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Issue 125 - You Cannot Live a Perfect Day Without Doing Something for Someone Without a Thought of Repayment

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3 Issue 125
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login




This famous quote of Coach Wooden's represented his daily approach to life. He eagerly approached each day with the goal of trying to help as many people as he could.
There are numerous stories about Coach which recount how he would sit and talk basketball and life with anybody who solicited his input.
Denny Crum, a former assistant coach, described Coach this way:
He often talked about the importance of doing something nice for someone every day. It didn't have to be anything material. It could be just a kind word, a smile or a pat on the back. It was a way of life for him.
Here are a few short verses Coach Wooden found inspirational on the subject of giving:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
- Emily Dickinson
Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
‘Twas not giv’n for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another’s tears;
Till in Heaven the deed appears-
Pass it on.
- Henry Burton
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where......
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There is a destiny that makes us brothers: None goes his way alone; All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own. - Edwin Markham
In his book A Game Plan for Life, with Don Yeager, Coach describes the influence Mother Teresa had on him:
We all share the same goal - we want to offer a word of kindness and a hand of love to people who have no means to repay us.
This is the most central lesson I can take from Mother Teresa’s life of service: you should never expect a reward in return. The gift is reward enough for the giver.
I remember, in fact, making a resolution after reading another story about Mother Teresa’s work that I would strive to do one kind thing each day for someone who could never return the favor.
If we agree with Mother Teresa that a life not lived for others is not worthwhile, then a day lacking just one simple deed for others is certainly not a complete day.
May all your days be complete.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry




Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!  
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal!
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way!
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time!

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate!
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 





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