Sunday, October 3, 2010


The following is an excellent post of lessons learned from Coach John Wooden written by Stephanie Zonars.  It is ironic that I post something of Stephanie's as we enter Breast Cancer Awareness Month as I became a huge fan of hers reading her book "Leader of the Pack" -- a story she wrote about Kay Yow and her brave battle with this dreaded disease.  Stephanie has a very inspirational website and I would encourage all to check it out:

Here's is Stephanie's post on one of Coach Wooden's core principles:

Coach Wooden used to say “You cannot have a perfect day without helping others with no thought of getting something in return.” Indeed, helping others puts a smile on our face and a spring in our step!

People with a “help others” mentality stand out more than ever in our me-focused, selfish culture. I’m sad to say that I can sometimes be so consumed with my own agenda and to-do’s that I’m completely oblivious to the needs of the people around me.

One of my favorite commercials shows how a simple act of kindness has a domino effect a it inspires onlookers to help others too. It reminds me that it doesn’t take much to make a big impact on an individual, a team or a community.

So what does it take to develop a “help others” mentality? Three simple suggestions:

Open your eyes: Become more observant. Notice the people and circumstances around you. Is someone approaching a door with a heavy load in tow? Did you just pass a broken down car and a woman walking with two small kids? Part of the joy of helping comes from responding before being asked.

Open your ears: Listen for clues. We are socialized to think that asking for help shows weakness, so many people may not ask directly, but will drop hints and hope someone picks up on them. Listen for statements like:

• “I probably shouldn’t have booked such an early flight because no one will want to take me to the airport at that hour."

• “I wish I knew how to use that excel program on the computer.”

Make it a game: Win every day. Play your own version of Where’s Waldo to see if you can find at least one person each day to help. The only way to fight our natural bent toward selfishness is to intentionally focus elsewhere.