The Key to Creating a Vivid (and Magical) Life by Lee Cockerell

On this episode of The Lifehack Show, we invited Lee Cockerell, former executive vice president of operations at Walt Disney World Resort.

As a senior operating executive, Lee oversaw a team of 40,000 performers for 10 years and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping and entertainment village, and the ESPN Sports and Recreation Complex. in addition to the charities that support the world’s number one vacation destination.

One of Lee’s most important and enduring legacies was the creation of the Disney Great Leader Strategies, which served to train and develop the 7,000 leaders at Walt Disney World.

In this episode, Lee shares his journey to who he is today and the lessons he’s learned over the years to live a fulfilling life, something we value deeply at Lifehack.

Watch the full interview video here:

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3 things that are important for a lively (and magical) life

By the time Lee was about 35, his responsibilities grew rapidly as he got bigger jobs. With a wife and a kid, things piled up and he started to get really stressed. He worked far too many hours – he worked weekends, and he came early and stayed late. It damaged his marriage as his wife was not happy about it. He also didn’t see his son as often as he wanted. Until he attended a seminar on time management, where he learned about planning and prioritization.

Lee shared with us the 3 most important things we should prioritize in order to live a vibrant and magical life with our limited time and energy.

#1 Take care of yourself

If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your team, your company, your business. – Lee Cockerell

Every day at five o’clock after work, Lee would go to the gym and work out before going home. That was his daily routine. He did his best at work but did not overexert himself or neglect his health and personal life because of work.

In the interview, Lee emphasized the importance of staying fit and healthy. Many do not feel well, have no energy or motivation to work because they do not take good care of their health. Getting enough sleep, a healthy diet, and regular exercise are key to staying energized and achieving what you want every day.

I weigh exactly what I weighed 55 years ago because I want to and I’ll be 79 soon. I have more energy than anyone because if you do the right things, it works. – Lee Cockerell

#2 Take care of your family

I sleep better because I have a great family. We support each other. I don’t want to regret that I wish I had spent more time with them. – Lee Cockerell

Lee invests a lot of time in his family. He goes on vacation, spends Christmas and travels with his family. He prioritizes his energy and time with his family because he knows that family is important to his fulfillment in life.

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I don’t really care where I spend my money as long as there is enough savings because I can always get it back; but where am I spending my time and you may not get your wife back if she leaves. – Lee Cockerell

#3 Mind your business

As a highly successful businessman, his business is surprisingly the last thing on his list of priorities.

Most people who get very rich and very successful end up with divorce and drug use and all sorts of problems… I don’t need a lot of money, I just need enough. I try not to make tons. I don’t need much, I just need enough. – Lee Cockerell

Lee believes we can always get more money, but we can never get more time. That’s exactly what we believe at Lifehack. To learn more about this, you can take a look at my article The Truth About the Value of Time in Life, where I talk about the true value of time.

Also, Lee had a clear priority of what to focus on while he was still at Disney. He focused on hiring the right people, training them and treating them right by making sure they had a good culture. Rather than doing it all alone, Lee focused on the challenging tasks that produced the most impactful results in the organization.

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Plan out the things that are important to you and this is how time management plays out. – Lee Cockerell

We can’t do everything and we have to learn to say no to some things. Prioritizing and focusing on things that really matter to him is his key to creating magic at work and in life.

bottom line

If you’ve always believed that success and fulfillment in life is determined by your work or career, I hope this interview with Lee can make you think about it.

Life is made up of different aspects and work is just one part of our life. To truly enjoy life to the fullest, you should first know what is important to you and focus on it. We all have limited time and energy, so don’t invest in things that don’t matter and only regret later in life.

Check out the YouTube video above to watch the full interview and you’ll learn so much more!

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⌄ Scroll down to read more articles ⌄ The Key to Creating a Vivid (and Magical) Life by Lee Cockerell

Sarah Y. Kim

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