“Talent is God given…Be humble.”
“Fame is man-given…Be grateful.”
“Conceit is self-given…Be careful.”
John Wooden (1910 – 2010)
Some of the greatest lessons in life are learned through personal experience. Consider yourself extremely fortunate, therefore, if you’re able to grasp a valued admonition from the personal lives of others. The six quotations below are from athletes endowed with the talent and God given ability to achieve greatness in the sport in which they competed. Three of these men used their abilities to achieve excellence both on and off the field, while the others have struggled with oversized egos and/or undersized effort; leading them away from the achievements that they hoped to obtain.
Are you able to read these quotes and identify the men who excelled and the ones who derailed?
1. “I stopped living according to my core values. I knew what I was doing was wrong but thought only about myself and thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to.”
2. “I don’t care to be remembered as the man who scored six touchdowns in a game. I want to be remembered as a winner in life.”
3. “I’m telling you what it is: I know I’m the best point guard in the NBA. I don’t need anybody else to tell me that.”
4. “Get your popcorn ready, ’cause I’m gonna put on a show.”
5. It took me a while to figure that out and to realize what a gift that I had been given. And when I finally did, I dedicated myself to be the best pitcher I possibly could be, for as long as I possibly could be.
6. I was lucky enough to have the talent to play baseball. That’s how I treated my career. I didn’t think I was anybody special, anybody different.
Pride and self-centered living eventually betray a person’s very sense of purpose.. This principle is true in every discipline of life; politics, business, education, personal relationships. etc.) Contrarily, an individual with humility provides excellent ‘soil’ for the growth, development, and display of the gift he has received.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”