The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 15 - Enthusiasm

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 1 Issue 15
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


Click here to watch short Video Clip of Coach Wooden

In 1934, when Coach Wooden began building his Pyramid of Success, he chose Enthusiasm as the second of his cornerstones. While many other blocks were moved and redefined in the next 14 years as he developed his Pyramid, Enthusiasm was never moved.


Watch Video

Enthusiasm is defined in the Pyramid of Success as follows:


"Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing."


Coach Wooden believed that enthusiasm was the igniter that turned hard work into industriousness.


"Hard work without enthusiasm leads to tedium. Enthusiasm without industriousness leads to unrealized potential. When combined, they cement a solid foundation."


Coach Wooden’s father, Joshua, had given his sons two sets of threes. The second set of threes: “don't whine, don’t complain, don't make excuses” was his advice on how to deal with adversity and how to always keep a positive attitude.


This advice to his son strongly influenced Coach Wooden in choosing enthusiasm as one of the cornerstones of his Pyramid of Success. But Coach Wooden's definition "you must truly enjoy what you're doing" provides a challenge to take it a step further. Choose a career that provides work that you can enjoy. Coach did not believe that you could ever reach your full potential working in a field unless you genuinely were happy with the work you had the opportunity to accomplish.


In fact, Coach Wooden’s advice was very clear for those working at a job that they did not enjoy:


“Complaining, whining and making excuses just keep you out of the present. If your complaints are constant, serious and genuine about your calling, then leave when practical.”


“If you have a job that you enjoy but there are negative external conditions that you don't have control over, you must not let them bother you and dampen your enthusiasm.”


Coach Wooden has stated that he allowed the difficult entrance requirements and poor facilities at UCLA to bother him for the first twelve or thirteen years of his coaching career. It wasn’t until he changed his attitude or as coach said "embraced my own Pyramid" and got his enthusiasm back that he began winning National Championships.


Here is some additional wisdom from Coach Wooden concerning enthusiasm:


“The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control.”


“People are usually as happy as they make up their mind to be.”


“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”


When expanding on the idea that enthusiasm: "brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact", Coach Wooden made it clear that he felt that an enthusiastic, positive, optimistic attitude is an absolute requirement of leadership.


“More often than we ever suspect, the lives of others we affect.”


As a leader you should always be aware of your tone of voice and know that sometimes even a simple sentence said with a negative tone can diminish the enthusiasm of those you work with and put productive results in jeopardy.



Yours in coaching,



Craig Impelman


Twitter: @woodenswisdom



Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry

That certain something that makes us great - that pulls us out of the mediocre and commonplace - that builds into us Power. It glows and shines - it lights up our faces - ENTHUSIASM, the keynote that makes us sing and makes men sing with us.

ENTHUSIASM - the maker of friends-the maker of smiles - the producer of confidence. It cries to the world, “I've got what it takes.” It tells all men that our job is a swell job - that the house we work for just suits us - the goods we have are the best.

ENTHUSIASM - The inspiration that makes us “Wake Up and Live." It puts spring in our step - spring in our hearts – a twinkle in our eyes and gives us confidence in ourselves and our fellow men.

ENTHUSIASM - it changes a dead pan salesman to a producer - a pessimist - a loafer to a go-getter.

ENTHUSIASM - If we have it, we should thank God for it. If we don't have it, then we should get down on our knees and pray for it.

Upon the plains of hesitation, bleached the bones of countless millions who, on the threshold of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting they died.


For more information visit

Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,893,215

Hosting & Design