Favorite Woodenisms

John Wooden was not only one of the greatest coaches of all-time (10 National Championships in 12 seasons at UCLA, 7 of those consecutive) and a great human being, but he had a gift with words. His many one-liners and famous sayings have since become known as “Woodenisms.” Here are some of my favorites:

Top 10

  1. “Be quick, but don’t hurry

  2. “Time lost is time lost. It’s gone forever. Some people tell themselves that they will work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for what they did not do today. People should always do their best. If they work twice as hard tomorrow, then they should have also worked twice as hard today. That would have been their best.”

  3. “Do not permit what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

  4. “If I am through learning, I am through.”

  5. “It is what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

  6. “Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story.”

  7. “Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.”

  8. “Don’t measure yourself by what you’ve accomplished, but rather by what you should have accomplished with your abilities.”

  9. “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

  10. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

Honorable Mentions

  • “If you keep too busy learning the tricks of the trade, you may never learn the trade.”

  • “Let’s face it, we’re all imperfect and we’re going to fall short on occasion. But we must learn from failure and that will enable us to avoid repeating our mistakes. Through adversity, we learn, grow stronger, and become better people.”

  • “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”

  • “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”

  • “You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for another without thought of something in return.”

  • “We almost have to force or drive ourselves to work hard if we are to reach our potential. If we don’t enjoy what we do, we won’t be able to push as hard as we need to push for as long as we need to push to achieve our best. However, if we enjoy what we do and if we’re enthusiastic about it, we’ll do it better and come closer to becoming the best we can be.”

  • “Time spent getting even would be better spent getting ahead.”

  • “Have character; don’t be one.”

  • “The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.”

  • “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

Written on October 12, 2017