Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life
Dreams. We all have them, even if we never sit down and pinpoint exactly what they are. But they still inhabit our thoughts and motivate our actions: those aspirations that propel us, that keep us moving forward. The “why” part of what we do. And whatever those ambitions entail, they have inspiration—from somewhere, sometime, or someone. There is always that moment in time when the seed is planted—when the dream begins.
This discovery of our dream, whether we’re cognizant of its presence or not, is extremely powerful. If you’re on this webpage, then you need not be given a lesson in the magic that permeates a passionate dream, or how special it is once that dream comes true. I’d also be willing to bet that, in some way, every Disney fan’s goals (and the way they achieve them) are surely influenced in some way by the examples set in Disney stories.
Today we’re going to find out what kind of dreamer each of us is, based on the case studies of some of our Disney friends. We’ll unearth that moment for you when a fickle goal tipped over the edge to become a (yep, I’m gonna say it again) dream.
Example: Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
I feel like Princess Tiana and Walt Disney have a lot in common. From a young age, Tiana finds a hobby she enjoys, something that makes people happy: cooking. When she realizes she can shape her career out of this vocation—of bringing others together in the name of delicious food—she stops at nothing to open her own restaurant. She knows what she wants to do and works hard until she gets there. She dreams it and then does it.
If you identify yourself as a doer, a passionate work ethic permeates nearly everything you do. You know your strengths, and utilize them well to bring others happiness. Task completion is not an expectation, but a requirement, of your projects and you can’t wait to share the finished product with everyone.
Example: Carl Fredricksen from Up
The Discoverer and the Doer are much alike, but one important difference sets them apart: the reality of their initial dream coming true. Carl Fredricksen and his wife, Ellie, have dreamed since they were children to travel to Paradise Falls, just like their hero, Charles Muntz. They seek adventure more than anything else, and have big plans to find it. Simply put, though, life gets in the way. Unexpected expenses and the realities of everyday functioning prolong Carl and Ellie’s dreams, but that doesn’t put a damper on their spirit. If they can’t get to their favorite place, they’ll find a way to bring it to them. (They’d fit right in at WDW Radio, wouldn’t they?) They both work at the zoo, Ellie as an animal guide and Carl as a balloon salesman. It may not be Paradise Falls, but it embodies the essence of what the place means to both of them, and they’re able to share it together.
If you’re a Discoverer, then perhaps your greatest, grandest dream is just a tiny bit out of reach. But, never to fear! That doesn’t mean it’s lost, it just means it might not pan out in the way you expected it to. With a little creativity and teamwork, you know how to make the most of what is available to maximize the magic inside of it—you pull the potential out and make the ordinary something special!
Example: Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University
No one sets out to be a Delighter. It’s something that they realize as they go along. Case in point: Mike Wazowski. If Mike read this post on his first day of college, he’d probably tell you he’s a Doer. After all, he’s wanted to be a Scarer his entire life. His “motivation moment,” as we’ll call it, was during his class field trip to Monsters, Incorporated. You can see the enthusiasm, fascination, and sheer enthrallment in Mike’s adorable little elementary-school eye. He wants this dream so bad, and by studying hard at college, he’ll get it… right? Well, not exactly, and Mike soon finds what we’ve known all along: he’s not going to be a Scarer! Egad! What he is good at, though, is coaching other Scarers and encouraging them in their work. Without him, they can’t do their job. He sets out after one thing, but finds out he’s even better at something else.
If you’re a Delighter, you shine behind the scenes in making others’ dreams a reality, and in doing so you live out the dream of your own. Your greatest pleasure comes in assisting in someone else’s accomplishment, knowing you had a hand in their success, even if your involvement isn’t at the forefront of the public eye. In short, you delight in others. It may not have always been this way, and in fact it might have come as a shock—it was probably something you noticed you were good at as you struggled to find your own Doer or Discoverer path—but it’s what you’re best at now that you’ve identified it as a strength.
Example: Marlin from Finding Nemo
Like Delighters, Defenders also focus their efforts toward others, but in a more forward, rather than backstage, way. They protect, guide, and, well, defend. We see this instantly in Marlin. After the horrible barracuda accident that loses him his wife and most of his children, he has one sole family member left, Nemo. And in that moment, when Marlin lovingly holds Nemo’s egg in his fin, we see the spark of the motivation that will propel Marlin’s entire being from that point forward: the dedication to protect his son.
Defenders make the world go ‘round. If you’re a Defender, thank you! You keep us safe, caution us of harm, and do a swell job at upholding qualities that embody everything noble. You’re loyal and trusted, and can always be counted on for advice or inspiration. Your dreams come true as you see others succeed.
So, how do you stack up? What’s your motivation moment? Personally, I identify much with the Delighter, and especially with Mike Wazowski. I definitely wouldn’t have noticed the similarities between myself and him in just Monsters, Inc., but Monsters University shows the audience a much deeper level to his character that sheds light on a whole different side to him, the side we’ve been emphasizing this entire post: his inspiration.
I don’t really like being the center of attention, but I do like being part of other people’s magic. My motivation moment came shortly after a WDW trip. Sadly, I had lost my autograph book that I had been keeping for years. I was devastated! My grandmother called Disney to see if the book was in the lost & found, but it never came up. So we figured that was that, and moved on with our lives. Well, low and behold, a few weeks later a package arrived, and it was addressed to me. Inside was a hand-written letter from Mickey Mouse apologizing for the incident, and attached was a new autograph book filled cover to cover with personalized signatures from Disney characters! It was so special then, but I appreciate it even more now because I realize the lengths that must have gone into doing that—Cast Member going above and beyond for no other reason but to put a smile on someone’s face. That’s what drives me to be a Delighter, maneuvering in the background with a subtle (but, I hope, impacting) presence.
Now it’s your turn! Which of the four dreamer types are you? Are you a Doer, Discoverer, Delighter, or Defender?
Share your dreamer type and motivation moment in the comments for the chance to win a WDW Radio Mystery Ticket!
Movie stills copyright Disney.
Blake is a college student focusing on Film and Creative Writing. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @olddirtyblake, or at BlakeOnline.com.