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

No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 15, 1956

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

– George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

Decide on what you think is right, and stick to it! 10-28-16

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No 44 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 28, 2016

“Decide on what you think is right, and stick to it.”– George Eliot (1819 – 1880) English Novelist

Have you ever had an acquaintance who could not make up their mind and who could not commit to something? Someone who thought they knew what they wanted to do, committed to doing it, and then decided it was not for them. I know a person like that. Very frustrating and very devastating in some respects in life. Making a commitment today is the hardest thing to do. My friend is so bad off that they cannot even make the decision to change paths without help. It is sad. It is a mystery. It is a tragedy.

“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 friend is someone of the “Universe”. Yet they cannot find the “white hot burning desire” to make a decision and stick to it. They give up when the job gets “too tiring” or “too hard”.

This has been a learning experience for me. My circle of mentors are all “take action” leaders who push me to success every moment in my life. I have no patience for those who cannot stick to a commitment. This whole experience has shaken me and has purged my own faults and has put my own work ethic to the test of fire. I have had to realize that I need to work harder and not give in to hard times and the tests that come my way.

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, — but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 – 1894) American Writer

I have set my sails and am trying to sail with the wind, even when it is against me. I try to not drift and keep my anchor up until I come to the ports in my life where I briefly touch dry land. When I am around someone who does not set sail, who does not strive for the highest goals, who does not dream, and then live the dream, it hurts my soul.

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” —Maya Angelou

Sorry for the above language, but I agree with Maya Angelou, you just have to go for it in life and look forward and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and see your dreams come true. If you know someone in your life, as I know in mine, who cannot “set sail”, be aware. They will try to bring you to their level and destroy your dreams, kill your soul, and darken your life’s mission. They will crush the life out of your heart and lead you down a road of sorrow.  You will want to help them desperately, but you cannot help someone whose heart has forgotten how to dream the dream of life.

My encounter with my friend has caused me great heartache, grief, sadness, and has created a sense of loss. It is just the way it is. This will probably not change for them. My answer is that time is the best doctor for all things.

What to do now? For me, it is to move on and hold on to my own hopes and dreams, and continue until I see the light at the end of the “dark night of the soul”.  My friend’s own emotional turmoil has actually taken me into the dark night, but yet, I do see light coming my way.

The old saying is this, “Surround yourself with people you want to become like”. But what do you do when someone close in your live is dragging you down, and you love them, and you want to help them and yet all attempts to help are in vain? What do you do when you have made a commitment to a dream killer and you realize that it was a mistake? What is the answer? What happens now?

“A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English Poet

The answer is this. There are two types of people in the world, victims and then those that are accountable.  I am accountable for my actions, decisions, and commitments. I am not a victim, I am accountable. Now, I’m using this experience to become stronger, purge the darkness that is in my own life, and move forward and still love the person who has decided not to take the journey forward. I am learning forgiveness (it’s hard) and learning how to still love them (even harder). I’m moving on. Moving on to new dreams and finding that my joy of live is still there and that there is still a song in my heart.

Do you have someone like this in your life?  Or, are you that dark person in someone else’s life? Do you see this happening with a good friend in their life? What do you do? How can you help? Continue being the great person that you and don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t lose hope in others and don’t lose faith in others and in helping others.

One of my circle of leaders and mentors just had a stroke. He’s in bed two months now and is just about to get up to walk. He is a leader. He is a man of vision and he has served hundreds and hundreds of people in his many years of leadership. His only goal right now is just getting up and start walking again. I pray power prayers for him daily. His illness has awakened me to what’s truly important in life, and what truly matters in life.  I am now counting my blessings and not crying over those who threw an away opportunity in their life. We do not know what tomorrow may hold. I know that I will be able to say, I fought for my dreams and strived to achieve my goals. Go for it, live your life and something good will happen to you today!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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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