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Derek Hough Quotes

Derek Bruce Hough

Derek Hough quotes: damn-fine advice from the pro dancer.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

“There is success in every step you take. When you take pride in every accomplishment—no matter how small—you create momentum and it builds to bigger and better things.”

“Every moment in your life should be meaningful; each one should have a takeaway lesson.”

“The truth shall set you free. Be honest about what you want, what you need, and what you’re capable of. Tune out the negative voices in your head that hold you back. Change your mind, change yourself.”

“That’s what life is about. Basically, you get out what you put in to any situation. If you’re lazy, cynical, negative… it’s going to show in anything you do. But if you focus, prepare, give 110%, you’re a winner no matter what the outcome. Any area of your life that you give attention to—career, relationships, health—will be better. I’m not saying that we should all go out there and become workaholics. I’m saying that you should commit yourself fully; give your whole self to the effort. You can’t blame others for your circumstances or your failures. When you ask yourself, ‘What am I prepared to do?’ the answer should always be, ‘Whatever it takes.'”

“The only thing certain in life is uncertainty. When you’re fearful of the unknown, what you’re really unsure of is your ability to create your own life. Replace that fear with curiosity: what success or great outcome could come from this? What can I learn about myself that will help me reach my goals? It comes from not knowing what the experience will be like. Once you feel it and live it, that crippling fear vanishes. But you have to trust yourself: you have to take that first step.”

“Pressure doesn’t exist. We create it for ourselves.”

“Let’s create, not destroy. Let’s believe and not doubt.”

“There is a tremendous rush in defying your fears—staring them down and daring them to mess with you. I understand now that nothing amazing is ever accomplished without fear. It’s a sign that you’re on the road to experiencing greatness.”

“Use your fears; don’t let them direct or define you. Fear sends your brain a message that it’s time to make a decision. Don’t give fear any more power than it already has. ‘Danger is real, but fear is a choice.’ Why is one person afraid of something and another person isn’t? We’re all humans, but we’ve all had different experiences and therefore we have different associations. It’s personal. The possibility of freedom exists wherever fear lies. When you realize that it’s you who is creating this fear, the fear loses its ability to control you.”

“Visualize a purpose and an outcome. If you picture a positive result, it trains your brain to look for the resources that will help you achieve it. Seeing what you want stimulates your creativity and strengthens your confidence. This is more than just daydreaming. It’s eliminating the self-doubt and negativity that can deter you, and putting in place a plan that will lead you on your desired path. And once you know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s much easier to face the dark.”

“It’s good to have goals for the future and it’s good to learn from the past, but life is happening now. You cannot let it rush by you unseized or unacknowledged. You have to make a real, conscious effort to be in the present and not let your thoughts drift to other places and times. Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for specific tasks, and when the task is completed, you lay it down.”

“Excuses hold you back. Excuses keep you from doing what needs to be done and from living your truth. We tend to make excuses when things don’t go according to our original plans. Or we blame something or someone else for our mistakes. You can also make excuses for the things you don’t do—why you haven’t left a job you hate, followed your dream, or taken a risk. In the end, all those excuses add up to the same thing: a smoke screen. When you make an excuse, you’re rejecting the truth and trying to buffer yourself from the consequences of your actions.”

“Excuses will always get in the way of a responsible life.”

“You always have the power of choice. Externally, things may be out of your control. But one thing you can always control and master is your inner control: how you perceive the situation, how you filter it. There’s a tremendous freedom in taking leadership of how you perceive things. An obstacle is only an obstacle if that’s how you look at it. We make choices every day, and when you choose not to choose you are also making a choice. As soon as you make the conscious decision to be happy or successful, the universe moves to get you there. You can choose what impacts you.”

“You can choose what scares you. You can choose to be confident, loved, or damaged. You can choose to let something define you or nothing define you. You can’t change the cards you were dealt, but you can always choose how you play your hand.”

“If you can control your mind, you can control your life. So in moments when you’re feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmed (you fill in the blank here!), that’s when you have to let the warrior out. Inside each of us is an abundant reserve of strength, determination, and courage. All you have to do is let it loose.”

“Vulnerability does not take away your strength.”

