Successful Failures – Walt Disney

This is part one of a series by first-time contributor Emily Thomas. When we think about people whose lives we would like to closely emulate, more often than not we think of people who have accomplished great things and led successful lives. However, not everyone who is on top has experienced success after success, and some of the most memorable people in history have faced great obstacles to reach their full potential. Not only is this list informative, but it serves as a great self-esteem booster for any time you are feeling as though you can’t strive to become the next Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, or Steve Jobs.

Every time I go to Disneyland I am in constant awe of how much creativity and imagination must have gone into creating “the happiest place on earth.” Today, Disney makes billions of dollars from movies, theme parks, and merchandise being sold around the world. It’s hard to believe that the mastermind behind one of the most successful companies in the world was once fired from a newspaper company for having “no imagination and no good ideas.”

Disney’s struggles didn’t stop there. After being fired, he went on to start numerous businesses that completely fell through—most of them ending with bankruptcy and failure. Even after he had built his world-famous Disneyland resort in California, the opening of the park on July 17th, 1955 was nothing short of a disaster; rides broke down, vendors ran out of food, and the fresh asphalt was so soft in the 101º F that ladies’ heels became stuck in it.

However, this did not stop him from creating “81 feature films and hundreds of shorts. He also earned more than 950 honors, including 48 Academy Awards. He founded the California Institute of the Arts. And he built Disneyland, Disneyworld, and a handful of other parks in Paris, Japan, and China. “Persistence”, Disney says, “is key to any form of success.”


One thought on “Successful Failures – Walt Disney

  1. Pingback: Persistence of a Dream » Robert JR Graham

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