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Walt Disney Dreams – Curiosity, Confidence, Courage & Constancy

I’ve just returned from a wonderful two week family holiday in Disney World Florida. I was taken by this amazing place where dreams come true and Princesses live happily ever after. This was a holiday of pure escapism which felt very relaxing and comfortable and reminded me of the cosy club in which there is high support and low challenge which John and I talk about in chapter 1 of Challenging Coaching.

Disney has created the ultimate cosy club, the fantasy of a perfect world has come true and amazingly is repeated precisely day after day, with everything taken care of, plenty of food and drink, everywhere is clean, and people friendly and happy. This is a club I want to belong to, so much I did not want to come home!

However, this does not represent reality; the rest of the world is not like Disney. In the real world there is success and failure, wealth and poverty, plenty and hunger, happiness and sadness, violence and calm. Maybe it’s Disney’s detachment from reality which makes it so appealing? Walt Disney had a dream and said “I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park. I want to feel they’re in another world.” So he deliberately set out to create a cosy club in which reality was suspended at the entrance gate.

After a couple of days in Disneyland I noticed quotes from Walt Disney placed every now and again. Through reading these it became clear that although Walt Disney created the ultimate cosy club, he challenged and stretched himself and others to achieve to a dream. This made me think about courageous goals, the ‘C’ of FACTS and chapter 6 in Challenging Coaching detailing the 3 step  Dream, Share, Start process and the personal challenge needed to turn a dream into reality. Walt certainly had an enormous dream and shared this saying “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

The wisdom of Walt Disney continues as he said “Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” It is clear from this that this dreamer was not a fantasist, Walt Disney was a passionate dream architect, turning the improbable into reality through his four C’s.

I was interested to read the word “curiosity” in Walt’s quote which is a word I don’t see very often in logically orientated management books. This reminded me of passionate curiosity which is a core principle of FACTS coaching which involves a deep interest with listening and clarifying without judgement. Walt went on to say “Around here we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”.

The curiosity of the coach can lead the coachee down new paths in which dreams can come true. As Walt said “All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them”