By: D-Team Member Lexie

It’s a cold Autumn morning here in Sydney and I can’t help but think about all of the things I am thankful for. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life, from my family to my friends and especially my sweetheart. These people are incredible and it’s thinking about them that is keeping me warm right now (maybe my coffee is helping a little bit too!).  With thoughts like this, it is pretty obvious that I am a dreamer and a romantic. I always try to see the positives and make sure that both myself and everyone I love, keeps smiling. I cannot deny that I have Disney to thank for this. I’m looking around the crowded University study hall, wishing that everyone here could be as blissful as me on this chilly morning. Everything seems grey outside, but there is no shade of grey in my thoughts. To put it simply, my life revolves around Disney.

Thoughts of all my favorite characters and the lessons they teach tend to hold my life together. I turn to Disney at every occasion. Just ask my friends, its true!

The first life changing character that comes to mind right now, is Ariel. (Even as I am writing this, I have a huge smile on my face and people are looking at me like I’m crazy. It is worth it though.) ‘Part of Your World” has always been my most treasured Disney moment. Ariel’s innocence and passion for life inspires me when I need that extra little pick me up. She is ready to step out into a foreign world and to take on whatever comes her way, all in the name of pursuing her dreams. If I’m weighed down with excessive amounts of study, all I have to do is close my eyes and picture this scene. The gorgeous eyes, the free movement under the water and of course her angelic voice. Ariel keeps me calm and reminds me that if I keep my dream of changing the world in sight, then I too can be as special and kindhearted as her.

The beauty of ‘Part of your world’ is emerged in the stunning melody. I am definitely thankful for the fabulous music of Disney films! The memorable and enchanting tunes are some of the most loved elements of each Disney story. Belle makes us smile with her inquisitive and lighthearted voice, the Lion King makes us dance and have a good laugh, and the Jungle Book takes us back to the bare necessities with a great big smile. Each Disney film has such a colourful spectrum of songs to enjoy, with so many different emotions in each. It is the simplicity, charm and liveliness of each song that makes them so memorable. For me, there is a Disney song to flatter each occasion in life. When I’m sad, Disney songs are the perfect pick me up and when I’m feeling on top of the world, they keep that enthusiasm shinning! No other kind of music has touched my life like Disney has. We can take a Disney moment and reflect it onto our own lives. Aren’t we lucky?

On top of the music, I am thankful for the importance of perspective that Disney films portray. No matter the size of the challenge that our protagonist confronts, there is always a way for it to be overcome. Snow White finds a loving group of friends after her ordeal in the dark forest, and Peter Pan learns maturity in the face of danger from his new British pals. Disney has taught me that obstacles are a part of life. A part of life that needs to be managed with bravery and perspective. We can definitely look to others for help, but it is often what others teach us about ourselves that ends up overcoming the challenge. In saying that, it is clear that the somewhat magical concept of a happily ever after guides Disney films. Even though there are distinct elements of fantasy sprinkling each story, we can still see the importance of looking at difficulties in different lights and remaining positive.  If it weren’t for the magic of Disney, I certainly wouldn’t be a dreamer.

Disney has also shown me the power of an adventurous.

When our favourite characters progress through the ups and downs of their respective journeys, they each learn how to believe in themselves. To me, this is the perfect representation of courage. I see adventure and courage as going hand in hand. Jasmine explores a whole new world, Marlin crosses out of his comfort zone and Mulan goes above and beyond to fulfill her family duties. These characters pursue not only their responsibilities, but also their dreams. As I said before, Disney has been filtered through every aspect of my life and my way of thinking. It is the lesson of adventure and self-determination that informs who I am.  I have to say that it is because of the courageous characters that I had grown up with that I am able to be confident, independent and self-motivated.

Our Sleeping Beauty Meeting The Prince 'Once Upon a Dream'

Our Sleeping Beauty Meeting The Prince ‘Once Upon a Dream’

Finally, I am thankful not only for the day to day and moment making inspiration that Disney gives me but also for the inspiration for my long-term life aspirations. What is it about Disney that guides me? Well, I can’t even find the words to describe how Walt’s work ethic and desire for creativity and innovation inspires me.

It is his wisdom and approach to challenges that have enabled me to put my roadblocks into perspective. After all, Walt once said, “It is kind of fun to do the impossible”.

I only hope that one day, I can follow in his world changing footsteps and achieve something that contributes to someone’s life. It is because of my love for Disney that I aspire to, well, change the world. No, Disney has not made me want to become a global leader, but it certainly has shown me that changing the world can be accomplished in more achievable, personal ways. All you have to do is look at characters like Winnie the Pooh, Pocahontas or Aurora. Just by thinking in a different light, being inquisitive, or simply being a good friend, it is possible to make a difference. This is one of the greatest lessons I think anyone could learn.