John Wooden

Every once in a while a person comes along who cuts a wide swath. And makes a big difference in the lives of others. To me, John Wooden (1910-2010) was one of those special people.  Wooden was the winningest basketball coach (UCLA) in NCAA history – winning 10 national titles in a 12 year period. Coach Wooden was known for his short, simple inspirational messages which helped players succeed in basketball but more importantly in life.  

I’ve previously had posts on the virtue of character (e.g. 1/26/12).  The words of Coach Wooden fit right in.

Make each day your masterpiece.

Never cease trying to be the best you can be.  That is in your power.

Young people need role models, not critics.

Never mistake activity for achievement.

Today is the only day.  Yesterday is gone.

Never measure yourself by what you have accomplished – but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.  

Seek opportunities to show you care.  The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.   

Interestingly, Coach Wooden never mentioned “winning” to his players.  He always stressed effort.  Doing one’s best was key. . . .    

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Character

[Here’s a repeat from January 26, 2012]

When I tutor for the Chicago Lights Tutoring Program http://www.chicagolights.org  (see posts of August 8 and 9), each day I try to give my student a 3″ x 5″ card with a quotation on it. Usually the quote relates to character, integrity, hard work and achievement. I’m partial to the wisdom of John Wooden (winningest coach in NCAA basketball).

Character is doing what’s right – when no one is looking.” J.C. Watts

Character is higher than intellect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” James D. Miles

Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Character is much easier kept than recovered.” Thomas Paine

The measure of true character is what a man would do if he knew he would never be found out.” Thomas Babington Macaulay

Ability may get you to the top but it takes character to keep you there.” John Wooden

In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightengale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.” Ambrose Bierce

Education is not just reading and math. It’s learning about tenacity, hard work, civility and character.

Character

When I tutor for the Chicago Lights Tutoring Program (www.chicagolights.org ; see posts of August 8 and 9), each day I try to give my student a 3″ x 5″ card with a quotation on it.  Usually the quote relates to character, integrity, hard work and achievement.  I’m partial to the wisdom of John Wooden (winningest coach in NCAA). 

Character is doing what’s right – when no one is looking.”           J.C. Watts

Character is higher than intellect.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”  James D. Miles

Nearly all men can stand adversity.  But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”   Abraham Lincoln

Character is much easier kept than recovered.”   Thomas Paine

The measure of true character is what a man would do if he knew he would never be found out.”  Thomas Babington Macaulay

Ability may get you to the top but it takes character to keep you there.”    John Wooden

In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightengale.  Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.”          Ambrose Bierce

Education is not just reading and math.  It’s learning about tenacity, hard work, civility and character.