John Wooden's Definition Of Success

Improved Essays
John Wooden is a teacher and a legendary coach who led his team to a record-breaking number of wins and NCAA Championships. In 2001, he gave a TedTalk focused on his experiences as a teacher and a coach and how they have changed his definition of success. During this TedTalk Wooden gave his own definition of success and talked about the events that led to his forming of this new definition. Wooden also quoted different poems and verses that he felt accurately described what he had come to know about life and what it means to be successful. The comments that Wooden made and the sources that he quoted in his talk interested me in one way or another. A couple of the comments made me doubtful, other comments caused me to stop and think, and some …show more content…
For example, at one point in his speech Wooden states that he believes character- meaning who you are- is much more important than reputation- who you are perceived to be. This comment made me stop in my tracks because both aspects are important to being successful. I absolutely agree that having a good reputation means nothing if you are not a genuinely well-intentioned person. However, success depends on your ability to do your best and being perceived in a negative way by the people you are trying to be productive with, inhibits that ability. Under no circumstances should people make their life decisions based on what society deems as correct or how society will perceive them. However, decisions should be based on whether they will allow people to execute their best work in the most productive way. At another point in his speech, Wooden also states that today’s youth believes that all change is progress. As a person who falls under the category of “youth” I take issue with this statement and believe that it is not true. Personally, I know that all change is not progress and that some changes are major setbacks. In my various communities, I constantly watch young people question the effectiveness of the social changes that are taking place and push their peers to do the same. In my opinion, Wooden’s statement relies on the stereotype that younger people, in general, are impatient, …show more content…
For example, Wooden states that he believes becoming engrossed in what you cannot control will inevitably affect your ability to control what you can. As a person who tries to force outcomes through sheer force of will I had to ponder this comment. It has never occurred to me that fighting against things that are uncontrollable will only result in me losing control over things in which I do have a say. During his speech, Wooden also states that to be successful people must believe that if they do the necessary work, things will work out as they should. This statement made me stop and think because, in my opinion, believing that things happen the way they’re supposed to and that, generally, things will turn out okay is imperative. However, it is convenient to forget that I am responsible for putting in the work and that I am the only one who determines my fate. Towards the end of his talk, Wooden quoted a philosopher as saying, “The journey is better than the end.” This quote made me pause because I frequently get wrapped up in reaching a goal and disregard the work that I am doing to achieve it. The idea that the working could bring more satisfaction than the result compels me to stop and fully appreciate and experience the

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