Living a Significant Life By Coach Wooden

September 14, 2023
Living a Significant Life By Coach Wooden

Today we are going to talk about living a life of significance and impact, and we are going to do that by learning from one of the greatest teachers of all time — basketball Coach Wooden.

Why Do People Listen When Wooden Speaks?

John Wooden, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, not only achieved remarkable success on the court but also left behind a profound legacy of teaching life lessons. His teachings transcend the realm of sports, making him an ideal mentor for anyone seeking to live a significant life.

Living a Significant Life By Coach Wooden

Born in 1910 in Indiana, he developed a passion for the sport from an early age. As a coach, he led the UCLA Bruins to an unmatched level of dominance, winning 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, including seven consecutive titles. Wooden’s coaching philosophy focused on character, discipline, and teamwork, earning him the admiration of players and peers alike.

Beyond his coaching prowess, Wooden’s humility and integrity left a lasting impact on the basketball community and inspired generations to strive for excellence both on and off the court. His legacy as a remarkable leader and mentor continues to resonate today.

Wooden believed that true success was not solely defined by wins and championships, but rather by the relentless pursuit of one’s best self. In his words,

“Success is 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.”

Coach Wooden’s 7 Timeless Life Principles for a Life of Significance

Let’s examine how Coach’s 7 life principles will enable you to live a life of profound meaning and satisfaction.

1. Be True to Yourself

Our first principle, “Be true to yourself,” is all about protecting our integrity and reputation. Success isn’t just about external achievements. It’s about finding contentment within ourselves and making a positive impact on the world.

Coach Wooden reminds us to prioritize our own opinion of ourselves and not worry about others’ judgment. Being true to yourself means embracing your strengths, quirks, and aspirations without seeking validation from others.

Unleash your God-given potential and do great things in the world. Remember, you know the right thing to do; the challenge is to act on it. So embrace who you are and live with purpose and authenticity.

2. Help Others

Coach Wooden believed that true success is not just about personal achievements; it’s about finding peace of mind through the knowledge that we have made efforts to become the best version of ourselves. And a significant part of that journey is helping others along the way.

As a Christian and a teacher, Coach Wooden viewed helping others as his life’s calling. He believed he was born to influence and serve young people, which gave his life purpose and meaning.

Coach Wooden recognized that helping others often requires sacrifice and standing up for fairness, even if it comes at a personal cost. Embracing the principle of helping others expands our impact beyond ourselves. It's about fostering a sense of compassion, empathy, and service in everything we do.

When everybody helps everybody, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that transforms lives.

3. Make Each Day Your Masterpiece

Coach Wooden was known for his meticulous preparation and his ability to extract the utmost value from every single day. He planned every practice session with precision, leaving no detail to chance.

His philosophy revolved around the understanding that today is all we have control over. He believed that when we make the most of today, tomorrow automatically becomes better. He emphasized that regardless of circumstances, we can choose to give our best. By doing so, we shape each day into a masterpiece.

We must make wise choices in line with our values, use our time and resources effectively, find joy in each moment, and invest in the people around us to leave a positive impact on their lives.

Take a moment each day to invest in thoughtful preparation. By planning and organizing our tasks, we set the stage for a day that is destined to be a masterpiece. It’s about intentionally crafting each moment to align with our goals and values.

4. Drink Deeply From Good Books, Especially the Bible

A library of good books is like a collection of wise friends, shaping our lives profoundly. Books instruct, entertain, and impact us in powerful ways.

Reading is an investment in personal growth. It expands our knowledge, sharpens our thinking, and makes us wiser individuals. The highest-earning 10% of Americans dedicate hours each day to reading, broadening their understanding of the world.

To make the most of our reading journey, here are practical tips:

  1. Schedule dedicated reading time each day, preferably an hour or more.
  2. Choose books wisely, being discerning in your selection.
  3. Keep books easily accessible wherever you go.
  4. Interact with books actively, taking notes and reflecting on their content.
  5. Surround yourself with good books at home, fostering a culture of learning.

Consider setting aside vacation time for a reading sabbatical, share your reading experiences, and apply what you learn in your life.

5. Make Friendship a Fine Art

Coach Wooden advocated that friendship should never be taken for granted. Being a good friend means giving, sharing, and showing genuine concern for others. It’s about protecting their reputation and standing by their side.

We have all experienced the impact of friendships—some uplifting, others draining. True friends build us up, inspiring and encouraging us to be our best selves. They bring out our strengths and help us overcome challenges.

Let’s embrace the art of friendship. Show genuine concern, and protect your friends’ reputation. Surround yourself with friends who inspire and bring out the best in you. Together, let’s embark on a journey of significant living through the fine art of friendship.

6. Build a Shelter Against a Rainy Day by the Life You Live

Life is filled with unexpected challenges, metaphorical rainy days that can test our resilience. Coach Wooden understood the importance of strong values and character in making wise decisions during these difficult times.

When the rainy seasons of life come pouring down upon us, it is our persistence and perseverance that provide shelter and carry us through to success. These qualities enable us to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

Coach Wooden emphasized on self-discipline in preparing for these rainy days. The virtue of self-discipline encompasses physical, spiritual, and financial aspects of our lives. By practicing good exercise and nutrition, we are better equipped to handle physical challenges, be it an accident, illness, or major dental procedure. Cultivating spiritual discipline, through prayer and Scripture study, helps us navigate spiritual crises. And maintaining financial discipline empowers us to tackle economic hardships.

Coach Wooden’s faith has always been a guiding force in his life. While he doesn't impose his beliefs on others, he shares his convictions in a gentle and inspiring manner, igniting curiosity and prompting others to seek deeper understanding.

7. Pray for Guidance and Counsel, and Give Thanks for Your Blessings Each Day

Coach Wooden understood the power of prayer and gratitude. He sought guidance and gave thanks for daily blessings.

We often overlook what we have while pursuing what we want. Coach Wooden reminded us to genuinely appreciate our blessings: life, nature’s beauty, loved ones, and the present moment.

Gratitude brings happiness. It helps us find joy in simple blessings and shifts our focus from scarcity to abundance.

Coach Wooden’s faith was an integral part of his life, guiding his humble and grateful attitude. He believed in actively working towards goals and learning from setbacks.

So, let's embrace prayer and gratitude on our journey. Seek guidance and be thankful for daily blessings. Let faith shape who you are and how you act.

In Sum: Live a Significant Life and Impact

John Wooden’s principles are timeless and universal, reminding us that living a life of significance requires courage, discipline, and compassion. Let us embrace the wisdom of Coach Wooden and embark on a journey of significant living. Until next time, keep striving for excellence and making an impact in the world.

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