Make friendship a fine art”

by Aileen

(Part three of the Legendary John Wooden Series)

Today’s post is inspired by John Wooden’s Seven Point Creed, which was given to him from his father when young Wooden graduated from elementary school. As he grew up and throughout his life, he took the creed to heart, lived by it, and inspired others to the same.

I hope you enjoy it.

Seven Point Creed

(1) Be true to yourself.

(2) Make each day your masterpiece.

(3) Help others.

(4) Drink deeply from good books

(5) Make friendship a fine art

(6) Build a shelter against a rainy day.

(7) Pray for guidance, and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Looking at Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, it’s easy to see how his father’s gift was a major influence. Friendship, loyalty and cooperation aren’t just the middle three foundational blocks, they are the core of a team, the heart of a family, and the small steps toward making  friendship a fine art.

Friendship

In friendship and in any team or partnership, all parties need to carry their own weight. It doesn’t flourish to the same level when one person is always carrying the other. That is partly where loyalty and cooperation come in. It’s the commitment we make to each other to do our part to the best of our abilities.

Respect

“Friendship comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like marriage, it must not be taken for granted but requires a joint effort.John Wooden

Ideally true friends will inspire each other,  lift each other up when one falls down. It’s a dance, a mutual reciprocity. We can form a winning team together and allow each other to grow.

When friendships are nurtured and healthy, everyone blossoms. This allows our journey to success to be sweeter, more fun and rewarding. When journeying toward success, the ride is far more dynamic when shared. We have the experience of shared efforts, work, inspiration and momentum.

Excuses

“Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.– John Wooden

There have been numerous times in my life when I felt I needed to give explanations and excuses for myself and others. I have learned that they don’t help a situation and typically, when we do what we say we will do and show up one hundred percent, no excuses are needed.

Opportunity

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” – John Wooden

In the busyness of life we can easily get caught up in distractions and not take the action or say the words that truly help one another.  There are times that I have accidentally hurt someone’s feelings and it’s an easy thing to do. With a bit more conscientiousness we see how a little thoughtfulness goes along way.

A couple of years ago I had a series of unfortunate events and was feeling quite defeated. A package arrived in the mail. It was from my mothers best friend. She had sent a beautiful card and a Betty Boop pajama set to lift my spirits. It worked wonders!

There are always opportunities to show we care. It takes so little to be a bit extra thoughtful towards others.


Loyalty

Self“It starts with being loyal to yourself, your standards, your system, your values. Compromising them …is a disloyalty; personal betrayal of yourself.” John Wooden

Typically when I think of loyalty I think of loyalty to something outside of myself.  I don’t often think of  being loyal to myself but it’s clear that being loyal and being true to our own self can be great practice to grow our sense of loyalty to others.

Self-Respect“… a cohesive force that forges individuals into a team. Loyalty is very important when things get a little tough, as they often do when the challenge is great.” John Wooden

Loyalty does help a team move through a great challenge. It can be the glue that keeps the pieces together when the world around them is falling apart.


Cooperation

GrowNever try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.” John Wooden

Winning isn’t the point. It’s not the ultimate goal. To Coach Wooden, winning is just something that happens when we have our foundation in tact. His focus was on building teams that played brilliantly well together. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the team which forms when the individuals are doing their part to be their very best.

Reciprocity“ to get cooperation, you must give cooperation” John Wooden

When a team is made up of friendship, loyalty and cooperation, it has magnificent power to grow and succeed. By leaving our ego and simply showing up 100% together, we can accomplish great things. On the flip side, when a team is made up of “frenemies”, egos or cut-throat competitiveness, it’s not a team that can sustain itself.

John Wooden held himself and his team to incredibly high standards. He inspires me and gives me a vision to grow towards.

I hope he inspires you to your personal best and turns your friendships into masterpieces.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean Sarauer August 25, 2010

I like thinking of friendship as a fine art and will keep that vision in my mind. When I think of my core relationships, I can see how they’re a product of creation and crafting. What I like so much about this series is that John Wooden’s wisdom is so insightful, yet very practical. We can all apply these things to our lives and see improvement.
Jean Sarauer´s last [type] ..12 Reasons Why Bloggers Make the Best Lovers

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Aileen August 26, 2010

I’m so glad you find his wisdom insightful and practical. I aim for practical but often feel I miss the target.

