Industriousness and Enthusiasm Cornerstones of Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success
"Industriousness" is the first cornerstone of Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success. Industriousness is more than just hard work, though it necessarily includes that. In Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections,Coach Wooden writes, "I call it industriousness to make very clear it involves more than just showing up and going through the motions."
There is a right amount of preparation for every endeavor, whether you're a basketball player, a writer or a plumber. The key is the quality you put into both preparation and participation.
Quality effort can only come from an emphasis on the present moment, whether in the field house or on the floor for a Final Four contest. What you are doing now is always the only true measure of success, and only if you are doing the very best you can do in that moment.
In the coach's words, "You can work without being industrious but you cannot be industrious without work." Work plus quality equals Industriousness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." I'm sure Coach Wooden was well aware of this famous quotation. He made "Enthusiasm" the second cornerstone of his pyramid.
Enthusiasm, by Coach Wooden's definition, is quite simply loving what you do. "If you don't like what you do--knocking it all the time--get out," he writes in Wooden. "If your heart's not in your work you cannot prepare and perform at your highest level."
There is an element of "catching fire" to Enthusiasm that is implicit in the pyramid and was reflected in UCLA's run of ten National Championships in 12 years.
As spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle wrote in A New Earth, "At the height of creative activity fueled by enthusiasm, there will be enormous intensity and energy behind what you do. You will feel like an arrow that is moving toward the target--and enjoying the journey."
But enthusiasm will always burn itself out at some point. Writes Tolle, "Once a wave of creative energy has passed, structural tension diminishes and joy in what you are doing remains. No one can live in enthusiasm all the time."
On the eve of his last national title--timing the announcement, without doubt, to further motivate his troops toward one last victory--Coach Wooden announced his retirement, saying, he had "lost desire." Without the enthusiasm of its leader, the dynasty could not continue. The pyramid would crumble without its cornerstone.