John Wooden’s 7-Point Creed – #1

Recently I listened to a podcast interview that Tony Robbins did with legendary coach John Wooden many years back.  I knew a little about Coach Wooden from his coaching days at UCLA.  Having a passion for college basketball (being from the home of the UK Wildcats – Go Big Blue), I knew that Coach Wooden had won more NCAA National Championships than any other coach – ten in total and seven of those were consecutive championships.  Mike Krzyzewski of Duke has won five followed by Adolph Rupp of UK who won four.  As I write this, I do so with a little gag in my mouth – and for those of you who know the UK vs. Duke rivalry (think Christian Laettner) will understand.  But I digress.

What I didn’t know about Coach Wooden was how passionate he was about his integrity and being a mentor to those who played for him.  He was well-respected in many circles, being named the national coach of the year six times, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom and having the John R. Wooden Award named after him for the basketball player of the year.

He died at the ripe old age of 99 in 2010.  And while some may have disagreed with his tactics and strategies, he did prove to be a winning coach and he left behind a 7-Point Creed that he lived by.  We will look at the first one today.

 #1.  Be True To Yourself

What does it mean to be true to yourself?  Ask YOURSELF that question.  I wrote about this earlier in a blog on being authentic.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in being what others want us to be that we forget who we are.  When that happens, we are no longer good for ourselves or for others.

Being true to yourself means really taking a look at who we are – knowing and accepting who we are.  Being honest about our beauties and flaws.  Yes, we all have tremendous beauty within us – and we want to acknowledge and celebrate that!  We also have flaws – we are all human!  And by the way – it is okay to admit that we do have flaws.

It also means examining what our values are in life.  What is important for you?  Where does your passion flow?  How will you follow that passion so that you do live it out gloriously?

Being true to yourself means you are not so concerned in pleasing others that you do not live your own life.

If you want to learn more about how to be true to yourself, I am happy to work with you!

Pay the Mountain to See the View

The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2,200 miles and covers the span of 14 states from its official southern terminus at Springer Mountain, GA to the tips of Katahdin at the northern terminus. The estimated time to complete a thru-hike is 5-7 months.

Out of approximately 3,330 thru hikers, only 20% complete the full hike.

The experience can be brutal…whether dealing with cold, wintry, blustery conditions, the heat, humidity and thunderstorms during the summer, the snakes, the ticks, the bears, the lack of food or water, smelly people (including the stench from yourself), relieving yourself in the woods (oh my), the treacherous terrain with steep hand over hand climbs in New Hampshire and Maine – the list goes on.

What drives these brave souls to step out and sacrifice literally blood, sweat and tears along with separation from family and jobs and the expense to do this?

As the puts it:

“Walking the entire A.T. in a continuous journey is one of the most rewarding, exhilarating, and memorable ways you can spend six months of your life. Thru-hiking enables you to immerse yourself deeply in the natural world and view some of the most beautiful, wild and pastoral landscapes in the United States. Thru-hiking will also give you the opportunity to form friendships with people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from around the world.”

What are the rewards? The beauty of the hike and the exhilaration of accomplishing this tremendous feat. As someone said, “You’ve got to pay the mountain to see the view.” Each day is different. Some days are great and some days aren’t. You learn to enjoy the good days the trail gives you and adapt when it doesn’t so that you overcome those challenges. Just like life.

What is going through these hikers’ minds as they approach the beginning of their journey? Excitement? Anticipation? Confidence? Determination? Or is it, “Oh, goodness, what have I gotten myself into!!!?”

Each of them have prepared and know what lies ahead. Each of them are approaching the trail in their own way. Each of them hike their own hike.

How do you approach your trail in life? With confidence and determination? Or with fear and trepidation?

For motivation to live your hike with excitement, give me a shout.

My Day at the Cemetery

Dedicated to the lives lost in the Las Vegas Shooting

Waking up early one morning, I felt an overwhelming sense to get out and experience life.  Occasionally those days are very present with a desire to explore some place new.

My desire to experience life lead me to an unexpected place.  It lead me to a place where people usually go to mourn those that are no longer with us…or at least that’s how I have always thought of a cemetery.

Going to the cemetery, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I mean, I wanted to experience “life”, right? Why go somewhere where you are surrounded by those that are not living?

The day’s journey led to the Lexington Cemetery, somewhere others have talked about as being a beautiful and serene place.  And by visiting this place, I did experience life in its truest form.

The Lexington Cemetery is one of the most beautiful places in Central Kentucky.  It is over 170 acres and has over 200 species of trees on the grounds. Walking those grounds, I felt the aliveness of those trees. Many tall and sturdy, as if they had been there hundreds of years. The blooms on the trees were rich and vibrant in color. The birds, many in specie as well, were singing their songs of delight, as they too seek to experience a beautiful life.

Nature – life in its truest form.

Nature’s beauty spoke to me.  And guess what else?  The peacefulness of spirit among those graves spoke to my spirt, as well.  As I walked around the different trails and looked at all the headstones, I read some of the names — when these people were born, when they died, and wondered just what kind of life they had.  What did they experience?  What did they love in life while they were living?

As I reflected, I realized we are not promised tomorrow and to live life in every moment. As a car went past, the license plate simply read “luvlife”.  What an amazing statement.  It made me ask myself how much I really loved life and what I can do to make life better for myself and for those around me.

Walking in the cemetery, I was able to experience so many moments of being alive!  What a gift!

As tragedy and heartache hits us – whether it be from natural disasters or senseless acts of “unkindness”, how do you want to live your life so that you fully embrace it?  What are you putting off to live a life of passion?  How do you want to be alive in this world?


What Goes Up

Have you ever watched a water fountain and been mesmerized by the shoots of water that go up and down and up and down and up and down? Sometimes I become so mesmerized by the process that I pick out a little strand of water and see if I can keep up with its flow. Of course, I lose it in the process as it disappears in the pool of other strands of water shooting up – ultimately regenerating itself with the abundant pool of water and the power of its source.

“What goes up must come down.” It’s a common phrase. When you think about it from a scientific standpoint and consider what we learn as young children about gravity (and also experience it from our own bodies as we get older), that makes sense.

From a purely philosophical standpoint – what if we believe that what goes up stays up…and continues going higher? Isn’t that what we want in life? Whether it be our learning, our growth as humans, our understanding of life and its principles, our growth in spirituality, in health, in our relationships, our finances, our career trajectory and overall balance in life?

Ultimately, we ask ourselves, “How do I continue excelling in the areas of my life that are important to me?”

Most of us will probably agree – we do hit those moments of “what goes up must come down” in things we want in our life – whether it’s a setback that happens or a general mindset we fall into, it does happen.

How do we overcome these challenges? As I watch these little strands of water shoot up and down and regenerate in the bigger pool of water, I notice this bigger pool creates the energy and support to elevate the shoots of water going back up again. Think about the pool of resources you have in your life to elevate and support you – to push you up so that you go higher and higher in areas of your life that are important to you. What resources of support exist for you?

We all value these resources in life to elevate us to new heights and ultimately enrich our lives.