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100 Unforgettable John Wooden Quotes

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John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. He was the head coach at UCLA and won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row.

Wooden was named the national coach of the year 6 times. Wooden was also the first person ever enshrined as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and as a coach.

John Wooden was regarded as one of the wisest and best college coaches in the history of college basketball.

John has had some memorable motivational quotes over the years.

Here are 100 unforgettable John Wooden quotes:

1. “Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” – John Wooden

2. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

3. “Make each day your masterpiece“ – John Wooden

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

5. “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.” – John Wooden

6. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

7. “There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden

8. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

9. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden

10. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – John Wooden

11. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden

12. “In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.” – John Wooden

13. “Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.” – John Wooden

14. “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” – John Wooden

15. “The best competition I have is against myself to become better. – John Wooden

16. “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” – John Wooden

17. “I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.” – John Wooden

18. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden

19. “The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.” – John Wooden

20th John Wooden Quote – “Passion is momentary; love is enduring.” – John Wooden

21. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” – John Wooden

22. “Friendship is two-sided. It isn’t a friend just because someone’s doing something nice for you. That’s a nice person. There’s friendship when you do for each other. It’s like marriage – it’s two-sided.” – John Wooden

23. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

24. “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” – John Wooden

25. “My eyesight is not nearly as good. My hearing is probably going away. My memory is slipping too. But I’m still around.” – John Wooden

26. “There’s as much crookedness as you want to find. There was something Abraham Lincoln said – he’d rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time. Maybe I trusted too much.” – John Wooden

27. “Young people need models, not critics.” – John Wooden

28. “You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.” – John Wooden

29. “I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs.” – John Wooden

30. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden

31. “I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.” – John Wooden

32. “Never mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden

33. “What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.” – John Wooden

34. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”– John Wooden

35. “I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times.” – John Wooden

36. “Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.” – John Wooden

37. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.” – John Wooden

38. “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden

39. “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” – John Wooden

40th John Wooden Quote – “Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” – John Wooden

41. “Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.” – John Wooden

42. “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.” – John Wooden

43. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” – John Wooden

 

John Wooden Quotes
 

44. “I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people.”  John Wooden

45. “I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.” – John Wooden

46. “Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else.” – John Wooden

47. “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” – John Wooden

48. “Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.” – John Wooden

49. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” – John Wooden

50. “If I were a young coach today, I would be extremely careful in selecting assistants.” – John Wooden

 

Checkout this collection of the 50 Worlds Best Inspirational Quotes 

 

50. “Teaching players during practices was what coaching was all about to me.” – John Wooden

52. “Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.” – John Wooden

53. “If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around.” – John Wooden

54. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” – John Wooden

55. “Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.” – John Wooden

56. “We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.” – John Wooden

57. “When you hurry you’re more apt to make mistakes. But you have to be quick. If you’re not quick you can’t get things done.” – John Wooden

58. “Somebody asked me – you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship? And I said, ‘I’m a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good.’” – John Wooden

59. “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” – John Wooden

60. “I don’t believe in praying to win.” – John Wooden

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

62. “Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that.” – John Wooden

63. “It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.” – John Wooden

64. “I think that in any group activity – whether it be business, sports, or family – there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful.” – John Wooden

65. “I’m not going to say I was opposed to the Vietnam War. I’m going to say I’m opposed to war. But I’m also opposed to protests that deny other people their rights.” – John Wooden

66. “Be prepared and be honest.” – John Wooden

67. “If I am through learning, I am through.” – John Wooden

68. “Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove from the dictionary.” – John Wooden

69. “Earn the right to be proud and confident.” – John Wooden

70. “I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty.” – John Wooden

 

john wooden quotes
 

71. “I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I’m trying to be honest. I think I was a good practice coach.” – John Wooden

72. “I don’t believe in fate.” – John Wooden

73. “You can do more good by being good than any other way.” – John Wooden

74. “If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.” – John Wooden

75. “I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way.” – John Wooden

76. “No one can really honestly be the very best, no one.” – John Wooden

77. “Never lie, never cheat, never steal.” – John Wooden

78. “I talked to the players and tried to make them aware of what was good and bad, but I didn’t try to run their lives.” – John Wooden

79. “I like to spend time in the past, with the things that have been important to me.” – John Wooden

80th John Wooden Quote -“I was built up from my dad more than anyone else.” – John Wooden

81. “It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it.” – John Wooden

82. “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ― John Wooden

83. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” ― John Wooden

84. “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” ― John Wooden

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

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

87. “It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” ― John Wooden

88. “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” ― John Wooden

89. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” ― John Wooden

90. “It is the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

91. “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.” ― John Wooden

92. “Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time” ― John Wooden

93. “Listen if you want to be heard” ― John Wooden

94. “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

95. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – John Wooden

96. “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.” ― John Wooden

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

98. “If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”  John Wooden

99. “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes”  John Wooden

100. “Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.” – John Wooden

Which John Wooden quote is your favorite and why? Share in the comment section below!

Yale Middleton is a Revenue Specialist for Hilton Worldwide. He is passionate about personal development, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Yale also works as a team member for the top self development website Addicted2Success. You can also follow him on his Facebook.

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25 Empowering Quotes About Diversity From Influential Leaders

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In today’s society, we are often told that diversity is a good thing. However, many don’t know what it actually means to be diverse. Diversity is the word used to describe any group of people who are different from one another and share some common ground. The definition can be broadened even further and include things like age, culture, race or ethnicity, etc., but for now, let’s stick with the basics. We live in a world where there is more than one type of person so when you talk about diversity, you’re referring to differences in attitudes and opinions as well as appearance. (more…)

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30 Most Famous Quotes of All Time to Motivate You

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It seems in the last decade or so, motivational quotes and inspirational quotes are front and center on Facebook and Instagram feeds. It’s no wonder why. They really do have that impactful kick to make you get up and do stuff!

I know for me, it was all these quotes that I kept reading that:

  • pushed me out of my comfort zone
  • gave me courage to smash goals
  • helped me believe in myself
  • soothed my broken heart sometimes
  • helped me out of rock bottom, and
  • kept me strong in times of trouble

Legends like Les Brown, Joel Brown and Tony Robbins motivated the crap out of me. I stayed strong and focused because of their powerful words. I mean, they did quote all these inspirational words to motivate us, no?

Of course they did. So I’ve searched high and low for the best and most empowering famous quotes of all time in hopes they inspire you like they did me. 

Do quotes really help?

The answer is yes and no. No they won’t work if you read them, brush them off and never feel the power of their words.

Yes they will work if you make them work for you and you want them too. Quotes are like affirmations. Many of us recant affirmations either as part of our morning routine, evening routine or just whenever we need a boost. 

When you read them and repeat them out loud and feel each and every word in every ounce of your being, they work!! Besides, I’m living proof they help. Empowering quotes have helped me out of rock bottom twice, depression a few times, and helped me smash and achieve goals. 

So yes, they work. And these most famous quotes I’ve chosen are famous for a reason. They have inspired, motivated and empowered millions of people around the world to chase their dreams, believe in themselves and never give up. 

Without further ado…

10 famous quotes on taking action and not giving up

1. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney

2. Anybody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death. ~Jen Sincero

3. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right. ~Henry Ford

4. The woman I am today would like to thank the woman I was 5 years ago for not giving up. You’re awesome. ~Iva Ursano

5. I’ll try is the battle cry of wimps. ~Tony Robbins

6. You must be the change you wish to see in the world ~Ghandi

7. If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ~Mother Teresa

8. Those who dare to fail miserably, can achieve greatly. ~John Kennedy

9. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Dalai Lama

10. I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. ~Brené Brown

10 famous quotes on life

11. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou

12. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey

13. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~Lao Tzu

14. The mind is everything. What you think you become. ~Buddha

15. Everything you do and every decision you make should be from a place of good. You should always be striving to make the world a better place. ~Les Brown

16. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West

17. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. ~Paulo Coelho

18. When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. ~Franklin D.Roosevelt

19. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. ~Napoleon Hill

20. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~George Bernard Shaw

10 famous quotes on success

21. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain

22. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney

23. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King Jr

24. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. ~Nelson Mandela

25. If you surround yourself with positive people who build you up, the sky’s the limit. ~Joel Brown

26. Tough times never last but tough people do. ~Robert H. Schuller

27. You miss 100% of the shots you never take. ~Wayne Gretzky

28. If you’re going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

29. I have not failed. I just found 10,000 that won’t work. ~Thomas A. Edison

30. Often our most rewarding dreams are staring us right in the face but for some reason we focus on how hard things are, how we are scared of the unknown and what would happen if we failed. ~Joel Brown

Write them out!

I always tell people to write that out and stick it in a place you will see it and read it everyday. That’s how quotes work. 

My favourite famous quote of all time and one you should read over and over again, Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right. Read that when self doubt creeps in. 

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7 Quotes Every High Achiever Must Remember

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Since the pandemic started, I have struggled both professionally and personally. When I am not in the mood to read a book, an article or watch a motivational video, I turn to inspirational quotes. They are usually concise, insightful and they always provide me with the instant morale boost I crave. (more…)

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40 Inspirational Quotes on Victory That Will Motivate You to Win

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Who doesn’t love to win? Victory gives a heroic feeling that allows winners to appear at the top after all of the hours of hard work, dedication and discipline. And everyone looks up to them, from the athletes we adore to the hard-working entrepreneurs we admire. (more…)

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