“I think what doesn’t kill you makes you a better human being. It opens your eyes, your heart, and your mind.”

“It’s the failures that make us winners. Failure shows you what’s possible. It makes your desire burn hotter. It builds courage, and in the end, it makes the win that much sweeter. I would rather fail at something than regret never trying. Leaders think of failures as experiments, showing them what works and what doesn’t and how to fix things.”

“We live in a world where failure is thought of as something negative: no one likes the idea of screwing up. But what if you could change that? What if you could see failure as a positive? What if you could embrace failure as part of the process necessary to get what you want? Suddenly, the fear of it disappears. I never went into any competition wanting to fail (just the opposite), but after racking up my share of disappointments, I learned that I could deal with it. It hurt and pissed me off at the time, but now I see the value in it. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those failures notched on my belt.”

“Failure can’t live in the company of perseverance. Failure eventually surrenders. You always have to keep on moving forward and having faith. Think of the greatest leaders we know. What do they all have in common? They all fought some uphill battle to get where they are. Call it tenacity, persistence, or plain old stubbornness. When someone or something tries to push me off my path, that’s when I dig my heels in even harder. I’ll be honest: in some areas of my life, I have this mastered. In others, I need a little reminder now and then. There’s nothing you can’t do if you see it through.”

“You have to put yourself in an environment or a situation where you have no choice but to overcome it—or it will overcome you.”

“Pounce on an opportunity—even if you think you’re not ready. You have to just go out there and live it; that’s when it will all make sense and come together. You can’t prepare yourself for the actual in-the-moment experience. Leaders take that leap. You can’t let insecurity hold you back. The walls that protect you are also the walls that imprison you.”

“There may never be a right time or a right place to take a risk. The right time is right now. You have to have confidence in who you are and what you want. You have to seize the opportunity.”

“Surround yourself with positive influences. When I think about the times I’ve excelled the most in my life, I was always around people who were like-minded and pushed me in a positive way. In order for a plant to grow it needs to be in the right environment and it needs nourishment. If you’re not growing, you’re dying! So be aware and cautious of your surroundings. Is this the right place for me to grow? You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your peers. Love your crazy siblings and parents, but don’t hang with people who try to distract you and pull you from your path.”

“For me, a dream partner is someone who is willing to learn and to put their trust in me.”

“Great leaders are great simplifiers. They can cut through the doubt and despair so the solution becomes clear. It may not be instantaneous, but it will be there. Every challenge can be faced in dozens of ways. Sometimes the situation changes, or sometimes you change the way you see the situation. Part of our human condition is that we feel that we have to suffer in order to solve a problem. It doesn’t have to be this way. Sometimes surrender is freedom.”

“There’s no point in pointing a finger. Leaders don’t shirk responsibility. They accept it, even if they’re not at fault, because they know how much can be learned in the process. We’re all human; we all make mistakes. What if instead of assigning the blame for something that went wrong, you accept the responsibility for what you can do to make it right?”

“A leader is simply honest about what he or she needs, wants and feels. This demonstrates self-confidence, self-respect and dignity. Not being honest shows passiveness, fear and insecurity. When someone puts you down or walks all over you, don’t lie there and act like a doormat. Stand up for yourself. And don’t expect people to read your mind. Being assertive requires communication—so it actually improves the quality of your relationships.”

“You can be a nice person without compromising yourself. As a leader, you need to live your life on your own terms without asking people’s permission to do so.”

“Leaders own what they do.”

“Flexibility is something all leaders need in their tool belt—the ability to roll with things, to shift gears, to approach something in a new and different way. The only thing certain in life is that life isn’t certain. Leaders know this, expect it, and change their hearts and heads to adapt to the situation.”

“Never be the best in the room. The champions in life—in every field of endeavor—feel the constant challenge to take the content up a notch. Champions know that if we are not stretching and pushing ourselves to our ultimate capacity and potential as human beings, someone else, somewhere else, is.”

