No 30 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 28, 2017

Burn the Ships!

In 1519, Captain Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz. When they landed the Captain ordered his men to burn the ships. That order did not make sense to his men. Cortes knew that the only way to keep himself or his men from quitting was to take the option of failure off the table. He forced them all to either succeed or die. Retreat was not an option.

In our own lives, to achieve the great levels of success, there are times we must “burn the ships.” Here, we must look at the ships in our own lives that we must eliminate. What are we afraid of letting go of?

Could it be a relationship, job, career choice, bad business opportunity, or a dream that is not working for you. In ballroom dancing, we know that we must work hard at our dancing and polish our routines. Sometimes we take a dance lesson only to have our coach change everything we have worked on. We “burn our ships” and grow and learn.

Some coaches will change the way we look, walk, relate, connect, and practice. It is said that we should not get into a relationship if we are expecting the other person to change. In dancing, that change is exactly what we are hoping for, not just in the other person, but in ourselves as well. I hope I am not dancing the same a month, 3 months, for 6 months from now. I hope to grow, improve, and become a whole new me in my dancing.

“Each of us, if we would grow, must be committed to excellence and to victory, even though we know complete victory cannot be obtained, it must be pursued with all one’s might. The championships, the money, the color; all of these things linger only in the memory. It is the spirit, the will to excel, the will to win; these are the things that endure.” – Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970) American Football Coach

Well, this message from Coach Lombardi floors me. In the job world today, finding an employee “committed to excellence” is very rare. Do you want to grow in your life? I do. And I surround myself with people who want me to be successful, who want themselves to be successful, and those who are willing to pay the price to be the best.

“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 timidity.”

– General Douglas MacArthur, On the virtues of competitive athletics (1880 – 1964) American five-star general and field marshal 

Ok, another great quote. To know our weaknesses, to be brave. To know humility and self-mastery. The healing power of laughter and the power of courage.

“Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.”

– Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

Sometimes my greatest virtue is that I am up in the morning with a positive attitude and a willingness to make the day a great day. We have two cats. I am forced to get up, wash bowls, clean poops, give rubs, distribute treats, and fill water and food bowls. I do not have a choice. I am the life blood of these two furry creatures and they depend on me. The first thing I do each morning is get me a little bit of lovin’ from two sweet cats, and the first words out of my mouth are “I love you”. Actually, I say that to three creatures, one who is human.

“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

From this powerful quote, let’s fill ourselves with courage. Many days I think that this day, this week is just going to kill me, and guess what, it doesn’t. I somehow make it through the week with a wink and a smile. I don’t shrink, I don’t flee, but it does not mean that I am not often scared and frightened. I just don’t tell anyone. Especially myself!

Now, to my most favorite quote of all. I repeat this, say this and share this quote every day of my life and I hope it encourage others. Guess what, yes, I daily try to do the things I think I cannot do. And I DO it. To my amazement, it all works out. Please, don’t give up. No matter what you excuse, your obstacles, the people trying to sabotage you, your status, your beliefs, your health, even all the good in your life. Don’t let anything get in the way of your dreams, especially yourself. Read Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote over and over and say it to yourself. You can do it!

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)American First Lady and Political Activist

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

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