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Archive for the ‘Taking Risks’ Category

by Kristin Edelhauser

At the age of 96, living in Encino, California and making 20 to 30 speeches a year, former UCLA coach John Wooden still keeps in touch with more players than he could name in one breath, including Bill Walton, Andy Hill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Keith Erickson, Keith Wilkes, Mike Warren, Kenny Washington and John Vallely. And those are just the ones he has breakfast with on a regular basis. But that only seems natural for a leader whose “Pyramid of Success” includes friendship, loyalty and team spirit as three of its 15 blocks.

Wooden has been called the greatest college coach in history thanks to a long list of accomplishments, including a record 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship titles. But for him, it’s not about the number of wins and losses: It’s about how the game is played.

In fact, his players say they don’t recall their coach ever stressing the importance of winning a game. For Wooden, it was about sticking to the fundamentals. “On the first day of practice, I remember him saying, ‘I’m not going to be talking to you about winning or losing because I think that’s a byproduct of our preparation. I would much rather be focused on the process of becoming the best team we’re capable of becoming,’” says John Vallely, who played under Wooden on the 1969 and 1970 UCLA national championship basketball teams.

  • Andy Hill on how Coach Wooden helped him become a good leader
  • Coach Wooden on how he created his definition of success
  • Coach Wooden on what he’s most proud of
  • John Vallely on how the Pyramid of Success applies to all aspects of life
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the importance of preparation and the fundamentals
  • Bill Walton on what Coach Wooden has taught him about basketball and life

Building the Pyramid of Success
Wooden’s famous philosophy on coaching and life has become ingrained in the minds of his former players and continues to guide many of their lives today. But Wooden didn’t create the pyramid with basketball in mind; he worked on it over a 14-year-period, aiming to create a new definition of success. While teaching high school English, he saw parents criticizing their children for receiving less than an “A” or “B.” That’s when he knew he needed to find a way to pass on his message that success isn’t just about how much stuff you have or how powerful you’ve become; it’s about finding peace of mind.

After completing the pyramid in 1948 while coaching at Indiana State University, Wooden coined his definition of success as, “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.” Wooden says that even though he had new ideas about the pyramid throughout its building years, the cornerstones-industriousness and enthusiasm-have always remained constant.



By Josh Bickford

There is a certain way in which you can eliminate all of your internal self debate. I don’t care what you want, by using this method you’ll eliminate your internal debate every time. There will be no more thinking it over, compromise, doubt, coulda, shoulda or if I’d only’s. When you put this into practice the decision is made, and you no longer have to waste energy making up your mind.

What can you do in order for this to happen?

Give 100%

I’m not talking about working hard, or giving everything you have for something. I’m talking about making up your mind 100%. If you only decide 99% you’ve left room for debate, by writing the decision as made with 100% certainty you’ve eliminated your need to debate.

Take marriage for example. If you decide 100% that you will not stray from your spouse you do not need to think about it. No matter what situation you find yourself in, no matter what ‘opportunities’ you are presented with, you will remain faithful every time. The decision was made and it’s no longer up for debate.


By Bob Proctor

My dictionary tells me that to risk is “to expose oneself to the chance of loss.” I suppose that is true. Another piece of literature I was once given (author unknown) suggests that:


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

You may avoid suffering and sorrow if you don’t risk, but you simply cannot learn, feel, change,grow, love or live. The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing and has nothing. Only a person who risks is free.

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