positive mental attitude.
(...)
He dwelt on the word implode, and said it means “bursting inward, the opposite of exploding,” and noted “i” is for image, “m” is for motivation (motivation doesn’t last “but neither does a bath, and both are necessary every day") ...

Google News Archive
3 May 1982, Evening Herald (Rock Hill, SC), “Graham in Moscow,” pg. 4, col. 2:
And to those who complain that his preaching has no lasting effect on his listeners, Graham is fond of quoting another noted American evangelist, the late Billy Sunday: “Neither does a bath, but it does you good to take one.”

Google Books
Perspectives in Human Resources:
National Conference Proceedings

Volume 42
Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management
1990
Pg. 145:
INTERVIEWING: FINDING “THE NATURAL” IN PEOPLE
BY JIM CATHCART, CPAE
(...)
Upon learning that I was the President of the National Speakers Association, he said, “You must be one of those ‘motivators’,” and then added, “Motivation is no good because it doesn’t last.” To this, the flight attendant standing nearby added, “Neither does a bath but it’s still a good idea now and then!”

Google Books
Motivational Selling: Advice on selling effectively, staying motivated and being a peak sales producer:
From America’s top motivational sales speakers, trainers, authors, and sales professionals

By Don Borschel; et al.
Golden, CO: Ozols Business Group
2002
Pg. 13:
Foreword
By Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE

As I sat next to an executive on a recent flight he asked what I did for a living. I replied, “I’m a motivational speaker.” He responded, “I don’t believe in motivation. It is no good because it doesn’t last.” Taken aback by his abrupt reply I paused.  Just about that time a flight attendant was walking by and said to him with a smile, “neither does a bath, but it’s still a good idea now and then.”

Google Books
The Town That Lost a Ton:
How One Town Used the Buddy System to Lose 3,998 Pounds...and How You Can Too!

By Jane Clemen, Dianna Kirkwood and Bobbi Schell
Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc.
2002
Pg. 164:
Or, as Zig Zigler put it, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing! That’s why we recommend it daily!”

WebProNews
Are You Flying to the Stars or Staring Into Space?
By Martin Avis · July 3, 2002
(...)
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.
>>> Zig Ziglar, business coach and writer.

Google Books
Motivational Leadership in Early Childhood Education
By Lynn R. Marotz and Amy Lawson
Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning
2007
Pg. 106:
“People often say that motivation doesn ‘t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.”
ZIG ZIGLAR

Google Books
The Happy Student:
5 Steps to Academic Fulfillment and Success

By Daniel Wong
New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing
2012
Pg. 175:
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once remarked, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Monday, October 08, 2012 • Permalink