Lessons from the Most Magical Place on Earth

Jeffrey Barnes is an expert on all things Disney.

He has behind-the-scenes knowledge and experience with this brand and understands it in a way few others do. 

As a result, Jeff believes that there are some amazing things this brand can teach us. The purpose of all of his classes, books, and keynotes is to challenge students, readers, and audiences to go all in and make one-way-ticket decisions just like Walt Disney did.

I recently got the chance to talk with Jeff about some of Disney’s behind the scenes stories and principles and how they can be applied to our live. Here is some of what he shared.

The Power of Story

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland, he wasn’t opening just another amusement park. He was building a park that told stories. His goal was to build something that didn’t just engage people physically but something that engaged people mentally. He wanted to build something that sparked our imaginations. 

When you think about it, it is story that keeps bringing us back to Disneyland or Walt Disney World over and over and over again. We as people are wired for story. 

Conflict is Necessary to Make a Story

However, we can’t stop there. Every great story requires conflict. 

The problem is that, as much as we love story, if we’re honest with ourselves, we want nothing to do with conflict. Walt was challenging us with his parks to leave that park and then go out and live our own great story. In doing so, he was challenging us to be willing to embrace conflict. 

Dream Big and Then Go

This all boils down to Jeff’s purpose behind his class. He wants to get students to understand that if they have an idea, crazy thought, or dream, then they have to see Disney not as an escape but as an example. They have to see it not as the place where dreams come true but as the place that can show them how to make their own dreams come true.

This doesn’t just apply to Jeff’s students, though. Every single one of us has some kind of idea. We all still have some sort of dream. 

The question is, what are you doing about it? 

What if Walt never got off the park bench where he first proposed Disneyland to his wife? What if he didn’t believe in his idea? What if he didn’t overcome his wife’s and brother’s doubts? 

It is the same with your ideas, crazy thoughts, and dreams. They might not change the world but they could certainly change your world. 

Therefore, you’ve got to get busy. You’ve got to take action. You’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to do it.

If you want to hear more behind the scenes stories about the life of Walt Disney, check out Episode 069: Lessons from the Mouse: Learn How to Build and Dream Big with the World-Class Disney Strategies.

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Danny Ozment

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