7 Motivational John Wooden Quotes for Success in Life

7 Motivational John Wooden Quotes for Success in Life

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John Wooden quotes
Image Credit: UCLA

The late John R. Wooden was a basketball player and coach regarded as one of the best. John had a great ability of grooming players not just to win on the court but more importantly in life.

He coached legends like Lewis Alcindor who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He became popular for his achievements at UCLA over 12 years where he won 10 NCAA championships.

In his book, Wooden on Leadership, he reveals the leadership tactics and philosophy he used to build championship winning teams.

Here are 7 John Wooden quotes to inspire you to win big in life:

1. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden

Oftentimes we measure success by the results of our efforts to determine how well we performed. Indeed this is the case in the corporate world, where revenue generated is the key performance indicator.

But what we forget is that we don’t get to determine 100% of the outcome of our efforts. It’s easy to be disappointed when you fail to meet expectations, so looking at success another way would help. Look at success as having done the best you could with the right strategies, then leave the results to God.

2. “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” ~ John Wooden

In many cases, winning in life comes down to paying attention to the small details; they make all the difference. Those little details vary depending on your area of focus. In sports, it could be adhering to a healthier diet than other people. In business, it could be analyzing trends and taking action to improve the bottom line.

Whatever the case might be, attending to the minor issues puts you in a better position to excel. Think about the goals you’ve set for yourself and look at where you’re falling short. There may be minor details that need your attention to get a better outcome.

3. “Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time.” ~ John Wooden

Technically speaking, in life, you win and lose all the time which is measured in different ways. However, when you’re consistent and committed to your goals, you win all the time. You may not accomplish them in a given period of time, but you eventually do if you don’t give up.

That’s the kind of fighting spirit you need to cultivate if you’re going to win big in life. Keep going and keep chipping away at your goals little by little, and eventually, they’ll become reality.

4. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” ~ John Wooden

Real fulfillment comes from making other people’s lives better than when you met them. This is essentially true of those that cannot return the good deeds you do for them. It’s also important to have the right motives when you’re helping people, and not for personal gain.

It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, doing what you can to meet a need goes a long way. If you don’t already do so, begin to look for such opportunities to bless others.

5. “If you sacrifice principle trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.” ~ John Wooden

Being double-minded demonstrates to others that you’re confused and can’t be trusted for anything. Life is a lot simpler when you follow godly principles than trying to be devious in what you do. People who violate principles are often looking for short cuts as they chase after success.

Short cuts only serve to take you longer than you would have did the right things in the first place. If you can get over the fear of what other people think of you, you will be free indeed.

6. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” ~ John Wooden

Trying to take short cuts doesn’t get you results quicker, but sets you back and delays your progress. In some cases, you may need to start all over and rectify your shortcomings which could have been avoided. Your progression is a lot smoother when you don’t have unnecessary complications.

The best thing you can do when working on a project, is to learn from other successful people. By modelling their approach, you can reduce your learning curve and achieve excellent results as well.

7. “Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.” ~ John Wooden

Staying focused on your goals is not always easy because you’ll often come across distractions along the way. These distractions take multiple forms and can be very subtle. In some cases, they may come as ‘opportunities’ to make quick money but find that they’re empty pursuits.

By chasing after such, not only have you wasted precious time, but you will have set yourself backwards. If you’re committed to doing something, be aware that such distractions will come up; prepare yourself to not be taken out of your stride until you’ve accomplished your goals.

Do you have any other John Wooden quotes to add to this list? Comment below:

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