Tops & Bottoms

Reaching the Top is, simply, a fleeting moment of recognizing it as the Bottom of a foundation, from which to build, again.

Tops and BottomsDearest Friend,

Thank you for your thoughtful questions:

“How do you stay at the top?”

“Which is the hardest: Making it to the top — or, Staying there?”

“What is the secret to avoid muddled down?”

The answer to these questions arrives in the form of these Universal Principles and Proverbial Riddles:

Easy is Hard — Hard is Easy
First will be Last — the Last, First
Top is the Bottom — the Bottom is the beginning of a Top

And, that, my friend, is the secret:

Good, better, best.
Never let it rest,
‘Til our good is better,
And our better, best.

As a reminder, Coach John Wooden believed: “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.”

Each one of us, individually, is capable of much more than we, originally, think we can do.

All we do begins with a thought.

At one time, I believed in the axiom: Preparation + Opportunity = Success
That’s wrong — we don’t need to wait around for opportunity.

All we need to do is Prepare;
And, Opportunities are everywhere.

In other words, as Coach Wooden exemplified and his Players affirmed: Build It — and, They Will Come.

The fun is in the doing. And, yes, you’re right and Coach teaches — it’s easier to make it to the Top the first time, than it is to remain there. Because, once we think we have arrived, someone is digging a hole and planting us, six feet deep.

Life is like riding a bicycle — Pedal, or Coast, the choice is ours. When we coast, we’re headed downhill. It’s so easy — at the Top — to become lazy and complacent. Definition of Rut: a grave with the ends kicked out.

Staying on top of our game requires taking our game to new heights of performance. Coach says, “Be quick, don’t hurry.” He believed in the Fundamentals. In other words, break it down (Pyramid of Success) and build it back: better, faster, stronger, bigger, and more beautiful. Use lots of mortar: Faith and Patience.

John Wooden was a Teacher before and after he was a Coach. His encouragement for us, “Call yourself a Teacher.” In his words, “What a leader learns, after you’ve learned it all, counts most of all.” By taking the science of anything to an art form, we discover joy. By teaching it, we learn even more.

It’s not the arena in which we perform — or, even the performance itself. It’s all about the People.

Reputation is what others think about us. Character is who we, really, are. Building character is within our control. Managing the expectations of others is not.

If we focus on: People, over Process — the Why, before What — and, the Reason for the Results — we attract those of like mind. We are known by the Company we keep.

Character can be defined as:

Respect for Self
Respect for Others
Respect for Rules

From the passion at the core of who we are, we can offer our best in service to all.

Look around and you will see your Team, comprised of: Customers, Vendors, Friends, Peers, Family, and Community. We look to you for the Value of your life Story. There’s only one of you. We want and need what you have to offer. Not everyone will be accepting. That’s OK — many will be appreciative, of YOU.

I encourage you to say, “Yes, please,” to those who choose to be on your Team — and, “No, thanks,” to those finding fault with Your Way. In fact, as Coach Wooden did, help them find another Team.

After we think there is no room for improvement in the fundamentals (Building Blocks and Mortar comprising the Pyramid of Success), we can always improve in how we manage our precious Time. Coach was a crusader for Time Management. As a leader, he accomplished more in two hours than other coaches did in two days.

We learn by doing.
The fun is in the doing.
Let’s have fun learning.

There is no Easy way — only, Hard challenges, which inspires us to new discovery of opportunity and levels of achievement.

First is, simply, a place of Ego. Last is just another word for Endure, which does produce legacies through service to others.

Reaching the Top is, simply, a fleeting moment of recognizing it as the Bottom of a foundation, from which to build, again.

Let’s keep building.

Best,

www.kimfoard.com

Coach

All we do begins with a thought. ~ In other words: The Want To (Thought) and The Want To, Do (Action).

Pyramid of Success“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,
Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach
~

All we do begins with a thought.

To achieve success, there must be: “The Want To” — That’s the thought.
Then, there must be: “The Want To, Do” — That’s the action.

Knowing and Doing are two very different aspects of life. One is passive. The other is active. One is a state of mind. The other is the motion of the body. One without the other is of little value.

Recently, a story about Coach Wooden grazed my consciousness. Then, it began to burrow deep into my soul. Now, that thought has become an action — to share my discovery with you.

From the book Great by Choice is a compelling narrative about Coach Wooden. He started each new college basketball season with the same comment, “We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes.”

Just imagine the freshman players thinking, “Why?!” The seniors eagerly participated in the lesson How to Tie Our Shoes, because they knew, “There was a way to do everything.”

In the words of one player, “By the time the games came along, they just became memorized exhibitions of brilliance.”

That high level of excellence was built — block by block — from the blueprint of Coach John Wooden. It was much more than a game plan. It is a philosophy of life and competition. As timely today, as it was for his century of performance, Coach appropriately named it a Pyramid of Success.

At the heart of everything I know about Coach Wooden, he was respectful of Time and Tone. Practices began and ended like clockwork (Time). He opened the first moments of practice in a quiet voice (Tone). The passion at his core produced Planning, Preparation, and Progress to reach Goals.

All we do begins with a thought.

The thought was to encourage the development of their best — from everyone within his sphere of influence (the Goal). The actions were focused on Planning (Pyramid of Success), Preparation (How to Tie Shoes), and Progress (National Championships).

Thought without action is worthless.
Action without thought is dangerous.

Time can be well invested by examining the Tone, at The Official Site of Coach John Wooden: http://www.coachwooden.com/

Be sure to click on Pyramid of Success, at the top of this page. Coach starts his building process, at the lower left corner. Industriousness is the first cornerstone in the foundation of the Pyramid of Success. The second cornerstone, to the far right, is Enthusiasm.

Click on each building block for the rest of the story.

In our daily conversations, with one another, we Talk about these principles. Funny, though, isn’t it? So easy to say — yet, so, very, hard to Do.

Coach simply inspires and encourages us to remember and do.

kimfoard.com