Practice Your Humble

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

Late last season, I called an Arizona Diamondbacks game on YouTube and had a cool opportunity to catch up with D’Backs manager and fellow UCLA Bruin, Torey Luvello…

I couldn’t help but notice that hanging in his office was John Wooden’s pyramid of success.  

Fittingly, Luvello just so happened to be sporting a “practice your humble” t-shirt, so I figured we could practice our humble today by diving into Coach Wooden’s brilliant creation… 

Since I was 9 years old, I have had a copy of the Pyramid of Success, which was given to me by my Mom’s brother, Uncle Mike, who was and still is a high school basketball coach and eternal Wooden advocate.

As a coach and teacher his entire life, Wooden spent decades defining character traits of successful individuals and by 1948, narrowed his list to 25 common behaviors that contribute to organizational and team success.

Here are the 15 core building blocks with a little Daily Hustle commentary after each one:

“Industriousness – 

There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.”

Simply put, we get out what we put in.

“Loyalty – 

To yourself and to all those depending upon you. Keep your self-respect.” 

Just like the African proverb states… If we want to go fast, go alone.  If we want to go far GO TOGETHER. Todo f*cking JUNTO. 

“Alertness – 

Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve.”

Education & experience… Always keep learning & never stop CHARGING. 

“Initiative – 

Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone. Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it.”

A lot of roadkill could have been prevented by simply making a decision which way to go. Failure is not final, but failure to change and failure to make a gosh damn decision might be. 

“Enthusiasm – 

Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.”


“Self-Control –

Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential.”

Don’t ever take your feelings personal.  Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose. 

“Friendship –

Comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like marriage, it must not be taken for granted but requires a joint effort.” 

Just like everything else in life… Relationships need a shit ton of WORK. 

“Cooperation – 

With all levels of your co-workers. Listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way.”

Somebody once told me a wise old owl sat in an oak and the more he heard the less he spoke… The less he spoke the more he heard now isn’t that a wise old bird.  Oh yea, it was Coach Wooden when we had breakfast together in 2008. 

“Intentness –

Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.” 

Let our expectations match our workload… We don’t rise to the occasion, we fall to the level of our training.  Also, if we want to hoot with the owls, we better be able to SOAR with the eagles. 

“Confidence – 

Respect without fear. May come from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective.”

Confidence is always EARNED, never given. 

“Skill – 

A knowledge of and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared and cover every little detail.” 

Skill is learned, developed and then relearned and redeveloped… Honing skills is an eternal process that DOES NOT END. 

“Team Spirit – 

A genuine consideration for others. An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all.”

Amazing what’s possible when nobody cares who gets the credit. 

“Poise – 

Just being yourself. Being at ease in any situation. Never fighting yourself.”

Feel the air pass through the nostrils… The time is NOW. 

“Condition – 

Mental-Moral-Physical. Rest, exercise and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.”

So much for Kowalski’s anything worth doing is worth overdoing theory…

F*ck IT. Can’t stop, won’t stop. 

“Competitive Greatness – 

Be at your best when your best is needed. Enjoyment of a difficult challenge.” 

Control what is within our control… Preparation, attitude & effort are forever creating our reality.  Big moments are uncomfortable, let’s get comfortable with them… These are the moments that let us know we are ALIVE. 

Go Bruins!!!