No 52 12-29-17 Happy New Year!

No 52 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

“To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself, it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that discipline – training – is about.”

– James Clavell, in his novel Shogun (1924 – 1994)

 

British novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you, you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

– James Allen (1864 – 1912)

British philosophical writer

 

“Do not falter or shrink; But just think out your work, and just work out your think.”

– Nixon Waterman (1859 – 1944)

newspaper writer, poet and Chautauqua lecturer

 

Yes, our thoughts are a huge part of our lives. Imagine if we could only control what we think! What if our self-talk was not so brutal? My self-talk is rough. I scold myself and beat myself up for just minor infractions. Now, I am stopping myself and ceasing the cruel thoughts and I try to think good thoughts to myself. I know we all do this and I know that I become my own thoughts, so they should be good even great ones!

“We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic.”

– E. Merrill Root (1895 – 1973)

American Writer

 

Thinking good thoughts for me means that I often must let go. Let go of being “right”. Let go of controlling situations and others. Let go of my acerbic tongue and quick responses. Now, I am waiting for others to speak and listening much more in conversations. Also, letting go of fear of loss and the fear of something bad happening. Now, I find that my situations and life work out without me being nasty, controlling, and too overbearing. I am learning to say “this is working out” and truly letting good things happen in my life.

As a result of this, I do feel more a sense of wonder and magic. I dream more and these dreams come true. Now that I am not trying to control every aspect of my life, but live more in the moment, I am happier and those around me are happier with me!

“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

 

“It is a hard rule of life, and I believe a healthy one, that no great plan is ever carried out without meeting and overcoming endless obstacles that come up to try the skill of a man’s hand, the quality of his courage, and the endurance of his faith.”

– Donald Douglas (1892 – 1981)

American, Founder Douglas Aircraft Company, later McDonnell Douglas

 

“I like a man who attempts the impossible.”

– J.P. Morgan (1837 – 1913)

American financier

 

Life can be impossible with endless obstacles. Yet, when we attempt the impossible with skill, courage, and faith we succeed in the end. I truly don’t want my life to be easy. Why, because during the rough times, I have learned the most and grown the most in my life. During the “dark nights of the soul” I have met mentors who have remained my guides, friends, and leaders until this day. I know life is going to be rough, so I use the magic of service to focus on the good and the positive.

 

“Trials, temptations, disappointments — all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fiber of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”

– James Buckham (1844 – 1930)

 

Canadian lumberman and Liberal politician

“If you smile when you lose, then you win in life.”

– From Tai-Pan, the great adventure novel by James Clavell (1924 – 1994)

British novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war

 

As I look back on my years, I realize that there is so much I do not know about life and people. I realize that I am learning daily about people, work, faith, family, health, relationships, service, and patience. The list goes on and on. That’s exciting for me. There is a great future. As the above quote says, I smile a lot and that makes me a winner in life.

Go into the new year with a clean slate. Good thoughts, good hopes and dreams, good plans for the future. Let the bad times go and smile and appreciate the good times.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 51 12-22-17 “I Love the Holidays”

No 51 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 22, 2017

I Love the Holidays!

We put up our Christmas tree Thanksgiving Day. Sent out our cards the next day. We knew that we would dance almost every day from then to Christmas Eve. Guess what? The days have been glorious. We have danced at many Arthur Murray Balls with hundreds of guest in attendance. We have participated in competitions, shows, graduations, dinners, celebrations and even our staff Marathon Day and staff party.

Our school has just won first place in our division for the international Tournament of Champions. Many months of preparation, many weeks of great lessons, groups, parties and events. We came out first place thanks to our great staff and wonderful students.

As for music, I have listened to hours and hours of Christmas music. I discovered the YouTube Christmas channels and my heart is in a constant state of singing. Music is life to me and these holidays have been full of all the classics, and even some new tunes! My mom, J. Clair, always said “Keep a little song in your heart!”

As for dancing, a lot of people have a very hard time during the holidays. With Arthur Murray I have the privilege of dancing through the entire season. It is an elixir to the blues, depression, loneliness, heartache, and stress. Now for 42 years I have danced through to the year’s end with great joy and happiness. I am the luckiest guy on the planet!

