No 28 Nothing will take the place of persistence 7-14-17

No 28 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 14, 2017

“Nothing will take the place of persistence”

“I want to remind you that success in life is based on hard slogging. There will be periods when discouragement is great and upsetting, and the antidote for this is calmness and fortitude and a modest yet firm belief in your competence. Be sure that your priorities are in order so that you can proceed in a logical manner, and be ever mindful that nothing will take the place of persistence.”

– Walter Annenberg, Publisher and philanthropist (1908 – 2002 )

 

 

Persistence, by Calvin Coolidge

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is filled with educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination are alone omnipotent.

“Press On!” has been and always will be the answer to every human problem.

I love this saying: “hard sloggin”. I think I know what that is. The good part of slogging is that the good days are so sweet and the good times are greatly appreciated. Going through the slog makes the good days all the more magical.

“When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take – choose the bolder.”

 – W.J. Slim (1891 – 1970 ) British military commander

 

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

Everyone is watching our every move. Do you believe this? I can say a lot of things about life, but I know that others are always watching my actions and seeing if I am walking the walk. Do you know what I found out? I discovered that somehow others know what we do in private. I don’t mean they have a video of us, but they know our hearts and our intentions and they know how are feeling and how we live. Our actions show others how we think in our personal lives and what we do when no one is watching.  I have recently been convicted of some of my private thoughts and actions and have changed my personal talk to positive words and my actions to positive actions. I am trying to “choose the bolder” in all my decisions.

“No obstacles fell in his way that seemed to him insurmountable. He might be defeated, as he sometimes was, but he shrank from no hardship through impatience, he fled from no danger through cowardice.”

– J. P. Morgan writing about Napoleon Bonaparte

 

“What is now proved was once only imagined.”

– William Blake (1757-1827) English Poet

Overcoming obstacles is how the once impossible has become the reality of today. Remember that Walt Disney stood in an orange orchard and visualized the Magic Kingdom. The theme park was in his dreams and he made an impossible idea a reality that has been enjoyed by millions from around the world.

I recently heard a very successful man say, “I’m not taking anything with me”. He was talking about how he was living his dreams and how he was teaching persistence and perseverance to others as his life work. He is such a great man and when you are around him, you just feel the great energy coming from every part of his being.

If I could write just one message every week, it would be to not be afraid of your dreams. Live them. You know how the motivational speakers say you can have anything you want in your life?  Well, they sometimes forget to tell you all the work that goes into making these dreams come true. They sometimes forget to include the fact that you can have anything you want in your life if you are willing to help others get whatever they want in their lives.

Yes, we can have it all, but the price is great. The road is full of challenges and only the ones who persevere will reach the end of their goal path.

Let go of fear. Have a little courage and you will live your dream.

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

No 27 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 7, 2017

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will ant to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”  – Walt Disney

It seems I have begun over and over many times. My life does not seem like the normal life to me. Others seems to have an easier way. They set a goal, find a path, stay on the path and glide down the road that follows success.

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein (1954 ) American actor

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

– Lao Tzu (5BCE – 531 BCE) Chinese philosopher

I’ve had a lot of people define my life and what I have and haven’t done. Others have even tried to guide my life by their definition of what I am doing and what I should be doing. I get “should” on quite a lot sometimes.

I use to believe that I had all the keys to success. Then the locks changed, the keys were no longer effective, and eventually the doors were not even there. I though success was “permanent”. Boy, that is a myth. I found out to my great surprise later in my life, that success is now “service” and must be maintained on a daily basis.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

– Walt Disney (1901 – 1966) American Animator and Film Maker

 

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.”

– Betty Smith (1897-1972) German/American Author and Writer

My eyes see life for the first time more and more often now. Many times, I do think I’m doing the impossible. It seems, more and more, I am conquering tasks that in the past I would have never attempted. By the way, on this road of the impossible, I have met the most incredible people I have ever known. These heroes on my service road are the most inspiring friends I have ever met. They encourage me and lift me up. And together, yes, they make doing the impossible fun.

I truly don’t know what the future will bring. I only know that through a life of service am I truly happy and fulfilled. It’s hard to have the blues when you are completely spent from giving from your passions and talents. Live in the moment and plan for a great future, learn from the past. Embrace the impossible and surround yourself with heroes and superstars!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

No 24 “If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.”

No 24 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 16, 2017

“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” – David Viscott (1938 – 1996) American psychiatrist

It seems I have begun over and over many times. My life does not seem like the normal life to me. Others seems to have an easier way. They set a goal, find a path, stay on the path and glide down the road that follows success.

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein (1954 ) American actor

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu (5BCE – 531 BCE) Chinese philosopher

I’ve had a lot of people define my life and what I have and haven’t done. Others have even tried to guide my life by their definition of what I am doing and what I should be doing. I get “should” on quite a lot sometimes.

