Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was a film producer, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, international icon, and philanthropist.
Walt is well-known for his influence in the entertainment industry during the twentieth century. Walt co-founded Walt Disney Productions with his brother Roy O. Disney and became one of the most famous motion picture producers of all time.
The company that he co-founded is now known as “The Walt Disney Company” and has annual revenues of approximately $35 Billion (US).
Walt and members of his staff created a number of the world’s most famous fictional characters. This includes Mickey Mouse, whose original voice was Walt himself.
Walt has won 26 Academy Awards and he has earned 59 nominations; he has more awards and nominations than any other individual. Additionally, Walt has won seven Emmy Awards, and he is the namesake for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the United States, China, Japan, and France.
Clearly there is a ton to learn from Walt Disney. Let’s take a look at 7 Life-Changing Lessons from Walt Disney:
- Keep Things in Perspective
“A man should never neglect his family for business.”
Your family is your first business, and they should never be neglected in pursuit of “a dream.” Your family must be part of your dream, and should remain within your focus. Never become so consumed in business affairs that you neglect the individuals whom you need most.
- Competition is Good
“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”
Competition makes you stronger, it makes you better, it keeps you on your toes. Never shrink away from competition; never fail to see the value of competition. Your competitors can provide you with more value than your friends. Learn from the competition, and you will grow.
It’s critical that you embrace competition as well as adversity, Walt Disney said, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
- Do What You Love
“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”
You must follow your passion, if you’re doing it just for the money, it probably won’t last. Passion is what gives you the strength to overcome the obstacles associated with every dream. Passion is what keeps you going when everyone else is tired…money can’t do that for you, only passion; passion is power.
- Do the Impossible
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Life is too short to spend it doing the possible. Learn to pursue the impossible, pursue what others say can’t be done, pursue what has never been done before, pursue your dreams, and turn them into a reality.
You must believe in the beauty of your dreams. Walt said, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” If you’re going to believe, you might as well believe all the way.
- Action Always Trumps Inaction
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
I always say that “well done” is better than “well said,” so quit talking and start doing! Quit planning and start practicing; a plan is good, a good plan is even better, but if that plan doesn’t get put into action it’s as useless as a four fingered glove. Learn to get into action, start today, whatever you’ve been postponing …just do it. If you wait for the perfect time, you’ll never accomplish anything.
- It Takes a Village
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
Isaiah wrote, “Without a vision, the people perish.” But I think it’s worth noting that without people, the vision will perish. Never forget that you need people; never forget that your life is about serving others. When you serve others, you serve yourself.
- Get Better Daily
“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.”
Everyday you should become a little better than you were the day before. If you can become one percent better daily, you can recreate your life every 100 days. Learn to get better daily; look for ways to improve, to be kinder, more intelligent, and more helpful.
Let us remember that Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”