Thursday, June 10, 2010

lessons from john wooden

with all the media attention devoted to the recently departed coach john wooden, i was inspired to pick up his book, wooden on leadership. i was surprised to realize that many of the leadership principles i have heard throughout the years originated or were greatly associated with him. barely into the book, i am already putting into practice and thought his principles and values. i have so much to learn.

i have found that when you don't love yourself or see your value, you find it difficult or even impossible to receive good things in your life like compliments, constructive criticism, dreams and direction. when you live out of "deficit," you spend most of your energy just trying to get back to even. it's tiring. sometimes you give up because it just doesn't feel worth the energy or time. but when you begin to love and respect yourself and forgive, you begin to heal. healing brings wholeness, and wholeness brings the opportunity to make your dreams reality. you deserve all the good things GOD sends your way. and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

i have a group of people in my life that tend to assume the worst about me. they make sarcastic, hurtful comments at times that make me feel worthless, like no one likes me, like i'm a terrible person that can't get along with others. i'm actually afraid to tell them that i'm going back to school to study public relations. i can almost see the shocked looks on their faces and hear the sarcasm in their voices.

now i say that to say the following: it doesn't matter what they say or why they say it. for one thing, i know and those closest to me know who i really am. more importantly, GOD knows who i really am.

while reading wooden on leadership, i came across an account from john wooden's life. he was coaching basketball at ucla at the time. his 1959-1960 team just barely eked out a winning season. though others considered that year a bust, wooden considered this one of his best years of coaching. why? his definition of success. he rarely spoke about winning games and beating his opponents. he defined success as "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." did they win the championship that year? far from it. were they a success? very much so. why? because they maximized their abilities both individually and as a unit.

wooden put it this way: " We were a success, but nobody understood it except us. But us is what mattered. It's like character and reputation. Reputation is what others perceive you as being, and their opinion may be right or wrong. Character, however, is what you really are, and nobody truly knows that but you. But you are what matters most."

just like me, you may have those nay-sayers and discouragers in your life that you can't seem to shake. sometimes what they say may have some basis, but truth without love can be just as damaging. the two opinions that matter most about you are the ones that originate with you and with GOD.

don't be afraid to follow your dreams and to acknowledge the good in yourself. you are an amazing, unique masterpiece fashioned by the great CREATOR himself. that's pretty doggone incredible. have you done your best? then have the peace of mind that you are already a success. believe in you. GOD does.

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