No 44 The Road to Happiness 11-3-17

#44 Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Road to Happiness

“The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it — every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.”

– John D. Rockefeller III (1906 – 1978)

American Philanthopist

After 41 years with the great company Arthur Murray, I have finally found my place. I love being a studio franchisee and seeing so many Santa Monacans loving their dancing. Yet my heart lies in service. We give our students the service to become as great of dancers as they want to be. We train our staff to be studio owners themselves. I love inspiring others to live a life of greatness and to always have a dream in their hearts.

Now, I know where my destiny lies and I’m putting my 100% into that goal. Everything that I hear that is motivating, everything that I read that is uplifting, every experience that is life-changing, goes into my “life reservoir” and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with others. When someone asks me a question, I have an answer and a life example to share with them. My only goal is to positively inspire other and give them a moment of clarity and motivation. Many times I feel that these words of inspiration are drops of water on a desert landscape. These positive saying are in such need and demand in today’s world.

“The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous.”

– Margaret Fontey (1919 – 1991)

English ballerina

I’ve long since given up on taking myself seriously. The truth is that no one cares about what is happening to me. What they do care about is how I use my experiences to help them in their lives. What I have and who am I mean nothing if I don’t have a good reputation and a good name. For me, I have everything I need or want in my life. Now it is time to give back and be the inspiration for others.

I hope for my readers who come back weekly, that you will awaken to the opportunities in your lives to help others. That your eyes will see clearly the power that is inside of you to change lives.  Guess what? When you discover these service truths, your life will change! Depression will flee, illness will lose its power over you, darkness will turn to light and you will finally be free in your life. It has and continues to work for me every day. Remember that the smiles in the faces we see daily are reflections of the smiles we give to others. Remember that we are the examples of hope, life, and light for others every day. Try this, just go through a day and smile to those around you. Just see what happens to your life!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 43 10-27-17 The size of the fight in the dog.

No 43 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 27, 2017

The size of the fight in the dog.

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)

Military Commander and 34th US President

I’ve not always been the brightest crayon in the box, but I was just like your favorite color, I lasted a long time and you loved me! I’ve not always had the most clout or been the biggest fighter, but I have certainly had enough fight to last me throughout the years.

What happens today, especially with young people? If it’s too hard, they will just quit. If the goal has struggle, if you have to sweat, if you have to clean a toilet, sweep a mat, or answer a phone, they just give up. It’s often been said that a hero’s life is the life of someone doing the mundane over and over, year after year successfully and honestly. I am always full of respect for older people (I are one now at 61!). Anyone in their 60’s, 70’, 80’s and beyond deserves applause. They have been strong enough, smart enough, and had enough good sense to make it through the years. They truly have the fight in them.

What will kill your fight? The first thing is fear. Constant daily fear. Worrying that your partner is going to die, our you’re going to die. Worrying about money, all the time, especially the want and lack thereof. Health fears, job fears, global fears. Just plain old fear will rob you not only of your joy in life, but of all your bark and fight.

What else will kill your vision? Inactivity. Just sitting and waiting for something good to come your way. This lack of action leads to depression, suicide, failure, and illness. What do I do to keep my bark strong, I take action! What action, I volunteer to help and serve others. It’s not an easy life, but it is immensely rewarding in hundreds of ways. If I am depressed and worried, I’m not busy and not helping others.

The greatest thing that has happened to me with my bark, is that it has lasted me so many years. I’m fearless when speaking to hundreds of people. I love to lead, guide, direct, promote, and direct. I have a strong voice, and I have the gift of speech and I have no fear of sharing with others. When I speak, I feel my father’s presence and I feel a strength flow through me like a river. When I finish a lecture, my coat is always wet with perspiration from the electricity that I feel going through me. I always feel my mom’s hand in mine, and my dad’s hand on my shoulder. I know where I get my bark from and I love my parents for this!

If you think you’re not the biggest dog with the loudest bark, it’s not true. You are amazing, you are special, you are indeed a strong dog with a loud voice. Go out and offer your services to others. The holidays are upon us and hundreds of volunteers are needed around the world to help those less fortunate and organizations that need helpers. Trust me, just call your local shelter, parish, temple, or any organization that feeds and clothes others and volunteer. They will welcome you with open arms and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a lot of dogs with enough fight to help others and make a difference in the world. (By the way, we have two cats with big meows!)

