“Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from what you can do.” – John Wooden
John Wooden, also known as The Wizard of Westwood, was the Head Basketball Coach of the UCLA Bruins during the 60′s and 70′s. Under his leadership, UCLA won countless national championships and many of his former players went on to successful careers as players and coaches as well as business and professional lives.
Wooden was a man who praised what you could get done and kept reinforcing that until it was second nature and then he would introduce another concept for you to learn. He understood the challenges of integration as well as recognition. He would always speak of his players in glowing tones and with deep respect. He taught them to respect their effort, knowing that the outcome would come when the repeated efforts were sincere and honest.
It seems we spend a considerable amount of our time in self criticism for what we don’t accomplish rather than affirming our effort and the results we do achieve. As a Rabbi and Counselor, I know that in any given day there is only so much I will accomplish before I reach my limit. My choice then is to rejoice in what I was able to do or groan over what I did not complete. I choose to rejoice. What do you choose?
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