If we want to be inspired, productive, and happy, we have to make sure we’re regularly dosing ourselves with inspiration, productivity, and happiness. Our creating environment is something we can impact easily and instantly, and that can have a big impact on our confidence and the quality of work we’re producing.
Good things in. Good things out.
There are few who understand the potential of an environment to set a mood quite as well as the Imagineers at Disney World. By carefully noting what stimuli from our favorite places makes the biggest impression on our imagination, we can recreate the inspiration at home–in the places we do our own creating.
My family recently made our pilgrimage to the Happiest Place on Earth–Disney World! Our first trip was two years ago, but few things have changed, really. Selfie Sticks have made their appearance, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened, and Anna and Elsa transformed the wait for any other princess into a reasonable time investment.
It’s a highly orchestrated machination of dream stuff–and the magic lies in the fact that this dream isn’t Disney’s or his Imagineers’ alone: it’s all of ours. The magic of Disney World is not what you experience while you’re there…it’s the transmutation that happens in your mind, that allows you to bring the magic back with you to the mundane world of Everyday.
I never went as a child, so I can’t hope to know entirely what this does for my children, but my husband and I always leave with our creative reserves replenished, ideas piling up like puffy clouds that only look–somehow while you’re there–like the man Disney’s earliest cartoon sketches of mice and ducks, ready to grow down, and make of the world what it was always meant to be.
I come home. Ready to create. Ready to live. Magic. Dreaming.
My favorite parts of the parks are where the machination shows its bones. The early animatronics, Disney’s earliest ideas, the sparks that made his ideas bright. We’re reminded around every turn and smack-dab in the middle of a sky-owning fireworks finale what he commanded us never to forget, “this whole thing started with a dream and a mouse.” Every starting point–EVER–has been no more humble than a mouse–even yours.
New construction is walled off and some of Disney’s greatest wisdom is printed across these walls. New ideas take work, don’t they. Your idea is going to require work. And it won’t be ready for the public to see right away. Give your creation understanding, and the room and time to develop.
The place that rejuvenates your creative piece may not be Disney World. It may be Italy, the seaside, or a quiet corner of your own garden. It may be all of these places! The point of this article is not to get you to go to Disney; rather, I hoped you’d recognize the feelings of creative renewal and think instantly of the place you last felt the same way Disney World makes me feel–your happiest place on Earth!
If you know that place, don’t neglect yourself by visiting infrequently. Bring a little piece of it back with you, even, to energize your creating environment at home. I’ll be lucky to make it back to Disney World in another two years, so I have to do just that.
- I have a towel and washcloth in the bathroom that stay folded into an elephant. They were a birthday gift from a friend who insisted I properly use them. Nuh-uh. Their proper use is to remind me every day (when I’m flossing, for instance) that there is magic folded into the fabric of the mundane.
- The wall above my creation station (my writing desk) is covered with words of inspiration, reminders that something magical is in construction when I sit at my desk.
- I keep EVERYTHING! My creativity’s earliest sparks remind me of where I’ve been; little snippets of partially-formed ideas remind me of where I’m going.
- Once in a while, we have a parade at mealtimes. It gets the blood moving–which is great for creating–and there is much to celebrate.
- My creation station is in the living room, a conscious decision to remain accessible to my family while I work. The family was one of Walt Disney’s greatest joys.
- And I try always to remember that it doesn’t take much to treat my fellows like the little princesses and young masters that they are. There is no greater work of magic than conjuring a smile!
One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite motivators goes like this, “If your dreams aren’t big enough to scare you, then they’re not big enough.” The Disney franchise may have started small with a mouse, but there’s that other part–that dream. All you have to do as you ride atop the back of a flying elephant with no need of a magic feather, become fairy-size as you pass a teacup you could bathe in, or provide power for a city of monsters with your laughter is look around to know that Walt’s dream was BIG! Big enough to revolutionize entertainment, transcend language and culture barriers, and fuel the creative process for generations of dreamers!
Are your dreams big enough to fuel your potential?