Have you ever been to Disneyland in California or Disney World in Florida? Most people have been to one of those amusement parks or they have a family member or neighbor who has been there on vacation. It is an amazing experience!
Walt Disney had incredible vision. Oddly enough he got his original idea for his amusement park from spending time with his 2 daughters on Saturdays while he gave his wife a break from being a mom all week. He could not find anywhere to take them to have some fun with them or create a memory with them. The challenge which began as a way to help someone else is the process that started the entire Disney endeavor! It never ceases to amaze me how one thing leads to another! By the way, do not be frustrated by your latest challenge – it may lead to untold wealth and influence!
Walt Disney began to envision the amusement park in his mind before anyone else ever saw it in reality. Art Linkletter once said that during the 1950’s, he and Walt Disney walked all over an orange grove in California while Walt explained his idea about a place where families could enjoy a fun-filled day together. Art Linkletter then added that he had declined Walt’s offer to finance the deal. Art concluded that his refusal was the costliest mistake he ever made in his life! He said, “I walked with Walt for over an hour through orange groves while he showed me where a mouse and duck would be playing together. I decided to pass on the deal. I now figure that not getting involved in that opportunity costs me over ten thousand dollars for every step I took that day!”
Just a few months before Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney passed away. His life had been one constant uphill battle after another. He declared bankruptcy early in his personal life, and he had experienced several nervous breakdowns, as well. Nevertheless, he never gave up. He just kept doing all that he could do to create a new way to enable people to have a more enjoyable life.
When Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida, a reporter asked Walt’s brother, Roy Disney, if he had mixed emotions about the grand opening. The reporter said, “Roy, I’m sure today is a bittersweet day for you.” When Roy asked him what he was talking about, the reporter said, “Well, I am sure it is sweet because you are seeing the grand opening of Disney World, but I know it is bitter because Walt did not live to see it open.”
Roy Disney looked back at the reporter rather indignantly and replied, “I now know and understand why you have a job as a reporter, so you can report news on other people’s lives, since you evidently don’t have a life of your own! The reason we are all getting to see Disney World today is because Walt already saw it a long time ago!”
When I heard that story it burned in my mind forever the power of vision and how important it is to see things despite what others around you may see. One of the best philosophies that Walt Disney carried with him in everything that he did was the idea that people will not always remember what you did in your life, but they WILL remember how you made them feel. Walt Disney tried to create an atmosphere that caused people to feel love, respected, and appreciated. He realized that there would never be an amusement park that was perfect, but if he could make people feel like they had experienced a day of enjoyment with the family and created some valuable memories together, then he had done his part. I agree with him. As I look back on my own life, I do not always remember everything people did to me, but I do remember how they made me feel. I believe you are the same way, too!
We all have created memories for other people; some that are good and others that are not so good. If we spend our time thinking about how our actions may have caused another person to feel, then it might cause us to act in a different manner towards them. Let me encourage you to start considering Walt Disney’s philosophy of life. His company has opened and operated two phenomenally successful amusement parks based on the philosophy that it is important to make people feel important and to help them have a good day. Their trademarked slogan is simple, “The happiest place on earth!” Does that mindset guide your life each day?
When I was coming home from a Disney World vacation with my family, I did not remember the exorbitant prices of everything, but I did remember that we had a good time and created a lot of memories as a family. Walt’s philosophy was true, and it still works today. Whether it is your business, family or personal life, do everything you can to make other people feel important, loved, and appreciated. In the end, people will forget your faults, but they will always remember how you made them feel. What a great philosophy to live by!
Tip: People will not remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm