No 34 8-24-18 “Doing the Right Thing” Changing Lives Through Dancing!

“I have the right to do anything I want, but is that always the right thing to do?”

David Woodbury – Arthur Murray Professional

In ballroom dancing, we have a concept on the dance floor called Floorcraft. This is how couples dance Quickstep, Tango, Paso Doble, and Cha Cha on a crowded floor. The rule of dance is that we do not crash into or step on or bump into our fellow dancers on the floor and that we maintain decorum on the floor.

When there is a bump, the correct behavior is to pause, apologize and see if the other couple is OK. When all is determined to be well, the dance continues. We do not elbow anther couple, kick them, step on them, or push them. In fact, when watching a Quickstep competition, is sometimes seems like a runway with the planes positioning before they take off at full speed. It is a fascinating thing to watch!

Are these dance rules always followed? I once saw a Standard couple knock a judge over into the lights. The music stopped, and silence fell over the whole ballroom. The judge was slowly helped up and to my great surprise, she continued to judge the event and finished the evening of judging ahead of her. I will always remember that she had the right to react to what happened, but she responded with grace and poise.

What if the rules of the ballroom dance floor applied to our daily lives? What if we always looked out for the other person, carried ourselves with grace and poise, stopped to see if the other person is OK if we knock into them? Perhaps in some ways we already do this, just like walk through Grand Central Terminal in NYC. We all manage hopefully to make it peacefully to our destinations.

In relationships, I do have the right to say or do anything I want at any time. Does that mean that is the right thing to do? The answer is often no and if I exhibit destructive behavior, this is a withdrawal from the relationship, friendship, from those around me and even though I have done what I had the right to do, I have done the wrong thing. Once the withdrawals are made from the other person, sometimes it’s too late to make a deposit and there remains emptiness.

Every day, I am free to do what I want, say what I want and be what I want to be. It is my right as a person. I have now learned at 62 that does not mean that I am doing the right thing, and my incorrect behavior can be very destructive to others.

What is the solution? The answer in my life always comes back to service. Am I doing, saying, and acting the right way to make others uplifted around me? Am I giving the best daily that I can to others. During the periods of my life when it was just about me all the time, I was very empty and unfulfilled. I “got my way” and “did what I wanted” but I was not happy, I was not free, I was miserable.

Now, perhaps I sacrifice tiny moments of my life and let others be right instead of just me. Rather than defensively standing up just for myself, I allow others to feel right and listen to their viewpoint and I try to listen more than I speak. Instead of thinking of my own reply while someone else is speaking, I will listen and wait and respond rather than react.

Giving service and striving to be a good mentor in life requires practice, patience, perseverance, but not perfection. Do I always now say and do the right thing? I can only say that now I do take a moment, pause before speaking, and listen from the heart to what others are saying.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

#TeamSantaMonica

 

No 32 8-10-18 “To Give Real Service”

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Donald A. Adams (1925) former president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

When was the last time you had great service? At Arthur Murray, we practice the Cadillac Treatment with our students. We concentrate on the 90/10 theory. 90 percent of the lessons are geared for the student and 10 percent is the instructor’s opportunity to be a great Arthur Murray professional.

At Arthur Murray Santa Monica, we place our staff above all in our training and service. Why do we do that? A happy, well trained, and professional staff give the best service daily to all their student for they feel that they are important, fulfilled, and happy to be the best in all areas. I love to enter an establishment where the staff is happy and likes their workplace and their fellow staff and even their owners. A great student of mine once said that management is not a skill, it is an art form. Our entire business theme is set up in one word, Hospitality, and we strive to practice that every day!

“Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.” – Stanley Baldwin (1867 – 1947) Former British Prime Minister

Arthur Murray Dance Centers are a hub of enthusiastic, happy, fun-loving people. You’ll be at an Arthur Murray event and hear lots of laughter and see lots of smiles. The big common denominator is the great enthusiasm shared by all. Loving your hobby or work is such a key to joy in life. What a joy to receive great service from someone who says that they love their occupation and they receive their own satisfaction from a job well done. If dancing is your hobby or profession, you always want to do your best.

“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.” – Erastus Wiman (1834 – 1904) Canadian journalist and businessman

I recently read about the three keys to success in business: Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind! I once thought that someone who was kind in business was a sap or unsuccessful. As years have passed, I’ve met many, many successful women and men who were truly nice and kind people. They were loved by many and they respected by all. They were smart, savvy, and leaders in their fields, and they remained as courteous people.

