Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat

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No 35. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 28, 2015

Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.
— Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) American Publisher

Have you ever chatted with a dance champion? I have. In fact, I have many close friends who are and were dance champions. I once asked Bob Powers how he did it. He said that he imagined that every time he took the dance floor for a competition, that everyone watching purchased a ticket just to see HIM! What a great and confident answer! I never forgot his reply.

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I remember once Bob went to emergency 4 days before once again winning the United Stated Ballroom Championship, once again. Once day he was flat on his back at the hospital, the next few days he was a US Champion again. How did Bob do it? He was a true professional, and he had Julia there as his power house of strength and talent! You’ll never get to the top without experiencing some defeat. You might lose now and then, but eventually you’ll be in the winner’s circle if you keep on trying with dogged determination.

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Sometimes even the best dancer wants to give up. Perhaps things have not gone well with you. Your partnership is in trouble. You have lost your focus. You can’t remember your dream. You have despair. But don’t give up. There is hope.

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So great has been the endurance, so incredible the achievement, that,
as long as the sun keeps a set course in heaven, it would be foolish
to despair of the human race.
— Ernest L. Woodward

Only now in my life do I truly appreciate the successes I have. I am so full of gratitude for the wonderful opportunities that are with me and before me. Opportunities to grow, stretch, learn, serve, and change lives. Perhaps each victor is so much sweeter to me now after I have risen up from so many personal defeats. The victories in my life are precious, and they are strong, and they have made me the person I am today.

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Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within.
— Steven H. Coogler

Respect yourself. If you do, others around you will respect you as well. Learn to roll with the punches and know that the bad times will pass, and the good times will be precious. Don’t let a few discouraging moments ruin your big dream.

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
— Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish Writer

When I meet a couple that has been married for many, many decades, I always ask them what is their secret. They love to stop, think, and share the golden nugget of knowledge with me. Meeting a very successful woman or man, I always ask them, what is the number one key to your success? They also stop, think, and share some of the magic that took them to the top. It always included overcoming adversity in their lives and not letting the hard times get them down.

I never wanted my life to be easy, and I got my wish. I do have struggles with those around me who have not made the ultimate commitment as I think I have made. On the other hand, I am often convicted by those around me whose level of commitment dwarfs mine and I sometimes envy their successes. Putting all this aside, I decide to be grateful for my life and live a life of gratitude. If I started listing off the great things in my life, I could not stop writing and writing the many blessings that come to my mind.

Confession, I do get tired from some of the trials in my life. I have trouble with people who cannot make up their minds. With people who let others do most of the work in life for them. With others who are in a fog and cannot break free and “need a while” to get it together. Then, I realize that I’m seeing my own faults projected onto others. I realized that all the things I see in others that bother me, are the faults that I have in my own life. Now you know why I said this was a confession.

In the book of Job, after losing all his possessions, wealth, and family, Job said “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me”. I often think, why did he fear losing it all? After God tested Job to see if he would turn his heart from God, Job found that he was self righteous and that he needed to be humbled. Then, God gave Job back everything he had two fold.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and recognize the great things in your life. Exercise for you: Find a champion and ask them how they did it. Ask them what was the hardest part of getting to the top. Ask them their number one trial and their best victory. Ask, listen, learn, then live a life of realizing you dreams, even if the way is hard and the road is long. You’ll have many moments of glory along the way and they will be precious to you.

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury





The Ideal that you Enthrone in your Heart 8-21-15

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No 34. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 21, 2015

The Ideal that you enthrone in your heart.

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone
in your heart – this you will build your life by, and this you will
become. — James Lane Allen (1849-1925) American Author

Do you have dreams in your life? Do they haunt you daily? Do you think of them all the time? What are your first thoughts when you are going to sleep? What are your first thoughts upon awakening? Do you have regrets about what you are doing in your life? Are you living your life dream?

Patience is passion tamed.
— Lyman Abbott

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I am not a patient person. I want everything now and I feel as if I have paid my dues and that I am entitled to success in every area of my life. Oh my goodness, I’m 59 and I’m thinking as a millennial! What has happened to me? Why do I always think that everything that I touch will be a great success? Why do I think that all my dreams are going to come true? Why, because I believe in passion. I am willing to pay the price for success and that vision has truly enthroned in my heart.

