According to the Netflix documentary, “Walt,” it was a Saturday.
Saturday was “Daddy-Daughter Day” in the Disney household. Walt Disney drew solid borders protecting the most important relationships in his life, his family.
On this particular morning Walt sat on a park bench relaxing, eating peanuts and watching his kids ride a merry-go-round. As he marveled at the joy of his children and peace he was experiencing, an idea knocked on his door. He dreamt a theme park designed with the excellence of the Disney brand and the scope of Disney imagination. The result was Disneyland.
Often, the greatest ideas come that way. When not focusing on work, a dream drops by. While watching and connecting with your children, a vision comes into view. It’s why so many great ideas and speeches find their first light of day on a napkin or scrap of paper.
Early in leadership, I tended to withdraw when facing a difficult season. I searched for answers in the data, or in my own experiences, or in the experiences of others. I worried, fretted, and looked over my children to the horizon where I believed the solution would appear. The result was often a failure of imagination. Children have a way of keeping that from happening if we’re present in simple moments.
As I look back, I have learned more from and through time spent with my children, and now grandchildren than anywhere else.
Today, if you’re up against it. Today, if the haze is blurring your vision and doubt is crowding your spirit, get away. Carve out time. Sit on a bench, maybe even eat some peanuts, look at and be with your children. Enjoy. Breathe. Linger. Relax. Really watch them. Inhale the moment if for no other reason than you’ll need it someday, and they need it now.
Do not, please do not, go there looking for ideas. Don’t press. Go there being. If nothing comes, who cares? You’ve just experienced life the way the Creator designed it, but I promise you… if you keep going there…the dreams will drop by.