|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login
NOTHING WILL WORK UNLESS YOU DO
This quote often used by Coach Wooden was originated by Dr. Maya Angelou, an American author and poet regarded as a global Renaissance woman.
Dr Angelou was born in 1928 and endured the brutality of racism in Stamps, Arkansas growing up.
She has published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.
She has received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees.
Angelou's list of occupations includes prostitute, pimp, night-club dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, author, journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the days of decolonization, and actor, writer, director, producer of plays, movies, and public television programs.
Since 1982, she has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
She made no excuses, sought no entitlements, just refused to take no for an answer and kept working.
John Wooden coached high school basketball for 11 years and never won a state championship. He coached 29 years before he won his first national championship.
In 1859, Samuel Smiles published a famous book titled Self Help (it could have been called Nothing will work unless you do).
Mr. Smiles documented the lives of famous people (most now forgotten) who demonstrated that accomplishment is not the result of luck, but rather self initiated work. Here are a few examples:
Sir William Herschel (1738–1822), who while working as an oboist in a traveling orchestra, became curious about astronomy. He built his own reflecting telescope, discovered Uranus and other celestial bodies, and became astronomer to the King of England.
Bernard Palissy (c.1510–89), a poor potter who threw his own furniture and fence palings into a furnace in order to create his famous enamelware, such tenacity eventually being rewarded by the position as potter to the French throne.
Granville Sharp (1735–1813), a clerk who in his spare time began the anti-slavery movement in England, eventually getting the law changed to ensure that any slave setting foot in the country would be freed.
Michelangelo would not have painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling if he had not been willing to lie on his back on boards for months on end.
It took the painter Titian seven years to produce his Last Supper for Charles V.
The stories are endless, but they all have the same formula.
Thomas Edison put it this way: The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
In writing this issue I decided that if there are goals I have not achieved yet it is because I haven’t worked hard enough or long enough at them.
I better get busy because: Nothing will work unless I do.
Yours in Coaching,
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
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