Sunday, September 4, 2011

Disney Blue Sky Thinking and Dreaming

       A couple of nights ago I watched a biography of Walt Disney. What an amazing show it was! This got me to thinking. Why was Walt able to do what he did. What did he have that others around him did not.
As a young boy his parents taught him the value of a job well done. When very young he helped support his family by selling newspapers for his dad’s business. He learned that to succeed you needed to work hard.
When others told Walt Disney that he should just stay working for others doing artwork for them Walt struck out on his own. When he failed he and could not complete projects due to financial issues and had to declare bankruptcy he was not down for long. He learned to believe that sometimes the best thing in life was a good kick in the teeth because it taught you to get back up and keep going. He had two studios fail before starting the Disney Brother’s Studio (that became the Walt Disney and then just Disney Studio.)
Walt had support. He had the support of his brother and other family members along with friends. His parents encouraged his dreams and when he was young allowed him to use the family barn as a stage. His elder brother listened to Walt’s ideas and even after watching the ideas financially fail he looked for ways to finance dreams. Roy saw beyond the pie in the sky thinking to the truth of the value and quality of what Walt had in mind. Walt did not mind constructive critiques nor was he afraid to give them. He did not like yes men that told him a bad idea was good.
This made me think about my life. I wish I had people like that in my life when I was younger. (I have two major supporters right now. You know who you are. Thank you for every word and gesture of encouragement!) If someone had just said, “Yes, you can do that what a great idea!” and added words of constructive criticism instead of, “Well that is a nice thought but you can’t do that. You don’t have the money (talent, recourses, ability, smarts add an adjective.) to make it work” Even writing this blog I’ve been told I can’t. “You can’t write/communicate well. You don’t have anything important to say so why do it. It’s a waste of time you should do something that makes money. No matter how well it is written nobody will be interested.” Thankfully these detractors are in the minority and the supporters are the people who mean the most to me.
I continued to think. Who have I hindered and who have I helped? Do I at least speak supportive words when people are being creative or do I detract and keep someone from trying as others have stopped me. To be honest I’ve done my share of negative speaking but I hope and pray that the majority of my words have been of encouragement. That is and has always been my goal in life.
For those who I’ve discouraged, I’m truly sorry. That has never been my goal. I have attempted to give constructive criticism mixed with encouragement. For those I’ve encouraged, keep moving forward! If what you are doing is not working try something else. If what you are doing is working plus it and make it even better.
My husband is a great example of how encouragement works. My husband is ADHD and in High School was told by his guidance counselor, “You will only be good for pushing a broom and picking up trash. You must take a janitorial arts class to graduate and the school district will guarantee you a job as a janitor after graduation.” This kick in the teeth along with the positive support of his parents spurred him on. My husband completed the janitorial arts class as required and then went onto college for Respiratory Therapy. Only a third of the class completed the course to pass and became respiratory therapists. He is one of the most creative people in and out of his field of study I’ve ever known. When he passed his state boards with a score above 90% he went in with the results and slapped it on the guidance counselor’s desk and said, “Do you remember me? Do you remember you said I would be nothing? You are lucky this is not a law suit.” and walked off.
Let me tell you a little about my daughter. She is extremely smart. She taught herself to read when she was two years old. I know what you are thinking I’m bragging and that every parent says their child is smart. I’ll be honest I was not the first to say it nor am I the only person who says it. My daughter comes up with the wildest ideas. She has fantastic story ideas and can sit for hours telling you the basic outline of a book she wants to write. She has the beginning, middle and end scripted. Often it is not just a book but a movie idea she has. She can see a scene from her story in full color in her head and can describe ever move the actors would make. Her descriptions are so detailed if you close your eyes she will paint a picture of it in your mind. These are fantastic ideas that I would love to see her do. My attempt is to give constructive criticism not to change but give ideas that she as a teenager may not think of.
As a parent I want her to think about a job for the future that is stable and secure. As a fellow dreamer I want to say put the common place work aside and hang tight to these dreams and follow them. In the end I say, “Go for it! Write that book or movie script! But, have a day job to pay the bills until you finish it and your dream can pay the bills for you. Surround yourself with supportive people that will tell you the truth about your ideas good and bad.” I know for sure if she has supportive people in her life she will succeed and make her dreams come true. You will see her name in book stores and in the credits of movies/plays.
Now that I’ve got this rant out of my system I want you to think. What dreams do you have that you have never stopped dreaming. Thing about how can you reach that goal and surround yourself with people that will support you. Also thing about who have you supported and how can you support them more. Who have you discouraged and how can you apologize for that and/or how can you encourage them now.
Now go out and dream those dreams and create those wonderful Blue Sky ideas and bring them to completion.

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