“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
~ John Wooden, English teacher and basketball coach. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success
John Wooden moved success from the realm of comparison with others to a kind of self-awareness or knowledge regarding the effort you have exerted. Through the application of his view, Wooden became one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history. He coached teams to ten national basketball championships.
Grades are a product of comparison. While they are important for some moments and opportunities in life, they have a short shelf life. Your character will last much longer and will go with you far beyond your university years. Pursuing your studies for the grade is short-sighted. Jesus Christ called for a longer view of life when He said, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NLT)
You have to be secure.
John Wooden’s definition of success and Jesus’ long-view of life requires an incredible sense of security. Security is a product of assurance in relationships. As Wooden grew as a coach, he sought to give a sense of security to his teams by assuring them that he wasn’t looking for wins; he really was looking for them to give their best effort on and off the court.
Assurance of God’s love for you can become a constant in your life. At Origin, Born for More, we believe Jesus came to show God’s love for us as a reality that we can daily experience. His love, demonstrated through the Gospel of Jesus, creates lasting security. In His love, we don’t need to compare ourselves to another.
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” Jesus lived the life of “the beloved” and now invites us to live the same by receiving His love poured out for us through His death on the Cross. God’s love becomes a constant that makes comparison less powerful and ruling. Responding to His grace and love doesn’t destroy ambition as some might accuse. Rather, by trusting in God’s love for you through Jesus, you will possess a security that empowers you to keep growing, keep learning, and actually risk becoming the person God created you to be, no matter “the grade.”
You were made to be loved.
We do hope you succeed on your exams. But more than that, we hope you will experience God’s love in Christ Jesus as the constant that gives security and shapes your life.
(I wrote this article for our exam care packages that we are delivering this week at UBC.)