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

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No 19 5-11-18 “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”

– Jack Dempsey (1895 – 1983) American professional boxer

There have been a few times when I could not get up in life. I was beaten down, crushed, defeated, and lost in the dark night of the soul. And yet, I got up. Jack Dempsey said it well when he said we can’t. There are times when you just can’t go on, and yet you do.

This past week I was blessed to coach a man whose wife had just died tragically in a car accident just two months ago. He was taking an Arthur Murray Dance lesson and I was working with him and his teacher. He and his wife loved their dancing together when she was killed. He was continuing with his lessons. I did not bring his loss up in the coaching, but I told him that dancing was a safe place for him and that he could escape into his dancing.

He then began to weep and tell me the story of his wife’s passing. The three of us cried and held each other on the dance floor. Having lost my life partner to cancer, and his dying in my arms, I knew only too well what my student was currently feeling. His broken heart and the horrible heart ache that follows. The dark night of the soul that had surrounded him. Yes, I knew that he was hurting. Yet, he was dancing and preparing for a dance competition. He was getting up when he couldn’t.

This moving experience weighs heavily on my heart and I am praying constantly for this lovely man as he heals from his grief. I was so happy he had his loving Arthur Murray family to guide and to love him and to give him moments of healing through the magic of dance.

“Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing, the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude to any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

– Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) Nazi concentration camp survivor

The ability to get up and move on is a choice, a choice that we make or don’t. Even in grief, illness, or loss, we still have the choice to choose our own way.

“Fear is the opportunity for courage, not proof of cowardice.”

– John McCain (1936- ) United States Senator

Fear may keep us from knowing that we are even able to make this decision to choose. Overcoming fear often means walking through a fiery wall of flames, only to realize that the flames were only an illusion, and that we always had the power to walk through them. Fear causes us to make a decision of flight or moving forward with courage. This courage is magic if we us it, and once passing through the flames, our confidence is forever strengthened and we are forever changed.

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”

– Booker T. Washington (1856 – 1915) American author

When it comes to the pushing down part, life will take care of that for you on its own. Life is always testing us, but to be able to see the light beyond the darkness and pull ourselves up, this is a tough choice that is give to us. I remember after the great losses in my life, then getting back on the dance floor and giving joyous performances. It just didn’t seem right, but the dancing, the smiling, the performing acted like a healing medicine that restored me from the inside out. I would not have made it up this point in life without my Arthur Murray Dancing, and the magical joy and strength it gave me.

Remember that you are a champion, and all you have to do is get up and walk forward to light in your life when the dark times come your way.

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

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No 17 4-27-18 “A Failure is a Mark of Experience”

SQA Winners 2018

“In Silicon Valley, failure is experience. Now, if you fail at everything, that’s different. But a failure is a mark of experience more than anything.”

– Vint Cerf, One of the Key Creators of the Internet

Today, Arthur Murray Santa Monica won the Sustainable Quality Award in Excellence in Social Responsibility. This is our second SQA award and we were honored to receive this special recognition!

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We won in 2016, but we lost in 2017. I was broken hearted to lose. We had done so much in the community and our application was not up to the standards to win that year. I truly felt as if I had failed and I truly took it to heart as we saw so many other businesses in Santa Monica come forth to accept their winner’s awards.

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This year, our writer was Joel Rieck, and we won from his great essay and his superb writing skills for our application. We had done all the same work as the past year, but Joel did an outstanding job in presenting our acts of service and all our involvement in giving back to Santa Monica.

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Being in the winner’s circle was very sweet after failing and not winning. As quoted above, the failure became a mark of experience and we learned from it, and that pushed us forward to achieve success and win.

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Last year someone wanted to buy our school from us. This came out of the blue and I shook us up. I knew we could be doing much better, and I was recovering from a heart scare and getting back my health.

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I thought, why does someone want to purchase our school? Then I gave a very sober and thoughtful look at what we had created.  We had a great location, wonderful and dedicated staff, and the best Arthur Murray Students anyone could ever hope to have. We had created a special branding of the Arthur Murray name in Santa Monica and the whole city knew about our great school.

In 4 short years, we had created a legacy of Arthur Murray returning to the city of Santa Monica. The value of the school became an overwhelming thought to me and I then said, instead of selling, why don’t I just double our success and recharge our energy? And guess what, we DID just that. We excelled in every area and ended up a top school in many areas for Arthur Murray for 2017!

I had not failed, but I had not fully opened my eyes to our true success and our great possibilities of growth. Perhaps my past ‘marks of experience’ had given me strength, wisdom, hope, vision, and a new excitement to achieve and hit new great goals.

Now, I see a fantastic future for 2018 and we are living our dream of success with much, much more to come. With all achievements will come the storms of life, and the trials and tribulations of life will test us to our very cores. But with failures, lessons learned, and life lessons, the experience we gain will take us to the winner’s circle.

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

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No 10 3-9-18 All the Big Things in this World!

2018-03-01 06.36.11

No 10 3-9-18 All the Big Things in this World!

All the Big Things in this World!

