A Lesson from the Magic Kingdom

career coaching career happiness Nov 15, 2023
Picture of cinderellas castle at Magic Kingdom

Important life lessons can pop up in the most unexpected places.

I recently took an 11-day trip to Orlando. During my trip spent a few days with my pal Liz, then I immersed myself in a 5-day long conference experience.

And then...I went to the Magic Kingdom for the first time...and I met Mickey Mouse!

Tons of my friends are Disney addicts. Out of about 15 people in our group, I was the only one who had never walked through the front gates of the Magic Kingdom! (I have spent time in other Walt Disney World Parks, though).

Everyone in my Disneyphile group had favorite rides, favorite shows, and favorite hangout spots in the park.

Not me. I had no idea.

But I knew two things.

1) Mickey Mouse lives at the Magic Kingdom.

2) I was not leaving without getting a picture with him. 

Mickey hangs out in a building just inside the gates, so we went over to check out the situation.

When we got there, the sign said that the wait was a whole freaking hour.

It was pretty early in the day and we'd just had brunch, so I was in for it and my friends said they were up for it, too.

And then...someone in our group dropped this turd in my punchbowl.

"This is lame. Mickey Mouse isn't worth a 60-minute wait in line."

I'm not gonna lie, I didn't love hearing that.

I didn't have many things that I thought were important to do on this first proper trip to Magic Kingdom, and now one of the people in my group was grousing about it.

I was upset about it for a minute or two, and finally, I looked at him and we had this exchange.

Me: M, would you tell a four-year-old visiting Magic Kingdom for the first time that meeting Mickey Mouse is lame and not worth it?

M: No, of course not.

Me: Well, why do you think it's OK to say to a 48-year-old?

M: <crickets>

What you want matters more than what other people think you should want.

I had a goal of getting a pic with Mickey, even though most of the people in my group had been there and done that and were more interested in getting on the brand-new Tron ride or visiting the Haunted Mansion.

You may have also a goal that is important to you but others don't necessarily understand.

The most important thing you can do?

Get clear about what you want.

Really, really, clear.

It could be

  • Getting promoted to director within 2 years.
  • Transitioning from engineering leadership to product management.
  • Finding a job with enough time flexibility to be able to train for that Ironman triathlon that's been on your bucket list for year.

No matter what you want - what you truly want - your goal is valid and deserves your attention and energy.

Just like I deserved a picture with Mickey.

Which I got, by the way. 

If you need help getting clarity about what you really want, a strategy session with Diana may be just what you need to get unstuck. Book a call today.