“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.
Whenever you think about great individuals who started from very humble beginnings and achieved extraordinary success, who comes to your mind? For me, Walt Disney springs to my mind first.
Walt Disney was a remarkable creative entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. He was the recipient of 22 Academy Awards and was nominated 59 times for producing iconic cartoons and animated films that we all love and enjoy even today, including Mickey Mouse.
A pioneer of the American animation industry, Disney founded the multi-billion-dollar Walt Disney Company that consists of various associated film production and distribution companies, cable channels, and television stations and networks. He even founded amusement parks for families to enjoy.
Disney’s journey to the top wasn’t as smooth sailing as many people imagine, though. Like many of us, he experienced many challenges along the way and he had to overcome big obstacles to succeed. Here are some facts about Walt Disney that most people don’t know but should.
1. He wasn’t born rich at all.
You might be tempted to think that Walt Disney achieved all he did because he came from a well-off family. He didn’t. For most of his childhood, Disney’s parents had to move the family across different states looking for work and economic security.Advertising
At the age of 19, Disney started drawing cartoons of the creatures from his childhood for sale. But, he got so little money to pay the rent, often being forced to live with friends and go without food.
That Disney rose from this humble background to become a household name is quite inspiring. It demonstrates that you don’t have to be born rich to make your own success.
2. He was told that he “lacked creativity”.
Hard to believe, but Walt Disney – the creative genius behind the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and many other classic cartoon characters – was written off as lacking in creativity and artistry. When Disney pitched newspaper companies to get his cartoons published, they shut him down saying he “lacked artistic integrity,” But, though rejected, he kept going. He did not stop pitching his ideas.
People will criticize and even write you off for pursuing your dreams, but keep going. No one knows you better than you know yourself. No one knows your innermost dreams better than you. Listen to your heart and pursue your dreams relentlessly like Disney. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.
3. He failed many times (apparently more than 300 times).
Most people won’t even put 100 attempts toward their dream let alone fail 300 times. But Walt Disney failed over 300, including the heartbreaking period when his first studio that focused on animation called Laugh-O-Gram went bankrupt and shut down. Each time he failed, he learnt his lesson and tried again. When you believe in your dream as much as Disney did, even repeat failure cannot keep you from ultimate success.Advertising
Rather than focusing on the past, focus instead on the future achievements you want. “When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably,” Disney said.
4. He spent his Saturdays with his two daughters.
Although Walt Disney was an incredibly busy man, he always put family first. And he adored his two daughters, Diane and Sharon Disney. On Saturdays he would always take the girls out for the day, sit and eat peanuts, while watching his girls on the carousel. It was on one such trip that the idea occurred to him that there should be an amusement park for families to enjoy together.
In July 1955, Disney hosted the world premiere of his new amusement park in California, the legendary Disneyland. Disney said on Disneyland’s opening day that he hoped the park will be “a joy and inspiration to all the world.” It did.
5. He labored for seven years just to plan out Disneyland.
Disneyland didn’t just happen overnight. Walt Disney labored long and hard for seven years just to plan out the project. Whereas most people would simply give up after a year or so of trying, Disney was determined to create what he envisioned would be the “happiest place on earth.” Always keep the bigger picture in mind. And be inspired by the greater good for all. As Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
6. He dropped out of high school to pursue his dream—animation.
Although education was extremely important to Walt Disney, which explains why he helped create the California Institute of the Arts, he dropped out of high school to pursue his true passion, animation. Disney decided to only pursue work he loved.
Sometimes we have to weigh our options, circumstances carefully and make bold decisions that will better align us with our truest passion and goals. “A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding,” Disney said. And just because you don’t have a formal education, doesn’t mean you cannot reach your dreams. You can.
7. He worked other jobs to fund his passion.
Disney went through a series of odd jobs, including working a summer job selling snacks and newspapers to travelers at a Kansas City railroad that his uncle worked, becoming an ambulance driver in the army during World War I, and taking up a comic artist job in a local newspaper. Whatever money he made, he directed it back to his main love–animation.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing,” he said. Don’t be afraid of humble beginnings. You have to start from somewhere. Remember, great oaks grow from tiny seeds.
8. He was “scared to death” to introduce Disneyland on television.
Walt Disney admitted to being “scared to death” when he had to face the camera to introduce episodes of the “Disneyland” television series. But, he went through with it anyway. He never quit in the face of fear; he pushed forward despite of it.Advertising
Achievers give it a go even when it scares them. They muster courage to introduce their work to the world and do whatever else it takes to succeed–even if it means going against conformity. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you have to do to make your dreams come true. Just do your best work and keep improving on what your best is every day. You’ll be fine.
9. He almost didn’t finish the studio production of Snow White.
When Walt Disney first started to work on the legendary “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” film, his wife and brother tried to convince him to give it up because of the daunting task it involved. The idea of a technicolor, fully–animated, feature–length film had never been done before. The Snow White project was even dubbed “Disney’s Folly” by industry professionals. And halfway through production Disney ran out of money to continue the work.
Most people in this situation would just quit and get whatever they can out of what’s left. Disney persevered. He traveled around and showed clips of the raw film to producers in hopes of them funding his project. He even mortgaged his own house to raise additional funds to create the film. In the end this hustle was what enabled him to finish the classic Snow White film and save his studio.
Never let challenges and naysayers stop you. Be willing to work hard; to stretch yourself; to experiment with new things and produce the very best you can. The results will be worth it in the end.
10. He reaped the rewards of all his hard work, perseverance and dedication.
Apart from winning worldwide acclaim throughout his career, when the Snow White film finally hit the silver screen in December 21, 1937, it brought in a then unimaginable $8 million in spite of the Depression. That’s approximately $134 million today. The film was hailed as an “authentic masterpiece” by Time magazine. And By the time Walt Disney died in December 15, 1966, at the age of 65, he had epitomized the truth of his own words that, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Last Updated on January 24, 2020
10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful
Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.
Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.
Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:
- The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
- The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
- The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.
Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.
Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.
Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.
That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.
1. Begin Your Day with Meditation
I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.
Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.
Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.
2. Be Grateful for What You Have
Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.
Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,
“I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”
Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?
Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.
Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.
Can you smile again?
4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.
If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.
This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.
Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.
5. Exercise Daily
One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule. He said,
‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’
He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.
6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance
Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.
Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.
So how do you manage your time effectively?
Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;
“I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.
And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:
- Monday – Management
- Tuesdays – Product
- Wednesday – Marketing and growth
- Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
- Fridays – Culture and recruiting
- Saturdays – Taking off
- Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday
No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.
7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions
Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.
Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.
Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,
“What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”
Be intentional about your daily goals!
8. Seek Inspiration
It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.
A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.
Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.
Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,
“The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”
9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence
I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.
However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.
10. Budget and Track Your Spendings
Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,
“A small leak sinks a great ship.”
It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.
Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.
The Bottom Line
Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.
More About Habits
- 16 Everyday Habits of Highly Productive People
- 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away
- 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits
Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com
|||^||James Clear: Gratitude Habit|
|||^||APS: The Psychological Study of Smile|
|||^||NPD: 31 Million U.S. Consumers Skip Breakfast Each Day, Reports NPD|
|||^||Product Hunt: Jack Dorsey’s Comment|
|||^||Forbes: The Jack Dorsey Productivity Secret That Enables Him To Run Two Companies At Once|
|||^||Forbes: The Most Successful People Don’t Set Goals — They Do This Instead|
|||^||CNBC: Author who studies self-made billionaires: 9 things that motivate the ultra-rich to succeed|
|||^||CNBC: A $1,000 emergency would push many Americans into debt|