15 Years

It would appear we all suffer from the same habit. Taking time for granted. Intellectually, we all know time is limited. Yet, we go on thinking we have all the time in the world, when in reality, we don't. If lifetime can be considered a job, it would appear we're all temp workers easily replaced at anytime.

I can't help but be reminded of Walt Disney's words to his son in law, Ron Miller many years ago. “Fifteen more years,” said the Old Maestro. “If I could just have fifteen more years I could probably accomplish many of the plans I have.” This was in 1966, the last year of Walt's life. After years of accomplishment, Disney still had much to do. Those of us who know our Disney history probably have an idea of what Walt was thinking about. He still had Walt Disney World as a work in progress in Orlando Florida. Plus, there was an even larger plan in the mix. Walt dreamed of creating an Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow next to his expanded theme park. It would take at least fifteen years, but Walt was sure he could do it. Of course, had he lived, he would have accomplished all this and probably a good deal more.

As kids we have the tendency to believe we will live forever. Therefore, what's the rush in making decisions? I'm hardly a smart guy but I realized even in my youth that there was limited time for me to get my act together. Even as a kid I felt a sense of urgency. Time was always running out and I needed to quickly get to the business at hand if I was ever going to achieve my goals. Today, I remain amazed at many young people who appear to have no goals at all. Maybe this is normal, but I find it unimaginable. Can a person move through life and simply let it happen to them? Sadly, far too many young people seem to be doing just that. There are no goals to aspire to because they simply have none.

I still find it interesting that Walt Disney asked for fifteen more years. Not ten years or five, but fifteen. Just think what Walt would have accomplished in that time. Think of the impact it would have had on society and the world, along with a very different Walt Disney Company than the one we have today. It's a question we can all ask ourselves. What would we do if we were granted an additional fifteen more years of life?