The Thought for the Day – John Wooden

Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. – John Wooden


John Wooden was the basketball coach at UCLA for many years, retiring with ten NCAA championships, still a record for men’s teams, though Geno Auriemma  who coaches the women at the University of Connecticut, has won eleven. We grew up in Los Angeles and still remember UCLA winning a national title or two, and Wooden’s retirement after his last one. We attended his basketball camp a couple of times growing up, his influence on our life has been profound, and forgive us if we feel entitled to call him Coach.

Our last Thought for the Day talked about success being there for anyone with the smarts to formulate a plan for their life and the courage to execute that plan. Success means different things to different people, but Wooden’s definition of success is cuts right to the heart of our human experience.

…knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

What else is there in this life? We talk a lot about the 24 hours in a day, and are fond of saying they are the only commodity each of is issued in equal measure. The proper utilization of these hours will determine whether we have a life well spent or a life that leaves us wondering if there might not have been something more.

Every day we must ask ourselves if we are we putting our hours to good use or are we squandering them on things that do not produce a dividend? Are we tending to what nature is telling us to do, or are merely being entertained? Are we following our hearts and trusting our instincts, or do we spend our time reacting to outside forces?

The happiest lives are spent by those following their hearts and trusting their instincts because our hearts tell us what we are meant to do with our lives and our instincts tell us how to get there.

It ain’t easy. Everyday there are any number of things to throw us off course, which means we must be diligent in living the life we were meant to lead. We cannot be on our path some days and not others, some months and not others, some years and not others. We must be relentless, on our path every day. It doesn’t really matter what that path is, either. All that matters is that it is yours, a path you were led to by something deep inside you.

When you are doing what you are meant to do with your life, and when you have become your very best at what you were meant to do, success will be there, having patiently waited for your arrival. 

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