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Coach John Wooden Pyramid of Success
Contentment Is the Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Health

Contentment makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.

The Dalai Lama shared some great wisdom on this idea: “Your level of unhappiness is the difference between what you think you need and what you have.”

National Geographic Society Researcher Dan Buettner wrote about four locations where people have the longest life expectancy. They are scattered around the globe. All the locations had a regiment of good diet and exercise, where seniors are active and valued as members of their family and the community. Here are some of his comments regarding other things they had in common:

In Okinawa, Japan, you’ll find not only the highest life expectancy in the world but also the highest health expectancy. Okinawans have a sense of purpose, a positive outlook on life and close social support groups called moais.

Sardinia, Italy has the world’s highest documented percentage of people who have passed the century threshold. Sardinians walk a lot, but they also take time for leisure, and maintain a positive attitude and sense of humor about life.

In Loma Linda, California, men live 7.3 years longer than other California men and women live 4.4 years longer than other California women. They nurture emotional and spiritual health, value their family relationships, and prize volunteering.

In Nicoya, Costa Rica a man at age 60 has about twice the chance of reaching age 90 that a man living in the U.S. does. The Nicoya’s have a plan de vida or sense of purpose in life which encourages a lifestyle that is physically active, with plenty of time outdoors and time spent on family and spirituality.

Coach felt that the secret to a long life was peace of mind (contentment). He once commented:

Material possessions can’t bring contentment, peace of mind, happiness or true success. Don’t compare yourself to somebody else, especially materially.

Photo by @andrey_rage/Twenty20

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, He is a motivational speaker and the author of Wooden’s Wisdom, a weekly “e-coaching module” that is distributed to companies nationally.