As a young boy, I remember walking down Church Street with my dad in Nashville, Tennessee, and everyone said, “Hi Troy” “Hello Colonel Woodbury” “Hello Mr. Woodbury”. Everyone new and loved and respected my dad. He was a man first of faith, great in business, and involved in service. At my dad’s funeral, so many groups came to honor him. He seemed to be a part of every organization in Nashville. This had a profound impact on me and now, I am turning into my dad and learning how to give service to others as he did. In dad’s last years, he had a marble base on this bedside table with a brass plaque that read “You are my life’s hero”. He truly and was and still is my hero until today.

Service, I strive to learn what it truly means and to be the best at giving it. I come from the place of service with a giving heart and a willingness to learn and to be better in all areas of my life.

Try this, go to a friend, a client, your partner in life, a stranger, and ask them, “What may I do to may this a great day for you?” You’ll be surprised at the smiles that will come over their faces and the opportunities you will have to inspire others.

 Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

 

 

No 31 8-2-18 “Perseverance is a great element of success”

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) American poet

Do you compare yourself to others, their success, their money, their status, their material possessions, looks, careers? I do and wish I didn’t. What I’m trying to learn as I grow older is that I’m perfect just as I am and that I am valuable and worthy. I do give myself credit in that I do knock at the door over and over until someone wakes up, turns on the light and opens the gate for me.

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can be aroused by two things: first, an idea which takes the imagination by storm; and second, a definite, intelligible plan for carrying that idea into action.”

– Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)

Today, the two greatest motivational killers are apathy and complacency. Just settling for the average is rampant today. Just getting by and going the easiest route and using the lease amount of effort is OK today. But apathy is not for everyone. There are many, many excited souls in this world who have the power of enthusiasm coupled with a great imagination. They then have a plan to carry that action through and make their dreams realities.

“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.”

– John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) English art critic

“People tend to think of happiness as a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert (1969) American author

Our great efforts in life are rewarded by what we become through them, not just by what we gain from them. If I just had a nickel for all the fabulously wealth clients that I have known over my years who were unhappy. They had money, possessions, time, health and even partnership, but they were so unhappy in life. I too was unhappy at one point in my life and found that giving service through participating relentlessly was the only Balm in Gilead for me.

“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.”

– Bishop W.C. Magee (1821 – 1891) Irish clergyman

When it comes to mistakes, I’m driving the lead goof up car. I make a million mistakes.

The other day I jumped out of an Uber and left my bag in the seat! What a knucklehead!

I was so ashamed that I did not tell ANYONE! The driver was a saint and drove all the way back to my drop off point and gave me my bag. She accepted her big cash tip and a hug and a blessing for bailing me out! I will never do that again, but I always remember that mistake. Where was my mind?

When I was little, and I would break something, I was brokenhearted. My dear mom, J. Clair, would say “Now it’s personalized”. I say that to myself over and over as I “personalized” many areas in my life. Thanks mom for giving me this healing salve to use in all my errors in my life.

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”

– R.G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899)American lawyer

“We tend to make courage too dramatic. Courage is often doing something simple, unpleasant, or boring again and again until we get it down pat. People who are physically challenged and who have the determination to get around their handicaps are great examples because their courage makes them test their limits every day.”

– Dave Thomas (1932 – 2002) American Businessman, Founder of Wendy’s International Restaurant Chain

The person is faithful, that always shows up, that does not forget to lock the doors at night, the quiet soul that does the daily work day in and day out is truly my hero in life. To me, they have the greatest courage to get up, get going, and get the job done. Courage is not just being David in the lion’s den, but the person that is always there for you on whom you may always rely.

“Nothing is more endangered in the modern world than the powerful combination of hard work toward meaningful goals joined with an exuberant embrace of the present moment.”

– Tom Morris (1821 – 1908) Scottish golfer

I’ve been so lucky in my life that I have done what I love for 42 years. My “work” has always been my passion and I have never had to worry about a job. Hard work and faithfulness to that work have been my goal over all these years. Yes, in do work toward my goals daily and I relish the present moment in life. I’ll always have a place to fulfill my dreams and hopes if I faithfully, with courage, strive to make every dream I have a reality. (I promise to try to not be the driver of the goofy car of mistakes anymore.)

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

 

 

No 24 – 6-15-18 “Run the Great Risk”

“I run great risk of failing. It may be that I shall encounter ruin where I look for reputation and a career of honor. The chances are perhaps more in favor of ruin than of success. But, whatever may be the chances, I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.”

– Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) English Novelist

Wow, this is my daily life! I generally feel on the edge most moments of every day. I too look for a good reputation and a career of honor. There is much risk in this type of life. I do go on as long as I have any means of carrying on the fight.

The great thing about living the life of great risk is that you get stronger every day. A risk turns into a decision from past experience. Fear turns into determination. Confusion disappears and is replaced with knowledge and confidence. The truth of living your best life is that it gets better.

