Her foot taps. The piano plays. You can see it in her eyes. They’ve broken her. Against her best efforts, she loves the music. Before she can think twice, she’s dancing around the room.
Walt Disney had shown Mrs. Travers the joy of turning Mary Poppins into a musical.
That was one of the many scenes I loved in “Saving Mr. Banks,” a film about Walt Disney’s 20-year mission to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen.
The dancing scene was my favorite of the movie, but another reminded me that I am a dreamer.
In the second scene, Walt Disney tells one of his employees a story about a man wanting to buy Mickey Mouse from him. At the time, Walt had nothing to his name but a drawing of a mouse and a dream to create something great.
He believed in his vision enough that he refused to sell the mouse, and, of course, we all know how the story goes from there. It all started with the mouse, and Disney has become all that we know it to be today thanks to that iconic character.
Here’s the thing about that second scene…
I think a lot of people see that and think: “Wow, Disney was an amazing man.” But I think most people stop there. What I see in that scene is: “Wow, Disney was an amazing man. Our stories have a lot in common. I could be great too.”
This has happened to me repeatedly as I learn about the lives of inspiring leaders throughout history. I see in myself reflections of these stories. These reflections show me I’m on the right path and inspire me to pursue my vision of the future.
Before you tell me all of the reasons why I’m not Walt Disney or Abraham Lincoln, I believe you should look for reflections of their stories in your own life. Reflections that show why your potential is so great as well.
The next time you watch a miniseries like John Adams or read a book like Einstein by Walter Isaacson, look for the reflections of greatness in your life. Yes, admire the men and women about whom you read. But more importantly, look for inspiration to do great things with your life as you read their stories.
I don’t believe greatness is a scarce resource. And I don’t believe greatness has just one definition.
I do believe we all have greatness inside. And I believe your greatness starts with believing that you could be the next Walt Disney.
And for the joy of the world, let’s hope you are.