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No 35. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 28, 2015
Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.
— Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) American Publisher
Have you ever chatted with a dance champion? I have. In fact, I have many close friends who are and were dance champions. I once asked Bob Powers how he did it. He said that he imagined that every time he took the dance floor for a competition, that everyone watching purchased a ticket just to see HIM! What a great and confident answer! I never forgot his reply.
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I remember once Bob went to emergency 4 days before once again winning the United Stated Ballroom Championship, once again. Once day he was flat on his back at the hospital, the next few days he was a US Champion again. How did Bob do it? He was a true professional, and he had Julia there as his power house of strength and talent! You’ll never get to the top without experiencing some defeat. You might lose now and then, but eventually you’ll be in the winner’s circle if you keep on trying with dogged determination.
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Sometimes even the best dancer wants to give up. Perhaps things have not gone well with you. Your partnership is in trouble. You have lost your focus. You can’t remember your dream. You have despair. But don’t give up. There is hope.
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So great has been the endurance, so incredible the achievement, that,
as long as the sun keeps a set course in heaven, it would be foolish
to despair of the human race.
— Ernest L. Woodward
Only now in my life do I truly appreciate the successes I have. I am so full of gratitude for the wonderful opportunities that are with me and before me. Opportunities to grow, stretch, learn, serve, and change lives. Perhaps each victor is so much sweeter to me now after I have risen up from so many personal defeats. The victories in my life are precious, and they are strong, and they have made me the person I am today.
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Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within.
— Steven H. Coogler
Respect yourself. If you do, others around you will respect you as well. Learn to roll with the punches and know that the bad times will pass, and the good times will be precious. Don’t let a few discouraging moments ruin your big dream.
You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
— Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish Writer
When I meet a couple that has been married for many, many decades, I always ask them what is their secret. They love to stop, think, and share the golden nugget of knowledge with me. Meeting a very successful woman or man, I always ask them, what is the number one key to your success? They also stop, think, and share some of the magic that took them to the top. It always included overcoming adversity in their lives and not letting the hard times get them down.
I never wanted my life to be easy, and I got my wish. I do have struggles with those around me who have not made the ultimate commitment as I think I have made. On the other hand, I am often convicted by those around me whose level of commitment dwarfs mine and I sometimes envy their successes. Putting all this aside, I decide to be grateful for my life and live a life of gratitude. If I started listing off the great things in my life, I could not stop writing and writing the many blessings that come to my mind.
Confession, I do get tired from some of the trials in my life. I have trouble with people who cannot make up their minds. With people who let others do most of the work in life for them. With others who are in a fog and cannot break free and “need a while” to get it together. Then, I realize that I’m seeing my own faults projected onto others. I realized that all the things I see in others that bother me, are the faults that I have in my own life. Now you know why I said this was a confession.
In the book of Job, after losing all his possessions, wealth, and family, Job said “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me”. I often think, why did he fear losing it all? After God tested Job to see if he would turn his heart from God, Job found that he was self righteous and that he needed to be humbled. Then, God gave Job back everything he had two fold.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and recognize the great things in your life. Exercise for you: Find a champion and ask them how they did it. Ask them what was the hardest part of getting to the top. Ask them their number one trial and their best victory. Ask, listen, learn, then live a life of realizing you dreams, even if the way is hard and the road is long. You’ll have many moments of glory along the way and they will be precious to you.
Keep on Dancing!
David Woodbury