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Issue 154 - Satisfy Your Expectations, Not Those of Others

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3 Issue 154
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



When Coach was asked what would you say would be one of the most important things your Father taught you? He replied:
Never try to be better than somebody else but never cease trying to be the best you can be.  Also, always understand that you'll never know a thing that you don’t learn from someone else. 
I can remember him saying, that’s under your control. The other isn’t and if you get too engrossed, involved and concerned in regard to the things over which you have no control, it will have a negative effect on the things over which you have or should have control.
The expectations of others are not always under our control. Our expectations of ourselves are always under our control.
The basic idea: The goal is to satisfy not everyone else's expectations, but your own, raises a good question: If I don’t meet my boss’s expectations at work, I will lose my job; shouldn’t meeting his/her expectations be a goal?
Answer: If your goal is to be a great employee and meeting your boss’s expectations is a part of that goal, you certainly should be mindful of achieving those expectations. The approach of satisfying your own expectations, however, would not allow you to be satisfied with just meeting your boss’s expectations if achieving them did not include your best effort.
You may believe you are capable of more.
On the other hand, if your best effort did not result in meeting those expectations, you would not be devastated or depressed.
This story from Coach is a good illustration of this idea. In 1928, John Wooden was the captain of the Martinsville High School team (The Artesians) which lost the Indiana state championship to Muncie Central 13-12 on a last second underhanded half court shot by Muncie’s Charlie Secrist. In his book My Personal Best, Coach described the scene in the locker room after the game:
In our locker room afterward, the Artesians, stunned and almost grieving, sat on the benches holding towels over their faces as they wept. Charlie Secrist's last-second shot had been crushing, and all of the players just quietly lowered their heads and cried. All but one. I couldn't cry. The loss hurt me deeply inside, but I also knew I'd done the best I could do. Disappointed? Yes. Devastated or depressed? No. Dad taught us on the farm, "Don't worry about being better than somebody else, but never cease trying to be the best you can be." I had done that.
Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


Ode on a Grecian Urn


Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

John Keats  






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