No 25. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, June 19, 2015
Make Up Your Mind
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work
hard at work worth doing.
— Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th President of the United States
Imagine walking up to Joshua Bell, famous violinist, and say “You are working too hard. Slow down and enjoy life a bit. Don’t practice so much”. Or saying to an Olympic marathoner, swimmer, sprinter, weight lifter “Slow down, you’re going to burn out!”. Would you tell a great brain surgeon “I bet you regret all those 24 hour shifts as an intern”. Would you have gone up to the Golden State Warriors and said “Hey guys, slow down and relax. Don’t take this so seriously”.
I don’t think that any of us would ever say these things to any of the great conductors, composers, athletes, physicians, leaders, mentors, or any champion of today. We know that no greatness is ever achieved without sacrifice and passion and commitment and a 100% focus on the plan and goal we have ahead of us.
You sort of come face to face with your own values at some point,
where you can walk away or do something about it.
— Scott Neeson, who left the presidency of Sony Pictures to found a nonprofit helping very poor children in Cambodia
Someone recently told me that their goal was too hard, took too much time, and was not what they wanted. My heart sank. I can only thank God for what I am learning every day in my life and for the great opportunities that are coming my way, moment by moment. Yes the road is long, and sometimes hard, but the good times are precious and the rewards are priceless. I welcome the many, many lessons that I am learning today and the opportunities I am given to grow daily.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.– Sir Douglas Bader was a British fighter pilot who lost both legs in a flying accident, but still fought in World War Two. He was knighted for his work with the disabled, and the quote above is from his talk to a 14-year-old boy who had lost a leg in a car accident.
The great ballroom dancers of today will tell you the secrets of their success. First, they love to dance. Second, they love to PRACTICE. As Christy Melgoza says, “Practice makes permanent”, and that’s the truth. Champions have an incredible work ethic and great discipline. They do not give up. They take defeats in stride and are stronger as they continue to improve.
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
When we go to a concert and hear the great singers of the world, we never think of the road that got them to that stage. The countless hours of practice, the rejection they have experienced in competitions. The many auditions. The successes, the failures. The rough times. We just purchase our tickets and enjoy the magic that they deliver to their audiences.
It is right to be content with what we have, never with what we are.
— James Mackintosh (1765-1832) Scottish Statesman, Historian
I don’t think I’m ‘there’ in my life yet. So much character building left, so much to learn, so much to experience, so many more leaders and mentors to learn from. Then, I have my dreams as a leader, franchisee, writer, speaker, motivator, friend, husband, team member, and passions to be all that I can be in my life.
Make up your mind, live in greatness and don’t be afraid of a little hard work. See you in the winner’s circle!