Mr Mitty and I

I think we all encounter at least once in our life a book, a movie, a song or a tune that really resonates with us. It speaks to us in a way that others will never understand and stays with us forever.

That’s what happened when I was exposed to Mr Mitty. For those of you who don’t know who or what I’m talking about, Walter Mitty is a character from a short story of the same name written by James Thurber. He first appeared in the New Yorker in 1939. In 2013, a movie adaptation was released and stars Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig. I think it’s such an inspirational movie and was crafted beautifully.

Mr Mitty is a daydreamer; he transports himself into a wild and elaborate world of imagination to escape the mundaneness of reality. In the short story, he escapes his weekly shop with his wife and her trip to the beauty parlour. In the movie, he escapes his workplace, his responsibilities and ultimately, his average life. Walter’s journey to find a missing negative leads him on an adventure of a lifetime. I also love that the evolution of his e-Harmony profile is used to show how much he grows and progresses as a person and it details his life experiences in the space of a few weeks.

What I love the most about the movie is Life magazine’s motto:

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I shamelessly have this quote printed and hanging above my desk at work. It’s corny but it really inspires me and I know it inspires a lot of people and I’m glad it does. When I start to feel stagnant at work and question what I’m doing and why I’m there, I look at the quote and I’m reminded that I’m working towards the bigger picture.

I think a valuable lesson we can all take from Mr Mitty is that while extreme daydreaming/’mittyism’ is okay, why waste life just dreaming when you can go out there and make it a reality? Don’t wait around for things to happen – go and make it happen. And if you can’t, why not? What’s stopping you? Can you find a solution?

I feel like for far too long, I’ve been putting off travelling for various reasons: career, relationships, fear and ultimately, money. I’m not going to lie; money is still an issue. Unfortunately I’m a lover of new superficial things and living a life of luxury so that doesn’t help when you need to save money for tickets, accommodation, transportation and well, experiences because some of them don’t come cheap!

But it’s okay to live the poor life because I know in the end I’m going to be rich… rich in experiences that is! And who knows, I might just meet my ABC man at the other end of the Earth.

For those of you who don’t know what ABC is, it’s another Mitty reference:

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Well Mr Mitty, I hope you stay in my life for a while yet and continue to inspire me to reach out to my dreams and make it a reality. I’m not going to lie, the thought of travelling is terrifying because it’s way out of my comfort zone but, another movie reference: life is about courage and going into the unknown.

My challenge to you (yes you! The person my friend Emma is pointing to!!) don’t just sit there and be afraid… grow some balls and go out into the unknown. Even if you don’t succeed, you’ll come back richer. With a moustache and maybe a sombrero.

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If you haven’t read the story or watched the movie, I highly recommend it.

Photo credit: Drunken photo booth pic from a staff Christmas party

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