“Embrace your history because it’s the stuff by which legends are made and legacies are left.” -Carmine Gallo
Late in the season in 2007, we were in LA playing the Dodgers. Jeff Moorad invited me to have breakfast with the guy I had drawn inspiration from my entire life, John Wooden! At the time, Wooden was in his late 90s, and although he had trouble hearing and he spoke very softly, he was sharp as a tack. I barely spoke the entire breakfast; all I wanted to do was listen. Coach Wooden went in-depth about the pyramid of success and how it took him 15 years to create. He also talked about how baseball was actually his favorite sport. He even recited several of his famous quotes fresh in his 97-year-old mind.
Tough to narrow down because there are so many great ones, but here are what I would consider my top 10 John Wooden teachings and inspirations:
Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.
It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.
Not surprisingly, a few years later when I was hosting my own radio show at KNBR, I would sign off with a different John Wooden quote on a nightly basis. The pyramid of success also just happens to be painted on the walls of each of my children’s bedrooms.
Human Crash Test Dummy Life Lesson #83
Find somebody, past or present, that lives a lifestyle that speaks to you in your life. Utilize the inspiration drawn from that person and create your own pyramid. Learn from the legends; ask yourself why you were drawn to them, and what did they teach you by the way they lived their life? Legends and legacies are built through life experience.
Living it is building it.
Listen to the audio version of the Prologue above, or on The Hustle Podcast.