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Issue 270 - Ability is a poor man's wealth

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 270
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



This favorite quote of Coach Wooden’s reflects his belief that it is not material possessions that are our greatest wealth.
In his book My Personal Best, with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden describes the home he grew up in as:
A white farmhouse with a sparse living room and kitchen – a black potbelly stove in the former and a wood burning stove for cooking in the latter. There were two small bedrooms for the six of us; my brothers and I slept two to a bed. Near our old barn was a smokehouse for curing meat, and next to that, a well where we pumped our water by hand. Over to the side, all by itself, was the outhouse….We had no electricity, plumbing or conveniences. For my brothers and me, growing up on that little farm in Centerton was almost perfect.
On this farm, John Wooden began to develop his greatest wealth: his own ability.
We can either help or hinder those we love or supervise develop their own ability. Abraham Lincoln provided great advice in this regard with his admonition: "The worst thing you can do for those you love are the things they can and should do for themselves."
When we do things for the people we love that they should be doing for themselves we prevent them from developing their own ability.
The helicopter parent who soars in to the rescue every time their child makes a mistake or has a problem, is stopping the child from developing their own ability.
World famous motivator and entrepreneur Zig Ziglar, whose father died when he was 5, was the 10th of 12 children and was selling peanuts on the street at 6 years old on the streets of Yazoo City, Mississippi, in the heart of the Depression. He had a favorite quote that motivated him: "God don’t make no junk."
All of us have ability in some area. Find yours and develop it.
There are only two requirements: you must like what you're doing and work hard at it. This wealth (your ability) is waiting for you. It is a wealth that no one can take away.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise



The Ladder of St. Augustine

Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, if we will but tread
Beneath our feet each deed of shame!

All common things, each day's events,
That with the hour begin and end,
Our pleasures and our discontents,
Are rounds by which we may ascend.

The low desire, the base design,
That makes another's virtues less;
The revel of the ruddy wine,
And all occasions of excess;

The longing for ignoble things;
The strife for triumph more than truth;
The hardening of the heart, that brings
Irreverence for the dreams of youth;

All thoughts of ill; all evil deeds,
That have their root in thoughts of ill;
Whatever hinders or impedes
The action of the nobler will; —

All these must first be trampled down
Beneath our feet, if we would gain
In the bright fields of fair renown
The right of eminent domain.

We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.

The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen, and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.

The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that appear
As we to higher levels rise.

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern — unseen before —
A path to higher destinies,

Nor deem the irrevocable Past
As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks, at last
To something nobler we attain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow






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