Saturday, June 21, 2014

John Wooden

A few weeks ago, I picked up the biography "Wooden: A coach's life" by Seth Davis from local library - first time to know who John Wooden was. His life and work amaze and inspire me.

John Wooden was the legendary UCLA basketball coach who led his teams to 10 NCAA men's basketball championships. He was voted the greatest sports coach in US history.

Meaning of Success

Despite that he had no losing season as a coach at UCLA, Wooden's teams did not past first round of NCAA tournaments in the first 12 seasons! Many people considered that was a period he struggled. Not to Wooden, he thought that the program improved, he personally as a coach improved.

To him, success is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. 

High Standards

John Wooden set high standards for his players and himself. His pyramid of success embodied his standards - for his players, it was not just about basketball, it was about how they should conduct themselves to be successful.

Happy Marriage - a true love story

John Wooden and his high school sweet heart Nell married at age 21, and they remained in love for the rest of their lives. John would have Nell with him on every trip he took, Nell would be at every game John's team played - and they had secret ritual between them before every game started. They were inseparable.        

Wooden said  Nell was the only girl I went with. Nell died at at age 73 on March 21, 1985, Wooden remained devoted to Nellie's memory until his own death 25 years after hers. He kept to a monthly ritual — health permitting — on the 21st of every month, when he would visit her crypt in the mausoleum, then write a love letter to her. After completing each letter, he placed it in an envelope and added it to a stack of similar letters that accumulated over the years on the pillow she slept on during their life together. Wooden only stopped writing the letters in the last months of his life due to failing eyesight.

Nell was his first and last love. To John Wooden life was much more than basketball.


The biography "Wooden: A coach's life" provided many interesting details of John Wooden's remarkable long life (Wooden passed away at age 99, June 4, 2010, 4 month 10 days shy of his 100th birthday).  I read the book every night - frequently past midnight until I finished it.  In the end I was moved to tears by his true love to his wife, and his true love to his "boys" - his players - quite a few of them did not appreciate his love until they themselves were much older.

Life is to love and being loved!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy Marriagies

I always feel sad when I heard about a friend's marriage trouble, or an acquaintance's divorce, especially those who had been married for long time.

I know that maintaining a lasting happy marriage is not easy.

During the journey of life, things change: from honey moon to sleepless nights taking care of babies, from worrying about diapers to worrying about grades, and more importantly the couple themselves change - from physical change to mental change, ...... a couple has to adapt to the changes, to meet the challenges at different stage of life. The focus of the adaption should be focused on having a best possible relation between husband and wife. When their relation is strong, the marriage is strong, the family is strong.

During the journey of life, conflicts keep coming: from competing demands of family and work to competing aspirations in career advancements of husband and wife;  from difference in handling family finance to difference in disciplining children,  ...... resolving the conflicts is about making choices. The choices made should be those that are best for the marriage and the family. To me, marriage = family

Maintaining a long lasting happy marriage requires that a couple put family as the center of their life. What is the meaning of success if one has no one else to share the joy? How miserable a life would be if one has no one else to help carry the pains in life?

I also know that maintaining a lasting happy marriage is not too hard if the satisfaction one draws from a marital relation is from within. 

If a couple is married for love, if a couple draws satisfaction from their relation for themselves, not for their parents, not for show off ... adapt for changes in life, compromise when conflicts arise; learn from hard times, remember good times...they will be in love til the end.

Happily married does not mean that a couple don't have ups and downs. It means being together, sharing one life. As they share their burdens, the burdens are halved, as they share their pain, the pain is reduced; as they share their joys, the joys are doubled, as they share their happiness, the happiness is amplified.


1. These are some thoughts I had on the occasion of  our wedding anniversary
2.  I am not against divorce - what is the point of staying in a marriage when the relation is truly broken,when all they feel is misery.