There are some old sayings, “Become the person you want to be with” “Surround yourself with people you want to become like”. If you want to find that perfect person in your life, successful, charismatic, rich, powerful, smart, creative, then become that person in every aspect. Like will attract like. Look around you at all your friends. Look at where they are in their lives, what they have, do, give, how they think, live, and interact with others. Guess what? You will become just like the circle of friends you surround yourself with each and every day.

When you find a champion ballroom dancing couple, you can bet and win that their immediate friends are successful dancers, champions who are now judges, successful dance school owners, and fantastic people. Their families support them, their friends are all accomplished in their lives, and they themselves are “living the dream” after many, many years of practice, preparation, and perseverance.

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Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing
things as they ought to be done.– Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) American Novelist

My business partner, Gabriela Young, recently commented to me about the use of common sense. To be successful today, along with doing all the right things, it helps to have a lot of common sense and to use that knowledge. Do the right thing the first time.

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in
the past.– Tyron Edwards

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As it is said “Hindsight is 20/20”. Think before speaking and think before taking action. I love to use MailChimp. After all your preparation of your email, art, content, and proofreading it over and over, then you read to send your precious message to 300 of your favorite friends. Just before sending your email, an animated chimp is poised to press the send button, and sweat is dripping from his face. The longer you wait the more he sweats and the more you doubt yourself, and eventually, you cancel your send and proofread again. This has saved me from sending a unedited email many, many times. You want to be sure you have not made a mistake.

Many ideas have enthroned my heart. They all seem so hard in the beginning. “Oh my, how am I going to get all this done?” And now, I think, “I could be doing a lot more”. You get into “Dream Shape” and you are able to get more done to live and realize your dreams. Remember, the thoughts you have today will be your realities of tomorrow.

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Live your dreams, Become your dreams!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

Believing in Others 8-18-15

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No 33. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 18, 2015

Believing in Others!

While watching dancers compete, I am always blown away by the commitment, energy, drive, and preparation from the dancers. They have first come together to be a team. They have mastered the art of organization. They plan their practices, their lessons, their competitions and travel and all the many, many aspects that go into competition.

They budget for their costumes and their entry fees. Many of the top competitors are also top instructors, studio executives, guest directors, franchisees, and some are also dance judges themselves. They are masters with their own calendars, their shared daily planners, their diets, their exercise, their daily practicing, and their discipline.

Men can be stimulated to show off their good qualities to the leader
who seems to think they have good qualities.
— John Richelsen

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How can you not believe in the couples as they dance round after round, and heat after heat of dances? They are fully in the moment and they are one with each other, the music, the judges, and their audience. There is magic being created on the floor. They are creating energy right in front of you and a floor full of these magnificent couples is a sight to behold.

It teaches the strong to know when they are weak and the brave to
face themselves when they are afraid. To be proud and unbowed in
defeat yet humble and gentle in victory. And to master ourselves
before we attempt to master others. And to learn to laugh, yet never
forget how to weep. And to give the predominance of courage over
— General Douglas MacArthur, on the virtues of competitive athletics.

Most dancers who make it to the top are awesome people. They have paid their dues, they have earned the right to be champions. In a final round of the top partnerships, you will find that they are all perfectly groomed, perfectly polished and rehearsed, and they are on top when it comes to decorum and manners. They have mastered the art of Floorcraft on and off the dance floor.

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.
— J. Andrews

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The life of man is like a game with dice; if you don’t get the throw
you want, you must show your skill in making the best of the throw
you get.

— Terence

If you do the best you can, you will find, nine times out of ten,
that you have done as well as or better than anyone else.
— William Feather (1889-1981) American Author and Publisher

Some couples compete for many years before they make it to the top. They dance many, many years of competition and they the floodgates of success open up to them and they have their great season of victories. They might come in second many, many times before reaching the first place. They may have a tough competition, rough floor, bad health, hard times, yet they persevere. They continue to do their best and they find that the only real magic is reaping the rewards of hours and hours, months and years of preparation and practice.

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Perhaps the name of this blog should be “Believing in Yourself”. If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love someone else? That’s a great motto. Champion ballroom dance teams often go on to great careers in coaching, judging, designing, performing, and mentoring other dancers. They have a career for life and some are living legends.

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in
the past.
— Tyron Edwards

Plan for the future, believe in others, but most of all, believe in yourself!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury