John Wooden was one of the greatest collegiate basketball coaches in history. He led the UCLA Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in 12 years. John is regarded as a great leader who lived a life guided by timeless wisdom. In all the success that he achieved he never forgot where he came from. John’s father was a man who recognized the value of living as an example and investing in the instruction of life’s virtues to his son.
John’s father, Joshua Wooden, wrote down a “creed” for John to seek to live to. A creed is a formal statement of beliefs. Joshua Wooden recognized the value of putting the beliefs you hold dear to writing and passed them on to John in the form of a simple list on a piece of paper titled “Seven Things To Do”. This creed was a standard to live to and provided a foundation to guide and ground John’s life.
- Be true to yourself.
- Help others.
- Make each day your masterpiece.
- Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
- Make friendship a fine art.
- Build a shelter against a rainy day.
- Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.
The culture we live seeks to capture our hearts and is sure to provide an ever changing standard of what we should believe in. As parents it is our responsibility to pass on the virtues that we hold dear to our children. It is not the responsibility of the school, culture, or even the church. This is squarely the responsibility of the parents and particularly the responsibility of the father if possible. Before The Harvard Business Review highlighted a common characteristic of top performing lasting great companies as those that put to writing and followed a set of core values there were families who led by example and made it a priority to pass on their virtues to their children.
Take the time to think about the values that you hold dear and wish to provide as a legacy to your children. Write them down. Seek to model and live up to the standards that you set and teach them to your children. Even if your children are grown it is never too late to share what you have learned and wish for them to know.