Your Breakup with Walter Mitty

January 1, 2018

How many times have we given up on a dream because it simply didn’t seem feasible? Walter Mitty is a fictional character that embodies this predicament and unknown to most of us, we happen to have a very toxic relationship with him.




Early in our youth we were asked to use our imagination. And we did.


From arranging simple-shaped blocks to making more complicated structures with our Legos to finally playing a role in building castles and breath-taking skyscrapers, we have long since learned that we are able to rule the world that we create. Our imaginations have taken us to the moon and beyond. Our dreams of being the superheroes, spies or celebrities we see on TV have paved the way for a better life for our future generations, time and time again.


But this is not the case for everyone.


For many of us, our imaginations only exist as a doorway to escape the realities of our lives. We dream but do not do because we find it difficult to believe that we are capable of doing. We segregate our imaginations from our realities—we tell ourselves that we are not good enough, not free enough, not financially independent enough, or simply that we cannot do more with our lives because our imaginations are not feasible enough.


This reluctance to do anything about the dreams we keep locked up in our minds reminds me of the character Walter Mitty.


For those of you who are unaware, Walter Mitty is a fictional character from James Thurber's short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Mitty spends more time daydreaming than he does paying attention to the real world. Despite being nothing more than a fictional character, Mitty has emerged as an everyday for, “…a person who fantasises about a life much more exciting and glamorous than their own”.


It is a sad thing indeed for any one of us to live our lives as Walter Mitty-s.


While it may be impossible to disregard the humdrum of our “realities” all together, we should nevertheless not allow our realities to get in the way of our ability to achieve our dreams and reach our potentials.


It is a shame for our imaginations to stay hidden in the corners of our minds. We have to stop limiting ourselves to Walter Mitty. We have to start doing.


Try to turn your imagination into your hopes and dreams. Try to achieve what you want.


If you imagine living in a mansion, work for it; earn it, and eventually achieve it.


If you imagine yourself becoming a celebrity, improve your talents and skills; look for talent scouts; go to auditions, and make yourself known.


If you want a better life, make one.


Stop living your life within the limits you have put upon yourself. Now is the time for you to shine and become the person you always dreamed of being.


This is your world. This is your life.


Breakup with the Walter Mitty in you.



Note: Photo above by Sam Mgrdichian on Unsplash



Afif Daud


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