One of Pete Carroll’s greatest mentors of leadership is John Wooden, with whom he learned a lot from in the summer of 2000—the year between head coaching jobs. In this video above–a TED Conference in February 2000 in Monterey, California—Wooden explained how he coined his definition of success, among other things.
In the 1930s, Wooden noticed students in school were only deemed ‘successful,’ if they received A’s or B’s, while students who received C’s were deemed less than satisfactory. Wooden realized that’s a poor way to judge success. Instead, he thought, a better measure would be to determine if they tried their best. “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming,” Wooden says.
Wooden’s father, Joshua, told John “never try to be better than someone else—always learn from others, and never cease to be the best you can be. That’s what you can control.”
Others can’t judge success, so why should we let them? This thought brings up one of my favorite John Wooden quotes: “Reputation is what you’re perceived to be, character is what you really are.” As Wooden says, character should be much more important.
Coach Carroll is often asked what’s better, competing or winning. His answer is simple: “Competing by far, because competing lasts forever,” Carroll exclaims. “The wins and losses come and go, but it’s the effort to continue to strive to be the best you can be.” He explains this thought process in Win Forever.
In this video, Wooden expresses life lessons from his father, his rules and how he defines success with the Wooden Pyramid. I encourage you to take advantage of this timeless wisdom.
John Wooden had an incredible sense of what success really is. It’s not about winning or losing, but maximizing one’s potential. Within the new Always Compete Program, we teach you how to learn about yourself and live your life around it to maximize your own potential.
If you’d like to learn more about WinForever, develop your own personal philosophy and are ready to take the next step to maximize your potential, sign up here to Join the WinForever Movement.
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