Walt Disney's Unique Vision

We need to use our free time to grow our vision & find different solutions to a problem.

As America was coming out of the Great Depression and entering a recession in December of 1937, Walt Disney was producing animated cartoons to help entertain people during this awful time. It was during this period that we first learned about the adventures of Mickey Mouse, and laughter became one of the few joys Americans had.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles. It was going to become Disney’s first feature film. The story was based on a German fairy tale written by the Brothers’ Grimm and produced by Walt Disney. Disney was far ahead of the competition in many ways; however, he faced several stumbling blocks to completing the version of Snow White he saw. Many at RKO Pictures and Disney Animation thought the time was not right to make the movie because the technology was limited. But not Disney. 

The main issue: his animators could not draw human characters well enough to elicit any response from the audience. Without a connection to Snow White, the movie would fall flat. Many believed the film could not be produced unless they found a way to animate emotion from Snow White. But Disney saw what others could not. Everyone was examining the same problem, only Disney had a tangible vision. 

Walt Disney was a man with great vision, great insight; so the solution looked rather easy. Disney said: "We may not be able to get them to directly care about Snow White, but I know we can get them to care about the Dwarfs. We will make the Dwarfs care about Snow White, and when they cry for Snow White, the audience will cry." Instead of focusing on Snow White, dictating the solution based on her, Disney shifted his view toward the Dwarfs. Today, this seems rather obvious because we know and love every Dwarf. But back then, it was only apparent to Walt.   

Seems like a simple answer? And it worked. Snow White went on to sell 8 million in the first weekend, and as of now, has made over $400M million dollars, on a $1.8M budget. By seeing the non-obvious, then organizing his observations, Disney overcame the one obstacle that could hold back his movie. 

He was able to examine every variable, see every possibility, and not let anyone alter his focus, concentration, or desired outcome. He was willing not to accept the easy path. He knew there was an answer to the problem, and shutting down his movie was not one of them. 

We need to use our free time to grow our vision, find different solutions to a problem. Don't settle for speedy and quick. Work hard to explore new roads, new methods, and most of all, don't be afraid of trying. Instead of complaining about being bored, or performing the same routine each day, spend an hour working on a new way to solve old problems.  

Disney never let the gloom and doom situation of the Depression affect his thinking or his demand for excellence. Through tough times, he kept his creative juices flowing.

Force your brain to see what Disney could see every day, and don’t let the situation around you be a distraction.   


P.S. If you are in search of a book recommendation, our team at The Daily Coach highly recommends Outwitting the Devil: The Secrets to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill. Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Napoleon Hill digs deep to reveal how fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy prevent us from realizing our personal goals. This long-suppressed parable, once considered too controversial to publish, was written by Hill in 1938 following the publication of his classic bestseller, Think and Grow Rich


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The Power of Self-Efficacy

We struggled with this problem before the pandemic occurred, and we will long after it's over. 

“If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you're not thinking big enough.” — Wes Jackson

In times like these, we keep asking ourselves the same questions: Why is this happening to us? When will it end? When can we get back to our healthy life here in America or anywhere else? These questions appear on the surface as COVID-19 related. In reality, they have nothing to do with the virus and everything to do with our self-efficacy. 

Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our own abilities, specifically our ability to meet the challenges ahead of us and complete a task successfully. We struggled with this problem before the pandemic occurred, and we will long after it's over. 

Albert Bandura knows a great deal about self-efficacy. Bandura is a Canadian American Psychologist who is the David Starr Jordan Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. In 1963, he published a paper titled “Social Learning and Personality Development,” which helps us understand precisely what self-efficacy is all about. 

Self-efficacy is not self-confidence. According to Bandura, “Confidence is a nondescript term that refers to the strength of belief but does not necessarily specify what the certainty is about…Perceived self-efficacy refers to belief in one's agentive capabilities that one can produce given levels of attainment.”

Examples of people with a high level of self-efficacy:   

  • A student who is not particularly gifted in a specific subject but believes in his/her own ability to master the subject matter. 

  • A man or woman who has had bad luck with relationships, but retains a positive outlook on the meeting the next person. 

  • An entrepreneur who can go from one idea to another without losing confidence or faith. Winston Churchill was referring to a high level of self-efficacy when he said: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

According to Bandura, there are 4 sources of self-efficacy:

  1. Mastery Experiences: When we take on a new task, small or large, and succeed. We build self-efficacy. We need to do it every single day. Plan on doing this tomorrow. 

  2. Vicarious Experiences: Having a role model or mentor to observe, emulate. Reach out, find someone who can help you. 

  3. Verbal Persuasion: Our self-talk, our words impact our actions. Be kind to yourself, it works. 

  4. Emotional and Physiological States: Our health, mental and physical. We must take care of our minds and bodies. Read, work out, place your mental and physical health as an essential part of the day. 

We all have time to work on our self-efficacy and to teach others this valuable lesson.  Write a note to your players, staff and those you lead today explaining why self-efficacy is so important. Once you place those words on a piece of paper, you will then fully comprehend the value of self-efficacy for yourself. 

Remember, when we teach something, we learn more ourselves. 


P.S. If you are in search of a book recommendation, our team at The Daily Coach highly recommends What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan. This is the story of Maddy Holleran's life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people — and college athletes in particular — face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.


