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

 

 

Mistakes 9-4-15

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No 36. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 4, 2015

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
— Sophia Loren (1934-  ) Italian Actress

Ever made a mistake? Ever feel really stupid about it. Every had someone else make you feel small and insignificant over doing something wrong? I think this has happened to us all at some point in time.

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.
— Howard W. Newton

How do you handle it? How is your tact? What do you do when someone catches you in a mistake and they say something?

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I’m a hothead and I have a quick acerbic mouth. It’s not a good thing and gets me into all kinds of trouble. Just because I can speed read you does not mean I should! I have to think before I speak and always take a deep breath before sharing my opinion.

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This I know, I’m going to make mistakes, I just don’t need my big mouth to make things worse. How do I handle mistakes now? Monsignor gave a homily a few years ago. Being a fellow Virgo, he has a quick response and he said he had made a change. When someone came up to him and challenged him, instead of going off, he bowed his head and said “I’m sorry”. He just took another road and had made that a habit in his life.

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I have practiced this for a long time now. When I feel attacked, I bow my head and close my mouth, wait and say “I’m sorry”. You cannot imagine how many times this has turned a conflict into a pleasant conversation and has made me many more friends than enemies. I’m not saying that I’m perfect or that I don’t still go off on people, but that negative approach never gets me too far in life.

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

Perhaps mistakes are ways we check ourselves. Perhaps they protect us from something worse. My great coach, Miss Pat Traymore, always said to me when I got lost driving, “Don’t get upset, you’re being protected from something bad”. I grew to believe in this and now I find that as I am driving, before me a bad accident has happened, and I just missed it. I have been late and have actually seen accidents happen just before me that would have been in had I been on time.

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Someone got mad at me once and said “Ok, just don’t ever do that again”. I could not guarantee that and I became so blocked that I could not do my work without fear of doing something wrong. What is the answer? Practice and do your task over and over and over and learn your craft so perfectly that you best work becomes your natural way of doing things.

Practice will make permanent and that perfect practice will make you happy in all areas of your life. Live without fear and do your best with song in your heart. I use to be a high-powered ballroom teacher and I use to get so upset with my students when they made mistakes. Now after these 40 years, when my student makes a mistake, we both start laughing and we have some much fun, instead of conflict, that we have a hug and move on. Yes, I still teach a good lesson, but this is now a fun lesson as well.

Mistakes, yes, we’re all going to make them. We might as well have some fun along the way and try to not make the same old mistakes over and over, but not live in fear at the same time.

Ballroom dancing changes your concept of what a mistake is. Sometimes when you are dancing, you do a step in an unusual way that is brilliant and you end up with a new, exciting variation. When you are competing, you have your game plan and you are ready to take the floor. Oops, there is another couple in the way. You have to pause, change plans, redirect, change your amalgamation, even dance a new pattern to follow the etiquette of floorcraft. Mistakes often take on a whole new life and become something altogether magical and fresh.

Exercise: Find someone in your life that has “made it” and ask them what the hardest trial they have ever experienced. Ask them what they learned from that trial and how they became better. I guess the fact of life is that we never truly stop learning and growing in our lives. I’m so lucky, God willing, I will be able to dance, teach, perform and stay a ballroom dancer for the rest of my life; always growing, learning, making some mistakes, and striving for perfection in my life.

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury