I am a huge (American) football fan, but I admire other sports players and coaches, too. A coach I’ve long admired is legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. He won 10 national championships in 12 years – a feat unmatched to this day! Amazing!
Wooden’s secret? A philosophy for success he called the Pyramid of Success. This brilliant framework for living well applied to young athletes and life far beyond the court.
The foundation? Industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation and enthusiasm. As Wooden said, “There is no substitute for work.” Luck only favors the prepared.
Building on that base, the inner rows highlight fundamental traits like self-control, alertness, initiative and intentness – being present in the moment.
The middle rows focus on condition, skill and team spirit. We must keep our mind, body and skills sharp while supporting others.
The outer rows deal with more advanced qualities like poise, confidence and competitive greatness. As we master the lower levels, we build towards peak performance.
The capstone is success, defined not by trophies but by peace of mind from doing your best. As Wooden famously said, “Winning takes care of itself if you don’t worry about it.”
As a woman over 50, this framework speaks to me. Living with purpose takes effort at any age. But the principles to get there do not change. As we navigate life’s second half, Wooden’s wisdom guides the way.
The Foundation: Friendship, Loyalty, Enthusiasm
For all women over 50, the base of the pyramid must be strong relationships. Make nurturing friendships a priority. Surround yourself with positive people who share your values. Stay loyal to those who lift you up.
Approach life with enthusiasm – a zest for learning new things and embracing new experiences. Let childlike curiosity sustain you.
Inner Rows: Discipline, Attention to Detail, Presence
Cultivating self-discipline and control means consistently making choices that align with your goals. Decluttering the unnecessary allows you to focus on what matters most.
Pay close attention to details, whether in relationships, self-care, or projects. Tune in to the present moment. Be here now.
Middle Rows: Skill Building, Conditioning, Teamwork
Never stop building skills. Take classes to expand your knowledge. Master new hobbies that challenge you. Keep your mind active and engaged.
Make health a daily practice. Exercise, nutrition and rest keep your condition peak. Care for your body so you can thrive.
Uplift others and amplify strengths through teamwork. Collaborate with your partner, friends and community. We all do better together.
Outer Rows: Confidence, Poise, Living Fully
Trust in yourself. Feel confident sharing your gifts, voice and experiences. Let self-assurance grow from within.
Cultivate patience, balance and poise. Manage stress skillfully. Be steady in the face of life’s ups and downs.
Your purpose is to live fully – not just exist. Make the most of the time you have. Leave your unique mark on the world.
The Capstone: Success and Peace of Mind
Aim beyond mere happiness to discover deep meaning.
Define success based on fulfilling relationships, growth, and joy.
Peace of mind comes from doing your best, then letting go of attachment to results. Accept what you cannot control.
Coach Wooden’s legacy lives on because his wisdom transcends context. His Pyramid of Success applies powerfully to all seeking to live with purpose.
Ladies, make the rest of your life the best of your life.
- Build your days with loyalty to uplifting relationships.
- Chase your passions with enthusiasm.
- Master new skills relentlessly.
- Take exquisite care of your body.
- Better yourself, yet stay humble and helpful.
- Have the courage to shine your light fully.
- Climb each step patiently and meticulously like laying bricks.
Build a life of substance from the foundation up. Success and peace will crown your efforts.
I hope Coach Wooden’s Pyramid will guide and inspire women over 50 to constructive living. In some ways, aren’t we just beginning to live? The journey brings challenges but the view from the top is worth it! Stay strong. Keep climbing.
Want to read an older post based on John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success? I wrote about this almost 10 years ago here: John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success–It’s Not Just for Players
It’s still just as relevant today.