Be Quick But Don’t Hurry

John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach for UCLA would begin each of his training camps instilling this (and other messages) into the minds of his young players.

He must have been doing something right as the UCLA Bruins of the 1960s and 70 won 10 NCAA basketball championships and an amazing 7 in a row!

We are generally familiar with the idea of moving quickly. We see an emergency or an issue that needs resolving and we want to take action to make it better. This sense of urgency, that is a natural bias, works well and is an action of our reactive brain.

Practicing “not hurrying” puts a mindful moment between our perceptions and actions and gives us an extra few seconds to survey the situation so that we can take the best actions to resolve the problem. A good word to describe this skill is probably “deliberate.”

Building this capability means you can see the big picture. A quarterback, surveys the field before hiking the ball. A successful leader thinks about the mood of his team before he enters a meeting and a parent considers what actions he or she will take when challenged by an acting-out child.

Coach Wooden believed that how we think makes all the difference in how we perform. Taking that extra moment to consider options is a small step towards resilient success.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017

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