The other day I had some time to kill so I went into the local bookstore (a dangerous place for me). I was in the business section and spotted Wooden on Leadership*, picked it up and started reading.
I like his definition of success:
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
John Wooden believes that the true measure of success comes when we simply do the best that we can do, no matter what the outcome and that our ONLY competition should be with ourselves. In other words, you can consider yourself a success even if you lose the game as long as you gave it your best shot. That’s pretty remarkable to hear coming from a successful basketball coach.
I have never thought about it that way. To me, winning is everythingor at least it was until I started reading Coach Wooden’s book. Now, I’m starting to look at things differently.
Of course the scary part about Coach Wooden’s definition is that we have to be the ones who determine whether or not we gave our best. How do you know what’s your best? I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we could nearly always do a little better or try a little harder. In other words, it’s probably much harder to give our best than we think it is.
I want to close this post out with a quote of what Coach Wooden told his UCLA team when they were about to play for the National Championship:
“When it’s over, I want your heads up. And there’s only one way your heads can be upthat’s to give it your best out there, everything you have.”
It’s no wonder he is considered one the best basketball coaches of all time.
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