John Wooden on Creating Value

The Wisdom of John Wooden: My Century On and Off the CourtJohn Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, always gave good advice — not just on playing basketball, being a team player, and winning, but also on business, life, and success.

John Wooden is the author of The Wisdom of Wooden: My Century On and Off the Court. Well worth the read.

Below are a few of my favorite pieces of advice from John Wooden.

I believe we are most likely to succeed when ambition is focused on noble and worthy purposes and outcomes rather than on goals set out of selfishness. If our ambition is to be highly publicized, receive a lot of recognition, attain a position of power or prestige, or make a lot of money, we do not have noble goals.

It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

Patience is the ability to wait and calmly persevere. We all grow impatient, but some people have more trouble waiting than others do. We tend to forget that all good things take time.

Trouble will always exist. But if we display true consideration for others, most of our problems will be manageable.

Sincerity may not make a friend, but it will keep one. It often takes a while to be validated, but once a person knows that our word, character and steadfastness have withstood the tests of life, a firm friendship can be established and maintained.

Be quick but do not hurry.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

Winning seems so important, but it actually is irrelevant. Having attempted to give our all is what matters—and we are the only ones who really know the truth about our own capabilities and performance.

We don’t have to be superstars to win championships or to reach competitive greatness. All we have to do is learn to rise to every occasion, give our best effort and make those around us better as we do it. It’s not about winning. It’s about learning to give all we have to give. It is what we learn after we think we know it all that counts.

Honesty is doing the things that we know are right and not giving into the temptation to do the things that we know are wrong. Honesty must occur at all times, in both thought and action.

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.

I believe that we must have faith that things are going to turn out as they should. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to turn out as we would want them to turn out; nevertheless, we must have faith that they will. For this to happen, we must do our part to help our faith become reality. This is faith in ourselves, but it is also a faith in something or someone greater than ourselves.

John Wooden is the author of The Wisdom of Wooden: My Century On and Off the Court. Well worth the read.

John Wooden, basketball coach

About John Kremer

John Kremer is author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, the Relationships Matter Marketing program, and many other books and reports on book marketing, Internet marketing, social media, and book publicity. -- .

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