No 32 8-10-18 “To Give Real Service”

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Donald A. Adams (1925) former president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

When was the last time you had great service? At Arthur Murray, we practice the Cadillac Treatment with our students. We concentrate on the 90/10 theory. 90 percent of the lessons are geared for the student and 10 percent is the instructor’s opportunity to be a great Arthur Murray professional.

At Arthur Murray Santa Monica, we place our staff above all in our training and service. Why do we do that? A happy, well trained, and professional staff give the best service daily to all their student for they feel that they are important, fulfilled, and happy to be the best in all areas. I love to enter an establishment where the staff is happy and likes their workplace and their fellow staff and even their owners. A great student of mine once said that management is not a skill, it is an art form. Our entire business theme is set up in one word, Hospitality, and we strive to practice that every day!

“Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.” – Stanley Baldwin (1867 – 1947) Former British Prime Minister

Arthur Murray Dance Centers are a hub of enthusiastic, happy, fun-loving people. You’ll be at an Arthur Murray event and hear lots of laughter and see lots of smiles. The big common denominator is the great enthusiasm shared by all. Loving your hobby or work is such a key to joy in life. What a joy to receive great service from someone who says that they love their occupation and they receive their own satisfaction from a job well done. If dancing is your hobby or profession, you always want to do your best.

“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.” – Erastus Wiman (1834 – 1904) Canadian journalist and businessman

I recently read about the three keys to success in business: Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind! I once thought that someone who was kind in business was a sap or unsuccessful. As years have passed, I’ve met many, many successful women and men who were truly nice and kind people. They were loved by many and they respected by all. They were smart, savvy, and leaders in their fields, and they remained as courteous people.

As a young boy, I remember walking down Church Street with my dad in Nashville, Tennessee, and everyone said, “Hi Troy” “Hello Colonel Woodbury” “Hello Mr. Woodbury”. Everyone new and loved and respected my dad. He was a man first of faith, great in business, and involved in service. At my dad’s funeral, so many groups came to honor him. He seemed to be a part of every organization in Nashville. This had a profound impact on me and now, I am turning into my dad and learning how to give service to others as he did. In dad’s last years, he had a marble base on this bedside table with a brass plaque that read “You are my life’s hero”. He truly and was and still is my hero until today.

Service, I strive to learn what it truly means and to be the best at giving it. I come from the place of service with a giving heart and a willingness to learn and to be better in all areas of my life.

Try this, go to a friend, a client, your partner in life, a stranger, and ask them, “What may I do to may this a great day for you?” You’ll be surprised at the smiles that will come over their faces and the opportunities you will have to inspire others.

 Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 31 8-2-18 “Perseverance is a great element of success”

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) American poet

Do you compare yourself to others, their success, their money, their status, their material possessions, looks, careers? I do and wish I didn’t. What I’m trying to learn as I grow older is that I’m perfect just as I am and that I am valuable and worthy. I do give myself credit in that I do knock at the door over and over until someone wakes up, turns on the light and opens the gate for me.

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can be aroused by two things: first, an idea which takes the imagination by storm; and second, a definite, intelligible plan for carrying that idea into action.”

– Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)

Today, the two greatest motivational killers are apathy and complacency. Just settling for the average is rampant today. Just getting by and going the easiest route and using the lease amount of effort is OK today. But apathy is not for everyone. There are many, many excited souls in this world who have the power of enthusiasm coupled with a great imagination. They then have a plan to carry that action through and make their dreams realities.

“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.”

– John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) English art critic

“People tend to think of happiness as a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert (1969) American author

Our great efforts in life are rewarded by what we become through them, not just by what we gain from them. If I just had a nickel for all the fabulously wealth clients that I have known over my years who were unhappy. They had money, possessions, time, health and even partnership, but they were so unhappy in life. I too was unhappy at one point in my life and found that giving service through participating relentlessly was the only Balm in Gilead for me.

“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.”

– Bishop W.C. Magee (1821 – 1891) Irish clergyman

When it comes to mistakes, I’m driving the lead goof up car. I make a million mistakes.

The other day I jumped out of an Uber and left my bag in the seat! What a knucklehead!

