Disney on Failure

Recently, I started to read “Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination“, by Neil Gabler. The more I read it, the more amazed I am by the man. Not the company, nor the characters he built, nor the myriad films the Walt Disney company has produced (though I am, without a shadow of a doubt, a fan), but by the man himself. His is definitely a life worth studying.

Here’s the full quote, if you’re interested:

“I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid. I’ve never had the feeling I couldn’t walk out and get a job doing something.”

Yes, I realize that, like any powerful person, Disney will have his detractors. Usually, people call him either a racist (“Did you see that scene in Peter Pan, with the clearly racist Chief Tiger Bamboo?!”), or a appropriating thief (“You know, those are Disney-fied, saccharine versions of the REAL fairy tales”), though I’m certain there are other things he’ll forever be called.

Still, despite all his flaws, I’m unabashedly, admittedly a fan of what he did, what he built. While I won’t sit here and say that the man had no flaws, I will say (and defend the opinion) that the world is better because he was here.

At the very least, that quote is definitely something that any student of success can agree with.


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