Happy New Year! I hope you’re excited about this New Year and the potential for a fresh start. For many people having a fresh start is really important. It can be a time to open to new possibilities or a time to sweep away the past and start afresh on a project, goal or commitment.

I have titled this blog “Making Dreams Come True” because I want to focus on how we do this, and who better to start with than the man who is, perhaps the most well known for doing just that—Walt Disney. Whether you like what he created or not, there is no doubt this man made his dreams come true. His extraordinary success captured the attention of many people, including Robert Dilts.

I’d Like You to Meet Robert Dilts

Robert Dilts is perhaps best known as an NLP trainer and founder of NLP University. He is a man with great heart, who loves and appreciates excellence. He has been curious all his life about how people think, and what their perspectives are. To give you just a peek into the unusual way Robert thinks, I remember a group of us going out for dinner with him, after a weekend training program. We were eating in a Moroccan restaurant, and the menu was filled with words I didn’t even recognize. I started “wading” through the menu and glanced over at Robert. He had already closed his menu and was sitting pleasantly chatting with the person beside him. I was shocked that he knew had decided so quickly so thought I would capitalize on his expertise. I asked what he was ordering, thinking he knew what he liked and perhaps I would too. I’ll never forget his reply – I don’t know what I am getting – I just looked at the menu and chose the first thing didn’t recognize!

Wow, what a different way to order a meal. Chose what you don’t know. This prompted a great conversation as Robert shared his top value—learning and new experiences—he wasn’t worried about liking his food or even being well fed. How different is that?

The Disney Strategy

Well, Robert’s curiosity led him to study Walt Disney to see if he could uncover his strategy for creating. What he uncovered is now known as “The Disney Strategy” and has been used the world over. Disney’s process includes three key components which he would rotate through until all three were in alignment (in NLP terms these are three different perceptual positions). They are:

The Dreamer

Disney’s whole creative process begins, not surprisingly, with the Dreamer. The Dreamer has free reign, no holds barred and just dreams.

The Realist

Next, Disney would step into the dream and be the Realist. How does the dream feel, does it work, make sense etc.

The Critic

Lastly he would take the data from the Realist and using the Critic, look for the things that need to change or don’t work.


All of this information would be offered to the Dreamer, who would then incorporate the changes to make the dream better. Disney would then try the dream on again and do on. He would cycle through these three “positions” until it felt right to all three.


What I have found is that people tend to have a preference for one of the three. They either love the Dreamer, or are more drawn and comfortable with the Realist, or the Critic. And, this is precisely the problem.

The brilliance of Disney is that he used all three to accomplish his goals. Most often what people do is settle into their preference and stay there. Some people are great dreamers, but the dreams never come off the drawing board. Some people are Realists and just don’t really ever dream. And others become critics, always finding and focusing on what’s wrong.

What do you think your preference is?

Are you open to expanding what you already know into a fuller, richer way to approach things? As we start off the New Year it is a great time to think about this. Do you want to become better at dreaming? Do you need to add more reality so that your dreams actually happen? Or do you need to give up your pattern of being critical, noticing what’s wrong, or “the glass is half empty” perspective so that more possibilities come to life?

Let’s spend the week thinking about this. Ask your friends or family what they think your preference is and what is theirs.

Next Week…

I’m going to talk about what gets in the way of moving forward, dreaming, and having the confidence to go for what we really want.

So… how about you?

Are you a Dreamer? A Realist? or a Critic?

Leave a comment below, and let me know what your default position is. I’d be really interested in knowing. Remember, we need to be able to function in all of the above positions. This is just about knowing where you find yourself most often.