“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

Every day I am working on my masterpiece, a great life of service and a life of giving fun, happiness, health and healing to others through the magic of dance. This is my big thing in this world. I work on it all the time. This work mainly consists of the small, mundane things that make the big picture come to life. I used to put down the faithful person who just showed up day after day, now I praise them for their consistency and work ethic. Now, after so many years, I believe that showing up and doing a good day’s work is truly a hero’s day.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley (1864-1963) English Novelist

My quest for doing my Big Thing in this world was thwarted by me trying to change others for many years. I thought that my success would be insured by making others around me change to my standards. Boy, was that a bust! You cannot make anyone else change anything in their life. But I surely can change my life. I also found out that if I did not walk the walk, and live the true live, that I was just a fraud and a fake. Am I perfect now, no, but I’m trying, repeatedly to get it right in my life so I may be a leader for others.

“To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows.” – Jean Anouilh (1910 – 1987) French dramatist

As I have said my own “yes” to the Big Thing in my life, it has not been easy. I am often criticized for the schedule I keep, and it truly hurts to hear other’s opinions of “you need to slow down”. I can only think of great conductors and composers whose whole life is music. They never stop. The life of a musician, a painter, poet, writer, CEO, speaker, athlete, dancer, religious leader, entrepreneur, new anchor, they do not “work”, they just live their lives. Imagine if I asked Monsignor, are you going to take a break from your faith and leadership today? I’m sure he’d let me have it and tell me to get back to reality. Yes, I plunge both hands deep into my big life of service.

“Don’t bother about genius. Don’t worry about being clever. Trust to hard work, perseverance and determination.” – Sir Frederick Treves (1853 – 1923) English Surgeon

Never in my life have I been the brightest crayon, but I have been the best crayon in the box. My striving to work to realize the vision in my heart, to make the dream come true has been my saving grace all my life. Someone asked me yesterday where I got all my energy. I immediately said that I had the great blessing of having the most incredible parents in the world. My mother was charismatic, and she never knew a stranger. She was a story teller and she always could laugh at life. My dad was a great leader and a man of service. Dad made such an impact in others lives. The greatest legacy they left was their life DNA in my spirit, heart, and life.

Now in my 60’s, I am so proud that I am becoming my mom and dad. I feel them every day in my heart, my day, my spirit. They are somehow always with me and leading me. I have heard that some are afraid of becoming their parents. Not for me, I am giving myself to their example and striving to become that great leader in my life. You could say that this is becoming a burning desire in my heart that is growing dad-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year.

This is my Big Thing and I love it. What’s your Big Thing? You have one, just take a quiet moment and realized what you are called to in your life. I wish you joy as you come to your realization and as your eyes clearly open.

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!
DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com
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01 1-5-18 Champions!

No 01 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 5, 2018

Champions!

“Champions talk success. Champions know that success is inevitable; That there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.” Michael Gelb

 

“A Champion Team will always beat a team of Champions.” John McGrath

 

“True Champions are team players.” Alan Cohen

 

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.” T. Allan Armstrong

 

Guess what? You are a champion for reading this message. You are a champion because you are feeding your mind, soul, heart, and spirit with positive thoughts and inspirational readings. You are a champion because you take the time to grow and expand your life.

 

I once thought that being a champion was having great things happening to me every day, conquering all obstacles in my life, and breaking new records. Yes, all those things are true. But a champion is also someone who shows up and does the work, even the mundane work. It’s easy to go from mountain to mountain of success on a daily basis. But the true champion also knows how to do the small tasks well.

 

It is said to be successful, you should be Visible, be Easy, be Useful and be Ready! I try to do these things daily. I try to be seen, do my tasks with a smile, be ready to offer a helping hand to others, and be prepared for all situations. This is a good formula for life in general.

 

Do you feel like a champion? Try this, go out and give a nice compliment to someone who is not having a good day. Help someone who cannot pay you back. Cheer up a friend or co-worker. Do a good deed for someone who cannot help themselves. Then, I assure you, you’ll feel like a champion and feel happy inside.

 

“Keep a Little Song in your Heart!” J. Clair Woodbury

 

Thanks for reading!

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

No 52 12-29-17 Happy New Year!

No 52 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

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

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

 

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

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

– James Allen (1864 – 1912)

British philosophical writer

 

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

– Nixon Waterman (1859 – 1944)

newspaper writer, poet and Chautauqua lecturer

 

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

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

– E. Merrill Root (1895 – 1973)

American Writer

 

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

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

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

– Epictetus (55AD – 135AD)

Stoic philosopher

 

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

– Donald Douglas (1892 – 1981)

American, Founder Douglas Aircraft Company, later McDonnell Douglas

 

“I like a man who attempts the impossible.”

– J.P. Morgan (1837 – 1913)

American financier

 

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

 

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

– James Buckham (1844 – 1930)

 

Canadian lumberman and Liberal politician

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

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

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

 

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

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

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

No 48 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 1, 2017

 

Six tips to become a stronger leader

 

First:

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

 

Second:

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

 

Third:

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

 

Fourth:

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

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

 

Fifth:

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

 

Sixth:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thanks for reading!

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com