Wooden Wins! - Enthusiasm
Our Pyramid of Success focus this month will be on Enthusiasm. At American Heritage Charter Schools, we celebrate the core value of “Hard Work”.
Why Enthusiasm Is a Powerful Tool for Success by Craig Impelman
In 1934 when Coach Wooden began building his Pyramid of Success, he chose Enthusiasm as the second cornerstone. Although many other blocks were moved and redefined in the next 14 years as he developed his Pyramid, Enthusiasm was never moved.
Enthusiasm is defined in the Pyramid of Success as this: “Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.”
Coach Wooden believed that enthusiasm was the igniter that turned hard work into industriousness. “Hard work without enthusiasm leads to tedium. Enthusiasm without industriousness leads to unrealized potential. When combined, they cement a solid foundation.”
Coach Wooden’s father, Joshua, had given his sons two sets of three rules he hoped would guide their everyday behavior. The second set of three—“Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses” was his advice on how to deal with adversity and how to always keep a positive attitude.
This advice strongly influenced Coach Wooden in choosing Enthusiasm as one of the cornerstones of his Pyramid of Success. But Wooden’s definition, that “you must truly enjoy what you’re doing,” provides a challenge to take it a step further. Choose a career that provides work that you can enjoy; Coach did not believe that you could ever reach your full potential working in a field unless you genuinely were happy with the work you had the opportunity to accomplish.
In fact, Coach Wooden’s advice was very clear for those working at a job they did not enjoy: “Complaining, whining and making excuses just keep you out of the present. If your complaints are constant, serious and genuine about your calling, then leave when practical…. If you have a job that you enjoy but there are negative external conditions that you don’t have control over, you must not let them bother you and dampen your enthusiasm.”
Coach Wooden has stated that he allowed the difficult entrance requirements and poor facilities at UCLA to bother him for the first 12 or 13 years of his coaching career. It wasn’t until he changed his attitude or as Coach said, “Embraced my own Pyramid” and got his enthusiasm back that he began winning national championships.
Here is some additional wisdom from Coach Wooden concerning enthusiasm:
“The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control.”
“People are usually as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Coach Wooden made it clear that he felt that an enthusiastic, positive, optimistic attitude is an absolute requirement of leadership.
“More often than we ever suspect, the lives of others we affect.”
As a leader, you should always be aware of your tone of voice and know that sometimes even a simple sentence said with a negative tone can diminish the enthusiasm of those you work with and put productive results in jeopardy.
Key Idea: “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” —John Wooden
Enthusiasm is being filled with a positive spirit and being cheerful in whatever we do. It is easy to be enthusiastic and cheerful when we are doing something we love to do. It is difficult to be cheerful when we find ourselves in a challenging circumstance or have to do something we don’t want to do. Enthusiasm is contagious and can help bring joy to others. The Christmas season is a perfect time to focus on generosity, joyfulness and enthusiasm. It is easy to get busy and feel a lot of stress. Since enthusiasm is contagious, let’s choose to bring joy to our homes and to others this Christmas season. Some ideas might include bringing cookies to a neighbor, choosing a charity to volunteer with or donate to, or bringing blankets and socks to the homeless.
"Enthusiasm is contagious. Be a carrier." - Anonymous. This quote emphasizes the infectious nature of enthusiasm, and how it can inspire others to join us in pursuing our goals. It also highlights the important role that we can play in spreading enthusiasm and positivity, simply by being enthusiastic ourselves. This is a great reminder to stay positive and stay motivated, even when faced with challenges or setbacks.
In the Class
On the Field