top of page

Celebrate Success, Honor Failure

Hello, once again! Once again, it is my privilege to connect with you and I am happy to be here. I hope you are, too!

This week's Seed was a quote from an American basketball coach. Several years ago, a friend gave me a tape to play in my car -- it was quite a while ago! It was a recording of an interview Tony Robbins had with John Wooden. At first, I couldn't imagine being that interested in hearing what a college basketball coach had to say, but when I'm in my car, on one of my long drives, I'll try listening to almost anything. I'm so glad I did! Hearing this man who had lead his college teams to so many victories was incredibly inspirational. I could see why Tony wanted to record his wisdom.

This week's quote from Wooden particularly resonated with me:

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." And, it prompted my response:

"... and focusing on what you can do opens up more and more possibilities."

I don't know if you can relate, but I have been known to fall down the rabbit hole of despair over what I can't seem to manage or make happen. As soon as I start to go there, it mushrooms and I can feel like a total failure in record speed. Coach Wooden's advice reminds me that it's not useful to head down that path. When it does happen, as soon as I can recognize what's going on, it's time to take inventory of what is achievable.

I may not be coaching a basketball team and my guess is that not too many of you reading this are either. However, as musician Tom Waits said, "The way you do anything is the way you do everything.". (In fact, highly successful business coach Suzanne Evans wrote a book with that title!) So, here are a few more words of wisdom from Mr. Wooden ...

  • "Good values attract good people." This reminds me to keep an eye on my own integrity and to want to be around people who do the same.

  • "Have utmost concern for what's right rather than who's right." Too often, trying to always be "right" means not accepting responsibility.

  • "Little things make big things happen." We don't always have to look for grand gestures and try to impress.

  • "Love is the most powerful four-letter word." This is so true. Always, when I just don't know what to do next, if I fall back on simply loving someone, it's exactly the right thing to do.

The way I see it, the part about "what you cannot do" has a lot to do with wanting to control people and situations. I used to try and run my life doing that. When it didn't work, I blamed every poor, innocent soul around me and "accused" them of making me miserable. I am not proud of my former beliefs and behaviours. Fortunately, I am both happy and grateful that I've had a change of heart and adjusted my thoughts and ways. Another gem from John Wooden is "Success is never final and failure is never fatal". I am so thankful that I have the choice to focus on the positive, learn from what doesn't work and continue to do and what is within my power. Once we start zeroing in on what's feasible or attainable, the door opens up to more of the same. This is what I wish for you.

Sparkles and Love,


Thanks for submitting!

Sign up for my mailing list!

About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
bottom of page