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Issue 291 - Who is Blind?

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 291
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



A wise old Indian saying asks: Who is blind? and answers:
The man who cannot see another world!
Who is dumb? The man who cannot say a kind word at the right time!
Who is poor? The man plagued with too strong desires!
Who is rich? The man whose heart is contented!
This was one of Coach Wooden’s favorite quotes and more importantly it represented how he acted on a daily basis. Great quotes are valuable because they influence how we think, but they become more important when they influence how we act.
I had a conversation with legendary self-help author and management expert Ken Blanchard (Ken has published over 60 books and his book The One Minute Manager sold over thirteen million copies). I complimented him on all the great books he had written. I told him I had tried to read all of his books and was looking forward to the next one.
His reply was one I have never forgotten:
"Craig. I have written enough books. I don’t need to write any more books. I need to help people close the gap between knowing and doing. People know what to do, they just don’t do it."
Coach Wooden’s actions were consistent with what he thought was right, irrespective of the circumstances. Coach’s daily activities as an extension of this quote are a good example. With Coach Wooden, his actions equaled his best thoughts.
Who is blind? The man who cannot see another world! Coach Wooden was always seeking new ideas and perspectives, not just on basketball, but also on life. He loved talking to Phil Jackson because he wanted to learn more about his Zen Philosophy.
Who is dumb? The man who cannot say a kind word at the right time! Coach would often write kind, loving letters of response to his sharpest critics. He felt he was at his best when he loved his enemies. He acted on Abraham Lincoln’s advice "to destroy his enemies by making friends of them."
Who is poor? The man plagued with too strong desires! It has been said: "Your level of unhappiness is the difference between what you think you need and what you have."  Coach never pursued excessive material wealth. After he retired from UCLA and was being well paid as a speaker and author, he did not buy a bigger house. He was given a Mercedes Benz, but gave it back and exchanged it for a Ford Taurus. His strong desire was to help others, not accumulate material wealth. With countless friends and a life full of love, I never knew a wealthier person.
Who is rich? The man whose heart is contented! Coach acted on his belief that success is peace of mind stemming from the knowledge you made your best effort. Coach acted on the idea that: "Comparison is the root of much unhappiness." He applied this principle to life and remarkably to coaching a sport where they keep score. Everybody else’s score was never his score.
Do your daily actions equal your best thoughts?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise




There are different kinds of heroes, there are some you hear about.
They get their pictures printed, and their names the newsboys shout;
There are heroes known to glory that were not afraid to die
In the service of their country and to keep the flag on high;
There are brave men in the trenches, there are brave men on the sea,
But the silent, quiet heroes also prove their bravery.

I am thinking of a hero that was never known to fame,
Just a manly little fellow with a very common name;
He was freckle-faced and ruddy, but his head was nobly shaped,
And he one day took the whipping that his comrades all escaped.
And he never made a murmur, never whimpered in reply;
He would rather take the censure than to stand and tell a lie.

And I'm thinking of another that had courage that was fine,
And I've often wished in moments that such strength of will were mine.
He stood against his comrades, and he left them then and there
When they wanted him to join them in a deed that wasn't fair.
He stood alone, undaunted, with his little head erect;
He would rather take the jeering than to lose his self-respect.

And I know a lot of others that have grown to manhood now,
Who have yet to wear the laurel that adorns the victor's brow.
They have plodded on in honor through the dusty, dreary ways,
They have hungered for life's comforts and the joys of easy days,
But they've chosen to be toilers, and in this their splendor's told:
They would rather never have it than to do some things for gold.

Edgar Albert Guest





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