Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Disney Didn't Drown in Discouragement

How easily are you discouraged? When you are having a hectic day, you stop at your bank or the grocery store and the lines seem to go on forever...are you discouraged? When there is something you want in an extremely bad way, because you know it will help you and your family, but you don't get it immediately...are you discouraged? When someone talks down to you, when you get a bad report on something you tried really hard on, when things just won't add up the way you like them to...it is easy to get discouraged! Some of the people who achieved the pinnacle of worldly success should have gotten discouraged long before they accomplished their goals.
Today, I think of Walt Disney. It was on this day in 1920 that he began his first job. He was paid a measly $40 a week. Getting a job was actually very encouraging to him but these are some of the discouraging moments that followed his achievement.

"As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star Newspaper because his boss thought he lacked creativity. He went on to form an animation company called Laugh-O-Gram Films in 1921. Using his natural salesmanship abilities, Disney was able to raise $15,000 for the company ($181,000 in 2008 dollars). However, he made a deal with a New York distributor, and when the distributor went out of business, Disney was forced to shut Laugh-O-Gram down. He could barely pay his rent and even resorted to eating dog food.
Broke but not defeated, Disney spent his last few dollars on a train ticket to Hollywood. Unfortunately his troubles were not over. In 1926, Disney created a cartoon character named Oswald the Rabbit. When he attempted to negotiate a better deal with Universal Studios -- the cartoon’s distributor -- Disney discovered that Universal had secretly patented the Oswald character. Universal then hired Disney’s artists away from him, and continued the cartoon without Disney’s input (and without paying him).
As if that wasn’t enough, Disney also struggled to release some of his now-classic films. He was told Mickey Mouse would fail because the mouse would “terrify women.” Distributors rejected The Three Little Pigs, saying it needed more characters. Pinocchio was shut down during production and Disney had to rewrite the entire story-line  Other films, like Bambi, Pollyanna and Fantasia, were misunderstood by audiences at the time of their release." hollywoodstories.com

Walt Disney could have stopped here. Discouraged, frustrated, but obviously he didn't. In fact, here are only a few of his achievements.   

"First animated film with synchronized sound (Steamboat Willie, 1928), First animated film in full-color three-strip Technicolor (Flowers and Trees, 1932) , First feature length animated film (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, 1937), Multi-plane camera, invented for use on The Old Mill, 1937, First stereophonic sound system for film (Fantasound for Fantasia, 1940) , First theme park (Disneyland, 1955), Winner of twenty-six Academy Awards, Inaugural recipient of star on the Anaheim Walk of Stars, Two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Congressional Medal of Honor
Presidential Medal of Freedom, L├ęgion d'Honneur."

Like I said that list was only a few of the things Disney accomplished.  There are several things we can take from great Americans who tried, failed and yet succeeded in the end. 

1. Don't let people tell you you lack anything. If they do, check, if you know you have that trait, take their declaration with a grain of salt and move on. 
2. Don't let an absence of money or resources defeat you. If our investments are ones that honor God, they'll come back time and again, or they may not because God is giving you a lesson to learn from. 
3. When people do you wrong, remember forgiveness and move on. There is something to be said about a person who understands forgiveness. 
4. When people tell you that you can't. When your day to day projects seem to have failed, remember that God created you for a specific purpose. Press on while always seeking His guidance and in the end...who knows the extent of the things you'll accomplish. 
5. Remember that worldly success is something that is here today and gone tomorrow. We need to keep an eternal mindset because, to the general population, we're just an estate sale away from being forgotten. 
6. Finally, we know how deflated we feel after someone tells us something discouraging. Thus, be an encourager.  Everyday make a goal to find at least one person to encourage. It is pretty simple to do whether with words or actions but make it happen. Build people up because there is a whole world waiting to tear us down. 

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