I use to believe that I had all the keys to success. Then the locks changed, the keys were no longer effective, and eventually the doors were not even there. I though success was “permanent”. Boy, that is a myth. I found out to my great surprise later in my life, that success is now “service” and must be maintained on a daily basis.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney (1901 – 1966) American Animator and Film Maker

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.” – Betty Smith (1897-1972) German/American Author and Writer

My eyes see life for the first time more and more often now. Many times, I do think I’m doing the impossible. It seems, more and more, I am conquering tasks that in the past I would have never attempted. By the way, on this road of the impossible, I have met the most incredible people I have ever known. These heroes on my service road are the most inspiring friends I have ever met. They encourage me and lift me up. And together, yes, they make doing the impossible fun.

I truly don’t know what the future will bring. I only know that through a life of service am I truly happy and fulfilled. It’s hard to have the blues when you are completely spent from giving from your passions and talents. Live in the moment and plan for a great future, learn from the past. Embrace the impossible and surround yourself with heroes and superstars!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

 

 

No 21 Reflect on your past blessings! 5-26-17

No 21 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 26, 2017

“Reflect on your past blessings”

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) English Novelist

We must all have regrets and thoughts of “what if” in our lives. These thoughts can actually pull us down into depression and isolation if we give into them. For some reason, it’s hard to focus on the good. We all have trouble with this. The beauty of the day, our food, clothing, opportunities, friends and family in our lives. It’s easy to awaken and hit the ‘poopie thought’ list before our feet even hit the floor. Every morning I try to find my ‘perfect’ spot. It is a brief moment before rising that I am 100% in tune and at peace. I feel it, experience it, reflect in it, respect it, then I get up and start the day.

“Man does not live by a turkey in every oven or a color TV set in every home. Man lives by faith and hope and love, by the star on the horizon, by the trumpet that will not call retreat.” – E. Merrill Root (1895-1973) American Writer

Some days, not only do I not have the trumpet of triumph, but I seem to be leading the retreat from the enemy even before I get up! I hate this. While my flesh body is thinking of my oven turkey and what I’ll watch on my laptop, I lose sight of my guiding star leading me to the faith, hope and love in my life.

“Quoted after breaking all single-handed woman’s records and finishing second in round the world yacht race. February 11th, 2001. If I have any message from this then it is if you really have a dream and you want to achieve it then you can and it really is possible.”” – Ellen MacArthur (1976 ) Retired English sailor

What the future holds, I just don’t know. I am only certain that today must be a good day, even a great day, and that I must make a difference in someone else’s life. If I could bottle dreams, it would be my fuel every day in my life. I dream of hope, success, health, service, faith, family, love, career, health, mentoring, sustaining, giving, creating, pursuing, cooking (of course), guiding others, and creating a world around me where others learn to be of inspiration to others. I don’t want to just have a business that makes money, I want a business that inspires my staff to greater heights in their lives. A business that will give our staff the skills to accomplish any dreams they might have in their lives. For my customers, I want them to feel they are in a place where they are loved, appreciated, wanted, needed, safe, happy, and where they have a place to be themselves and grow.

“Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.” – Kevin Costner (1955) American Actor, Producer and Director

Once I thought that you made a goal, focused on it and then, poof, it would happen. Little did I know that if you set a goal, you will be tested in many, many ways to prove your resolve and try your determination. Goals are great, but they are not the journey. The journey is staying focused through success, failure, doubt, glory, fears and achievements. Our goals are closest to us when we are in the hot, fiery oven of trials and tribulations.

Well, on that hot note, be positive and keep on dreaming. Every good thing we have in our lives is because we, or someone else had an incredible thought that became a dream that became a reality. Don’t be afraid of hard times. Don’t give up. Remember, It will get better!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Thanks to Kristina Sado for the lovely Sand and Sea Ball 2017 photos!

@SadoPhoto ©KristinaSado

 

No 20 5-19-17 Never Quit, Even if You Want To!

No 20 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 19, 2017

“Never quit, even if you want to”

“You, enlightened, self-sufficient, self-governed, endowed with gifts above your fellows, the world expects you to produce as well as to consume, to add to and not to subtract from its store of good, to build up and not to tear down, to ennoble and not degrade. The time is short, the opportunity is great; therefore, crowd the hours with the best that is in you.”- John Hibben, 1913 graduation address, president of Princeton University

My life is so full of great activity. There is always something great to look forward to every day, every week, even every moment. Funny, most of these anticipated activities are events of service to others. I just love the life of service. Being of use guiding and helping others, and stepping up to be the leader at all times.

“The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”- William James (1842 – 1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist

Do I love and live this life to be appreciated? Truth is, I have had enough accolades. Now it is time to give the spotlight to others and help develop others as champions. Many years I came out of the “Dark Night of the Soul”. The light that brought me through was not therapy, outside support, books, religion, even family. All these factors were part of what kept me alive and kept me going. The magic ingredient was when I woke up and starting volunteering to help others. My eyes were opened and I saw that I was not alone. I also saw that I was not the worst off of the bunch. In fact, I learned how great my life truly was, even coming through darkness. The day I stepped out of the back tunnel was the day I began to offer service to others.

