Last night, I watched a pretty great film called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The lead actor and director is Ben Stiller. I’m normally not a fan of his movies, but this one blew my socks off!
The premise of the movie is about Walter: steady, average, boring Walter who manages the negatives (photography negatives) at the Life Magazine company. He’s been at the job for 16 years and he’s exceptionally good at it (in the most mundane, steady way).
There’s a side to Walter that only he knows about. He has a secret superpower – his imagination!
His family knows he “checks out.” His coworkers ask, “Where did you just go?” when he zones out into his imagination. He is teased by coworkers and bosses because of it.
A few events in the movie lead Walter to a message: “Look inside.”
He sees this as his opportunity to bust out of his “average, steady, mundane” life and go searching for the extraordinary.
The movie is a glorious example of what happens when people embrace their secret superpowers and put them into action!
In one scene, someone who only knows Walter through a series of telephone customer service conversations meets Walter in person after his adventures. This guy shares a Cinnabon with Walter at the airport and says, “I pictured you as this little gray piece of paper, but now I see you and it’s like Indiana Jones decided to become the lead singer of The Strokes or something.”
BAM! How’s that for a dramatic change?
So that leads me to wonder, gentle reader, do YOU have a secret superpower you’re not fully using? Where are you living life as a little gray piece of paper rather than as proud, out loud, and with adventure?
The gray piece of paper life looks like this:
- Working: 9 -5 (or 24/7/365)
- Last vacation: YEARS ago!
- Routine: pretty much the same every day
- Energy level: somewhere around your socks
- Enthusiasm: see above
- Learning: stagnant
- Reading: who has time for that?
- Coping mechanisms: alcohol, chocolate, food (not necessarily in that order)
- Laughter: quietly contained or non-existent
- Hugging trees, singing to flowers: are you freaking kidding me?
- TV: on, all the time
I have to stop making this list because my vision is going all grey.
I implore you: choose a new color, a new attitude, a new lease on life! Release your secret superpower! Fly your freak flag! Get excited!!!!!
Right now, this very minute, write down the thing you daydream about. The thing you doodle in the margins during meetings. The thing you google just to feel a connection.
Whatever it is, write it down. Yes, right now.
Next, write down the very first thing that comes to mind about how you can be, do, or have that thing.
No censoring. Just write it down.Yes, right now.
Finally – go and do it. I’m serious. Quit being a little grey piece of paper and go live your one glorious, amazing, colorful life! Do the thing you’re meant to do! Today, now, right this minute.
Make Some Room,
P.S. If you want to share it with me, I’d love to read it!