I was given a copy of The Wisdom of Walt by the author in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation was made and all opinions are 100% mine. This post contains affiliate links.
It is often heard that "it was all started by a Mouse." I slightly beg to differ, because the drive, passion and perseverance of moving forward (not to mention the Mouse himself), was started by a man – Walter Elias Disney.
Disney was born with the great ability to dream and take action. These are just a few of his traits that I admire most. When I first heard of this book, I knew I needed to read it and share it with all of you. I have a propensity to gravitate towards all things about Walt Disney, so I'm very grateful to have received a copy of this book, and it even arrived with a note from the author.
This book was written by, Jeffrey Barnes, also known as Dr. Disneyland. He teaches a college course: The History of Disneyland, at Cal Baptist in Riverside, CA. I will tell you now that Barnes' story of survival alone is one that will inspire you, and he shares it within the page of his book. You'll need to get his book to hear how his failures led to success. Oh! One fun fact for my extreme Disney fans is that the foreword was written by Garner Holt and Bill Butler, as in Garner Holt Productions (think audio-animatronics). The foreword definitely set the tone for the awesome experience that I had waiting for me.
The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth is a book that will keep you inspired, motivated, and seeking more from life. It pushed me to write my goals for success onto paper, to think of necessary actions to execute my vision, and made me realize that there is a lot of wisdom to gain when we look at what Walt experienced, and how he became successful.
When I first started the book, I was so anxious to take notes, but initially I didn't want to write within the pages. I mean, this is a really high-quality book with a hardcover, and gorgeous jacket. Eventually, I couldn't help it and by the middle of chapter one, I was already highlighting, starring, and taking notes within the pages.
Let me share a few sentiments from the book, but then I highly encourage you to pick up your own copy!l
"Vision is the extension of the ability to dream."
– Jeffrey Barnes, The Wisdom of Walt
This was my first little nugget of wisdom found. I think that as dreamers we aren't always taken seriously. I mean, look at Walt. With Disneyland, his grandest dream of all, he could not find anyone to back his vision. Look at Disneyland today. If Walt didn't create a vision from his dream of a place for his daughters and so many other children and families to have, the world would be a little less bright. However, even with hearing the doubters, we must press on. We create the vision and we make them believe. Another relevant sentiment about dreams and vision that Jeff shares, is that we must treat our dreams like we treat our children, because they don't raise themselves. Isn't that so true?
Master the four C's: Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy
With anything in life, those four C's can be relevant. But with the mindset of leadership and progress, they are crucial.
Curiosity should never end. We should be curious about everything, we should push boundaries to understand things and that helps others to do the same. Being curious might seem ridiculous for grown adults, but I tell you it is not. I feel that the example of my curiosity paves the way for my kids to be curious themselves.
Confidence – It goes without saying, but how will you bring your dreams and visions to fruition if you are too scared? Don't be afraid to fail. Be confident in your skill set and ability to keep learning and growing to get better. Be confident in knowing that "beyond a shadow of a doubt, that regardless of how your risk turns out, you will, in fact, be okay."
Courage is not always easy and no one ever said it would be. Being courageous must be a conscious choice. It's moving forward, moving past the stuff that wants to keep you paralyzed in fear. When there is a lot at risk, it's hard to convince others to believe in you and your dreams. And sometimes, the hardest person you have to convince is yourself. But be consciously courageous, because you and miss out on the thrills of success.
Constancy – As the book states, "Excellence is a habit." We know this from Aristotle, we know it from Disney, we can see it with Disneyland. There's a reason that businesses from all over the world take tidbits of magic from Disney's examples on leadership, guest service, and entertainment. "Disneyland always shows up." If anything, this should be a shining example on how to lead - we must show up, whether we want to or not.
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious – and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
– Walt Disney
Well, this is a book that will remain in my library and one that I'll share with the future employees of my own empire (see what I did there? I, too, have a vision). My favorite parts were the Souvenir Stops at the end of each chapter, they really get you thinking and planning. There's so much more packed into this book than I could ever completely write about, but know it's 18 chapters and reads easily, you'll laugh, dream and plan. You can choose to read a chapter a day or a few a day. But make sure to do the Souvenir Stop because that's where you'll apply the lessons to your own life.
What are you waiting for? Take action, and go make your dreams a reality.