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How Your Thinking Affects Your Future

How Your Thinking Affects Your Future

It’s not what you think you are, but what you think. In his book Wooden on Leadership, Coach Wooden described how a change in his thinking had a profound effect on his future: At the beginning of the 1961-62 season, I’d been coaching basketball at UCLA for 13...
The Why and How of Discipline

The Why and How of Discipline

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” —Friedrich Nietzsche This quote from the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was a favorite of Coach Wooden’s. It is usually referred to in the context of directing your life in pursuit of a noble...
Don’t Dwell in the Past; Do Something in the Present

Don’t Dwell in the Past; Do Something in the Present

“Dwelling in the past prevents doing something in the present.” —John Wooden Coach Wooden’s quote is usually applied to encourage people not to focus on past disappointments. On another level, Coach used this approach for himself to make sure that although he was...
Why Your Goals Shouldn’t Just Be About Winning

Why Your Goals Shouldn’t Just Be About Winning

The following is an excerpt from Coach’s preseason letter to the team in 1970 (UCLA had won its sixth national championship in seven years) in which he communicates his goal for the upcoming season to his players: It has been almost four months since our basketball...
Why Character Matters More Than Material Possessions

Why Character Matters More Than Material Possessions

“The important thing in life is not what belongs to us, but what we belong to.” —John Wooden The central idea behind this favorite quote of Coach Wooden’s was that it is not material possessions (what belongs to us) that are important in life but rather what our...