Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Imagineering Workout ~ Update 11 Choose Optimisum

The Imagineering Workout ~ Update 11

Choose Optimisum

“Attitude, specifically an optimistic, can-do attitude,

gets you started and keeps you going when the going gets tough.”

Gary Landrum

Associate Show Producer, Show Awareness,

Walt Disney Imagineering Florida

At key part of storytelling at Disney is consistent optimism. There is an infectious optimism igniting passions for projects. Walt Disney was an incurable optimist; he imparted an infectious optimism igniting their passion for the project.

“Collect stories about people whose success can fuel yours. Record them in a dedicated journal (they will become a reference for you on days when you need to be encouraged to choose optimism). Include in your stories how the person’s infectious optimism ignites your passion and what you can learn from them. Consider how you can apply optimism to a current project and how it might affect the project’s outcome and those working with you on the project.”

Ok I have friends that say, “I can’t cook. I’m not creative!” I say, “Yes you can!” You can do almost anything you want with a positive attitude but with a negative attitude you will do nothing. It does not matter if it is cooking a meal, writing a book or drawing a picture, a negative thought process will stop you while a positive attitude will help you.

Let me share a couple stories of people that have inspired my husband and me. These people are not related nor do they know each other. One we had the pleasure of talking to several times while on a second honeymoon in Yosemite National Park, Ca. They second is a dear friend we met for the first time at Disneyland.

The first thing you notice about both of them is the smiles they have. Their positive attitude shines through. You can see those smiles from yards away. The second thing you will notice about them both is the wheelchairs they are in.

During our 1990 visit to Yosemite National Park, we noticed Ranger Mark Wellman was moving quickly around the Ranger Station in Yosemite Valley excitedly talking to guests and giving climbing and hiking tips. He would point to this map or that telling people what assents he had made and asking questions to help them find the best hikes/climbs suited to their abilities.

At first I thought Ranger Mark was recently and/or temporally injured then I started to listen closer. I found out he had slipped while climbing and fell 8 years earlier. The fall had left him paralyzed from the waist down. He had climbed El Capitan the year (1989) before and was looking forward to climbing Half Dome the following year (1991). He did climb Half Dome, pulling himself up the steep from of that great rock with just his arms. He is set many records climbing mountains and now is a motivational speaker.

The second is my Tinker Sister, Margo. Margo was born with multiple birth defects. The first time I met her was at Disneyland. We were sitting on a bench waiting for the nightly fireworks. She was sitting several feet in front of us with a friend. She noticed my husband was drawing and came over to see what he was drawing. We started to talk and have been good friends ever since. I know the physical pain Margo faces but you don’t see it in her face. She is thankful for the little things. She hangs onto the memories of kindness shown and she repays each one in kind.

When I feel I can’t do something and feeling pitiful I think of one of these two people. I start thinking well if they can do it so can I.

If you wish to follow along and read the book for yourself here is the information:

The Imagineering Workout

By The Disney Imagineers

ISBN 078685554-1

It is available at

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