No 13 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, March 31, 2017
“Be a Part of the Winning Team!”
“What do the right people want more than almost anything else? They want to be part of a winning team. They want to contribute to producing visible, tangible results. They want to feel the excitement of being involved in something that just flat out works.” – Jim Collins
We are so very quick today with social media to label someone as a “Loser or Legend” without always knowing all the facts. In 1951, Rookie Willie Mays got one hit in his first 26 at bats. But then things picked up. He would go on to win rookie of the year and become one of the year and become one of the legends of baseball, once hitting 4 home runs in a single game.
Sometimes it just takes a while to reach your full potential. I have asked thousands of times in my life “What is success?” and I have come up with many, many answers. When I see anyone over 60, I think that they are a success. 70 I think they are amazing and 80 and over they are heroes to me. I don’t care how much money they have, how big of a house they own, or their 401K amount. I am just amazed to see them in good health, happy, usually dancing, and loving life.
Over so many years of seeing older students come into Arthur Murray, and seeing their lives change, has made me a lifelong believer in the benefits of dancing. The sad truth is that many older students who dance, are never seen by their kids who are themselves in their 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s. The kids cannot wrap their minds around the fact that their elderly parent is competing in an exciting ballroom dance competition, dressed in the most beautiful outfits, surrounded by many friends, professional dancers, and the great Arthur Murray Family. The kids of the older dancers are shocked to see their “old” parent taking the dance floor looking glamorous, being cheered on by hundreds of friends that they, the children themselves, have never met or seen.
They see their parents winning awards and truly look amazing on the dance floor and witness their lives being transformed through the magic of dance. Sometimes, this transformation of the senior parent has been the catalyst for the older child themselves to start dancing and sharing the lifetime benefits of dancing and competing.
“We will all experience disappointments and crushing events somewhere along the way, setbacks for which there is no “reason”; no one to blame. It might be a disease; it might be injury; it might be an accident; it might be losing a loved one; it might be getting swept away in a political shake up; it might be getting shot down over Vietnam and thrown into a POW camp for 8 years. What separates people, James Stockdale taught me, is not the presence or absence of difficulties, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.” – Jim Collins (1958) American business consultant
A winner does learn how to deal with the daily trials of life. I’m almost 61 and I’m still trying to figure this out. Somehow I think that just getting up, getting dressed and serving another day, day after day, makes me a hero. We will, we must, we shall go on with our daily lives making a difference in the world.
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”- James Stockdale (1923 – 2005) American Naval Officer and Prisoner of War
This quote is very important because it is easy to get confused in the middle of a brutal current reality. Yes, we must have faith that we will make it in the end, yet we must carry on in the current moment with discipline so that we do not give up in the present moment. Sometimes, I find that I get swept up in the current storm of life and lose my focus. This is a dangerous moment because despair may enter in and hope may flee my thoughts.  Then, as I maintain my discipline, it does get better. I don’t know how, but I continue on bravely with my daily life, and it gets better.
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”- Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888 – 1935) British author, archaeologist, military officer, and diplomat.
Be a dreamer of the day. Act on your dreams with your eyes open. Never be a prisoner of your past, it was just a lesson, not a life sentence. Thank you for being a part of the winning team and for taking others with you on your path to success.
Thank you for reading!
David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!