No 45 11-10-17 Nothing is ever lost by courtesy

No 45 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy

“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.”

– Erastus Wiman (1834 – 1904)

Canadian journalist and businessman

Growing up, my dad always said to my mom “Be sweet Miz Woodbury”. Why, she had a direct option on people and situations. I’m just the same. I’m quick to speak and fast to react. My weakness is that my buttons get pushed so fast that I can’t get them under control and bam, there goes my big mouth!

What’s the answer? This courtesy quote is excellent. The answer is wait a moment before speaking and reacting. Now at 61, finally I take a moment before saying the first thing that pops into my mouth. I have learned to take a breath, pause, and listen to the other person finish their sentence. My dear friend, Roz DeBeve, always said that God had perfect mathematics when He gave us two ears and one mouth. Roz said to be successful, listen twice as much as you speak!

For another aspect of courtesy, I have learned from my great friend, Linda Greenberg, to say “I’m sorry”. Perhaps there is a disagreement between two people, and you are caught in the middle of it and you did nothing wrong to either party. To be the peacemaker, just say “I’m sorry” that happened and just take out the fight and be the calming factor. I’ve seen many fires put out with this simple act of courtesy.

Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson said during a homily a few years ago that he had gone through a major change in his life. He said he would get angry and be “in the right” in arguments. He stood before us, hands behind his back, and he said, “Now I just say, I’m sorry” and I don’t fight. His message had a profound effect on me. Does it matter if I am right? It matters if I am a great peacemaker and am able to help, console, guide, and repair situations in a positive way.

“We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens.”

– Brooks Atkinson (1894 – 1984)

American theatre critic

The biggest part of courtesy for me is laughter. Of the four personality types, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholy, and Choleric, I am a Chosen Sanguine and a retired Choleric. That means that I was a jerk for a long time and did not laugh enough. I was way too strong and made others see that I was always right. Guess what readers, this was not good for my heart and I almost had a heart attack over this.

Now, I find that courtesy through laughter is a true medicine. When I am dancing and we make a mistake, we look at each other and say “what was that?” and we laugh and give each other a hug a move on. What a great approach to teaching and this keeps my students happy, and they do learn how to dance beautifully loving each and every moment.

Yes, I’m quick just like my mom J. Clair was, yet she was also a very polite and gracious woman. My dad always had a great laugh and he smiled at all who were around him. I’m so blessed to and honored to be their son and have their Southern characteristics in my personality.

Courtesy: try this. Just go out and give a smile and share a laugh with someone. Tell them how great they look today and how happy you are to see them. Ask them how they are and say you are looking forward to seeing them again. Remember, the smile we see in other’s faces is our own smile we are giving to them. From our quote today,

“It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing and conveys much”.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 44 The Road to Happiness 11-3-17

#44 Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Road to Happiness

“The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it — every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.”

– John D. Rockefeller III (1906 – 1978)

American Philanthopist

After 41 years with the great company Arthur Murray, I have finally found my place. I love being a studio franchisee and seeing so many Santa Monacans loving their dancing. Yet my heart lies in service. We give our students the service to become as great of dancers as they want to be. We train our staff to be studio owners themselves. I love inspiring others to live a life of greatness and to always have a dream in their hearts.

Now, I know where my destiny lies and I’m putting my 100% into that goal. Everything that I hear that is motivating, everything that I read that is uplifting, every experience that is life-changing, goes into my “life reservoir” and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with others. When someone asks me a question, I have an answer and a life example to share with them. My only goal is to positively inspire other and give them a moment of clarity and motivation. Many times I feel that these words of inspiration are drops of water on a desert landscape. These positive saying are in such need and demand in today’s world.

“The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous.”

– Margaret Fontey (1919 – 1991)

English ballerina

I’ve long since given up on taking myself seriously. The truth is that no one cares about what is happening to me. What they do care about is how I use my experiences to help them in their lives. What I have and who am I mean nothing if I don’t have a good reputation and a good name. For me, I have everything I need or want in my life. Now it is time to give back and be the inspiration for others.

I hope for my readers who come back weekly, that you will awaken to the opportunities in your lives to help others. That your eyes will see clearly the power that is inside of you to change lives.  Guess what? When you discover these service truths, your life will change! Depression will flee, illness will lose its power over you, darkness will turn to light and you will finally be free in your life. It has and continues to work for me every day. Remember that the smiles in the faces we see daily are reflections of the smiles we give to others. Remember that we are the examples of hope, life, and light for others every day. Try this, just go through a day and smile to those around you. Just see what happens to your life!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 42 10-20-17 Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve!

No 42 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 20, 2017

 

Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve!

-Tom Murdock – Arthur Murray International

 

At a recent Fall Forum staff awards and training weekend for Arthur Murray Dance Centers, Tom Murdock opened our great weekend with the above words. Tom is such a good friend to me and when he said his opening remarks, I said, that’s my diamond of knowledge for the weekend. I even made a note to write this blog today!

Yes, I am here to run a great Arthur Murray Dance Center, yet Joel Rieck and I try to run our school from the point of giving the best service first! Giving service to our staff, students, neighbors, to our parent company Arthur Murray Int’l, Inc., our city, our friends, faith family, and to one another. We want to share that knowledge of dance with others and help them grow. No mistake, I want to prosper and earn my fair share, but earn from helping others receive what they want in their lives.

