John Wooden

 John Wooden's Vision of Success

My dad, joshua, had great influence on my personal vision of success, and it has little to do with fortune or fame.  Although I probably didn't really understand it at the time, one of the things he tried to get across to me was that I should never try to be better than someone else.  Then he always added, "but Johnny, never cease trying to be the best you can be.  That is under your control.  The other isn't."  
 
You have little say over how big or strong or smart or rich someone else may be. You do have at least you should have, control over yourself and the EFFORT YOU GIVE TOWARD BRINGING OUR YOUR BEST in whatever you are doing.  This effort must be total, and when it is, I believe you have achieved personal success.
 
The concept of success is mine when  I work my hardest to become my best, and that I alone determine whatever I do so, became central in my life and affected me in a most profound manner.
 
Try your hardest in all ways and you are a success.  Period.  Do less than that and you have failed to one degree or another.
 
I believe this strongly and I have practiced it as best I could throughout these many years.
 
 
Preparation is the price
 
Cervantes wrote, "the journey is better than the inn."  He is right and that is why I derived my greatest satisfaction out of the preparation.  The "journey" , day after day, week after week, year after year.
 
Your journey is the important thing.  A score, a trophy, a ribbon is the Inn.  Thus, there are many, many games that gave me as much pleasure as any of the ten national championship games we won, simply because we prepared fully and played near our highest level of ability.
 
The so called importance of a particular game didn't necessarily add to the satisifaction I felt in preparing for the contest. It was the JOURNEY I prized most of all.
 
A Successful Journey is the Destination
 
You know where you'd like to go, whether it's the national championship in basketball or a particular goal in your business or life.  You must also realize that this goal will be simply a by-product of all the hard work and good thinking you do along the way your preparation.  The preparation is where success is truly found.
 
Set your compass in a chosen direction and then focus your attention and efforts completely on the journey fo preparation.  A successful journey becomes your destination and is where your real accomplishment lies.
 
Failures and mistakes
 
I had mistakes, plenty, but I had no failures.  We may not have won a national championship every year.  we may have lost games.  But we had no failures.  You never fail if you know in your heart that you did the best of which you are capable.  I did my best.  That is all I could do.
 
Are you going to make mistakes?  Of course.  But it is not failure if you make the full effort.  I told my players many times, "failing to prepare is preparing to fail." If you prepare properly, you may be outscored but you will never lose.   I wanted our players to believe that to their very souls because I know it is the truth.  You always win when you make full effort to do the best of which you are capable.
 
I also know that only one person on earth knows if you made your best effort:  not your coach, not your employer, not your husband or wife. boyfriend or girlfiriend, brother or sister.  The only person who knows is you.  You can fool everyone else.
 
These excerpts were taken from the book 
By John Wooden and Steve Jamison