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Cultivating a “Can Do” Attitude #DisneySMMoms

Back when I did theater improv, there was a “Yes, and…” rule. You could not shut down someone’s ideas with a “no.” Instead, you had to accept their idea and then build on it with your own.

As parents, we feel responsible for saying “no” a lot. Of course, no, you cannot eat only chocolate all day, no, you cannot give  your baby sister to the bears at the zoo, and no, you cannot skateboard off the roof. Sometimes, though, the “no” because automatic. We say “no” sometimes out of convenience or even out of habit.

The Disney Social Media Moms Conference reminded me I need to say, “yes,” more often.  Saying “yes” helps you have more fun, saying “yes” works better (when done right), and saying “yes” helps cultivate a can-do attitude.

Disney was founded on a “Yes, and…” attitude.

Walt Disney reminded people that “it was all started by a mouse…” Yes, we will have a cartoon movie and yes, it will become the biggest franchise in history. Little things can become big things and tiny cartoon mice can transform into multimedia empires and international theme parks.

Disney cast members find a way to say, “Yes.”

While I was at the concierge desk of The Wilderness Lodge, looking for a small screwdriver to fix my camera (which I eventually found in the gift shop), a woman approached one of the cast members. “I have a problem,” she said. He cheerfully replied, “We have no problems here–only solutions we need to find!”

Dayna Steele, a speaker at the conference, noticed it, too, when a Disney cast member redirected a guest from a reserved area to available seating.

Again and again throughout the parks and resorts, we noticed the cast members finding solutions instead of dwelling on problems. Good thing, too, because mama needs her camera!

When my children say, “Mom, I have a problem,” I respond, “Good thing we’re a problem-solving family.” I need say that more often.

The can-do attitude that accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative is a big part of success. Persistence, resilience, and positivity will get you everywhere…including to Disney World.

Disney uses imagination to build.

Most importantly, “yes” sparks the imagination. Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

If you don’t say “yes”…to the mess, to the inconvenience, to the effort, to the possibility of failure…you will never build anything. On this trip to Disney World, I made it a family priority to go to “Journey Into Imagination with Figment,” which I have not done since I was seven years old. Although I couldn’t quite remember what, there was something from that experience that stuck with me–something I wanted to share with my children:

“One little spark of inspiration, Is at the heart of all creation. Right at the start of everything that’s new, One little spark lights up for you.”

Disney is not constructed out of bricks, wood, plaster, and steel; it is built out of imagination. Imagination begins with a “yes.”

Being negative may mean you are often right but it can also be a self-fulling prophecy. Once you say “That will never work,” you are already giving up. Sure, you get the satisfaction of being right if the project fails. You also lose your chance of being part of something special. Would you rather be the person who is right or the person who dreams big?

Disclosure: As an invited guest of everyone’s favorite mouse at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2013, for a small conference fee I received, in addition to access to the conference, a host of other magical gifts and amazing benefits to facilitate my learning and enjoyment of Disney World Parks with my family. I paid for my own transportation to and from Florida as well as for follow-on accommodations after the conference. As always, my time can be hired but not my opinions are not for sale.

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Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: Interpersonal, Values Education

2 Responses to "Cultivating a “Can Do” Attitude #DisneySMMoms"

  1. After 1.5 decades of parenting, “no” tends to become the default. I need to remind myself to listen more and look for ways to say yes when it comes to certain things. I’m good allowing messes and failure, so at least there’s that.

  2. It can be far too easy to fall into the NO trap! You’re so right – The “then let’s fix it” attitude is refreshing.

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