No 36 9-8-17 Just Keep On Playing

No 36 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 1, 1956

Just Keep on Playing!

“If you just keep playing, keep believing and have some faith, something good can happen.”

– Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner, whose team became only the second in NFL history to win six games after losing the first seven games of the year. December 19, 1998

Does it not seem that others have all the luck? Money, success, talent, and it all seems to come so easy to them. Want to know what I think? They don’t have it all. To my surprise, I have found that others whom I have envied for having it all were feeling the same way about me at the same time. They thought that I had it all and that my life was so easy. The truth is, just don’t want what others have, or you just might get it!

I truly do just keep believing and having faith, and somehow everything seems to work out. Also, at 61 now, I find that down the road of other’s lives wasn’t as easy as I thought and they end up sometimes going through terrible trials and losses that test every fiber of their being. And at that time, I become a strength for them!

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

– Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875)

English Novelist and Clergyman

Perhaps having a dream is the most precious gift we may have in our lives. Dreaming of a fulfilled goal, dreaming of completing a task, dreaming of fully realizing our hopes, talents, and abilities. The best blessing is having enthusiasm for this dream. To wake up each day, no matter how hard the times might be, and having the motivation to get through that day from sheer excitement of the goals and tasks at hand.

“The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.”

– Charles Lamb

(1775-1834) British Essayist

So, are you going through a rough patch? Are you able to ‘keep on playing’? Are you living your best life? I’ll give you my formula for success. Just live a life of service. Give you time to someone, to a cause, to a group, to your church or temple, to kids, the sick, the elderly. Just give away time that may never give back to you and give it from the heart. You’ll find that is a prescription that may be refilled over and over for the rest of your lives, and the side effects are joy, peace, happiness and fulfillment!

“A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.”

– Charles Gordy (1833 – 1885)

British Army officer and administrator

Task today…..Go through your day with a smile and pretend that everyone you see is a mirror of your face. Just smile and you’ll see you own smile reflected through their faces! Give it a try.

“Many a friendship — long, loyal, and self-sacrificing — rested at first upon no thicker a foundation than a kind word.”

– Frederick William Faber (1814 – 1863)

English Priest and Hymn Writer

After you give that special smile, give a kind word to someone. Compliment them. Give them a message of hope and joy. Tell a friend “It will get better” and give them a big hug, then call them the next day to say you are thinking of them. These kind words that pave the long road to a lifetime of friendship.

I hope you loved the quotes. I feel so good after writing this. I hope you do as well!

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

 

 

Something to be Enthusiastic About!

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No 41. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 9, 2015

Something to Be Enthusiastic About!

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. – Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

Most people will tell you that they just want to be happy in their lives. As Arthur Murray dancers, we love to be happy while teaching dance, learning dance, and performing dances. Dancing makes us feel good and we are blessed to uplift others through music and movement.

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Sometimes, I run into someone who wants comfort and luxury at the main ingredients in their lives to make them feel good daily. They want that special Starbucks caramel macchiato, their perfect car, the stylish clothes and all the accessories worn over the perfect body. They are one of the beautiful people. Yet, are they happy?

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Who do I find that is happy around me? It is the person and the people who have dreams and they are motivated by helping others achieve their dreams and goals in their lives. They are not frustrated (OK, sometimes, but usually while they are organizing a fundraiser!) they are not sad, they are not depressed. They don’t have time for such luxuries.

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It’s funny that the people who give in life consider being in a bad mood and being unmotivated a “luxury” that they cannot afford. Amazing how that works! I am surrounded by event organizers, people who support the arts, volunteers for events that raise money from cancer to helping kids. They are always on a mission to make the next event work so that they can help someone else. These are amazing people.

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As I sit in organizational meetings for fundraiser and events, I feel the camaraderie that all the attendees have to be their best and deliver their best performance as volunteers. You leave one of these meetings feeling motivated, full of the ‘can do’ attitude, and your to do list is full of great things to do and experience.

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All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and
have an idea that is obviously impossible.
— Dr. Frank Richards (1875-1961) English Writer

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I do believe that I can accomplish my goals. This is the same feeling as walking on the dance floor to perform a dance presentation. Your tummy turns on you before you go on the floor and you have a moment where you can’t breathe. Your mouth is dry. Your hands and body sweat. You and your partner are both feeling adrenalin going through you a million miles an hour.

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Boom, you take the floor. Everyone is cheering for you. Then, the glorious music begins. Your muscle memory takes over and then you begin to move to the music together. You feel the wonderful energy of the audience and suddenly you are not dancing, but creating magic! You hear cheering and clapping and suddenly it’s over. You’re done. You leave the floor to a thunderous applause and you hug each other. You made it and you did it.

If you’re not enthusiastic or happy, I’ll share with you what my mom, J. Clair, would always say: “Keep a little song in your heart.” I try to do this every day. Sometimes I have to make sure it is a happy song and not a funeral dirge, but I do my best to keep humming along and singing in my heart a song of joy and praise. Out sing the blues. Drown out their tunes with your happy songs and find something to be enthusiastic about in your life.

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

 

 

 

2015-08-26 22.21.28

No 39. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 25, 2015

A person is only as big as the dream they dare to live.
— Unknown

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of
life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to
be enthusiastic about.
— Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

Every day when I awaken, I’m excited about the upcoming day. Sometimes I’m excited because I have so many opportunities that day. Perhaps I have a challenging situation to take care of. The day may hold some mystery for me. I may be excited because I don’t know what will happen with what’s ahead for me. Then, sometimes I know that the day will be a home run all the way around.

Despite the success cult, men are most deeply moved not by the
reaching of the goal, but by the grandness of the effort involved in
getting there.
— Max Lerner (1902-1992) American Educator, Columnist

I know that I’m going to give each opportunity the “grandness of effort” that is deserved.

Man is happy only as he finds work worth doing — and does it well.
— E. Merrill Root (1895-1973) American Writer

I am so blessed in my life to have found the work worth doing. My “profession” as a professional dance instructor will be the path for the rest of my life, God willing!  My teachers are 20 to 25 years older than I am and they are all going strong.

To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate
the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.
— T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American Poet

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
— George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must
not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but
jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
— Robert Cushing Dennison (1921-1998) American Military Officer

I like a person who knows his own mind and sticks to it; who sees at
once what, in given circumstances, is to be done, and does it.
— William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English Essayist

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

Let’s just go for it in life.  I’m not going to wait until I’m ready for a task. I’m going to move forward and learn as I go. Warts and all, I’m going to make it happen. How? First, set your goal and fix your mind on it. Second, surround yourself with others who will make your goal come alive. Third, calculate what it will take to get the task done, and plan to double the effort, resources, and energy needed to complete your task. (If you don’t believe this, you have never remodeled a home or business.) Lastly, make perseverance your best friend and just move forward and never look back.

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees
a calamity in every opportunity.
— Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Politician

As I move forward to my goals, I just see wonderful opportunities meeting me as I move forward.

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

— Hugh Lawson White (1773-1840) American Politician

Don’t dwiddle on the past. Let it go. Being angry at someone is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I found that I had been angry at someone for over 30 years. I was justified and if you knew what she did, you’d be angry too. Then, I just woke up and realized that she had no idea that I was always boiling mad at her.  I typed a letter when I apologized to her for carrying all this negativity for these many years and I asked her to forgive me.  Then, I did not mail the letter, I just let it go. I did not want her to know how shallow I had been for all these years. Now I feel great and I have love for her in my heart.  Let the past go, check your baggage at the ticket counter and get on board. Live, love, laugh!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

 

 

 

 

 

Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer 7-17-15

Beth and David 6-10-15

No 29. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 17, 2015

Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. –Harriet Tubman

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A very dear, new friend sent this saying to me. We are at the footsteps of a project for Arthur Murray Santa Monica that will benefit our city and change many lives.  It is all a dream that is coming true, supported by a team of Dream Makers.

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What is it like to work on this project?  I am alive every day. I am excited every moment of every day.  I am becoming friends with the most amazing leaders, innovators, volunteers, thinkers, and all around great people.  Being surrounded by such a host of exciting people is truly rewarding every day.

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The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of
immortality.– John Quincy Adams

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and
lifting people up.– John Andrew Holmes

If a man hasn’t discovered something that he would die for, he isn’t
fit to live. (from a speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963).– Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American Civil Rights Leader

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As I get older, I am becoming more and more driven to raise money for kids. To educate kids and get the magic of music and dance to kids.  To give them direction, purpose, hope, discipline, and a dream for the future.

Is all this easy. I say not!  Many challenges meet us daily. It’s like pushing a rock up a hill said one of my sponsors. But it is a good rock and it’s worth the push! I don’t want an easy way to go. My life has never been easy and I have always chosen the harder path. I think I’m a stronger person for my persistence.

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

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

Are you happy today? Are you fulfilled? Do you have a 100 fears that are holding you back? Try this; listen to what others need. Listen to the 100 yeses that others say to you each day and give great service to others.  Help make others dreams come true. Live a life of service to help other find their own dreams and fulfill those dreams.

Be committed to excellence. I’ll bet you, you’ll be happy every day!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury