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You have success within; it is up to you to bring it out.

This favorite idea of Coach Wooden’s always reminds me of my favorite quotes: “God don’t make no junk.”

Coach Wooden, in his book Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success, commented on fundamental qualities that are required to bring out the success within ourselves:

1. Don’t measure yourself by what you’ve accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your abilities. Measure your success on the basis of how close you got to realizing your full potential.

2. You can’t make up for poor effort today by working harder tomorrow. If you can work “twice as hard” tomorrow, it means you’ve been holding something back, not giving 100 percent today.

3. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything. The doer makes mistakes. However, be sure your mistakes are not the result of poor preparation or sloppy execution.

4. You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes. Time spent complaining is time wasted. The moment you seek to set responsibility on the doorstep of another, you have deluded yourself. Self-delusion is self-destruction.

5. Do not be vulnerable to praise or criticism from outsiders. Your strength of consistency depends on how you let praise and criticism affect you. Some of it will be deserved and some of it will be undeserved. Either way, don’t get caught up in the opinions of others. When you are honest in your self-analysis, your opinion should count the most.

6. Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out. The ancient proverb says, “Crisis presents opportunity.” It is the opportunity to dig deeper and rise higher; to get stronger and be smarter; to find a better way, a different path. Adversity offers the opportunity, but you must recognize it.

It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to bring out the success within ourselves, but as Coach liked to say: Goals achieved with little effort are seldom worthwhile or long-lasting.

Photo by fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Craig Impelman
As Coach Wooden’s grandson-in-law, Craig Impelman had the opportunity to learn Coach’s teachings firsthand and wrote about those lessons for his site, www.woodenswisdom.com. He is a motivational speaker and the author of Wooden’s Wisdom, a weekly “e-coaching module” that is distributed to companies nationally.