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We Could All Use Some Ambition To Excel

Adams wanted us to strive for excellence, to never tire in our relentless pursuit of doing something worthwhile for one or for many.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 1826, John Adams passed most of his time at his home called Peacefield in Quincy, Massachusetts. The second United States president was retired from public life and was spending his hours thinking, reflecting, and above all, longing for his beloved wife, Abigail, who had died some eight years earlier. Adams’ feud with Thomas Jefferson was somewhat reconciled by this time, and both men had exchanged hand-written letters.

It would be the last year of Adams’ life (he and Jefferson actually both died on July 4, 1826). But up to the very end, his craving for information and learning never wavered, and he never shied away from sharing his opinions on current events. In his home library, there were over 2,000 volumes of books that he spent time reading.

One day, a recent Harvard graduate named Ralph Waldo Emerson came to spend time with Adams in the library, listening to him reminisce about the birth of our country and the 12 years it took to form. The longer the conversation went, the more it became evident to Emerson that Adams, along with many others, sacrificed their agendas for the greater good of the young nation. Yet, that was not what Emerson remembered most. What struck him deeply was Adams’ passion for what the country lacked, and needed most: People with the “ambition to excel.”

Ambition to excel was the most profound concern Adams felt in the final year of his life. Adams said: “I wish to God there were more ambition in the country.” And then he paused and said, “By that, I mean ambition of the laudable kind, ambition to excel. Not ambition to get rich or famous or powerful but to excel. That’s when human beings are at their best. I like people who work hard; the people who are best at what they do almost without exception are also the hardest workers.”

Adams wanted us to strive for excellence, to never tire in our relentless pursuit of doing something worthwhile for one or for many. To not be driven by recognization, or financial gain, instead by the thirst to excel for the greater good.    

We have that moment before us right now. The time away from the daily work grind because of the virus has given us a chance to reconnect with ourselves, to refocus our core beliefs, to strategize our new commitments. To become the best we can, to reset our ambitions, to promote excelling ahead of everything else. No matter what project you accomplish today, make it your most exceptional work. 

Make every day your ambition to excel. 


P.S. If you are in search of a book recommendation, our team at The Daily Coach highly recommends Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony De Mello. The heart of Anthony de Mello's bestselling spiritual message is awareness. Mixing Christian spirituality, Buddhist parables, Hindu breathing exercises, and psychological insight, de Mello's words of hope come together in Awareness in a grand synthesis. In short chapters for reading in quiet moments at home or at the office, he cajoles and challenges: We must leave this go-go-go world of illusion and become aware.


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Sunday Thinking

If you are not learning, you are not growing. If you are not growing, you are not truly living.

Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribe to The Daily Coach

The weekly Sunday Thinking newsletter is quick-hit content that aims to provide a booster shot to your thought process as you end and start your week.


“We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.”

— Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.


I. Live for the Moment

Expect a better today by cultivating moments filled with:

  • Beauty & Truth

  • Wisdom & Grace

  • Courage & Kindness

  • Unlearning & Relearning


II. 15 Things Money Can’t Buy

  • Time

  • Patience & Trust

  • Class & Manners

  • Morals & Respect

  • Love & Inner Peace

  • Happiness & Health

  • Character & Integrity

  • Dignity & Common Sense

Source: Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


III. The Levels of Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do.

  • Level 1 — You solve the problem.

  • Level 2 — You solve the problem that caused the problem.

  • Level 3 —You avoid the problem that caused the problem.

  • Level 3 is the most valuable but hardest to see.

Source: Shane Parrish, Farnam Street


IV. Question

What do you want most out of life?


V. This Week I Will

  1. Mindfully make my bed.

  2. Perform a random act of kindness.

  3. Reflect on how I have bloomed through adversity in my life.

  4. Practice patience and allow things to unfold in their own time.

  5. Think of 3 people who have made a difference in my life. Write them a note expressing my appreciation and thanking them. Deliver it by mail, email, text, social media or hand.

Life’s greatest adventures and discoveries await us just outside our comfort zone.


The Last Words…

“When physical distancing is deemed necessary, social and emotional connectedness is even more critical.”

Karen Niemi, Edutopia


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The Daily Coach Week In Review - (Week of Mar 29)

The top Daily Coach content from this week in your Inbox, Twitter & Instagram

With the hustle and bustle of our lives, this edition serves to provide you with a recap of the top #DailyCoach content from this week in your Inbox, Twitter & Instagram.


💭 FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

When the leader gets better, everybody gets better.


📈 MOST READ:

1. The Art of Leading Through Chaos

Churchill didn’t make foolhardy promises that could never be kept. Good leaders never do. Instead, he spoke candidly of the dark realities the country faced.

2. A Letter to Our Children on COVID-19

Although we are navigating uncharted waters, there is still beauty, calmness, and wisdom immersed within the tide.

3. Difficult Times Produce Great Opportunities

Works of genius can begin from the work of men and women, when alone with nothing but their thoughts, ideas, curiosity, and time.

4. Sunday Thinking

Cultivate a mindset that is entitled to nothing and grateful for everything.

5. Hope Springs External

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good things ever die.


🐦 TWEET OF THE WEEK:


📸 INSTAGRAM OF THE WEEK:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — #ArthurAshe
March 28, 2020

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