“Be real. In work as in life, when you commit to a partner, you need to be willing to be personally vulnerable if you expect them to do the same with you. Letting down your guard isn’t easy; it means revealing who you really are, your authentic self. For me, it has been the only way to make my partners feel the trust that’s necessary to help them open up to conquering their fears. And in becoming vulnerable with others, I’ve learned many things about myself. Asking for help or admitting you’re lost or overwhelmed doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re strong enough to allow your true self to be seen. Opening up to someone is the ultimate act of courage and faith.”

“The superior human being will always see the light in someone and choose to encourage that light instead of dimming it.”

“I’m an overthinker. Many of us are. My mind gets racing a thousand miles a minute and I get anxious about my work, my career, or where I need to be in 30 minutes. Every day I need to shut down this machine and simply be still. Be aware of your breathing, really feel your breath going in, going out. Be aware of the feeling of the cloth on your shirt. Be aware of the grip on the steering wheel. Tell yourself, out loud, that the only thing that truly exists right now is this exact moment, and enjoy it, swim in it. Someone once said that your mind is like a raging river that’s full of debris, and when you’re floating in this river, you reach out and try to grab the branches and rocks. But what if you could climb onto the bank and watch the river? Suddenly you’re in a calm place.”

“Maybe it sounds like a cliché to say, ‘Stop and smell the roses,’ so I’ll tell you this instead: ‘Stop and watch the sunset.'”

“Get moving. People are often scared of the word exercise. We associate the word with pain, and we think of it as a chore. (And it can be—who likes going to the gym at 6 AM?) If that’s how you’re thinking, then you need to change your psychology. I don’t think of my body in terms of exercise; I think in terms of movement. Look at the actual word—I see it as ‘meant to move.’ As human beings, going back to the beginning of civilization, we’ve had to move to survive. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s easy to forget: your body is connected to your mind and spirit.”

“The body is the vehicle that can help you reach your dreams. Keeping it moving, strong, and healthy paves the way to overall well-being. You can’t say you love yourself when you abuse yourself physically, and by not using your body, you’re abusing it. Your body wants to move; your body was created to move. You have to feed that. When you’re feeling miserable, your body is telling you to get on your feet. Moving makes you feel good. It helps you slay the demon of procrastination that lurks in the shadow of every human being. Most of us sleepwalk through life because we’re waiting for the perfect time, the perfect place, and the perfect opportunity to improve ourselves. Stop waiting. Start moving and keep moving.”

“Inertia is a real thing. Momentum will build. When you do something often enough it becomes a ritual, like going to church or brushing your teeth. You will eventually recondition your body to crave working out and eating the right foods. The circuitry can be rewired. There’s the trigger, the process, and the reward. The key is to get it to the point where it’s such a habit, you want to do it.”

“I always want to be the best at what I do. That doesn’t mean compared to other people, but just in what you do.”

“I enjoy being a student and learning. I don’t think you should ever stop being a student. That’s where the most creative ideas come from. Teaching is a blessing as well because I get to share what I’ve learned and my passion for creative movement with people.”

“Life is truly a series of transitions, from one season to another, from one phase to another.”

“There’s this great line in the song ‘Corner of the Sky’: ‘Don’t you see I want my life to be something more than long?’ I can relate. I want to leave my footprint on this world in a positive, meaningful way.”

“I began to look at my experiences as life lessons. What could they teach me? What was the purpose of my pain and suffering if not to make me a better, stronger person who is more equipped to lead? You know the old saying ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ I think it’s more than that. I think what doesn’t kill you makes you wiser and a better human being. It opens your eyes, your heart, and your mind. You may not have control over everything that happens to you in your life externally, but you always have some control over what’s going on internally—how you handle your life experiences and what you take away from them.”

“You didn’t earn your heart; you didn’t pay for it. It was given to you as a gift. So take advantage of it, enjoy it, and treat yourself the best way possible. A lot of us are just getting through or managing. Raise your standards. Grow, progress, push yourself, and in turn you will love yourself more. And when you love yourself more, you can love others.”

“Live in a state of gratitude. Gratitude reminds us to not give up, to have a positive attitude, and to open our hearts.”

“Soak up every second of this life that is given to you.”

Cory Johnson: semi-professional playlist maker. Energy drink drinker. Could spot a hotspot with his eyes closed. Worth $11 million. Doubts you’ll become a millionaire, but peep this if you’re feelin’ froggy.