UPDATE: New podcast added today.

We packed up the Hughes Clan last week and drove the long haul to the Happiest Place On Earth--Disneyland. Actually 7 hours isn't bad, under normal circumstances. But who would consider 8 people packed in car a normal circumstance?

Obviously we survived to tell about it.

It was my first time to California Adventure, which is the theme park that was built in what USED to be Disneyland's parking lot! How's THAT for expansion??

We marveled at the creative genius evident everywhere. From a ride that simulates flying over the most beautiful and scenic parts of California to walking underneath a replica Golden Gate Bridge. When the Soaring Over California ride whisked you through forests, you could actually SMELL them.

At first I thought it was my imagination. Then I realized it wasn't. It was someone ELSE'S imagination. You really COULD smell the trees and feel the ocean! What an amazing thing!

We capped our visit with our traditional pilgrimage to Disneyland, the Mother of all theme parks. It was great to see that they brought back the Submarine ride, making it even better than it was before.

But everywhere we walked, I was constantly reminded of the true importance of vision and goal making.

Today, the Walt Disney Company seems like a giant, faceless entity that rakes in tens of billions of dollars each year.

But it all started with the dreams and visions of a young boy who was born and raised in poverty. As a kid, Walt Disney barely had a dime to his name. But he had big dreams of becoming an animator.

And he did. It's hard to believe that the man who created the most famous theme park in the world was first hired as a kid to draw his neighbor's horse! It's hard to believe that there were characters and sketches before Mickey Mouse, but there were. Many of them.

The sparkle never left that young boy's eyes and he did what most people can't seem to do as much anymore--persevere. Even his wife and brother tried to talk him out of making his first full length feature film--SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES because it seemed to expensive and too enormous an endeavor. And it was, indeed, both. The studio actually ran out of money and Walt had to go to the bank to convince them to loan the money needed for its completion to the studio. And thankfully, they did.

I kept all of this in the back of my mind as we watched in awe the legacy of this amazing man. From his own creations to ones that were born decades after his death, the magic is everywhere and constantly blooming anew.

Here's to the boy of vision who luckily never gave up. Here's to the young ambulance driver in World War I who kept his dreams alive even among the death and destruction that he witnessed first hand.

Walt Disney is quoted as having said, "A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive."

He also gave many variations of the following quote, "If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse."

Imagine the creative world today had that little mouse never made his first appearance as a simple sketch and idea.

Thoughts...indeed...become things. And the bigger your thoughts, the bigger things they can become.

So no matter where you are right at this moment in your life...think as powerfully and as magically as you can.