Sunday, January 10, 2010

When You Wish Upon A Star

This past week, we took a family vacation to Disney World. It was very cold but we still really enjoyed our time together and of course, visiting with Mickey and the gang. Disney truly is a magical place filled with the energy of dreams and possibilities. To think it all started with a mouse.

That thought keep going through my mind as we visited each of the parks. I've been to Disney before but it never struck me until now what an incredible individual Walt Disney truly was. Perhaps it was having older children now and not having to strategize for the next character greeting that allowed me to relax and really take in what Disney is all about.

Walt Disney had a dream and that dream did begin with a little character named Mickey Mouse but that dream didn't end there. He had a vision for so much more and lived everyday to make that vision come to life. When you look back on his life, it was by no means absent of criticism or judgment. What would stop many of us in our tracks he found the courage to press through. He never let fear stand in his way. He embraced his dreams with an enormous amount of energy and spirit that we should all aspire to and lived his life remaining true to his passion. Imagine if he surrendered his dreams to the person who told him a cartoon about a rodent would never make it, his animated feature film, "Snow White" had no place in the movies or gave into the critics when he bought swamp land in Florida to build a theme park. In fact, Snow White was dubbed "Disney's Folly" because the movie studios were certain it would be a failure.

He always moved forward despite what others thought, trusting his instincts and believing in his dreams to the fullest. He saw possibilities where others didn't. That was the secret to his success and I am awed by what he accomplished in his lifetime taking a no excuses approach to realize his vision. Disney showed us how believing in yourself and your dreams with an unwavering faith can accomplish what others deem impossible. I left Disney World this time with something more precious that I could have found in any of their gift shops. I left with a renewed appreciation of what living your passion is really all about.

In creating Disney World, I think Walt Disney wanted to give us glimpse into his world. How he thought and the magic and energy he saw in the world around him. He envisioned a place where people could be inspired to dream, believe in fairytales and make wishes come true. I wonder if he hoped we would take a bit of that magic home with us and carry it forward into our own lives. If that was part of his dream, he did succeed with me. Disney left a legacy that is magical and I'm truly grateful for that.

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