The best part of living carrying on the fight at all costs is that you become a leader for others who want to take great risks as well and achieve great goals. You become the mentor and you go from strength to the next. This does not mean that you don’t have failure and obstacles, it means you see your challenges as learning experiences.

“The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are; first, hard work, second, stick-to-it-iveness, and third, common sense.”

– Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931) American Inventor

This says it all. Be willing to work hard and stick to it with common sense. Where does common sense come from? Taking chances in life and learning from past mistakes. Here is where it is good to have wonderful mentors to guide and coach you. Just realize that everyone who has achieved greatness in their lives has failed many, many times, and they have also succeeded a great number of times.

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

– J.B. Priestley (1894 – 1984) English Author

What do you do after a failure? You get up and dust yourself off and move on with a fresh day. You see a fresh start. You learn from what just happened to you and then you forge a new path, set a new goal, and move forward with all your heart. After receiving a new shoulder from UCLA in 2010, I found out that my nemesis would always be shoulder freeze. If I did not keep my shoulder flexible, it would freeze up and I would lose the range of motion and much of the use of my left arm. As eight years have past, I realized that I must keep my life moving to avoid “life freeze”. If I don’t move forward, I will just stop still in my tracks and stop living.

I’d be more fearful in my life, but I’m too busy achieving great things in my life. I’d be more tired, but I don’t have time for the fatigue. I’d have doubt, but I’m surrounded by great leaders and mentors who are always guiding me to greatness. I’d be failing more, but my passion for service overtakes my life and I only see opportunity ahead. Yes, “I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.”

Thanks for reading to all my lovely readers!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

 

No 22 6-1-18 “How to Become Quite a Person”

“Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.”

Robert Oppenheimer, American theoretical physicist and professor of physics

Ever think that you have messed up your life? Ever think that you have made a mistake so grave that you will never be able to recover? Has a wrong decision or a wrong turn in your life seem to have doomed you forever?

When disaster strikes, and the house of cards falls apart, it’s easy to throw your hands in the air and say, that’s that! The first reaction is to just give up and run away from the situation knowing that all is lost.

When I read Oppenheimer’s quote that correcting a life error in just 10 years is a great thing, I was truly moved. There was a time in my life, OK, many times, when I thought I had just made too big a mistake, taken too great a loss to ever recover to where I had been. I did just give up several times and I know that all I had worked so hard in my life to achieve was over.

Then, a curious thing happened. It got better, and yes, I did recover. I had never thought of the 10-year measuring stick. There was a great time in my life where I had it all, family, money, success, health and a bright future. Then, in one year those closest to me died, I lost all that I had built up, and I was seemingly done for. All that mattered to me was gone, never to return.

Then, it began to get better. I started to correct what had happened. Hope began to return. It was not overnight, but the light slowly began to shine again and one day I realized that I had regained all that was lost, but to my surprise I was also a different person. I had new experiences, new knowledge, new wisdom, and new hope in life.

That nagging question of “Why did all this happen to me” was solved the first time I met someone who was truly “in the dark night of the soul” and I was able to give them comfort and words of healing. I realized that life had given me lessons and training, so I would be able to help others in their darkest moments, and to also celebrate with those experiencing the most joyous times of life. Life had been a great teacher for me.

Now, I’m always on the lookout for someone who needs a word of encouragement, a word of hope. Someone who is desperate for that person who understands what they are going through. I keep both ears listening and my heart and words ready to be the friend they can talk to. In the last 16 years, I have had countless opportunities to help and guide those in need. I truly believe they are send to me and I’m always ready and I feel the moment it happens. It’s like a little miracle of light overtakes me and the right words come from my heart.

Now that I have passed several 10 years of corrections I have a new outlook in my life. I have stopped singing the blues. I don’t have time to wallow in failure. Now, I spend a great deal of my thoughts wanting to help others and guide them as they go through the school of life, and I try to help them so they can be that special person for others in their own lives.

I’m trying to be more like my cats these days. When the afternoon sun streams through the open windows, they find these rays of warm light and they stretch out and let the warmth of the sun comfort and heal them. They love the love the healing power that they feel as they rest in the light.

I know why I’m here and what I’m to do in my life and I’m doing it right now. Be of courage, the bad in your life will turn into the good and you will recover. You’ll be OK again. It will get better!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

 

No 20 5-18-18 “Offering a Word of Praise”

“Yes, Thank You! I’d love to do that for you. May I assist you? You look great today. I love that color on you. You look happy and healthy. Thank for coming today. It is a pleasure to have you with us. Welcome! That’s the best I’ve ever seen you dance. You’re on fire today. Thanks for all your help. You’re amazing. I love seeing you, you’re always so cheerful. You brightened my day. Thanks for going the extra mile for me. You are fantastic. I rely on you. You’re the best part of my day.”

