• Steve Martin

Sharing Wisdom - John Wooden


John Wooden was a great basketball coach, a fine human being, and one of my inspiring heroes. (See a previous blog about him here.)


On the occasion of his graduation from elementary school, young John Wooden received a piece of paper from his father, Joshua.

On it, he had handwritten a list of “Seven Things to Do.”

As he handed the paper to the boy, he said only, “Son, try and live up to these things.”

The paper remained in the young man’s possession until it was tattered, at which point he transferred its contents to a card.

In a 2005 interview, the coach shared how much the words had framed his daily life.He said, “I tried to live by this, and I tried to teach by it. I haven’t always been perfect, but I’ve tried.”


Here are John Wooden’s seven principles for daily living:

“Be true to yourself. Make each day your masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.”

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