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

 

 

Go Straight to Your Goal! 9-23-16

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No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 23, 2016

Go Straight to your Goal!

“It is the man who goes straight to his goal, obstacle or no obstacle, that commands our respect, gets our confidence, and gets to the front. He is the man who is sought in an emergency, not the man who is afraid of obstacles, who magnifies difficulties.”

– Orison Sweet Marden (1850 – 1924) American Editor and Speaker

Before turning 60, I lived a life of “setting goals”. In fact, that was my whole life. I was dreaming the big dreams of success, and contemplating all the things I would do if I just applied myself. I have also lectured and helped many people set and realize their dreams.

So what am I doing now? Now I’m living my goals. No one talks about what do you do when you have achieved your goals. I believe that you reassess and go to the next level! It is challenging to have struggles and to have fought for a goal, and then achieved it. Many have lost faith at this point in their lives, for they did not know what to do next.

After reaching a goal, life’s obstacles are still there and we must learn how to deal with daily life and how to rekindle our passions and dreams.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt(1884-1962) American First Lady and Political Activist

Do you have a reoccurring dream while you are asleep? I do. I’ve had some of the same dreams all of my life and I can remember them. How about a conscious dream? My true lifelong dreams have not changed in 60 years. To live a life of beauty, movement, music, service, and faith. To share all this with others, that has been and will continue to be my life’s dream.

“The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be common, nor the common heroic.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

As the above quote says, I have resolved to be great. This life is not easy, but is very exciting and rewarding. I want to make a difference, to leave a mark, to leave a legacy!

Let’s end with this amazing quote from Shaw.

“Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Playwright

Thank you for reading!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

Laughter is a Medicine! 5-20-16

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No 21 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 20, 2016

Laughter is a Medicine!

“Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.”

– Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

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This Sunday is the first inaugural Sand and Sea Ball! We are raising money for the ballroom and music classes of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Our gala at the beautiful Loews Hotel includes complimentary valet parking and wine bar. We have cocktails, sit down dinner, music from the youth quartet, SAMOHI Jazz Band, and the Gold Medal youth winners dancing during dinner. We will end the evening with a two hour Arthur Murray Dance Party!

“No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.” – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)

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Well, today I have a smile and a laugh in my heart and a spring in my step. (My right knee just went out yesterday. Couldn’t walk on it a day ago. I’m still dancing and it’s getting better. It’s heck getting older. Knee or no knee, the show must go on!) I have done my work and kept faith and hope, all brought on by the vision and dream of dancing for kids.

“Happiness is like a cat. If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you. It will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing up against your legs and jumping into your lap.”

– Dr. William J. Bennett (1943) American Author and Educator

My Co-chair, Beth Hansler, and the executive director of the SMMEF, Linda Greenberg, have been my heroes. They have keep the fire burning and hope for our event alive. We began without a single sponsor, and changed the date twice! Beth is my dream maker and director of the Sand and Sea Ball.

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Happiness has not been in my vocabulary for a year. It has been vision, belief, focus, hard work, working together, and faith. Fulfillment has been a better state of mind for me. I would not trade a single moment of this adventure to our first Sand and Sea Ball. I have learned a lot about people, non-profit, and myself. I have learned that I can’t do it all. It takes a great team, and we had a very small team of dedicated volunteers.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!” – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) Albanian Missionary

My last few years of my life has been many dreams realized. And yes, there has been a great price to pay. There have been many ups and downs, and still challenges ahead. But the fulfillment of following a dream has been wonderful. And Yes, I have laughed a lot in the past year (did I mentions the sleepless nights as well?).

“No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.” – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Writer

Give this a try. If you are not happy, grab a hold of a dream, a vision a hope, and make it come alive in your life.  Throw caution to the wind and move forward with a good team around you. They’ll keep your feet firmly grounded and make sure you stay on track. Keep a smile on your face, hope in your heart, and have a good laugh several times a day!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like my blogs!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I must do is all that concerns me 5-6-16

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No 19 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 6, 2016

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

“To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?”- Katharine Graham (1917 – 2001) American, Chairman of Washington Post

Do what you love in your life. Do not worry about what others think about you. What will horrify you is that as you enter your world of success and freedom, there will be people who will want to stop you. They will tell you that you can’t do your dream. They are dream killers. Then, they will oppose you and try to sabotage your efforts and pull you down. Usually, these are very sad people who cannot stand someone else pulling ahead of the crowd.

