Book Jeff

Don’t Stop Believin’​

Greetings from Niagara Falls, Canada! I’m writing while also sharing The Wisdom of Walt with a great group of folks from various businesses in agriculture at the Grow Your People Summit. It is fitting that the event is taking place in Ontario because this is where Walt’s father, Elias, was born in 1859 (Bluevale).

The conference has been great, and seeing Niagara Falls for the first time, spectacular. But a serendipitous highlight has been going to “The Royal.” Don’t worry; I hadn’t heard of it either. The Royal is an annual agricultural fair that started in Toronto a hundred years ago (1922). We went by bus last Wednesday night and watched dogs race, horses jump, and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, well, mount. By the end of the night, I was starting to understand why hockey, in comparison, is so incredibly popular in Canada….

To be fair, I loved every second. It was a thoroughly Canadian kind of night. Something you just can’t experience by walking through what I believe is Epcot’s best space in World Showcase, the Canadian Pavilion. Then, something interesting happened on the ninety-minute bus ride back to Niagara Falls. It was midnight, and rather than letting everyone sleep, someone thought Canadian karaoke was a better idea. Regardless, everyone remained half-asleep, half-awake, half-participating until someone started singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’!”

Now unlike the Bryan Adams, Justin Bieber, or Shania Twain tunes, I couldn’t quite connect Journey or “Don’t Stop Believin’!” to Canada. It was quite the kerfuffle. Regardless, now everyone was in. Now these Maple Leafs were awake. Now these Canucks were crooning at the top of their Loonie lungs.

Growing up in the Florida panhandle, it was impossible for me to imagine, let alone believe, that my life’s journey would ever lead me to the life I live now. California wasn’t another state; it was another country. Canada wasn’t another country; it was another world. Yet here I was flying between both and riding a bus on my way back to Niagara Falls at midnight in November. I was giving the opening keynote to the conference the next morning and the closing keynote the following day. I couldn’t believe it!

And that’s when it hit me.

The song is all about how we shouldn’t stop believing. But who says you are believing the right things? Part of my keynote talks about the importance of letting go of limiting beliefs (more on this next week). So, if you believe you are too old or too young to get started on your dream, you need to stop believing that! If you believe you can’t or won’t achieve your goals and dreams, again…you need to stop believing that! If you believe bad things always happen to you or good things never come your way…you guessed it…stop believing that!

After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney believed he would never do anything as good. Then, after the success of Disneyland, cities around the country and countries around the world kept calling, all wanting Walt to build them their own Disneylands. Walt, however, did not believe in sequels, and for years, he held onto the belief that there would “never be another Disneyland!”


Psychology tells us our beliefs are the basis for our thoughts, our thoughts form our emotions, our emotions dictate our actions, and our actions equal our life. If you want to change your life, then start by changing your beliefs.

What belief do you need to stop believing today? Leave a comment and let me know!

By the way, when I graduated high school in the Florida panhandle (Niceville Senior High School) in 1981, our class song was, you guessed it, “Don’t Stop Believing!”

Or so I thought.

For some reason, that is what I have believed, and told people, for the past forty-plus years. But when doing research for this blog, I learned Journey didn’t release the song until October 1981. I graduated in May. Oops.

Be careful what you believe. You just might be wrong.

“We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun- together.” –Walt Disney

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