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Issue 151 - People Are Usually as Happy as They Make up Their Mind to be

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3 Issue 151
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden frequently told two different stories to illustrate this idea.
The first story was about a friend of his, Bob, who was visiting him at UCLA from Indiana.
Upon arriving at Coach’s office on the UCLA campus,  Bob shared what he thought was important information with Coach Wooden:
Johnny, these people in California aren't as friendly as they are back home, Bob lamented. Coming over here this morning I met a lot of people and not a single person spoke to me. That would have never happened back home.

Did you speak to any of them? Coach asked.

Well, no, Bob said,I didn't know them.
Coach would then remind us that in being friendly, someone has to take the first step.
In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, Coach recounted a story he often told that demonstrates: much of what we see depends on what we are seeking.
There's an old story about a fellow who went to a small town in Indiana with the thought of possibly moving his family there.
"What kind of people live around here?" he asked the attendant at the local filling station. "Well," the attendant replied as he checked the oil, "what kind of people live back where you're from?"
The visitor took a swallow of his cherry soda and replied, "They're ornery, mean, and dishonest!"
The attendant looked up and answered, "Mister, you'll find them about like that around here, too."
A few weeks later, another gentleman stopped by the gas station on a muggy July afternoon with the same question.
"Excuse me," he said as he mopped off his brow. "I'm thinking of moving to your town with my family. What kind of people live around these parts?"
Again the attendant asked, "Well, what kind of people live back where you're from?"
The stranger thought for a moment and replied, "I find them to be kind, decent, and honest folks."
The gas station attendant looked up and said, "Mister, you'll find them about like that around here, too."
It's so true. You often find what you're looking for.
As Coach liked to say: People are usually as happy as they make up their mind to be.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


Mending Wall


Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.

Robert Frost 






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