Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because character is what you really are, reputation is merely what others think you are.
Don’t measure yourself by what you’ve accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
My father gave me a two-dollar bill for my grade-school graduation and said, “Hold on to this and you’ll never be broke.” I still have it. A lot of times, that’s all I’ve had. But I’ve never been broke.
What am I proudest of? After we’d won a championship, a reporter asked one of my players what kind of racial problems we had on the team. The player said, “You don’t know our coach do you?”
It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.
I don’t believe in praying to win.
Nothing will work unless you do.
The people who turn out best are those who make the best out of the way things turn out.
Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.
You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
When my son was in high school, he wanted a car. I said, “You work hard in the summer and save up for half, and I’ll pay the other half.” So he saved up and I came home one day and Nellie was distraught. Jim had given his money to a friend. I said to Jim, “Do you think you’ll get it back?” He said, “Dad, what did you always teach me? He’s my friend. Haven’t I heard you say your greatest joy is doing something for someone with no thought of something in return?” Hearing your own words come back to you can make you smile. Later that year, his friend paid him back.
Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.
Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.
Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.
The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother.
Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
Don’t mistake activity for achievement.
Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.
I’ll never adjust to the loss of Nellie. We were married for fifty-three years. No man ever had a finer wife. Prior to her loss, I had some fear of death. Now I have no fear. I look forward to seeing her again.
Passion is momentary; love is enduring.
Coach John Wooden is one of my heroes. And not because he once lead the UCLA Bruins to an eighty-eight-game winning streak in basketball or because ESPN named him the greatest coach of the 20th-century. John Wooden is one of my heroes because of who he was both on AND off the courts. He didn’t just win games, he won hearts. He didn’t just make players into champions, he made them into better human beings.
John Wooden changed lives, not through force, manipulation, and persuasive rhetoric, but by simply being the example — a man of God who was both Gentleman & Scholar.
[Image by Pete Oswald]