Even those of us who have never visited Disney Land or Disney World have still likely experienced the contagious joy and playfulness of our inner child, the spirited nature of dreams Walt Disney spent his life celebrating. Walt, himself was famous not only for his creativity and legendary imagination, but for his words of wisdom about the power of dreams, determination, and about setting and following through with goals.
Today, my family and I are fortunate to be visiting one of the Disney complexes, a magical land filled with hope and optimism. And sadly, my six year old is too sick to leave our room to join in on the festivities that go on without us. As she sleeps, I find myself thinking about the hundreds of quotes and memes I have seen stream across social media that are intended to inspire and uplift. Of those, Walt’s quotes are some of the most meaningful of all.
And so I find myself contemplating Walt’s legacy and lessons he objectified, as my six year old daughter rests quietly. I could consider the fact that she is too ill to go to one of the theme parks as a disappointment. I could be discouraged or even irritated that we aren’t joining her sister and her father today at Epcot. Instead, I’m feeling it’s a gift that we are staying here at the resort for the day instead. Don’t get me wrong, I could have done without waking up seventy-five times with her throughout the night to help hold the waste basket while she wretched repeatedly. I know she would rather be greeting her favorite characters and seeing the incredible attractions while her father and I do absolutely everything necessary to avert inevitable mid-day meltdowns. And yet, she’s resting peacefully.
She will likely wake up happy and chipper as can be. She’s probably even dreaming about the magic of the stories and their characters, the rides and the shows she’s experienced, and the wonder of seeing her imagination materialize in real life before her very eyes.
Some people don’t know that Walt was actually a co-founder of what we now know as the Walt Disney Company. His partner and original Disney CEO was, businessman and brother Roy Disney. In fact, Walt sadly died before his dream of a “Disney World” came to fruition. It was his brother Roy who would oversee construction and follow his brother’s dream through with the opening of Walt Disney World in Florida.
So what does this all have to do with goals and writing and #ROW80? Obviously, I could share quote upon quote by Walt Disney about setting goals and following your dreams and so on. Instead, I sit here watching my child sleep as I consider how incredibly simple the original inspiration for this magical celebration of art and imagination was.
While the Disney Company is an unrivaled entertainment and media empire, it is also a reminder to us all about the incredible potential in the simplicity of seeing the world through eyes of a child. Even Walt Disney himself, often reminded loyal fans of how this magical celebration of imagination began.
Sometimes we hesitate to attempt, we refuse to consider possibilities because our dreams seem overly simple. Or perhaps we feel too small in comparison to the enormity of the world to follow through with any idea that is less than epic.
To believe that no idea is too simple, no goal is too small, and no idea is too insignificant is to entertain an ideology our world is in desperate need of. It is within the minds of those of us who share these beliefs that the potential for magic in its purest form can be discovered. We are all slight in comparison to something or another.
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” ~Walt Disney