When I was five years old, the thing I wanted to do most of all, out of every job in the universe, was be a Disney Imagineer. The idea of building not just rides, but actual imaginary worlds was the coolest thing.
Even though my desire to be one isn’t quite as great as it once was, Imagineers are pretty dang cool. They design scenery, rides, waiting lines, whatever makes the “world” of Disney. The whole point of being an Imagineer isn’t just about the math, science, or technique involved; after all, a theme park isn’t a problem to be solved… it should be an experience… Isn’t there a reason we call Disney “The Most Magical Place on Earth”?
At Disney, there are people who have jobs just to figure out where to put trash cans, benches, lights, and water fountains, and how many. Who wants to think about where to put their garbage when they could be riding Space Mountain, or meeting Tinkerbell? Why should someone worry about where they can sit down while waiting for their teenage son to ride some sort of thrill ride? The details matter!
And that’s what important about not just Imagineers, but designers, musicians, artists, writers, propmakers, actors, chefs, scientists- whatever! It doesn’t matter what you do: everything is an experience, and people live for experiences. Bringing the imaginary to life, accounting for the little things, is what matters. Whether it’s the extra time you take to write a perfect measure just for the bass part in an orchestra or the special spices you add to a recipe, someone will notice the details. (Even if it’s that the trash can is in just the right spot!)
Putting more detail and emotion into your work, whatever it is, won’t just make you feel better about your work or help you improve… it’ll make the world seem better for others.