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 42 10-20-17 Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve!

No 42 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 20, 2017

 

Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve!

-Tom Murdock – Arthur Murray International

 

At a recent Fall Forum staff awards and training weekend for Arthur Murray Dance Centers, Tom Murdock opened our great weekend with the above words. Tom is such a good friend to me and when he said his opening remarks, I said, that’s my diamond of knowledge for the weekend. I even made a note to write this blog today!

Yes, I am here to run a great Arthur Murray Dance Center, yet Joel Rieck and I try to run our school from the point of giving the best service first! Giving service to our staff, students, neighbors, to our parent company Arthur Murray Int’l, Inc., our city, our friends, faith family, and to one another. We want to share that knowledge of dance with others and help them grow. No mistake, I want to prosper and earn my fair share, but earn from helping others receive what they want in their lives.

 

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

– Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) Spanish painter, sculptor

 

Every day I do something that I cannot do. This leads to some big mistakes and some great triumphs, yet I learn from all of them. I just let fear go and realize that I must move forward and take action. When I’m done, I always say, Well Done! Even on the hardest days and the most challenging moments, I know that time marches on and that the sun will rise tomorrow and that I’ll make it.

“Genius is eternal patience.”

– Michelangelo Di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564) Italian Sculptor and Painter

 

Are you a truly patient person? I am not at all a patient person. So guess what life brings me all the time? Situations where I must be patient to see the end result. Trials that require lots of time and resilience. Moments where I must breathe in and wait before I speak. Gee whiz, I hope l learn a little patience in my 60’s. It’s about time!

 

“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

 

What are your past thoughts, your present thoughts, your tomorrow thoughts? These are mine. Every morning I fill myself with light and the waters of healing. I allow the waters to wash over me, cleanse me, heal me and revive me. Then, I find a moment of serene peace, a perfect moment where all is well and safe. Then, I awaken to my day and to life.  Are all my thoughts good? No. I sometimes have a hard time controlling my thoughts to keep them positive. It is a daily effort to think good thoughts and stay positive.

Solution: continue to live a life of service and giving to others. Continue to seek the council of great leaders and mentors and strong life coaches. Then, give that light to others. For me, it’s the only way I will ever have peace in my life. Give strength to others and guide others. Through dance, through faith, through leadership, through example. It is my calling. It is my life. It is who I am. Success = Service.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 41 10-13-17 Do What You Can Where You Are and With What You’ve Got!

No 41 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 13, 2017

“Do what you can where you are with what you’ve got.”

– Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) 26th President of the United States

Do you ever wish things were different in your life? Sometimes I do. I wish that things were moving along faster, more prosperity, easier hours, and just more luck every day. Guess what I find out? Daily, I have to do what I can, where I am, with what I have and who I am. It’s not glamorous or easy, but the truth is that we are exactly where we are doing what we should do and using what we have. Perhaps the greatest victories in life are the little mundane things of daily life.

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) British Prime Minister

Yes, I do thing great thoughts, much of the time. I don’t always see the immediate results that I desire, but I do believe in the heroic! My favorite hero is Siegfried, son of the Volsung twins, Sigmund and Sieglinde, children of the god of Valhalla, Wotan, and the earth goddess Erda, a mortal. Siegfried was conceived to save the gods and save the world. He knew no fear and was only protected from the front of his body by Brunhilda’s magic. She knew he would never turn his back on the enemy.

I think of how fearless he was, although naïve and reckless in his actions, he never backed down and never showed fear. In fact, the first time he did experience a moment of fear was the first moment he saw a woman, Brunhilda, and for a brief moment, he tasted fear. He overcame this by kissing her an awakening her from the spell of a deep sleep.

Yes, I do believe in heroes. When my father, Troy D. Woodbury, passed away, next to his bedside was a marble base with a brass plate on it that read, “You are my life’s hero”. He had that by him until the night the angels took him home to mom. I think that in my life, my dad was my true hero. Was he perfect? No heroes are perfect, but he was my life’s hero and I becoming more and more like him daily.

