John Wooden Quotes: Wisdom for Life

Basketball coaching legend John Wooden died a few weeks ago at the age of 99.

He was well-known for his love of the game, his love for his players, and the wisdom he used to inspire his teams to greatness – not just on the basketball court, but in their personal lives as well.

Much of that wisdom was captured in several books he had written or co-written, including A Game Plan for Life (2009), Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success: 12 Lessons for Extraordinary Performance and Personal Excellence (2009), The Essential Wooden (2006) and My Personal Best (2004).

When he died, I searched my collection of hundreds of success quotes, and found that I had collected a few quotes from Wooden over the years.

When opportunity knocks – it’s too late to prepare.

His point is that opportunity comes to those who are ready for it.  If you have a major goal or something you aspire to be, do, have or achieve, do what you can today to get ready for it.  Outline a plan, think it through, identify some simple steps you can take toward the goal.  Then, when your opportunity knocks, you’ll be ready.

I think this is also true:  sometimes, opportunity knocks only when we’re ready. In other words the conditions that make it possible for us to achieve our goal or dream materialize after we’ve taken some steps toward them.

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

This one has to do with our attitude.  Those who have a positive attitude, and can make the best of any given situation – especially if it isn’t turning out the way we’d hoped – will have a greater chance for success than those who have a poor attitude.

If things aren’t going our way, no amount of complaining or grumbling will change the situation.  In fact, many times, there’s nothing we can do to change our situation.  The only thing we can change is how we respond to it. And this change in our attitude often brings with it a renewed sense of creativity and problem solving skills to help us turn lemons into lemonade.

Can you relate to these quotes?  Or do you have any examples of how these principles have played out in your life?  Please share your comments.

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