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Issue 285 - The Joy of Being Needed

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 285
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



On page six of a handwritten list of his favorite quotes, Coach Wooden wrote:
Psychiatrists say, "As long as you feel needed, you will always have an interest in life."
On its surface, this seemed to me an unusual quote for Coach to choose. Upon reflection, it made perfect sense because the idea fit in perfectly with Coach Wooden’s fundamental approach to life: Help Others. Coach did not look to help others to get something in return, but if he came across ideas that described the benefits and joy of giving, he liked to share them. For example:
Real happiness begins where selfishness ends.
You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
The way to have nothing is to give nothing.
Coach felt that in order to be happy, you must: "Have somebody or something to whom you are loyal. "I shared this idea about loyalty at a Wooden Success Class and one of the participants spoke to me after and said he was concerned because he didn’t: "Have somebody or something to whom he was loyal."
The next morning the young man happily approached me before class and advised me he had taken care of his Loyalty Void. I asked him what he did. He replied with a big smile: "I went out last night and bought a puppy. She is so cute, but you know she needs a lot of attention. I am a lot happier."
If you Google: Pets Providing Comfort you will find great articles about the responsibility of having a pet having a positive effect on a wide range of people from Seniors to Veterans with previously incurable PTSD.
Motivational author Tony Robbins did a series of power talks in which he interviewed many famous people.
When he interviewed Coach Wooden he asked: Coach I have met and interviewed many famous and rich people but some of them do not seem to be very happy. What advice would you give them?
Coach replied: They should find somebody they can help.
Coach Wooden lived a happy and productive life for ninety nine years. The secret to his happiness was not money or fame. His life was full of helping others. People were constantly going to him for his opinion. He certainly felt needed. One of his favorite verses summed up his approach:
What I spent, I had;
What I saved, I lost;
What I gave, I have.
How much do you have?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



A Legend of the Northland

Away, away in the Northland,
Where the hours of the day are few,
And the nights are so long in winter,
They cannot sleep them through;

Where they harness the swift reindeer
To the sledges, when it snows;
And the children look like bears' cubs
In their funny, furry clothes:

They tell them a curious story—
I don't believe 'tis true;
And yet you may learn a lesson
If I tell the tale to you

Once, when the good Saint Peter
Lived in the world below,
And walked about it, preaching,
Just as he did, you know;

He came to the door of a cottage,
In traveling round the earth,
Where a little woman was making cakes,
And baking them on the hearth;

And being faint with fasting,
For the day was almost done,
He asked her, from her store of cakes,
To give him a single one.

So she made a very little cake,
But as it baking lay,
She looked at it, and thought it seemed
Too large to give away.

Therefore she kneaded another,
And still a smaller one;
But it looked, when she turned it over,
As large as the first had done.

Then she took a tiny scrap of dough,
And rolled, and rolled it flat;
And baked it thin as a wafer—
But she couldn't part with that.

For she said, "My cakes that seem too small
When I eat of them myself,
Are yet too large to give away,"
So she put them on the shelf.

Then good Saint Peter grew angry,
For he was hungry and faint;
And surely such a woman
Was enough to provoke a saint.

And he said, "You are far too selfish
To dwell in a human form,
To have both food and shelter,
And fire to keep you warm.

"Now, you shall build as the birds do,
And shall get your scanty food
By boring, and boring, and boring,
All day in the hard dry wood,"

Then up she went through the chimney,
Never speaking a word,
And out of the top flew a woodpecker.
For she was changed to a bird.

She had a scarlet cap on her head,
And that was left the same,
Bat all the rest of her clothes were burned
Black as a coal in the flame.

And every country school boy
Has seen her in the wood;
Where she lives in the woods till this very day,
Boring and boring for food.

And this is the lesson she teaches:
Live not for yourself alone,
Lest the needs you will not pity
Shall one day be your own.

Give plenty of what is given to you,
Listen to pity's call;
Don't think the little you give is great,
And the much you get is small.

Now, my little boy, remember that,
And try to be kind and good,
When you see the woodpecker's sooty dress,
And see her scarlet hood.

You mayn't be changed to a bird, though you live
As selfishly as you can;
But you will be changed to a smaller thing—
A mean and selfish man.

Phoebe Cary


The Human Touch

’Tis the human touch
in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more
to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine.
For shelter is gone
when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day.
But the touch of the hand
And the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul always.

Spencer Michael Free (1856-1938)





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