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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 January 15, 2021

                      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                      The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                      Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                      Posture

                      First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                      • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                      • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                      • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                      • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                      All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                      Facial Expressions

                      Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                      • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                      • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                      • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                      If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                      1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                      A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                      The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                      This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                      2. Relax Your Face

                      New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                      The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                      To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                      3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                      Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                      The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                      To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                      3. Smile More

                      There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                      Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                      4. Hand Gestures

                      Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                      It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                      5. Enhance Your Handshake

                      In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                      “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                      It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                      6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                      As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                      Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                      Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                      Final Takeaways

                      Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                      If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                      More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                      Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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