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Walt Disney Lessons: 10 Magical Ways To Make Your Dreams Come True

Walt Disney Lessons: 10 Magical Ways To Make Your Dreams Come True

Walt Disney was a showman. According to Time, he “received received more Academy Awards and nominations than any other person in history.” The Disneyland theme parks are truly magical kingdoms, for adults, as well as for children.

Here are some Walt Disney lessons in making your dreams come true, courtesy of the master of imagination, dreaming, and achievement himself.

1. Dream Big.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

– Walt Disney

Dream big

    What if money, time, looks, and gender were no object? What would your biggest dream be? Often we short-change ourselves. We listen to others’ put-downs, and internalize them. It’s hard to remember our dreams. Harder still, to imagine that we could achieve a dream. Take Walt Disney’s words to heart. Start dreaming. Then believe that you can achieve your dream.

    2. Be Courageous.

    “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

    – Walt Disney

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    Courage

      It takes courage to step outside your comfort zone. However, achieving your dreams always means that you’re doing things you’ve never done before. Practice being courageous. Today, do something you haven’t done before. Propose a new project to your boss. Send your crush some flowers. Being courageous doesn’t mean that you’re unafraid. It means acting in spite of your fear.

      3. Be Yourself.

      “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”

      – Walt Disney

      Be yourself

        We all wear masks. We try to be what we think people want us to be. We try to emulate role models. What if you were just yourself? Discovering who you are underneath all the masks is challenging. It’s hard to be authentic if you’re not sure who you are. Just for today, do what pleases you. Say what you mean, rather than saying what you think someone wants to hear. However, be appropriate—being “like yourself” isn’t a license to be outrageous, or to say hurtful things.

        4. Stop Talking. Start Doing.

        “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

        – Walt Disney

        Doing

          You’re dreaming big. You’re inspired. You tell everyone about your dream. Stop! Keep it to yourself. Work quietly towards your dream. You don’t need validation from anyone, nor do you need permission. Be authentic, and do something today, which will help you to achieve your dream.

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          5. Embrace Competition.

          “I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

          – Walt Disney

          competition

            Competition is essential to help you to achieve your dreams. If there were no competition, you’d have nothing against which to measure yourself. Competition makes you better and stronger than you might otherwise be. In business, competition fosters innovation. If you’re uncomfortable with competition, or envious of competitors, ask yourself why. Then do the best you can.

            6. Go and Get What You Want. Don’t Wait.

            “Cinderella believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn’t come along, she went over to the palace and got him.”

            – Walt Disney

            Act

              Forget wishing. No one is handed his dreams for free. You have to fight to achieve a dream. Expect to struggle. Ask yourself what price you’re will to pay—dreams always have a price. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Setting goals, making plans, and working toward your dream is wonderful. Enjoy the journey. When you’ve achieved a long-held dream, you find that while you appreciate the achievement, the memories of the journey are what make you smile.

              7. Do Your Best Work. Don’t Worry About Money.

              “Do a good job. You don’t have to worry about the money; it will take care of itself. Just do your best work—then try to trump it.”

              – Walt Disney

              Do your best

                You’re poor. You can’t afford to take time off to get another degree so you can get a better job. The answer is to do the best you can, right where you are, and cling onto your dream. Life will give you what you want, when you least expect it: do your best work, every day. Then better your best. As Walt Disney says, “you don’t have to worry about the money.” Results will come.

                8. Don’t Quit.

                “The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.”

                – Walt Disney

                Don't quit

                  You can’t succeed at anything without failing, and failing a lot. Failure is the way we learn. Here’s what Thomas Edison said: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” Everyone fails his way to success. Look on your failures as speed bumps in your success journey, and keep going. Don’t quit.

                  9. Be Grateful.

                  “The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.”

                  – Walt Disney

                  grateful

                    What are you grateful for? We all have endless reasons to be grateful. What do you take for granted? Chances are that you’re blasé about your health, your comfortable home, your loving family, and about your job. Even if you have none of those things, you can be grateful for being alive. Studies have shown that gratitude improves your health, your relationships, and makes you happier.

                    10. Do Your Best.

                    “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it better.”

                    – Walt Disney

                    Why worry

                      Worry is anticipation; worry can help you to improve and do your best. However, once something is done, distract yourself from concern about the results. If you’ve gone through three interviews for a job, there’s nothing else you can do. Worrying about whether you get the job is pointless at that stage. Only worry when it serves a useful purpose.

                      So, there you have ten Walt Disney lessons. Apply them to your life. They’ll help you to make your dreams come true.

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                      Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                      8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                      8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                      How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

                      Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

                      When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

                      Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

                      What Makes People Poor Listeners?

                      Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

                      1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

                      Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

                      Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

                      It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

                      2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

                      This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

                      Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

                      3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

                      It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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                      I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

                      If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

                      4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

                      While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

                      To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

                      My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

                      Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

                      Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

                      How To Be a Better Listener

                      For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

                      1. Pay Attention

                      A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

                      According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

                      As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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                      I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

                      2. Use Positive Body Language

                      You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

                      A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

                      People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

                      But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

                      According to Alan Gurney,[2]

                      “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

                      Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

                      3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

                      I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

                      Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

                      Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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                      Be polite and wait your turn!

                      4. Ask Questions

                      Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

                      5. Just Listen

                      This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

                      I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

                      I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

                      6. Remember and Follow Up

                      Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

                      For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

                      According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

                      It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

                      7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

                      If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

                      Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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                      Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

                      Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

                      NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

                      1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
                      2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

                      8. Maintain Eye Contact

                      When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

                      Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

                      By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

                      You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

                      And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

                      More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
                      [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
                      [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
                      [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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