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Qualities for Success and Happiness in Your Life

On my trip down to Florida, I was reading John Wooden’s book, “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On & Off the Court.” I absolutely love John Wooden and there are several aspects of his book that “spoke” to me. I not only shared them with the boys this week, I want to share two different ones with you. They deal with not only developing success in life, but also how to attain happiness and harmony in your own life.

The first one that spoke to me is Wooden’s “8 Suggestions for Succeeding”:

  1. Fear no opponent. Respect every opponent.
  2. Remember, it’s the perfection of the smallest details that make BIG things happen (Attention to Detail!).
  3. Keep in mind that hustle makes up for many a mistake.
  4. Be more interested in character than reputation.
  5. Be quick, but don’t hurry.
  6. Understand the harder you work, the more luck you will have.
  7. Know that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement.
  8. Remember there is no substitute for hard work and careful planning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

I love these 8 points. Below are my comments to them. Notice they transcend sport and relate to the business world also, regardless of occupation. Here are some of my comments and “tweaks” on each of them:

  1. Don’t fear the competition. Respect them but don’t fear them.
  2. Attention to detail in all that you do. In what areas of your life can you get better?
  3. Keep hustling, networking, mingling, and “showing your face.”
  4. Character is what you really are. Reputation is what other people say you are. Focus on character. Hire character. Develop character. Remember, it often takes 20 years to build a reputation. It takes 1 bad day to lose it. Focus on character! Your solid reputation will be developed if your character is solid.
  5. I often say, “money likes speed”. Make informed decisions after doing your homework. However, if you deliberate too long, your opportunity may pass you by.
  6. The saying goes, “The harder you work, the luckier you get”. Nothing replaces hard-work.
  7. Evaluate yourself as a leader, manager, boss, entrepreneur, employer, or employee. Have other people assess you also. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Being a great listener is a wonderful trait to possess as we lead others to success.
  8. Preparation is the key to success and you MUST be willing to work hard to attain great results. Don’t focus on “success”. Focus your attention on developing the traits and qualities it takes to attain success and great results will happen. Discipline, focus, passion, and mental toughness are all traits that come along with the COMMITMENT that is necessary to get to where you want to go.

As we talk about success, I would also like to share Wooden’s “9 Promises That Can Bring Happiness”:

  1. Promise yourself that you will talk about health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
  2. Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something special in them and that you value it immensely.
  3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only but the best in yourself and others.
  4. Promise to be enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  5. Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
  7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
  8. Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

I love these 9 promises. See if you can answer the following questions to improve your own life:

  • What areas can you focus on to bring about more peace and happiness in your life?
  • What “promises” do you need to recite on a daily basis to ingrain it in your head that you need to do a better job in this area of your life?
  • What areas can you improve yourself to continue evolving as a person?

A great exercise would be to copy and paste these promises next to your computer or put them on your bathroom mirror. Put them in a conspicuous spot. As we all search for more “success” and happiness in our professional and personal lives, these simple mantras can remind us of the journey it takes to keep peace, harmony, and balance in our lives.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide. He is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit and he is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 30 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.  Todd conducts 3-Day Mentorships several times per year (next one May 20-23, 2010) and ongoing Mastermind Groups for trainers seeking business and personal growth.  Sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, TD TIMES, at or

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