The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Enjoy and share the Wooden's Wisdom 12-Part Program for Success

Issue 186 - The Important Thing in Life is Not What Belongs to us, But What We Belong To

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 4 Issue 186
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



The central idea behind this favorite quote of Coach Wooden’s was that it is not material possessions (what belongs to us) that are important in life, but rather what our character is (what we belong to).
Coach expanded on the idea as follows:
Too many of us are concerned with building a reputation or obtaining material possessions. We should be more interested in building character within ourselves. Material possessions can't bring contentment, peace of mind, happiness or true success.
In addition to Joshua Wooden’s two sets of three (Never Lie, Never Cheat, Never Steal, Don’t Whine, Don’t Complain, Don’t Make Excuses) the core of John Wooden’s character was built on the simple fact that: The most important word in our language is love.
For John Wooden, this translated to a life focused on what he could do to help others, not on building a reputation or obtaining material possessions.
Motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins interviewed Coach Wooden and asked: Coach I have interviewed several wealthy people who are not all that happy. What advice would you give them?
Coach’s response was simple: They should find somebody to help.
In his book Wooden, with Steve Jamison, Coach commented on what he believed was the primary cause of unhappiness:
It is my observation that the primary cause of unhappiness for most people is simply wanting too much: expecting too much materially, chasing the dollar, overemphasizing the material things. When they don't arrive, unhappiness does.
American theologian and author James Freeman Clarke (1810 – 1888), paraphrased this fundamental idea beautifully:
Do not run after happiness, but seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


The Cloud
(Part Two)


That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o’er my fleecelike floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent’s thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer,
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun’s throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon’s with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridgelike shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof—
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-colored bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

Percy Bysshe Shelley 






For more information visit

Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,615,218

Hosting & Design