Once again we dig into the life and times of Walt Disney and with a little Disney Archaeology make some discoveries that we can learn from and perhaps make our lives a little bit better.
In the very first year that Disneyland was in operation, Walt decided that the theme park needed a Christmas parade. He believed it should happen twice a day, starting on Thanksgiving Day and ending on Christmas Day. The “bean counters” as Walt often referred to the financial department let him know that this would cost approximately $350,000 to produce and pay for. It was an extravagant price tag that was unnecessary.
The accountants told Walt, “Why spend money on a Christmas parade? It won’t draw people to the park. The people will already be here, so it is an expense we can do without. No one will complain if we dispense with the parade, because nobody’s expecting it.”
Walt listened to their response and their explanation.
“That’s just the point.” Walt said. “We should do the parade precisely because no one’s expecting it. Our goal at Disneyland is to always give the people more than they expect. As long as we keep surprising them, they’ll keep coming back. But if they ever stop coming, it will cost us ten times that much to get them back.”
Walt Disney understood the value of doing your best – and then some. The world, the culture we live in has made just getting by, doing the minimum, and taking the short cuts and easy way out and art form. Rare are the people who constantly and consistently strive for excellence and then try to take their best and add a little more to it. It is the “and then some” that makes all the difference.
Those that understand that and live that way are the kind of people who make the world a better place, they bless others, and they impact the lives of those around them in ways that defy description. That is one of those often missed character traits that Walt lived by – and it is one that the world we live in now desperately needs to see.
Do your best and then some – you will change the world!