I like what you say about your core friendships – and seeing the creating and crafting that takes place. It does take an extra level to cultivate great friendships and they are worth every ounce of care that goes into them

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Angela Artemis August 25, 2010

Hi Aileen,
What a great quote! Friendship as a “fine art.” That really gives you something to think about when you might have been taking your friendships for granted. Thanks so much for sharing that and Wooden’t entire creed which is an excellent code to live by. I think now I’m going to keep hearing that over and over too now!
Angela Artemis´s last [type] ..Are You Blocking Your Intuition

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Aileen August 26, 2010

I’m so thrilled you enjoyed Wooden’s creed. – yes, we can take friendships for granted especially when life gets busy, hectic and chaotic.

I’m glad his words resonate with you

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The Exception August 25, 2010

These are wonderful. My daughter’s great grandfather used to say “I don’t want excuses, I want results.” The statement here about excuses reminded me of that. There are times when I have heard my fill of excuses – no action follows to show results. It seems that it is easier to find reasons why we didn’t make it on time or do it or whatever than to actually make a point of following through with our intentions.
And I love what you say about friendship. I look at many relationships – including my own past relationships, and see that at some point the friendship ended or was left behind. It seems that some relationships move away form the acceptance and loyalty and support of a friendship toward something that is less secure, more conditional, and possessive in a relationship.

Another wonderful post Aileen!
The Exception´s last [type] ..Neither a tourist or a Resident

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Aileen August 26, 2010

I completely feel the words of your daughter’s great grandfather. Results are a far better piece of communication rather than excuses. It’s easy to give an excuse and feel like you’re softening the blow to the person receiving it and usually it just makes it worse. Your words ring strong, “It seems that it is eas ier to find reasons why we didn’t make it on time or do it or what ever than to actually make a point of following through with our intentions.”

Thank you for your thoughtful comment

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Louise August 25, 2010

An uplifting post indeed and your insight to “Make friendship a fine art” was wonderful. I so loved your note on “friendship” and the Betty Boop card and pj’s. How great, you are well loved indeed.

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Aileen August 26, 2010

I’m happy you found it uplifting :) thank you for your comment

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Keith Davis August 25, 2010

Hi Aileen
Number 4 caught my eye… “Drink deeply from good books”

I have the following quote in my blog footer… “A person who doesn’t read is no better off than a person who can’t read.”

So I guess I’ve got to agree with you on that one.
Keith Davis´s last [type] ..Two way traffic

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Aileen August 26, 2010

WOW- that’s a strong & fantastic statement, ” “A person who doesn’t read is no better off than a person who can’t read.” Thank you for sharing that

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Preeti @ Heart and Mind August 25, 2010

Aileen,

Friendship is sure like fine art, true friends are better than million bucks! I like also 7 point creed,

(1) Be true to yourself.

(2) Make each day your masterpiece.

(3) Help others.

(4) Drink deeply from good books

(5) Make friend­ship a fine art

(6) Build a shel­ter against a rainy day.

(7) Pray for guid­ance, and give thanks for your bless­ings every day.

following all will surly make our life better. Love this series.
Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last [type] ..Web Design- Overwhelm and Good Reads

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Aileen August 26, 2010

Hi Preeti, I’m glad you’re liking this series and the creed.
I completely agree with you, “true friends are better than million bucks!”

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Katie August 25, 2010

Aileen, this is lovely. I’ve been so busy I feel like I haven’t been “loyal” to my friends, but when you look at loyalty from within, you realize that honouring your own needs is sometimes necessary and in the end, helps build a deeper understanding of friendship. Thanks for putting things in perspective. Nice series.
Katie´s last [type] ..How to Embrace First Day Jitters While Fending Off Your Inner Worry Wart

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Aileen August 26, 2010

Katie, I most certainly can relate to feeling like I haven’t been “loyal” to my friends. I’d often like to give more and show up more, but life moves us and when we have eagerness to accomplish our dreams and still have quality relationship with others we just can’t be 100% “loyal” all the time. However, when I think about Coach Wooden’s words I also know that being loyal to self allows us more authenticity in our relationships with others. We can’t be experiencing self betrayal and be loyal to others at the same time – that in itself is disloyalty.

Of course you stated it brilliantly, “but when you look at loyalty from within, you realize that honouring your own needs is some times necessary and in the end, helps build a deeper under­standing of friend ship.”

Thank you for sharing your insight

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Clearly Composed August 25, 2010

I loved this. I am picturing us all now as friendship artists letting our paint covered brushes fly and spattering warmth and joy all over those we care for. :) *leaving rainbow colored swooshes here*
Clearly Composed´s last [type] .. Grace in Action Dare- The Postcard

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Aileen August 26, 2010

“I am picturing us all now as friend ship artists letting our paint cov­ered brushes fly and spattering warmth and joy all over those we care for” WOW Emma, that is beautiful and brilliant!

Your rainbow colored swooshes have made there way into my mind and vision. I’m seeing ranges of color today, thank you!

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Brenda August 26, 2010

I once had a friend who when she came to my house, walked by the den and saw a room full of books and said……”EEEWWWWW!!!!” because she doesn’t like to read. I know she was half trying to be funny but it was true that she didn’t like to read books. I was a little surprised that books bothered her so much that she needed to comment one way of another. Our friendship ended up not lasting……maybe the whole book comment should have been a sign? LOL This friend ended up being someone who only wants to have fun, tries to make life all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows to an extreme level, so isn’t into hearing about problems and thinks it isn’t nice to bother friends with complaining about their problems. She has made it her life’s mission to reject all things negative. I told her I thought friends should be there for each other in the hard time as well as enjoy the good. She took her way of life to such an extreme that I was afraid to be myself and I realized the friendship wasn’t authentic so I had to end it.

Anyway this was a nice article about friendship which is an area of life I have not mastered. I always end up feeling like I value the friendship more than the other person since they put little effort into it or I get taken advantage of in some way because I am to nice. So I am always interested in hearing insights as to how to solve this mystery in life.

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Aileen August 31, 2010

Hi Brenda, thank you for your comment
Friendships can be quite a mystery. I suppose that’s why there are some I value so greatly – they just have a genuine reciprocity. I wish all of them did, but they don’t. It doesn’t feel good when it’s one sided, it doesn’t feel good when one values it more than the other – and when there isn’t a mutual respect.
It is a bit sad that the friend needed to express her dislike of books in such a strong manner – it’s like she insulted your passion for reading. It’s freeing to be in a friendship where it’s okay to have different passions and view points.

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Peppy August 26, 2010

What excellent points (and thoughts), Aileen, to use in self examination on what we truly
feel is important in cultivating lasting friendships. I have learned illness can wreak
havoc on the friendships I had thought were built on loyalty but, that, in reality, it was
built solely around my fulfilling the other persons definition of what makes a friendship.

Solid, loyal friendships are cultivated only if we can be loyal, open, honest and true to
ourselves – because that is how we know what we need as a friend as well as what we can
give as a friend. Then if illness enters the relationship the friendship will grow or
deepen instead of coming to a halt.

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Aileen August 31, 2010

when I read your words, “Solid, loyal friend­ships are cul­ti­vated only if we can be loyal, open, hon­est and true to
our­selves” it reminds me of Emerson, “the only way to have a friend is to be a friend”

Illness can wreck havoc on a friendship and any relationship. It does tend to demand a bit more and some just can’t make the commitment. It’s heart wrenching to experience that.

Your words are inspiring, they honor friendship.

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Peppy August 27, 2010

I have found friendships are only as strong as we feel inside. As I said in my earlier
comment if we want to cultivate loyal, solid friendships we must first be loyal and honest
with ourself. Friendships that are used to fill personal voids will not be able to
withstand the drastic changes that happen if serious illness enters the relationship – at
least that is my opinion based on my experience.
Peppy´s last [type] ..Dancing to the Tune of Life

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Keith Davis August 29, 2010

Hi Aileen
I think that Preeti summed it up in her comment “true friends are bet­ter than mil­lion bucks!”
I have a few friends that I can rely on and that has to be better than ten thousand Facebook friends and certainly better than a million bucks.

Although come to think about it….LOL
Keith Davis´s last [type] ..Two way traffic

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Aileen August 31, 2010

Thank you for your beautiful comment Keith, yes Preeti did sum it up quite brilliantly.

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Dia September 1, 2010

Hi Aileen,

Very nice post! Friendship is a fine art. We should value our friends, respect them,
help them among other things. Thanks for sharing
Dia´s last [type] ..Fear of success and failing

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