Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

John Wooden’s Attitude – Set of Three

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 1, 2011

John Wooden father, Joshua Wooden, taught his son a second set of three principles that pertain to attitudes:

1. Never Whine
2. Never Complain
3. Never Make Excuses

Never Whine

The first, never whine, ensures negativity is handled in the mind and heart before coming out of the mouth.  Bad things are going to happen to good people.  It’s simply a law of life, but responding in a “woe is me spirit” is lacking in character.  Whining is complaining repeatedly about a situation, looking for sympathy rather than resolution.  Sometimes solutions aren’t available, but even this situation is no reason to whine, only to strap on the helmet tighter and work harder. When milk is spilled on the ground, whining about who spilled it isn’t going to help, but cleaning it up will.  Remember this quote, when times get tough, “When the going get tough, the tough become winners, the rest become whiners.”  Leaders are gardeners of their own minds, identifying and pulling weeds quickly.  What are the weeds? Weeds are false beliefs, attaching themselves to a person’s brain, blocking the good ideas (seeds) from taking root. Since weeds create the ‘stinking thinking,’ that produce negative attitudes and selfish behaviors, they prohibit the growth of fruit in a person’s life. False beliefs come in many shapes and sizes.  A good example of a false belief that limit growth is someone believing that success is only for a talented few.  Since he doesn’t have extraordinary talent, he concludes that he isn’t part of that elite group of achievers, thus he doesn’t even enter the game, let alone produce top level results. This attitude effectively eliminates his opportunity to make a difference, by declining to enter the contest. True leaders refuse to stay down, pulling weeds promptly instead of nurturing them.  But if they do get knocked down, they certainly don’t spread the disease to their communities, since they know that pulling weeds is an inside job.  If a weed is extra difficult, then true leaders seek out mentors who can help them, refusing to have a pity party that contaminates others with their lethal weed seeds. Leadership is the ability to create confidence and trust in the people following the leader.  Therefore, if a person’s attitude is unpredictable, he disqualifies himself for leadership, until he learns to pull the weeds from his mental garden.  It’s not an option if he plans on leading others, since no one is inspired by a bitter attitude and sour disposition. Remember, it’s not what happens to people in life that matters as much as how they respond to what happens to them.  No one can plant weeds in a garden without the owner’s permission, but sadly, most people are not tending the garden; therefore, weeds grows as a matter of course through their family and friends. The typical person, before learning of his mental gardening responsibilities, allows seeds to be scattered around at will.  From the radio, television, friends, co-workers, and family, one is bombarded with seeds constantly, many of them destructive, without understanding the damaging effects that negative ideas have on positive attitudes.  Most people allow life to plant any seeds in their garden, producing whatever results the seeds create.  Sadly, this surrenders the results of life to ones surroundings, rather than to ones choices.  Attitudes in life determines the altitudes of life.  When one decides to move on, one must assume the responsibility to tend his garden, pulling weeds daily, while nurturing the proper fruit producing ideas.  Why is it easier to have ‘stinking thinking’ than it is to have positive thinking?  It’s a similar answer to why it’s easier to have weeds growing in a garden, than it is to have fruit.  Winners don’t make the rules in the game of life, but they must learn to apply the rules in their favor in order to win. Choose to respond like a winner, focusing on solving the challenge, not whining about the problem, since problems are a given, but solutions are a leadership choice.   Winners don’t whine and whiners don’t win. Pull your weeds, guard your mind, protect your heart, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  God Bless, Orrin Woodward

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