“After only two months of Disneyland’s initial opening, the one millionth visitor passed through the front gate.” According to me, that meant obvious success. I mean, I haven’t had one million people show up for my events all put together…at least not YET.
“When the media continued to criticize the number of unfinished attractions, Walt Disney responded, ‘Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world.'” -The Imagineering Story
My eyes teared as I watched the documentary. The newspapers tried to tear down his dream, but he fought back with creativity and a new fire behind his vision, and this interesting statement became a driving force behind the success of Disneyland and the future Disney parks. Not only that, but it challenged every future theme park that would come into existence to never hit the wall of “We’ve arrived” and to continually dream bigger.
Walt Disney has always inspirited me to never be content with “I’ve accomplished enough and now it’s okay to just coast.” Now, I know some of you are not Disney fans, but let me add this disclaimer here: I believe God places EVERYTHING in our lives to teach us more about him, and since he was given to me as my first research paper topic, this is who God used to inspire me. Now, I’ll get back to the topic at hand.
Since, Walt was my first research paper topic, his story impacted the trajectory of my life. Since then, I have read numerous books and watched ridiculous amounts of documentaries about him. He lights a fire under me because he had this unquenchable determination. I aspire to be like that.
Walt Disney’s tenacity and unwavering commitment to His dreams has inspired people around the world to dream bigger than their natural human nature is capable, so today, I hope this post challenges you in this: No one will believe in the dreams God has placed in your heart unless you buckle yourself to them so tightly and believe in them so strongly that it becomes contagious enough that people have no other recourse than to believe in your dreams with you.
You will always have naysayers because most people have the faith of a cumquat, and you will always be surrounded by people who want to give you a reality check. I have TONS of those in my life. Those are the people who speak to you what they see with their natural eyes, as if our eyes are disconnected from our brains.
However, faith is looking at things, not according to what our natural eyes tell us, but through the filter of God’s plan, the God who spoke, For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
You see, Reality Goggles are often more like blinders. They can block the greater vision that God has in order to try and protect you from hurt like safety goggles, but God Goggles are more like telescopes. They are not oblivious to what is around us, and sometimes call us to walk through some pretty yucky garbage, but they cast our vision to a greater perspective, and that gives us the strength to keep walking when the garbage gets deep.
We can focus on obstacles, or we can incorporate them into our mission statement: “Our vision will never be complete, and we will never give up as long as there are people who are willing to continue to follow God no matter what. We will ‘keep moving forward’ into all God has for us because ‘If we can dream it, we can do it, and ‘All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’ Because ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible’ along with the God “who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” (Romans 4:17)
God’s vision always focuses on “hope and a future.” It never grieves about mistakes of the past that we cannot change. We can drive off a cliff spending all of our time gazing into the rearview mirror, or we can admit that we are aware of the past in the rearview mirror while driving into our “hope and future” gazing through the windshield of God’s plan for us.
Walt Disney failed 300 times before finally getting financing for his beloved mouse. He lost everything more than once, and even suffered a nervous breakdown, but he NEVER gave up. He had some bounce-back in his spirit that just knew he could do what was placed in his heart, and today, I cannot imagine a world where I never flew on an elephant and where my daughter never walked Main Street at Walt Disney World twirling and pretending to be a princess as a little girl.
I cannot imagine a world where my daughter doesn’t create beautiful artwork of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White inspired by his company.
I don’t even want to imagine a world where my little son didn’t put a fishbowl on his head and yell, “To infinity and beyond,” and I am so grateful that my youngest has gotten to run to and meet the mouse that started it all. His words encouraged me, “Mickey, I want to be like your Walt Disney. Would you like that?”
What would our world be like without the dreamers, the doers, the tenacious? What would our world be like if Walt had simply given up? What will our world be like if you give up on your God-given dream?
Dream big, World-Changer. Dream BIG!