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 33 “Patience is passion tamed.” 8-18-17

Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde 

No 33 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 18, 2017

“Patience is passion tamed.”

– Lyman Abbott (1835 – 1922) American Congregationalist theologian

For many years I never had patience. I was a ‘millennial’ in the 70’s. I wanted everything in my dancing to come to me on the first try and I wanted my technique to be perfect and natural from the first try. I had the passion and the talent, but not the patience to practice to perfection. Many others could just see a step and do it the first time. That skill I did not possess (I still can’t do this).

Then, I watched how others taught the steps that I was learning. They were fast and impatient with their students, and they lost patience with those that did not learn as fast as they had learned. They even became harsh with others when the step was not executed to their standard.

One of my teachers told me a wonderful key that has stayed with me for decades. She said “David, you’re a slow forgetter!” I just thought I was dumb sometimes when I could not get a pattern. But when I learned the step and the technique, I had it for a lifetime.

On the teaching end, since I was a “slow forgetter”, I was very patient with my students. I learned that the two key ingredients in teaching were laughter and praise. Later I learned that people did not remember what you said to them, they remembered how you made them feel. I learned that teaching could be a wonderful confidence building experience for the students who were learning.

“Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.”

– Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) British Scientist

Over the years I have had teachers who brought me to tears, made me hate and resent them, and teachers who tore me down. Then, there were the master teachers who made me feel as if I could learn and perform anything in my life. They made learning fun and made me feel confident and talented. They are still the heroes in my dancing life. Although some of the mean teachers taught me some greatly needed lessons, I still remember the emotional floggings they gave me.

Now, when I am teaching and someone makes a mistake, I pause, smile and say “What was that?”  We begin to laugh and share a hug, a giggle, and then we fix the step. Those students seem to love their lessons. They are the ones who smile on the floor and draw all eyes to their great smiles and beautiful technique and styling in their dancing.

Perhaps the best part of ballroom dancing is that we learn respect. Respect for our partner, other couples on the floor, the audience, the choreography and the music, the judges, and the wonderful audience for whom we are performing. Ballroom teaching discipline and how to present the other person with grace and elegance. Perhaps if we could just get all the leaders of the world together at the United Nations and teach them ballroom technique and the etiquette it teaches, we might have better world peace!

“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”

– Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco (1897-1945) English Writer

As I write to you today, the words flow from my heart to my fingers to the page. I give this love and support to you not remembering the effort of writing, and I take back the blessings I receive from sharing this love with you, never forgetting the experience.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

No 32 8-11-17 What is Creativity?

 

Photo is my lovely mom, J. Clair Woodbury.

No 32 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 4, 2017

What is Creativity?

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”- Mary Lou Cook (1918) American educator

Are you a risk taker? I never thought I was. I liked the sure way and the clear way. I only wanted to move forward when I could clearly know the outcome and what would happen at the end of my efforts. Study, take test, pass, accomplish, and do the proven thing.

Now in my life, it seems that everything I do is a gamble and a risk. I’m forced to do my best, even when I don’t feel like it. Even when I feel old, tired, and useless and irrelevant, I move forward. The spark of creativity is always the great energy recharger for me. I’m always breaking my rules, doing things in a new way that I swore I would never do. I make a ton on mistakes, but yes, I do have some fun! And I have lots of laughter in my life.

“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

There is a day when you want to call your parents for advice, money, love, food, a visit, or just a quick hello, and they are no longer there. There is a time you will want to call your old best friend and just have a quick hello, a little cry, or a hearty laugh, and they too are gone. You are now your own parent and confidant and mentor. You’re forced to work and to produce your best. This pressure does breed a strong will and will bring out greatness inside of you that you never knew existed!

“Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best.” – David O. McKay (1873 – 1970) American Religious Leader

I have found my purpose in life. It challenges every fiber of my soul and being every day. I guess you want to know what it is! My purpose is to help, guide, inspire, and motivate others in their lives. I thoroughly know that the riches of this world will not make me happy and will not save me on the last day. I came in with nothing and I will take nothing with me when I leave. I will only leave behind the legacy of how I lived my life and what service I give to others. I don’t mind a good roof over my head, safe transportation, a good business life, yet all the possessions and money in the world will not buy me happiness. Now that I can afford to eat and drink anything I want, my doctor tells me I can’t! The only cure for the blues for me has been helping others through service. It is long, tough, hard, challenging and tiring, but the fulfillment of that service is immeasurable.

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) American Presbyterian Minister

My task in life now is to be ready. Be ready for that person who comes up to me on their last thread. The couple, man or woman, who comes to me in tears and tells me of their life and what is happening to them. I have a gift. I always have a good word for them. A word that stays with them and heals them. A word that sends love, forgiveness, power, and hope. As the years go on, I want to continue my work as a dancer for the rest of my life, but the deep river that runs through that work is to transform lives, through dancing and through service. This is tough life mission, but a mission I have accepted.

“Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”- A.W. Pinero (1855 – 1934) English actor

Yes, I love strongly and deeply. I’ve always been lucky in the love department. Perhaps that’s why, even at almost 61, I still do what my mom, J. Clair, always said, “Keep a little song in your heart!”. Keep on singing and believing!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

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

 

 

No 21 Reflect on your past blessings! 5-26-17

No 21 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 26, 2017

“Reflect on your past blessings”

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) English Novelist

We must all have regrets and thoughts of “what if” in our lives. These thoughts can actually pull us down into depression and isolation if we give into them. For some reason, it’s hard to focus on the good. We all have trouble with this. The beauty of the day, our food, clothing, opportunities, friends and family in our lives. It’s easy to awaken and hit the ‘poopie thought’ list before our feet even hit the floor. Every morning I try to find my ‘perfect’ spot. It is a brief moment before rising that I am 100% in tune and at peace. I feel it, experience it, reflect in it, respect it, then I get up and start the day.

“Man does not live by a turkey in every oven or a color TV set in every home. Man lives by faith and hope and love, by the star on the horizon, by the trumpet that will not call retreat.” – E. Merrill Root (1895-1973) American Writer

Some days, not only do I not have the trumpet of triumph, but I seem to be leading the retreat from the enemy even before I get up! I hate this. While my flesh body is thinking of my oven turkey and what I’ll watch on my laptop, I lose sight of my guiding star leading me to the faith, hope and love in my life.

“Quoted after breaking all single-handed woman’s records and finishing second in round the world yacht race. February 11th, 2001. If I have any message from this then it is if you really have a dream and you want to achieve it then you can and it really is possible.”” – Ellen MacArthur (1976 ) Retired English sailor

What the future holds, I just don’t know. I am only certain that today must be a good day, even a great day, and that I must make a difference in someone else’s life. If I could bottle dreams, it would be my fuel every day in my life. I dream of hope, success, health, service, faith, family, love, career, health, mentoring, sustaining, giving, creating, pursuing, cooking (of course), guiding others, and creating a world around me where others learn to be of inspiration to others. I don’t want to just have a business that makes money, I want a business that inspires my staff to greater heights in their lives. A business that will give our staff the skills to accomplish any dreams they might have in their lives. For my customers, I want them to feel they are in a place where they are loved, appreciated, wanted, needed, safe, happy, and where they have a place to be themselves and grow.

“Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.” – Kevin Costner (1955) American Actor, Producer and Director

Once I thought that you made a goal, focused on it and then, poof, it would happen. Little did I know that if you set a goal, you will be tested in many, many ways to prove your resolve and try your determination. Goals are great, but they are not the journey. The journey is staying focused through success, failure, doubt, glory, fears and achievements. Our goals are closest to us when we are in the hot, fiery oven of trials and tribulations.

Well, on that hot note, be positive and keep on dreaming. Every good thing we have in our lives is because we, or someone else had an incredible thought that became a dream that became a reality. Don’t be afraid of hard times. Don’t give up. Remember, It will get better!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Thanks to Kristina Sado for the lovely Sand and Sea Ball 2017 photos!

@SadoPhoto ©KristinaSado