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Perspectives for 2017 From Walt Disney

Happy 2017! A new year offers an opportunity to reflect about our accomplishments, and to think about the year ahead.

One of my Christmas gifts this year is a copy of Jim Korkis’s new book, Walt’s Words: Quotations of Walt Disney with Sources! I’ve had other Disney-produced publications that shared any number of quotations by Walt Disney, but this is the most replete of any of those compilations–and moreover, Jim provides the source for each of these. So, you know that the quotation is legitimate. This book should be in any serious Disney fan’s library.

Walt Disney

It’s been fun to look through the quotations. There are wonderful quotes about the parks, his films, Mickey and more. But I thought that since this is my first post of a new year, I’d share some of the quotes that align with my own attitude and approach to not only a new year, but to life in general. Here is Walt in his own words:

“The age we’re living in is the most extraordinary the world has ever seen. There are new concepts of things, and we now have the tools to change these concepts into realities. We are moving forward.”

“Curiously, it is the past which offers the greatest reassurance about the future.”

I love these first few quotes because they capture the spirit found in the Carousel of Progress, an attraction Walt designed personally. The Sherman brothers wrote the right words when they said: “It’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow.” They also got it right when they penned, “Now is the best time of your life!”

Walt showing off the model for the Carousel of Progress.
Walt showing off the model for the Carousel of Progress.

Of course it’s difficult to think about a better future, if there isn’t a positive attitude accompanying it. Walt noted:

“There’s enough ugliness and cynicism in the world without me adding anything to it.”

“Happiness is a state of mind. You can be happy or you can be unhappy. It’s just according to the way you look at things.”

Walt Disney

Nothing happens of course, if you don’t make the effort. Walt noted these words as well:

“You don’t know what you can do until you try.”

“The imagining was much easier to do than the doing.”

“You never know what will happen. That open mind and that hope that one thing will lead to another.”

There are even more quotes I could share, but you get the sense of the man. I think you’ll agree that even 50 years after his passing, Walt’s approach to life is still relevant today.

Speaking of dreaming and doing, Disney at Work is going to be trying new ideas this year! The first will be a Facebook Live broadcast Tuesday, January 17th at 8:00 pm Eastern.  I’ll introduce myself, and share with you my thoughts and ideas on life and work from the “Happiest Place on Earth”. I’d love to hear what topics and issues you face as we meet.

Please join us! Here’s to a new 2017, and all the possibilities that exist when we dream and do!

Walt Disney

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