“He who every morning plans out the transactions of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” – Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) French Writer

The good news is that you will be so busy pursuing your dream that you will not notice the Dream Killers. You are always thinking some great thought and taking great actions to fulfill your destiny. You will always be thinking of ways to succeed and to be a success.  You know that failure is not an option, and you’ll move forward without fear. Your busy life of Dream Making will shield you from the naysayers!

In two weeks, I’m experiencing the most difficult event I have ever produced. Those closest to me have tried to stop me, told me I could not do it, and that I was “not in the right timing” for the event.  As they have been trying to pull me down, I have been watching the dream take form and now, take wings as it becomes a reality. Yes, sometimes their negativity hurts me, and perplexes me, but before I have the time to have a pity party, I have too much to do to make the dream happen.

“One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud

For a while, I hated the years of struggle. I resented that I was not having an “easy” life. I wondered why me and why am I just not at Starbucks at the beach, retired and relaxing.  Then, I realized that that life would kill me, and that I would quit growing in my life. The biggest change was when I realized that I would not continue to learn about service, and living a life of service to others. I quickly changed my tune and began to focus on the goal and the rewards from service.

“To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.” – William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English Essayist

The best benefit of doing what I love is this. I have met others who love what they do as well. I know people who walk in darkness that overtakes them and they have no control of that darkness. On the other hand, I am surrounded daily by those who give, who walk in light, who find joy in giving to others, and they are living a full life of service. Do they have normal problems, yes! But they look to the purpose of their lives and let that purpose guide and direct them.

Now, I am surrounded by the most amazing people to serve, give, organize, plan, help, and inspire. They are my peeps. They are my closest friends. “Surround yourself with people you want to become like”. For in your life, you will become exactly like those who are around you.

“To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.” – William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English Essayist

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like my blogs!)

“What Lies Within Us” 2-19-16

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No 8 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 19, 2016

What Lies Within Us

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just love to watch ballroom dancing. Young, old, professional, amateur, championships, solos, I love it all. I especially loved to judge dance competitions. You get to stand on the floor and see the dancers dance past inches from where you are standing. You can hear them, smell their perfumes, smile at them, sometimes even speak with them. But not matter how you watch, you become one with the dancers and the dance floor.

Being so close to the dancers gives you the ability to truly see the inner dancer. You get to see the dancers with floor craft and perfect dance habits. You admire the men who never have their ladies bumped into, and they never use their partners as human ram rods. They follow the most polite rules of the floor and moving with the other dancers.

You also see the couples who are fighting and not getting along. Or, you may see some under-rehearsed dancing. When you are judging a competition, you immediately see the first place couples early in the game. In fact, you find the final 6 couples pretty quickly. As the quarter finals turn into the simi finals, you see the first place and top 6 always looking polished and well-rehearsed. They shine!

Funny thing, when you get to the final, you see the couple who has done rounds to build stamina very quickly. They do not look tired and seem full of life and energy. You see the couple who has “paid the price” of success and has not cheated on practice and physical preparation. When that perfect first place couple wins, it’s amazing how elegant they are with perfect respect and humility with the other dancers. They are lovely on and off the floor and exude the joy of dance.

“We can often do more for other men by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs.”- Francois Fenelon (1651-1715) French Roman Catholic Theologian

The championship couple, professional or amateur, is always directing their criticism to their own dancing and they are continuously looking for self-improvement. They immediately read their scores and anxiously await the feedback from their coaches on their performance. They study their videos and are in a relentless pursuit of perfections through daily practice and preparation.

“Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to recognize in your humdrum routine, as perhaps it may be thought, the true poetry of life.” – Sir William Osler (1849-1919) Canadian Physician

You can bet money that the most common denominator of all champion dance couples is the amount of practice time they share. They practice without fail, several hours a day. They take many lessons, study fitness and nutrition and they meditate. They listen to advice and their best friends are other champions and champion coaches. They know they true poetry of their dance lives is the humdrum routine of practice, practice, and more practice.

