(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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.
Grow – “Never 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.