Do you remember dreams? Those visions of who and what you would be someday until the negativity of others and your own insecurities squelched them into a faint memory? The idea of being a teacher or astronaut or artist or ... ﬁll in the blank.
Let's face it, we all have them. We all ponder them and secretly feed them. We daydream them and when all the lights are out, we night dream them too. They swell up inside of us; a balloon of hopes and beliefs and happiness. Until the balloon is popped.
Popped by a bad grade, a disgruntled peer, a resentful parent, an envious sibling; it happens. The worst is when we ourselves take those hope ﬁlled balloons and use our own sharp edges to let the air out. We poke a hole or a million holes or take a knife and slice the life right out of it. That happens too.
Insecurities, self-doubt, the incessant internal nagging that no one else cares about this idea or dream so frankly, why on earth should we...these things kill dreams. They kill them dead.
I thought about dreams last night. I came face to face with the fruit of one man's dream. It was beautiful. The cozy buildings modeled after 1950s architecture. Quality service, souvenirs, and clean entertainment. The whole experience brought tears to my eyes and fueled the ﬁre of my own dreams.
Were there challenges to making his dream come true? Absolutely. Obstacles and red tape he had to overcome? I wouldn't doubt it. There were probably naysayers who told him it couldn't be done. I wouldn't be surprised if there were times when he wondered what he was thinking and agonized over how he would ever make this dream a reality.
But Walt pressed on. He didn't give up. He had a dream that he couldn't shake and in the end, we all reaped the reward.
If you're experiencing an episode of crippling doubt about your dreams, I encourage you to explore the story of Disney. If possible, go there. The park in Orlando will not disappoint. It doesn't matter if you ride the rides or purchase anything; what matters is the lens you see it through.
Don't go wearing rose colored glasses. Go clothed in quiet perspective and consider the journey that Walt Disney traveled to get to his goal. Then, as you take a boat ride through It's a Small World or get a glimpse of life from the seat of a ﬂying elephant or a horse on a carousel, consider your journey. Consider your dream.
Like Walt, you are one (wo)man whether your dream is solo or part of a team; your idea, your vision is solely your own. Take Walt's lesson to heart. He may have built it for others, but he saw it for himself.
Is your dream haunted by insecurities and self-doubt? Take a stroll down Main Street, make friends with a mouse, and plant your vision solidly in your heart and mind. Disney may have started with a mouse, but look what it's become. Your dream can become a reality too.