I was so ashamed that I did not tell ANYONE! The driver was a saint and drove all the way back to my drop off point and gave me my bag. She accepted her big cash tip and a hug and a blessing for bailing me out! I will never do that again, but I always remember that mistake. Where was my mind?

When I was little, and I would break something, I was brokenhearted. My dear mom, J. Clair, would say “Now it’s personalized”. I say that to myself over and over as I “personalized” many areas in my life. Thanks mom for giving me this healing salve to use in all my errors in my life.

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”

– R.G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899)American lawyer

“We tend to make courage too dramatic. Courage is often doing something simple, unpleasant, or boring again and again until we get it down pat. People who are physically challenged and who have the determination to get around their handicaps are great examples because their courage makes them test their limits every day.”

– Dave Thomas (1932 – 2002) American Businessman, Founder of Wendy’s International Restaurant Chain

The person is faithful, that always shows up, that does not forget to lock the doors at night, the quiet soul that does the daily work day in and day out is truly my hero in life. To me, they have the greatest courage to get up, get going, and get the job done. Courage is not just being David in the lion’s den, but the person that is always there for you on whom you may always rely.

“Nothing is more endangered in the modern world than the powerful combination of hard work toward meaningful goals joined with an exuberant embrace of the present moment.”

– Tom Morris (1821 – 1908) Scottish golfer

I’ve been so lucky in my life that I have done what I love for 42 years. My “work” has always been my passion and I have never had to worry about a job. Hard work and faithfulness to that work have been my goal over all these years. Yes, in do work toward my goals daily and I relish the present moment in life. I’ll always have a place to fulfill my dreams and hopes if I faithfully, with courage, strive to make every dream I have a reality. (I promise to try to not be the driver of the goofy car of mistakes anymore.)

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 28 7-13-18 “The Greatest Test of Courage”

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”             – R.G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899) American lawyer

Do you like the rough times in life? I don’t. I can barely handle the great times in life with all their abundance and joy, much less loss, illness, and unexpected changes in life. The rough times are hard for me and they take their tole on me. I must have a lot of courage for I am truly able to bear defeat and much more somehow without losing heart. Perhaps it’s my mom, J. Clair, looking down on me from heaven. Perhaps it is the hand of my father that I often feel on my shoulder, giving me strength from the world above. No matter how it happens, somehow, I have the will to go on and not give up.

“People tend to think of happiness as a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.”                                                  – Elizabeth Gilbert (1969) American author

We all want to be happy. I’m way beyond thinking that happiness is from luck or similar to the great weather we have in Santa Monica. At one time I did fight and strive and insist on happiness in my life. Is just did not come. I was not happy. I was not satisfied. Then the light went off in my life. I realized that Happiness was truly spelled, Service. The moment I quit looking for happiness, and began to serve, I finally relaxed in my heart and felt a little bit of peace.

I was tired of always trying to do the best thing for just me. Now, I looked outside my own life to others and realized the great need for leadership, service, and mentoring. There was and still is a wide-open field for anyone who has the calling to give to others.

“I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.”                                                  – Pete Egoscue (1945) Founder of Physical Therapy Method The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion

Is this an easy path, the life of service? No, it is not, but it is worth it and rewarding. I’ll never get high enough on the ladder of success. I’ll never have enough stuff, money, or time to spend it. But, I’ll always have time to volunteer for an event, a fundraiser, a dance competition that supports kids, or just give some time to someone in need. I do now know the only secret of happiness and I’m sticking with it.

Thanks for reading to all my lovely readers!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 27 7-6-18 “Keeping your Memories”

“If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them.”

– Bob Dylan (1941) American songwriter, singer

Living your dreams is not easy. It takes a lot of courage and pluck to turn a thought into an action that turns into a dream that becomes a reality. And dream has a way of changing, and turning and evolving. You can’t control destiny, but you can control how you live during the journey to your goals.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

– Epictetus (55AD – 135AD) Stoic philosopher

After the great Northridge Earthquake in Los Angeles in 1991, I decided that I would not worry about things that were out of my control. Yes, I do worry about what is in my control, but the rest I have given up on. I can’t control an earthquake and many other things in life, so I just stay vigilant and strong and try to live in the moment.

