Make your Life an Adventure: Lessons from “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
I must have seen this movie a hundred times and I never get tired of it. Beautiful cinematography and landscapes put to a great story and music soundtrack. Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty who lives this humdrum life supporting his family working in the photo team of Life Magazine but has these crazy daydreams of wild & spectacular adventures. All of this is happening when he loses the snapshot of the last cover while the magazine he works at is shut down.
He then begins a real world adventure trying to track it down, traveling to Greenland, taking a helicopter ride in a storm, diving into the ocean & working on a trawler, off to Iceland skateboarding during a volcano eruption and then hiking uncharted Afghanistan.
So why does this resonate so much with me and many others? It’s an amazing story of personal growth. I remember growing up as a kid in suburban Canada. Not having done very much, with limited experience in general and very bored at school, I would have these crazy ridiculous daydreams and was never really present in life. Looking back these daydreams seem so silly but it probably was a way for one’s brain to exercise itself. With so little life experience this probably is natural.
But like Walter Mitty as you travel and experience more real world adventure you tend to daydream less. Your reality can become more interesting and much better than your imagination. This should actually be the goal of all of us. As seen in the movie, the motto of Life Magazine is “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel.”
Yet so many people are stuck in work and life situations that while not awful are still boring and soul crushing. Maybe because these people are not reaching their potential but have ended up settling in life.
With the internet, cheap flights, job & business opportunities galore all over the world there are less and less excuses to not try something different. Or at least change your environment and perspective.
Watching “Walter Mitty” is a reminder of this and how jumping into adventure can completely change your life for the better. No time like now to do so.
Or as the TV Billionaire Bobby Axelrod said “You have one life, so do it All”