Don’t lose sight
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.”
— Walt Disney
Walt Disney’s success is legendary, and the tough road he took to get there is well documented. He died in 1966, soon after his 65th birthday, an age that sounds far too young to me now. I had recently had my tenth birthday when he died, and I remember feeling sad when I heard of his passing. Though at that time I had never been inside a Disney park, or seen more than one or two of his movies, I can remember thinking that he had changed history as surely as any politician or statesman.
Our family has always been fond of Disney, and we have spent many happy hours enjoying the parks and movies that bear his name, so it’s not surprising that we find him inspirational. But surely even the most anti-Disney curmudgeon out there would have to admit that it’s rather amazing that such a huge empire came from a little cartoon mouse.
Mickey had an early name change (he started out as Mortimer Mouse) and several cosmetic alterations over the years. His first feature film, Steamboat Willie, was rejected by nearly every film executive in the industry, leaving Disney deeply in debt until he found success by allowing just one theater to run it at a very low price. Mickey was a smash hit, and the world — especially the world of children — would never be the same.
Big things almost always start small, which can be good news or bad news, depending on which direction things go in the beginning. Are there any small things in your life that later became great assets, or more unhappily, tremendous liabilities? Are the small steps you take each day leading you in the right direction?
If it seems that you are not accomplishing as much as you wish, remember the plucky little cartoon mouse with the dubious beginnings, and channel his cheerful, never-give-up attitude. It’s doubtful that you will ever build the kind of game-changing industry that Disney did. But I’m sure he would be the first to agree: if you set your sights high and refuse to let discouragement get you down, you CAN live happily ever after.