“My parents taught me that I could do anything I wanted and I have always believed it to be true. Add a clear idea of what inspires you, dedicate your energies to its pursuit and there is no knowing what you can achieve, particularly if others are inspired by your dream and offer their help. (from his book ‘Close to the Wind’. Goss successfully sailed around the world – alone.)”

– Pete Goss (1961) British Sailor and Entrepreneur

I don’t think my parent’s every told me I could not achieve my dreams. They were happy I found Arthur Murray Dance Centers and got my life on a good pathway.

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”

– Lord Byron (1788-1824) English Poet

My mom, J. Clair Ford Woodbury, always said to me “Keep a little song in your heart”. I have and continue to do this daily. My mom liked to laugh, and she found a lot of joy in the simple things in life. We could just sit together and tell stories and laugh until we had tears in our eyes. No wonder daddy loved her so much!

“Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”

– Roger Bannister, in 1952 after breaking the four-minute mile (1929)

English former middle-distance athlete, physician and academic

I had a dancing student from England who once dated Roger Bannister. During those years while teaching Kim, I was an avid marathon runner. Kim said that when Mr. Bannister crossed the finish line and broke the record, he could not believe it. He did not die from it and he was surprised that he accomplished this goal. He truly took it in stride at the time, but soon realized that he had made history. He did what he could, where he was, with what he had. He made the impossible possible.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

No 39 9-29-17 Until One Is Committed!

No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 29, 1956

Until one is Committed!

“Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one element of truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans – that moment one commits oneself, then providence moves all.”

– Johann von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

German Poet and Dramatist

 

In my laptop is a book that I’m finishing “Closing the Back Door – Making Life’s Ultimate Commitments!” The book is about making a decision and sticking with it to the end and not giving up. As I was writing it, I lost both parents and ultimately my life partner to cancer. The book was left for a while because some of my life commitments had been taken away from me. I had to rethink a closed back door that did not exist.

Now, I realize that times will change and modify our goals, yet we may stay focused and keep our goals and dreams in life.

“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

(1672-1719) English Writer and Statesman

These words are nuggets of gold. Perseverance, experience, caution, and hope.  A friend came up to me a last weekend’s dance competition, with tears in her eyes and she hugged me and said that I never give up and how that has inspired her. This moment stuck with me and was deeply moving. It is easy to throw in the towel, to walk away, to give up, but the rewards of sticking with it are powerful and long lasting.

 

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.”

– Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

British Politician

 

Calamities, I’ve had a few. Water over our ballroom dance floor, illness, the passing of friends and families, and changes that I could not control. Now, I know that something good will come out of all these situations.  Years ago, one of my mentors, Miss Pat Traymore, was in my car driving from LAX and I missed an exit. I was very upset and embarrassed and this is what she said to me. It was meant to me. That I was being protected from something bad happening to me. My mom, J. Clair always said the same thing. She said that the way things turned out was Gods way of protecting us from some unforeseen calamity that we could not envision. Now, I’m always aware of this when I forget a key, run back into the house, or I’m late. I know that I’m truly being protected.

 

“The past cannot be changed. The future is still in your power.”

– Hugh Lawson White (1773 – 1840)

American Politician

In the 80’s, my dance partner did a reading for me. I usually do not participate in this practice but I did receive this reading just this once. She saw many upcoming things in my life and before she gave me her reading, I asked her, am I in charge of my destiny and she said yes. She can I could control my future by the actions I was taking today. Ultimately, many of the predictions she saw came true, but my positive attitude and my heart of faith truly shaped and helped destine my future.

Last thought for commitments: Let go of fear. It’s just like driving your car with one foot on the gas pedal and one heavy foot on the break, all at the same time. Letting go of fear is a daily routine and a daily habit. Try it, you’ll like the new you and like living a life without fear.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

How to make pressure work in your favor!

No 38 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 22, 1956

How to make pressure work in your favor!

Some ideas on making stress work in the positive for you!

