Walt Disney once said, “Think beyond your lifetime, if you want to do something truly great. Make a fifty-year master plan. A fifty-year master plan will change how you look at the opportunities in the present.”
The people who knew Walt, the people who have studied his life, and the people who have enjoyed the things Walt created all agree that Walt Disney was a man with incredible vision.
Bob Matheison, former vice president of theme park operations, echoed that fact in the following story…”Walt was always way ahead of the rest of us,” he recalled. “After dealing with Disneyland and its limited space issues, we all had a hard time grasping Walt’s vision for Walt Disney World in Florida.”
In fairness to those working with him. The Florida Project had thousands of acres to work with and the people who were helping plan and design the park were challenged with how big and massive Disney World would really be.
One day as the design team met in their California “war room” Walt grew more and more irritated because everyone was thinking “way too small” and felt they were limiting what they could create. Finally he had enough and erupted at the room.
“The trouble is that you aren’t thinking far enough ahead! We are just beginning! You have to think beyond Disney World! We haven’t even begun to think big!”
That is the kind of vision Walt Disney had. History reminds us that even though he envisioned Disney World in Florida, he never lived long enough to see it opened. On the Opening Day in 1971, someone commented to Mike Vance, creative director of Walt Disney Studios, “Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” (Walt passed away 5 years before WDW opened to the public)
Vance replied simply, “He did see it…that’s why it’s here.”
The ability that Walt had as a visionary was truly a gift. Most people just don’t have that kind of vision. But at the beginning of this article there was a quote from Walt about designing a plan. The advice is simple, with a plan you operate and see the opportunties around you differently. For many of us that would be a good place to start.
A large number of people float through life loaded with great intentions. There is always a desire to do some really good things…eventually. Sadly, most never get around to doing anything. That is the problem with intentions. Intentions don’t accomplish much.
One of the things that I try to do as I live life is to remember that…Direction (not intention) gets you to your Destination.
In other words…if you desire to get to a certain destination in life then you had better set your course in the right direction. That is a plan. That is a roadmap. You might not always make the destination you were aiming at…but one thing is for sure…you were moving forward and you made some progress.
You were created to make a difference, you are not an accident, you are here for a purpose. Don’t waste a life by floating on good intentions. Set your direction and get moving!