As for presents, Joel and I have a tradition. We serve at Christmas instead of giving presents. That means we are Hospitality Ministers at St. Monica Parish in Santa Monica. This year, because it is Sunday, we have 11 masses on the 24th. We will be serving the 7:30 AM, then return for the 6, 8, and 10 PM masses. It is glorious. We are Team Leaders for two of the four we are serving. We help organize our teams and say “Merry Christmas” hundreds of time to many, many smiling faces. We walk to and from mass and it is a magical experience from beginning to end.

It’s almost that special day of Christmas, and I have been happy the whole season. No time for the blues or feeling down. Just enough time to get to the next event, rest and eat a bit in front of the Christmas tree with Joel and the kitties, and lots and lots of dancing to make the holidays merry and bright. In my “spare” time, I am preparing for 2018 and planning a dream year of success for the upcoming year.

Love the holidays. Volunteer somewhere. Send some unexpected thank you notes. Visit an ill neighbor. Call someone you have not spoken to in a while. Take a friend some food. Reach out and the joy you will receive back will put you over the top.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

No 48 Six tips to become a stronger leader 12-1-17

 

 

No 48 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 1, 2017

 

Six tips to become a stronger leader

 

First:

Problems are not always what they seem. I’m a worrywart. My middle name is “I’m Sorry” and my last name is “Worry”. I just let things build up and I don’t think they will ever be resolved. My mom worried a lot and we’re just the same. I worry about time, money, my health, the business, home, just everything. And guess what? Time passes and always the things that seemed to be mountains actually moved and everything was resolved! I look back to see that the things I stressed over always went smoothly and that as surely as day follows night, time will pass. To be a good leader, just don’t stress and remember “it will get better”.

 

Second:

Get up from where you are and move. Sometimes at our Arthur Murray Dance Center, I just have to get up and move and go in the ballroom and dance and get out of my office. Oh, how I miss my many years of teaching, without a care in the world. Now, when I feel that elephant on my chest, I get up, move around, laugh, give some hugs, and the next thing I know, everyone around me is happy. To be a good leader, keep on moving, especially in the right direction!

 

Third:

Nothing is perfect and no one is perfect.  When I was a little boy, I would break, nick, or damage something. I always felt so terrible and it would start to destroy me.  My mom was so great, she would say “Why David Earl, now it’s personalized”. She told me that no one else in the world had the exact same thing. Now, in my 60’s, I’ve nicked a lot of things, and I just say “Thanks Mom, now it’s personalized”. We cannot expect others to be perfect. If we do, we will be leading an army of one, and that’s just us all alone. People like to led by a leader they like. A student of mine who managed a hospital of 180 staff once told me, “management is an art form”. She said we do not have jobs, we have lifestyles! To be a good leader, let mistakes happen and don’t expect everyone and everything to be perfect all the time.

 

Fourth:

Share your story. I am a dreamer and I get very excited about my dreams. When I get a new idea, I tell everyone about it. The next thing I know, they are telling someone else, who shares it with another person, and before I know it, a new idea becomes a reality.

I love to chat with others, asking them their secrets to life and success. I love to hear others tell their own stories of what got them to where they are in life. To my great joyous surprise, others are always full of great ideas and they are just waiting to be asked. To be a good leader, share, tell, and live the story of life.

 

Fifth:

Think up new ideas. Sometimes I awaken in the middle of the night with a great idea. It just comes to me. I’m always trying to see new and better ways of doing things.  The key for this element of leadership is God’s mathematics. Remember, God gave us two ears and one mouth. So listen twice as much as you speak! I can get lost in looking at recipes and cooking films, dance films, science films. I love to see how other innovate and how they turned their ideas into reality. To be a good leader, be flexible to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

 

Sixth:

Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes I hear a new song and before I know it, I have a new routine to teach. I see a dance move and want to use it as choreography. Since I now love to write, I’ll read just one quote and a full blog flows through my fingers. I’ve learned to open my mind to the simple inspirations that are everywhere around me. It’s almost as if I was a photographer of life, always taking snapshots of the glorious moments of life that are true revelations. To be a great leader, look for inspiration in every part of life all the time.

 

I want to be a great leader. I’m too emotional and I let my feelings get the best of me, but I truly love helping other and I think the desire to serve and help others is stronger than all my faults. Every day I strive to be a good leader and to inspire others.

 

You may be reading this and at the end, you’ll have the revelation that you, now, are ready to be a leader. If you are a leader, help others around you to grow so they may take your place so you can move on and inspire new people. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com