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

– Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

If I win and lose myself, what have I gained? If I succeed and am in darkness, what have I earned? I may not always win 1st place, but I am a winner in the joy I have in doing my best, meeting and exceeding my goals and expectations. I don’t cry if I don’t break the ribbon at the finish line. I rejoice in the fact that I am running, finishing the race, and that I loved running the course and enjoyed the other runners on the way.

“Courage is grace under pressure.”

– Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) American Writer

I hope I have some grace in my life. Not just the grace that God has given and continues to give to me daily, but the grace that says “Thank You” “I appreciate you”

“I need you” and giving the praise to others in life.  I think that I have great courage that is fortified with wisdom and courage. I certainly have the pressure in my life so I hope to be a man of character and keep my cool when the days get rough.

“The four cornerstones of character on which this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.”

– Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 – 1973) American Aviator and Business Executive

My father, Troy Woodbury, gave me the key to having initiative. My mom, J. Clair, gave me the imagination in my life and my individuality, and mom my independence. I thank my parents every day for giving me the best parts of their lifes and that they continue to guide and inspire me from their heavenly homes together again.

“I can’t do it” never yet accomplished anything: “I will try” has accomplished wonders.”

– George P. Burnham (1868 – 1939) Politician

I would hate to tell you that I am blamer, or that I sometimes say I can’t do something. I would never tell you that sometimes I give up, so I won’t. But I will tell you, that on my good days, I can see that I can do it all in my life and that the best is still yet to come. I have much more to do, accomplish, give, and experience in my life. I will admit that I say that I will try, and I do, and often accomplish many great things in my life.

I’m busy making the memories that I want to keep, and living in the moment and loving the path of life, the lessons learned, and the rich rewards that I experience along the way.

As always, I wish you, the reader, hope, peace, guidance and always the presence of light and living water daily.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 24 – 6-15-18 “Run the Great Risk”

“I run great risk of failing. It may be that I shall encounter ruin where I look for reputation and a career of honor. The chances are perhaps more in favor of ruin than of success. But, whatever may be the chances, I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.”

– Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) English Novelist

Wow, this is my daily life! I generally feel on the edge most moments of every day. I too look for a good reputation and a career of honor. There is much risk in this type of life. I do go on as long as I have any means of carrying on the fight.

The great thing about living the life of great risk is that you get stronger every day. A risk turns into a decision from past experience. Fear turns into determination. Confusion disappears and is replaced with knowledge and confidence. The truth of living your best life is that it gets better.

The best part of living carrying on the fight at all costs is that you become a leader for others who want to take great risks as well and achieve great goals. You become the mentor and you go from strength to the next. This does not mean that you don’t have failure and obstacles, it means you see your challenges as learning experiences.

“The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are; first, hard work, second, stick-to-it-iveness, and third, common sense.”

– Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931) American Inventor

This says it all. Be willing to work hard and stick to it with common sense. Where does common sense come from? Taking chances in life and learning from past mistakes. Here is where it is good to have wonderful mentors to guide and coach you. Just realize that everyone who has achieved greatness in their lives has failed many, many times, and they have also succeeded a great number of times.

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

– J.B. Priestley (1894 – 1984) English Author

What do you do after a failure? You get up and dust yourself off and move on with a fresh day. You see a fresh start. You learn from what just happened to you and then you forge a new path, set a new goal, and move forward with all your heart. After receiving a new shoulder from UCLA in 2010, I found out that my nemesis would always be shoulder freeze. If I did not keep my shoulder flexible, it would freeze up and I would lose the range of motion and much of the use of my left arm. As eight years have past, I realized that I must keep my life moving to avoid “life freeze”. If I don’t move forward, I will just stop still in my tracks and stop living.

I’d be more fearful in my life, but I’m too busy achieving great things in my life. I’d be more tired, but I don’t have time for the fatigue. I’d have doubt, but I’m surrounded by great leaders and mentors who are always guiding me to greatness. I’d be failing more, but my passion for service overtakes my life and I only see opportunity ahead. Yes, “I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.”

Thanks for reading to all my lovely readers!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 23 6-8-18 “Learn to be Brave and Patient”

“…we could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.”

– Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American Writer

First, with this quote, Helen Keller is listed as an American Writer. She is not listed as someone who was deaf and blind her entire life. She is not listed as having any physical challenges. Helen Keller is always an inspiration to me and her light always shines out to me.

When I get down, I think that Helen Keller graduated from university and she became a lecturer. She was a speaker, writer and she inspired millions to greatness during her life and even until now. I am grateful that I have all my faculties knowing that she did so much in her life with obstacles that would have stopped most people.

When she learned how to communicate, her life blossomed and she found the inspiration inside of her. She did not always have joy in her life, and yet she learned the lessons of bravery and patience.

Sometimes I still fall into the abyss of my self-pity and I am ashamed. With all the many blessings given to me, how can I possible not be up and happy and thankful all the time. Well, the truth is that I’m not always full of joy, or bravery or patience. Sometimes I think I’m not going to be able to make it, or I am running out of steam.

During rough times, I think of all the heroes in my life and how they overcame the challenges that life threw at them, and they persevered, and they realized their dreams. Now, as I strive for huge dreams I am learning not to give up.

I thought that I’d never have kids, ever. Now I have a big staff of young people who are all very talented, fun, motivated. They need me to be brave and patient with them every day and they need guidance. I think every day, they will not always remember what I said to them, but they will always remember how I made them feel. Most employees today need to feel needed and especially appreciated. I want them to love their jobs and look forward to always coming to their workplace.

Because every day is not just full of joy, when the precious days of happiness, light, and fulfillment do come, I am truly grateful and very, very thankful. On my good days I say over and over, I’m having a great day and I feel good. I never take the good times for granted for I know that a champion is someone who can do the mundane over and over with focus and purpose. I know that the amazing days do come, but they are paved with many days of just doing what is needed with a good and happy heart.

Thanks for reading brave and patient readers!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 22 6-1-18 “How to Become Quite a Person”

“Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.”

Robert Oppenheimer, American theoretical physicist and professor of physics

Ever think that you have messed up your life? Ever think that you have made a mistake so grave that you will never be able to recover? Has a wrong decision or a wrong turn in your life seem to have doomed you forever?

When disaster strikes, and the house of cards falls apart, it’s easy to throw your hands in the air and say, that’s that! The first reaction is to just give up and run away from the situation knowing that all is lost.

When I read Oppenheimer’s quote that correcting a life error in just 10 years is a great thing, I was truly moved. There was a time in my life, OK, many times, when I thought I had just made too big a mistake, taken too great a loss to ever recover to where I had been. I did just give up several times and I know that all I had worked so hard in my life to achieve was over.

Then, a curious thing happened. It got better, and yes, I did recover. I had never thought of the 10-year measuring stick. There was a great time in my life where I had it all, family, money, success, health and a bright future. Then, in one year those closest to me died, I lost all that I had built up, and I was seemingly done for. All that mattered to me was gone, never to return.

Then, it began to get better. I started to correct what had happened. Hope began to return. It was not overnight, but the light slowly began to shine again and one day I realized that I had regained all that was lost, but to my surprise I was also a different person. I had new experiences, new knowledge, new wisdom, and new hope in life.

That nagging question of “Why did all this happen to me” was solved the first time I met someone who was truly “in the dark night of the soul” and I was able to give them comfort and words of healing. I realized that life had given me lessons and training, so I would be able to help others in their darkest moments, and to also celebrate with those experiencing the most joyous times of life. Life had been a great teacher for me.

Now, I’m always on the lookout for someone who needs a word of encouragement, a word of hope. Someone who is desperate for that person who understands what they are going through. I keep both ears listening and my heart and words ready to be the friend they can talk to. In the last 16 years, I have had countless opportunities to help and guide those in need. I truly believe they are send to me and I’m always ready and I feel the moment it happens. It’s like a little miracle of light overtakes me and the right words come from my heart.

Now that I have passed several 10 years of corrections I have a new outlook in my life. I have stopped singing the blues. I don’t have time to wallow in failure. Now, I spend a great deal of my thoughts wanting to help others and guide them as they go through the school of life, and I try to help them so they can be that special person for others in their own lives.

I’m trying to be more like my cats these days. When the afternoon sun streams through the open windows, they find these rays of warm light and they stretch out and let the warmth of the sun comfort and heal them. They love the love the healing power that they feel as they rest in the light.

I know why I’m here and what I’m to do in my life and I’m doing it right now. Be of courage, the bad in your life will turn into the good and you will recover. You’ll be OK again. It will get better!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

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