The Significant Lessons From Walter Mitty


From a short story published in 1939 to a movie starring and directed by Ben Stiller. ‘Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ is not a comedy movie, which is synonymous with Ben Stiller. Considering how whimsical and inspirational this movie is, it is apparent that Ben Stiller sees this movie as his passion project as he is willing to show his serious side of acting and directing.

Our Comfort Zone: Safe but Spiritless 

The Significant Lessons From Walter Mitty
Our comfort zone, safe but spiritless

Walter Mitty represents all of us. Deep inside not all of us are completely satisfied with our lives. Our life could be balanced, but mundane. Stable but repetitive. Capable but insecure. Serene in our comfort zone but wish to gain more. Yearning to take one step outside but afraid of what’s hiding behind the door.

We spend most of our time calculating if the risks are worth the effort. As more time passes by, we stop contemplating and seek escapism. Maybe not all of us experience maladaptive daydreaming like Walter Mitty but we have our own way.

The Comfort of Escapism

The Significant Lessons From Walter Mitty
It’s easier to imagine fighting a shark than to actually do it

Some people work very hard as a form of escapism. Some watch movies or play video games. And unfortunately some would turn to drugs and alcohol to distract themselves.

Escapism feels nice. It distracts you from the never-ending calculation of the risk in achieving your dreams. But this movie is here to tell you that it is not a solution. Escapism is a delay in achieving your dreams. 

Uncertainty is Certain

The Significant Lessons From Walter Mitty
The only certain thing in this life is uncertainty

The core of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ is to bravely embrace changes. Take risks but be careful. Be hopeful and anticipative. Stop dreaming and make it real.

There are a lot of scenes in the movie where many problems could’ve been settled if Mitty never daydreamed in important conversations. However, there are some scenes in the movie where his daydreaming habit actually motivates him pushing himself forward and taking risky decisions. 

The point is perhaps your escapism is not entirely your distraction. It could even be your solution that you’re never thought of.

Escapism Could Be Your Answer – If Done Right  

The Significant Lessons From Walter Mitty
Be brave to make your escapism your ally

Escapism could be both of your demise or your solution.

If your escapism is watching movies, maybe your solution is to be a writer. If your escapism is to travel, then be a professional blogger or vlogger. If playing video games is your escapism, then do it professionally – participate in an e-sport championship! 

The point is don’t let your escapism be a distraction – because it could be your answer.

Don’t let yourself go through days of repetitive cycles. Turn your escapism into your passion project. Take risks. It’s okay to fail because you can always learn something new. 

Uncertainty, the only certain thing is. Embrace it.


  • Muzhameer Putra

    Student by day, writer by night. If it's cinematic, I'll get it right. I'm a big fan of superheroes, cinemas, science, and history. But most of all, I just love good stories.

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