Every morning when I sit down to start my day, I read a quote from Walt Disney. It is the only quote in my office. To realize the depth of the quote, you need to know the backstory of who Walt was and how he acted. You need to know the story he wanted to write.
While many people know his name, the story of his final moments is less well known. This is the only quote that has kept a permanent place in my office.
Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney University, tells this story of Walt Disney’s final hours in 1966 in his book, Think Out of the Box:
A journalist, knowing Walt was seriously ill, persisted in getting an interview with Walt and was frustrated on numerous occasions by the hospital staff. When he finally managed to get into the room, Walt couldn’t sit up in bed or talk above a whisper. Walt instructed the reporter to lie down on the bed, next to him, so he could whisper in the reporter’s ear. For the next 30 minutes, Walt and the journalist lay side by side as Walt referred to an imaginary map of Walt Disney World on the ceiling above the bed.
Walt pointed out where he planned to place various attractions and buildings. He talked about transportation, hotels, restaurants and many other parts of his vision for a property that wouldn’t open to the public for another six years.
We told this reporter’s moving experience…the story of how a man who lay dying in the hospital whispered in the reporter’s ear for 30 minutes describing his vision for the future and the role he would play in it for generations to come.
This is the way to live––believing so much in your vision that even when you’re dying, you whisper it into another person’s ear."
Soon after the completion of Walt Disney World, someone said, “Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” Vance replied, “He did see it––that’s why it’s here.”
The world Walt envisioned changed the lives of millions of people because he acted on his dreams. He cared so much about his dreams that he couldn't resist the opportunity to share his dream, even while on his death bed.
In our lives, we have big dreams and high ambitions of what we will achieve.
It is easy to read this and feel inspired. I've read it literally over 1000 times. This morning, what stood out to me was the word "do". Lots of people dream about creating. They dream about achieving. They dream but never do.
It is fun to dream about the impossible, but it is even better to do the impossible. What do you want to do in 2014? What do you want to do in 2017 that needs the work of 2014 to be a reality? 2014 is one year of your life. What will you do this year to make 2015 better?
Dreams require action to become reality.
Dream big, but remember intentions without actions is useless.