Wow, ever had any of these greetings? Did you notice the person who gave you this praise and how they greet everyone? They’re just super kind and nice people and everyone loves them, all the time, every day. They are surrounded by friends, followers, supporters and usually are friends with the same kind of positive people. They handle adversity in stride, they have full composure and they ride out the hard days with grace and dignity. They are amazing, and they make everyone around them feel great, important, and special.

Today I was in a meeting where someone was saying how bad things were, complaining about someone who was in our group and generally saying many negative things. Then, next to this person came in another team member who from the moment they sat down, gave sweet hellos, lovely compliments, uplifting responses, positive comments and they made everyone around feel great and happy. What a difference. What a contrast between someone with great positive words of praise and uplifting support from the other participant.

This is just the way it is in life. I don’t condone the Debbie Downer, and I don’t think the person of light is a better person, but I do think that you can get a lot more bees with honey than with vinegar. My dad always said to my mom, “Be sweet Miss W”, for my mom had a quick word and a final word of judgment regarding people and situations. I was that way for many, many years, and now I am learning to wait before I speak, and I try to deliver words of light and healing.

How do you turn into a person of praise? Well, I’ll give you a secret that my mom, J. Clair, gave me later in her life. She called it “Build an Empire”. Mom said, when you first see someone, immediately find something you love about them and say it to them. Wow, you look great today. I love your outfit. You look so healthy and happy today. I love that suit. Just say the first positive thing you feel and then build an empire of conversation of good about that person. You’ll find that the other person loves it, that it makes you both feel great, and you begin to make this a part of your life.

I’ve spoken about, written about and practiced “Building an Empire” for so many years that it has truly become a part of my life and I love it. Guess what, your smile is reflected in the faces of others. So, if during conversation your friends are looking back at you with big smiles, you are smiling at them. This holds true with and just try it. You’ll make someone’s day a happy day. Offer unexpected praise and guess what, it will boost your day.

I have often read that petting your animals calms and relaxes them. But get this, it calms YOU as well and makes YOU feel good. It’s the same with people. Just give little praise pats to others all the time and you’ll have day after day of love, laughter, happiness, and friendship. Remember, laughter is a medicine that all can take, at any time.

Thank you for reading this and let me tell you that YOU my friend are wonderful and worthy and special to me as you read this. I love you and praise you and wish you a great and happy day. You bless me by reading this!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

No 16 4-20-18 “Nothing becomes real until it is experienced”

 

“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.”

– John Keats (1795 – 1821) English Romantic poet

 

The path to having an understanding heart has been paved for me with years of experience. Now that I have experienced loss, illness, success, failure, good days and bad days, my many stupid mistakes, and my precious accomplishments, I now have a good ear for others.

 

Recently, our web guys lost their father. I understood that loss and was able to comfort, listen, and support them, even though I am their customer. I went to my doctor today with a perfect blood pressure reading after having heart failure last July with my blood pressure over 185! I understand now when anyone talks about their heart problems. I’ve experienced it.

 

What about the things we have not experienced but we need it to be real in our lives? The answer is listening with a heart of love and compassion. That will provided the listening ears and experience will come through empathy and kindness to the other person.

 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

– Leo Buscaglia (1924 – 1998) American author and motivational speaker

 

One thing that I have learned and use every day is to speak with a smile, all the time. I did not know this for a long time and would often hear the phrase “are you in a bad mood” and I wasn’t. I just did not let the smile in my heart reach my face. Now, I know that I am smiling for I see the reflection of my smile in other’s faces. Perhaps that small act of caring is the only act of kindness others will receive that day. That small gesture has the power to truly change some’s day, or perhaps turn their whole life around.

 

Now, I’m not afraid of the bad times. I’m finally smart enough to know that I am learning lessons daily that will make me a better leader and mentor. The only thing you can truly count on in life is change, and it comes at us from every angle. I remember when I was young dreading finals in school, and the dread of those tests. Little did I know that there are many “finals” we must take in our adult life, and we briefly “graduate” to a new level and then we are tried by life again to make us stronger.

 

Recently I experience my spell checker as I was typing Success. The spell checker popped up and said “You are now ready to use this new auto-correct in your life. Success is truly spelled Service”! Now I am not full of fear in my life. I want to serve in my life and learn how to be the best leader, guide, mentor, coach, and example that I can be in every area of my life with everyone I meet.

 

“Knock, knock, knock…I hear that new challenge rapping at my front door. Time to accept another challenge, a new adventure, a new path leading to another great lesson in life. I can’t wait to see what I find on my spell checker in the future!

 

Thanks for reading,

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle