Years ago when the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction was being built at Disneyland, Walt Disney noticed that one of the construction workers on the project was from the Louisiana bayou country. The Louisiana bayou is the setting of the first part of the attraction.
Walt took the worker aside and walked him through the first part of “Pirates.” Disney pointed out details, they took their time, allowing the man to look around. Finally he asked the construction worker what he thought of it. Was it authentic looking? Did it remind him of the bayou country that he had grown up in?
“You know,” the man said, “it is good, but there is something missing. I just can’t put my finger on it.”
“Well,” Walt said, “let’s walk through it until you figure out what’s not right.”
So they started over again, and then they went back and did it again, each time allowing the man to look and ask Walt questions. Finally as they were passing through the bayou the man snapped his fingers.
“Fireflies!” The man excitedly proclaimed. “There ought to be fireflies in this swamp!”
Just a few days later, the swamp was alive with electric fireflies.
Walt Disney was a lifelong learner. He was always looking for more information, he was always listening to what others were thinking, and he wasn’t afraid to ask questions. The reason he was doing this was so he could constantly improve or plus what he was doing, creating, and investing in.
It didn’t mean that Walt just did everything other people suggested but he was willing to engage and process new information. Some of it was worth keeping and using, some of it was filed away until later, but he was always absorbing new ideas and concepts to learn from them.
What have you learned this week?
My fear for many is that we have gotten lazy and content with attitudes that reflect a belief that we have heard it all before, we know it all already, and there is nothing else we need to know. I think we were all created to be lifelong learners. You can’t hear enough, read enough, or ask enough questions.
Some people ought to get in the habit of setting aside a little bit of time to learn something they didn’t know before. We live in a great big amazing world. I pray we would never get bored living in it and that we would be willing to discover new things that are just beyond the horizon.