 

Inside Influences

Have a positive optimistic outlook

Have an anchor of faith or spirituality

Always be motivated

Take action – be the proactive person

Always enjoy learning

Go with the flow – be flexible

Adapt with life’s changes

Be a leader socially – be the Go-To person

Show self-confidence and self-esteem

 

Outside influences

Take every opportunity that comes your way

Use the support of family, friends, and co-workers

Manage the stress and difficulties that you face

Surround yourself with a nurturing, happy environment

Live in an autonomous area

Earn the trust of others and be trusted by others

 

Do I do all these things? I attempt them all daily. The fact that I have them listed, and I study them, and I try to achieve all of them makes me a winner. Have these goals in front of you and strive to achieve them. Personally, I hate negative stress and what it does to my blood pressure and my heart. Yet, I must, I do, and I will manage the challenges that come to me daily. Owing a dance studio may put you on the mountain top one minute, then into the depths of hell the next when a water pipe breaks over you dance floor! You just learn to adapt and try to not have a stroke or turn into a mean person. The truth is, it will all get better.

I love receiving a bag of lemons. Tea, sauces, fish, steaming, cleaning, salads. So many uses for lemons. When I take a lemon, I let it settle to room temperature. Then I roll the lemon to release the juices. Before cutting it, I zest the whole outside.

Then I cut it open, squeeze all the juice out. I take a grapefruit knife and then cut out all the inside and chop it up and use it in my dish. When I’m finished, all that is left is the white skin and I have completely used up the lemon. I use this analogy, because this is what I want to do with my life. I want to use up every part of me to the service of others and use every drop of ability that I have to influence and guide others.

So, go be a good lemon in your life.  Remember, surround yourself with people you want to become like. Surround yourself with great leaders, mentors, guides, helpers, and with friends who will tell you “NO” when you are wrong. Truly, we become exactly like those around us all the time.

Remember pressure can make you blow up, or cook a great pot roast. Use life’s challenges to empower you and make you stronger!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

No 37 9-14-17 “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 15, 1956

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

– George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

Do you ever say any of these things? Someday I’ll make it!  I can’t wait until my ship comes in! I’ll try again. Has that opportunity passed me by? I wonder what might have been? Well, I have thought of this a million times. What my life would have been had I made different decisions and taken different paths.

What if I had just stayed with my parents and taken over my dad’s business? What if I had chosen another great field? What if I had stayed in certain relationships, finished a different degree, walked a different path? What would have happened?

What I have learned today, is that everything I have, am, and will become is from all the experiences of my life and decisions I made. Also, I realize that I would not be who I am today without going down the paths I chose in life.

Do you feel like you’ve missed the boat? That it’s too late for you? That you missed your calling and that you are trapped in the current life you are living?

Well, you’re not trapped. Listen to this truth, you have lived your perfect life and you are perfect just as you are. You are wonderful, special, unique, and a great success at just being you! You are meant to be the perfect person you are today and you have a lot to give to others and the world.

The truth here is that it’s never too late to live your perfect dream. Where does all the hope and knowledge come from in my life?  Well, I finally found out that my life is just not about getting all the time. It’s about giving of my gifts to others. These are the only times when I’m truly happy. When I am able to help, inspire, mentor, or guide someone else, I’m truly happy. When I’m just trying to raise my bottom line, I’m not truly fulfilled.

Does this mean I don’t believer in success and prosperity? I believe that we must be successful to have the resources to help others and to be effective in our local and global communities.

It’s not too late for you.  Write your book, become a competition ballroom dancer, run a marathon, become a great cook, get married, study and graduate, open your dream business, get in shape, become a fundraising guru, or just find any dream you have and share it with others and get busy and make it happen.

Will I have it all in the end? I think I have it all right now. I think that during the hustle and bustle and confusion of the day, I try to take a quiet moment and realized how blessed my life truly is and I have hope, God willing, for all the many coming years in my life.

When I turned 60, I did not know how I’d feel. To my great astonishment, on that day, I set a 20-year goal. To be just like my great dance mentors who are 20 years older that I am. They are vibrant, surrounded by young people, in great demand, and are always helping and guiding others.

I want to be that handsome 70-year-old guy, perfectly dressed, in great health, and on the dance floor all night with energy to spare. At 80, I want to be the guy in demand on the dance floor and the guy who is elegant, poised, graceful, and strong. I can see my 80-year-old slender, healthy, happy self on the floor dancing the night away, full of laughter, love, and surrounded by friends.

Perhaps having this dream keeps me going. I remember my lovely mother, J. Clair Woodbury always said to me, “Keep a little song in your heart”. Yes, I try to do that every day. Put a smile on your face and see your reflection in the faces of others.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com