Book Notes: Coach Wooden – The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours

Here are some notes from Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours.  It’s on my 2012 Reading List.  Here are some thoughts from the book:

Wooden didn’t just coach teamwork and preparation and strategy. He coached character and attitude and ideas. – Tony Dungy

Talent is God-given: be humble.
Fame is man-given: be thankful.
Conceit is self-given: be careful.

Coach Wooden won ten NCAA championships, including 7 in a row. He had an 88-game winning streak and four 30-0 undefeated seasons. His dad gave him a piece of paper that had a 7-point creed.

1. Be true to yourself. “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.” – Father to Son advice from Hamlet. Never sacrifice your principles. Refuse to betray your values.

Work hard on the things you CAN control, and don’t lose sleep over the rest of it. If you could be lured away from your job for 10x the salary, then it’s not your true passion. Michaelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine floor…look up.

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

2. Help others. Wooden insisted that his players point to the man giving an assist with a gesture of thanks and acknowledgement. (page 68)

“All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you’ve gained in life or accomplished for yourself. It’s what you do for others.” – Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

All great people have dirty shoulders. People of true greatness are always lifting other up and letting them stand tall on their own shoulders.

3. Make each day your masterpiece. You can kill time or invest it. Greg Maddux recalls advice once received from Cubs-manager Tom Trebelhorn: “Players these days are always looking forward to something. They’re never trying to do something today. They’re always looking forward to the next off-day, the All-Star break, the end of the season. They never stop and enjoy the day that’s here.”

“Fortune favors the prepared mind.” Louis Pasteur

It’s important to go to bed at night knowing you’ve worked as hard as you could and that you’ve done the very best that day.

Stop wishing for someday….you will probably never have more time than you do right now.

“I simply don’t wish to do that” is a perfectly good enough reason for saying no.

You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your effort and your attitude.

4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends: they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard in the late 19th century.

“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” – Mark Twain

The highest earning of Americans read 2-3 hours a day. 80% of Americans have not read or purchased one book during the past twelve months.

5. Make friendship a fine art. You don’t have to agree with your friends to be their friend.

“You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.” Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

Your friends aren’t in charge of your behavior – you are. You are the leader of your friends.

6. Build a shelter against a rainy day by the life you live.

Accumulate virtues, wisdom and friends, not just money.

The willingness to work harder than your competition is more important than talent, intelligence, and luck in determining your level of success.

It took 16 years to win a national championship at UCLA. He never changed his style, but kept honing his craft.

We all admire disciplined people, but few want to devote the time and effort to disciplining ourselves.

“Compounding is mankind’s greatest invention because it allows for the reliable, systematic accumulation of wealth. The eighth wonder of the world is the miracle of compounding.” – Albert Einstein

7. Pray for guidance and counsel, and give thanks for your blessings each day.

Praise by name, criticize by category.

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