We lost a great one last night. UCLA Men's basketball coach John Wooden passed away at the age of 99 from natural causes. One of the greatest competitors and motivators, in sports and perhaps in any field, the "Wizard of Westwood," (UCLA is in the Westwood area of Los Angeles) is now gone.
Coach Wooden put together a record of excellence that may never be surpassed:
-- 10 National Championships including a stretch of 7 in a row.
-- 88 consecutive victories.
-- Coach of some of the games greatest names: Alcindor, Walton, Goodrich, Wilkes, Wicks, and others.
He was a sweet man who cared deeply about his UCLA Bruins and about the game of basketball. But he also put things in perspective and knew that basketball was just a game. His "Pyramid of Success" has application to much more than what happens on the court. Life had deeper meaning and his emphasis on excellence, seen in quotes like those below, has application to us all:
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
"Never mistake activity for achievement."
"Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."
"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."
"Be prepared and be honest."
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."
"Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character."
"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."
"I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent."
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."
"It isn't what you do, but how you do it."
"Ability is a poor man's wealth."
"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."
"Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights."
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it."
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
"Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."
"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
Which one is your favorite and why? No doubt you have seen some of these motivational and inspirational quotes before. Now you know their source. Unfortunately, that source is now gone. We definitely lost a great one. Farewell, Coach Wooden. That's Leader Business.