“What a man is contributes much more to his happiness than what he has, or how he is regarded by others.” – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) German philosopher

Finally, I feel free from the constant want to be happy and for things to be going well. Free from the constant need to ‘get more stuff’. Free from wanting everything to go ‘my way’. The only times now that I am free from worry and doubt and stress and sorrow are the times I busy organizing something for someone else, offering a helping hand, or planning an event that will uplift and inspire others.

So to finish, you might think I’m just full of hot air. Perhaps I am. But I’m going to us my hot air to blow up a balloon of dreams that will lift someone else to a new destiny, to a new reality in their life. This may seem like a ‘pie in the sky’ philosophy, but guess what, I love pie!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

No 18 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 5, 2017

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

I’m a high maintenance person. I’m either very happy, very sad, very peaceful, very upset, very productive or very blah! There is not too much grey area for me. As a Virgo of two Virgo parents, well, I’m perfect and I expect everyone and everything around me to be perfect. I can’t stand myself when I’m not perfect.

At 61, I now know that nothing and no one in this earthly realm is perfect. I’m not. I always want things to be better, and now I know the solution. I have to be the catalyst and I have to be the change I want to see. If something is not right, I have to start the change and be the energy to make something new happen.

The days of complaining and expecting someone else to pull up the slack are over for me. There is no one to go to. It’s me doing it or the highway. That’s OK, for now I have the heart of a leader. I’m finally fulling feeling the heart of my dad beating in side of me. Just don’t live for what you can get, but for the opportunities to give service to others. I wish I could just take a second and tell my dad that I now know why he was so happy giving service in so many ways.

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) German Philosopher

Perhaps we are all destroyed in some small way every day. We all go through rough times. We go through times when we just don’t think we can make it. Today I tried to remember my dad and if he ever showed me his stress. He always had a good face on and kept his faith and his positive outlook on life. He was such a great example of service, cheerfulness, a happy heart, a good laugh, and a great leader. How I wish that today I could tell him how proud of him I am and that I’m becoming just like him. Just tell him how his example in my life has guided me and has changed me.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”- Mark Twain (b: Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910) American Author and Humorist

Perhaps Mr. Woodbury had the great courage to master his fear. I know fear was present, for I was a handful in my early years. All I can remember is that dad was there for me. When my partner Jim died, dad was the strongest for me. It was as if he had lost a son. In a way, he had. I’ll never forget his sorrow over Jim’s passing, his compassion, his love for me, and his support as I struggled with grief. I visited daddy right after Jim passed, and that was right before daddy went home to be with mom. Two military funerals back-to-back. I guess I learned to face my grief and move forward.

Today, I have Mr. Woodbury’s spirit inside of me. That spirit tells me to lead, be the agent for change, and the optimism to make those changes happen. I know that I don’t know it all, in fact, I seem to know very little. But I can stand up, volunteer, become active, add my energy, and lead the way for others.

Here is a challenge: find someone who is down in the dumps. Find someone who is lost. Find someone who is crying because they are not getting enough in their lives and help them learn the magic of giving back to others. It is a recipe for success

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

 

No 17 Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 28, 2017

Gaining Wisdom

“Wisdom comes alone through suffering.” – Aeschylus 525-456 BC

Well, that’s not too encouraging is it? But it is so true The best champion dancers have worked and trained for many years to get to the top. As with any athlete, they have gone through wins and losses, sickness and injuries, and also great triumphs. Yes, there is a great price to pay for wisdom and success.

When God asked Solomon what he desired above all other things, he replied, “Give me wisdom and knowledge so I may lead my people”. Solomon was wise, for he knew wisdom was the greatest of all riches.

2 Chronicles 1

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

Along with Solomon’s wisdom came great riches and great power. Even though Solomon was warned to not turn away from God, he did so. The power overtook his believe and faith.

1 Kings 11

I have had power, riches, and knowledge. I found all those things to be nothing when it came to dealing with death and loss of loved ones. All I had, all I knew, and all I was could not help keep the angel of death away from the ones I loved. I realized that we bring nothing in with us and we take nothing with us as we leave life.

Now when writing about wisdom, I don’t think I know all about life. I know the basics. My goal is help, inspire and mentor others in life. Whether it is through dance, faith, career, relationships, or helping someone find their purpose in life. If I can just guide others in the right direction, and give them the tools to stay on the right paths for their lifetime, I think that is good.

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” – Horace (65-8 BC) Roman Poet

I would love, especially at 61 years old, to now avoid adversity and stress and problems, but that just ain’t going to happen. I realize that a diamond is only truly formed after extreme pressure over a long time to that little piece of coal. I now welcome the ‘refiner’s fire’ and I know that each day will bring challenges.

“An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Arab proverb

Life does not work like Amazon One-Click ordering. You see it on line, click Amazon Prime, and have it the next day. That instant gratification is truly for an army sheep. I want to be the lion leading others to victory in their lives.  I just have to remember to embrace every challenge, every trial, count every blessing, and cherish all the good things in life.

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!