Coach John Wooden is considered one of the best coaches of all time. He led the UCLA Bruins collegiate basketball team to 10 NCAA Titles, including seven in a row from 1967-1973. In twenty-seven seasons of coaching he won 620 games. At one point his teams had a winning streak of 88 consecutive games. They had four perfect 30-0 seasons. Won 38 straight games in NCAA Tournaments and a record 98 straight games on their home court. Coach Wooden won the NCAA College Basketball Coach of the year seven times. He is one of the most winningest coaches of all time. He was inducted into the Basketball hall of Fame as a coach and as a player. He is a legend.
One of the things I admire about Coach Wooden (even though I never met him) is he had a high level of integrity and cared about others. I have read several books on John Wooden, watched many biographies, and listened to many of his former players tell stories of the man. I read a story of John Wooden recently that I believe illustrates why he was as successful as he was.
When John was twelve (1922) his father gave him a card with seven things written on it, and it was titled “Make the Most of One’s Self”. John carried that card with him until his death at 100 years of age. Johns father was a great leader that inspired John Wooden to become the great leader that he became. John lived these principles every single day in every single way. The way he lead himself and his team was through these seven principles his father shared with him.
Here are the seven things his father shared with him:
- Be True to yourself (Don’t be something you are not)
- Make each day your masterpiece (Excellence)
- Help others (Volunteer and share what you have)
- Drink deeply from good books (knowledge)
- Make friendship a fine art (Relationships)
- Build a shelter against a rainy day (Money)
- Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day (Gratitude)
A twelve-year boy receiving this gift is one thing, I am not even sure at twelve I could even comprehend what these seven things meant. At 36, I look at these and I say, WOW, what a good way to live every day. If I just lived every day of my life by these seven principles I would be doing just fine.
When you read the above seven principles what do they mean to you? Next to the principles in parenthesis, I put my thoughts, and I would love for you to share yours.
To your success and your future.