“We shall not flag or fail. We shall fight in France, we shall fight in the seas or oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. – speaking in the House of Commons on British resistance to the Nazis, June 1940” – Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Politician

Sir Winston Churchill pluck and daring kept the British spirit alive during WWII. His statement “we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength” burns in my heart. Do I have this will to fight within me? Do I have the faith to never surrender? By myself, no. But with the circle of champions around me, yes, I will make it. With the leaders and mentors that circle my every day, I will make it. In dancing, in business, in service, in faith, in family, in home life. In all areas, I will succeed because I know that little spark that lies within me will never go out.

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like this blog)

F.A.I.L. 1-15-16

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No 03. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 15, 2016

F.A.I.L.

If you Fail, never give up

Because F.A.I.L. means

“First attempt in learning”

End is not the end, In fact,

E.N.D. means “Effort never Dies”

If you get No as an answer,

Remember N.O. means

Next Opportunity, so let’s

Be Positive!

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound. Rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”                           – Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) American Motivational Speaker

If I had to have the right time, the right feeling, the right mojo to do things, nothing would get done in my life. Every day I see a FAIL sign ahead and I take always take the ‘Next Opportunity’ route to my destination. Life is just not going to go easy for any of us, so we must adjust and put a little song in our hearts and keep going, knowing that our efforts are going to pay off.

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

Have you a dream that you want to fulfill? Do you have a quest, a mission, a calling, a vision of what you want to do in life? Well, it will not be easy to attain, but it will be fulfilling. And if this truly is your dream, you’ll love every step of the journey, including the bad and the good.

How to you make a FAIL a SUCCESS? First, you must engage others in your vision. You have to make them feel that you are sure of your goal, and that you have enough passion to get you to the end!

People will forget what you say, They forget what you do, But they never forget how you made them feel! – Maya Angelou

Make people feel good around you and make them feel as if they are in a “happy zone” when they are around you! Have your wits about you and always remember how to treat others.

“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.” – Ann Landers, born 1918

As for having class, I have learned a secret. The other day I offended someone so badly that they called me and just let me have it over the phone. They were offended by something that I do with a good heart daily and have done a million times, but that was not what they wanted and they were hot at me. Guess what I said after my reprimand, “I’m sorry”. I said it sincerely four times and they did hear me and then truly thanked me for my position and how I received the message. Was it class? I think it was just being nice to someone and just truly making someone else happy.

“Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.”                                                                  – Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) English Author

Doing the right thing truly will take courage in your life. It will mean saying “Sorry” many times, even when you have done nothing wrong. Yet you will come out the best in the end for truly taking the opportunity to be humble and contrite.

Think you can do these things? I believe you can. Read on about the little bumblebee and go make a Buzzzz in life!

“Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”                                                                                         – Mary Kay Ash (1915 – 2001) American Businesswoman, founder Mary Kay Cosmetics

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

“Whatever you do, you need courage” 1-8-16

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No 01. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 8, 2016

“Whatever you do, you need courage”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

“Determine that a thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” – William C. Durant (1861 – 1947) American Manufacturer, Founder of General Motors

Hey, do you need a lift in 2016? Did you make New Year’s Resolutions? Have you already left them behind? I’m collecting dreams in 2016 and I’m going to have a “Sweet 16” this year. This is a year of realizing dreams and making magic happen in my life. A year of joy, happiness, fulfillment, and realization.

Wow, doesn’t that sound great? How about the 18 hour days that make all this a reality? Am I willing to pay the price for making my dreams come true? Yes, I am.

And what do we do to make these dreams realities? Courage. Courage to get up every morning with our mines washed clean and our hearts cleansed and ready to conquer another day.

Determination is getting up on a long day and just jumping into the tasks that are ahead. Starting off with moving our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. For me, I laugh that what determines a great morning for me. I awaken with all my high and mighty plans, then I must clean the kittie’s poop. This must happen daily and they are prolific and never surprise me. I’m scoopin’ the poops while I’m laughing at what I must do to get the day going. Then it’s treaties and foodies for the kitties before I can do anything. Yes, this requires both love and determination.

Perhaps this is what creates me on a daily basis. Not being afraid of the routine, being grateful for my life and taking daily moments to give thanks for my MANY, MANY blessings.

Now, in a new year, I’m looking forward. Not only putting my mistakes behind me, keeping the knowledge from going through the mistakes in my mind and heart, yet also having courage to seize every day.

Wow, it takes a lot of work to make all these dreams come true!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com