 

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

– Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) Spanish painter, sculptor

 

Every day I do something that I cannot do. This leads to some big mistakes and some great triumphs, yet I learn from all of them. I just let fear go and realize that I must move forward and take action. When I’m done, I always say, Well Done! Even on the hardest days and the most challenging moments, I know that time marches on and that the sun will rise tomorrow and that I’ll make it.

“Genius is eternal patience.”

– Michelangelo Di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564) Italian Sculptor and Painter

 

Are you a truly patient person? I am not at all a patient person. So guess what life brings me all the time? Situations where I must be patient to see the end result. Trials that require lots of time and resilience. Moments where I must breathe in and wait before I speak. Gee whiz, I hope l learn a little patience in my 60’s. It’s about time!

 

“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

 

What are your past thoughts, your present thoughts, your tomorrow thoughts? These are mine. Every morning I fill myself with light and the waters of healing. I allow the waters to wash over me, cleanse me, heal me and revive me. Then, I find a moment of serene peace, a perfect moment where all is well and safe. Then, I awaken to my day and to life.  Are all my thoughts good? No. I sometimes have a hard time controlling my thoughts to keep them positive. It is a daily effort to think good thoughts and stay positive.

Solution: continue to live a life of service and giving to others. Continue to seek the council of great leaders and mentors and strong life coaches. Then, give that light to others. For me, it’s the only way I will ever have peace in my life. Give strength to others and guide others. Through dance, through faith, through leadership, through example. It is my calling. It is my life. It is who I am. Success = Service.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 39 9-29-17 Until One Is Committed!

No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 29, 1956

Until one is Committed!

“Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one element of truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans – that moment one commits oneself, then providence moves all.”

– Johann von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

German Poet and Dramatist

 

In my laptop is a book that I’m finishing “Closing the Back Door – Making Life’s Ultimate Commitments!” The book is about making a decision and sticking with it to the end and not giving up. As I was writing it, I lost both parents and ultimately my life partner to cancer. The book was left for a while because some of my life commitments had been taken away from me. I had to rethink a closed back door that did not exist.

Now, I realize that times will change and modify our goals, yet we may stay focused and keep our goals and dreams in life.

“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

These words are nuggets of gold. Perseverance, experience, caution, and hope.  A friend came up to me a last weekend’s dance competition, with tears in her eyes and she hugged me and said that I never give up and how that has inspired her. This moment stuck with me and was deeply moving. It is easy to throw in the towel, to walk away, to give up, but the rewards of sticking with it are powerful and long lasting.

 

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.”

– Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

British Politician

 

Calamities, I’ve had a few. Water over our ballroom dance floor, illness, the passing of friends and families, and changes that I could not control. Now, I know that something good will come out of all these situations.  Years ago, one of my mentors, Miss Pat Traymore, was in my car driving from LAX and I missed an exit. I was very upset and embarrassed and this is what she said to me. It was meant to me. That I was being protected from something bad happening to me. My mom, J. Clair always said the same thing. She said that the way things turned out was Gods way of protecting us from some unforeseen calamity that we could not envision. Now, I’m always aware of this when I forget a key, run back into the house, or I’m late. I know that I’m truly being protected.

 

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

– Hugh Lawson White (1773 – 1840)

American Politician

In the 80’s, my dance partner did a reading for me. I usually do not participate in this practice but I did receive this reading just this once. She saw many upcoming things in my life and before she gave me her reading, I asked her, am I in charge of my destiny and she said yes. She can I could control my future by the actions I was taking today. Ultimately, many of the predictions she saw came true, but my positive attitude and my heart of faith truly shaped and helped destine my future.

Last thought for commitments: Let go of fear. It’s just like driving your car with one foot on the gas pedal and one heavy foot on the break, all at the same time. Letting go of fear is a daily routine and a daily habit. Try it, you’ll like the new you and like living a life without fear.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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 35 9-1-56 The Formula for Success

 

No 35 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 1, 1956

The Formula for Success

“I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through – then follow through.”

– Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 – 1973) American Aviator and Business Executive

How true is this quote! The art of thinking things through is almost a thing of the past. We are so fast in today’s world. I read that not only are we not using email, we have abandoned texting for live video chats! What happened to the written note? The phone call? Or, get this, the personal visit? To follow through, remember that people like doing business with people they like, and they need to see you and know you to like you!

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”

– George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) Irish Playwright

I’ve learned that nothing in my life is hidden. Even the private thoughts that I think seem to surface. It’s like eating garlic, everyone knows you ate it. It comes out your pores! We might as well live as is the whole world is watching every move because all our thoughts turn into some type of actions in our lives. I always vision that I am surrounded by light. Am I a saint, by all means no. But I make a great effort to fill my mind, heart, and soul with light daily.

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.”

– Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish Writer

All day long I can talk about being a great Arthur Murray man. I can talk about my walk of faith and my belief in home life. But it is all nothing if my life does not reflect the words I speak. I’m a phony if I am not living up to my words. I heard it said once that our lives are the only scripture that some people will ever read.

“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”

– Sophia Loren (1934- ) Italian Actress

Mistakes, I’ve made a few. I may not be the brightest bulb, but I am a lasting bulb and I try to bring light to everyone with whom I come in contact. I guess that’s why I try so hard; I just finally get it right in the end!

“What ought one to say then as each hardship comes? I was practicing for this, I was training for this.”

– Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD) Greek Philosopher

Let’s prepare for success and weather out the storms of life.

Happy Birthday to me today. I’m 61! October 15 is 41 years with Arthur Murray. It has all been a glorious journey for me. What a blessed life I have!

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