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Issue 4 - Help Others

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 1 Issue 4
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



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This issue of The Wooden Way is devoted to the second item of Coach Wooden’s seven point creed “Help others.”


One of Coach Wooden’s favorite role models was Mother Theresa, whose quote, “Unless a life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile,” served as the bedrock of Coach’s lifetime commitment to helping others. After reading about her tremendous work among the poor in Calcutta, Coach resolved to do one kind thing each day for someone who could never return the favor; and he often put that same challenge to others.


Coach realized that not everyone could bring hospices, orphanages and schools to underprivileged people like Mother Teresa, but we could still make a difference in someone’s life every day. Whether serving others’ needs physically or emotionally, even the simplest acts of kindness can have a tremendous positive impact. As Mother Teresa often said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”


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Abraham Lincoln, another of Coach Wooden’s mentors, was also an inspiration to him in this regard. Lincoln once remarked that, “The worst thing you can do for those you love is to do the things they could and should do for themselves.


This piece of wisdom inspired Coach to help other people find balance in their own lives. When my wife, Christy (Coach Wooden’s granddaughter), was in high school, she was also working part-time to buy a car. Coach probably could have just purchased a vehicle for her, but in keeping with his philosophy, he suggested that he and her other grandfather match whatever monies Christy earned to help her save toward her purchase. From this experience, Christy learned that one can help others by helping them to help themselves.


 Coach gave us three great maxims to illustrate this point:

Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”


“Forget favors given; remember
those received. “

“Be more concerned with what you can do for others than what others can do for you.”


Click here for personal development exercise

Yours in coaching,


Craig Impelman


Twitter: @woodenswisdom

Application Exercise

Favorite POETRY

At Day’s End
Is anybody happier because
you passed his way?

Does anybody remember
that you spoke to him today?

The day is almost over,
and its toiling time is through;

Is there anyone to utter
now a kindly word of you?

Can you say tonight, in parting
with the day that’s slipping fast,

That you helped a single brother
of the many that you passed?

Is a single heart rejoicing
over what you did or said?

Does the man whose hopes were fading,
now with courage look

Did you waste the day, or lose it?
Was it well or sorely spent?

Did you leave a trail of kindness,
or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber,
do you think God will say,

"You have earned one more tomorrow
by the work you did today?"

~John Hall
It's not what we give
but what we share,

For the gift without the giver
is bare.
Who gives of himself
of his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor,
and me.

~James Russell Lowell,
The Vision of Sir Launfal (1848),
Pt. II, st. 8

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