Words to Live By: John Wooden

Let me say I’m not a big basketball fan. But you’ve got to admire Coach John Wooden, who was one of the most revered coaches and was beloved by his former players, among them Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his “Pyramid of Success.” These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball. Here’s one I like:

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
– John Wooden

My takeaway from this is don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you that you can’t do something. If you have a dream, go for it (as long as it’s legal and doesn’t hurt anyone else of course!), even if you think you can’t do it.  You just might be surprised at how much you can accomplish. And if it doesn’t work out, at least you will have learned something along the way.

As always, I’d love to hear your comments!

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6 Responses to Words to Live By: John Wooden

  1. Jakosc ISO says:

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  2. Julia Neiman says:

    I was at UCLA during the time coach Wooden was there.  You could often hear people sharing his words of wisdom over hamburgers at The Bomb Shelter (the on campus fast food place) and around campus.  He was a great leader.  I believe he meant do what you do well and don’t be distracted by the things that are not your strengths.  In a team situation, someone will have your back.  The same can be applied to business – do what you are good at and delegate or automate the rest.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your comment, Julia. I like your analysis of the quote. Great to have insight from someone who was there!

  3. Susan Joy Schleef says:

    I love this quote.  It’s a great reminder for me.  There are so many things I don’t know and can’t do as I’m in the trenches of getting my business off the ground.  I will have to keep reminding myself of all the things I am very good at and figure out how to let those things shine through.  Thanks!

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