Walt Disney World recruits college students from around the globe to move to Florida, participate in a magical internship, and learn some major life lessons. What they don’t tell you is that sometimes it’s not at all what you expect. Though, that’s when you grow the most (or as my dad likes to say, it’s character building).
Adventures are like that, aren’t they? You have some really high highs and some really low lows, but the true test of a successful adventure is how it impacts you.
I can pinpoint several ways Disney impacted my career and outlook on life, but one stands heads (or ears) above the rest: Opportunities don’t just fall in your lap. You have to have an unapologetic determination to succeed and then leap into new adventures head-on.
In the end, there are 2 choices when you take on a new project, travel abroad, start a new job, work at Disney, or take on any new adventure:
1) Sit back and just have fun.
2) Seek out challenges every day that help you grow.
Focusing on just having fun might turn out to produce a great vacation, but not an excellent adventure (a la Bill & Ted). Most adventures are only as successful as the effort we put into them. Without consciously finding new opportunities and challenges, how can we grow?
Step 1: Start. This is, without question, the hardest step. Make a date to start (maybe even tomorrow) and hold yourself to that date. Whether it’s beginning a new project or starting a new company, you can’t call it an adventure until you start.
Step 2: Just like a great fairytale, write down your plot and character arcs. Your adventure may not follow this path exactly, but at least you have a determination to get somewhere and the intention to never stop challenging yourself.
Step 3: Learn from your mistakes. They happen – it’s okay. Turn them into growth opportunities.
Step 4: Make friends with other adventure-seekers. When you lose sight of your mission, they’ll be around to hold you accountable.
Step 5: Write down what you learn. One day you’ll be writing a blog post about your adventure and wish you had…
Even though starting is the hardest step, staying determined and continuing to challenge ourselves is the easiest place to fall off track. Stay the course and all the ups and downs along the way will result in one pretty great success. Find a new adventure right now – they come in all sizes and don’t necessarily have to mean moving across the country to start. After all, this was all started by a mouse.