Christian Long

John Wooden: True Success

In TED Talks on April 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

Reflection by CONNOR M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

John Wooden:  True Success

This has to be one of the wisest people I’ve ever seen. The principles and rules to live by of which this man presents are something to really take note of.

Success is a disputed achievement. The reason for this is that success comes in infinitely different ways. Success is specific to each person, believe it or not. For some, success may be just to achieve more than a neighbor, for example, “It’s okay for them to get a C, but not me.”

Wooden speaks against such thoughts. “Never try to be better than someone else, never cease trying to be the best YOU can be.” An easy concept to hear, but maybe a harder one to act on. Competition may be beneficial, maybe not. Perhaps what he is trying to get across more here is that it is much more important to emphasize on doing YOUR best rather than better than someone else’s. Achieve a “peace of mind, self satisfaction, and doing what you are capable of to improve your situation.”

Competition leads on into the matter of reputation. If reputation did not exist, if ego did not exist, the world would be a much better place. “Reputation is only what you perceive to be, and character is what you really are.” No wonder character is a more commonly heard word in phrases/quotes, such as to ‘improve one’s character’. How many times have you heard that you should ‘improve your reputation’, at least in conversations aside from surviving in the world? That is what’s happened, that reputation has become more important than character, unfortunately, in actuality. They are definitely not the same.

Patience is also a much-needed characteristic. Ironically, you’ll need much more patience to achieve a reputation than to achieve a better character.

My own interpretation on success is doing what I do to the best of my ability, for as Wooden says, it’s all you can do/be asked of.

Also, I take some more words from Wooden to complete my picture of success: As long as I don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses as well as achieving to the best of my ability, I have succeeded. Hopefully the journey will be better than the end, as Wooden says., and hopefully when it is all over, you cannot tell by my reaction whether I have succeeded or not. Maybe even then I will achieve some level of success.


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