Success defined


Just a quick post to highlight a great TED talk I watched  recently. (The full video is below)

In this video John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach speaks on how to define success.

What it means to succeed

The premise laid down in this video is excellent. There are many good points in this talk, but the main thrust is said around the 3 minute mark, when Wooden notes “Peace of mind obtained only though self satisfaction of knowing that you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.”

I agree that success is about judging what you could have done against what you did do. He (or I suppose his father) is also correct about steering clear of judging yourself against others. Wooden notes that because you can only control your actions another person is not an appropriate measurement. This is an excellent thing to be reminded of, while others can be examples to emulate, attempting to surpass them as a measure of personal success is problematic. One path the road of judging oneself against others can lead to envy and possibly even acting against someone to reduce their good works. Another path the way of judging against other leads is underperformance. In the case where you have a greater potential than the individual you use as a measure, you may stop simply because have achieved what they achieved, rather than working to your full potential. The second path will leave a lingering dissatisfaction in the heart, and can result in problems as the individual works to resolve this feeling.

Wooden also claims that “things will work out as they should, providing we do what we should.”  I think this is a great way of articulating how to obtaining success by his definition.

On the whole I found this to be an inspirational video that encourages me to work hard and do what I believe is right, which can be very difficult in an age where we are encouraged to do what is easy.

A couple of times during the talk Wooden opened a brochure to show a pyramid that he has created to outline the steps to success. (Click on the image for a more clear picture)


While I haven’t had much time to ponder the pyramid, there are defiantly some solid points in it. There is a lot more information on it on the John Wooden website,

Watch the Video

I highly recommend this video. If you have 18 minutes or even if you can just watch the first 10 minutes I’m sure you will find some value in the time you commit.

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