I just finished a miraculous book. It may be my new favorite read of all time. At over 600 pages, it wasn’t a fast read, but it was an inspiring one. And well worth it. Returning it to the library today, I found myself surprisingly sad to say good-bye.
A spell-bounding biography that made me laugh and cry. Neal Gabler’s Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination astounded me and took my breath away. I have always been in love with everything Disney, but I never knew much about the man behind it. Even more shocking is the fact that I don’t normally read biographies. But after visiting the Walt Disney museum in San Francisco, I was curious. And as luck would have it, I discovered Gabler’s book and I’m really glad I did.
The book is filled with Disney’s inspiring story of financial struggle, hard work, perfectionism and determination, key factors that make up a visionary-someone who would change the world years after he died.
I’m saddened by the fact that I wasn’t around when Disney was alive. But tremendously grateful that I picked up Gabler’s book. Whenever money or rejection gets me down, I recall Gabler’s words on Disney’s life and am inspired to keep going.
In fact, one of Disney’s quotes in the book forever changed the way I thought about finding your dream career. Instead of sitting down, researching and asking myself, “What do I want to do with my life?” I realized that using your left-brained may not be the best way to discover your life’s purpose. Maybe it’s about following what makes your heart skip a beat, what consumes your thoughts and time that you should really be pursuing. Kind of like what Disney says in the book:
“The way to do it is just to go off and get interested in some little thing, some little idea that interests me, some little idea that looks like fun..” Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (Vintage)
The thing is that we don’t know what our future holds. We can see what we’ve done in the past, experience what we’re doing in the present and only hold wonder about the future. Maybe the hints are in the present moments, the ones that make us shiver in delight. I think that’s what Disney did. And maybe that’s what we need to do too.