I wonder how many of us act like the character played by Ben Stiller in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, wanting a different life, but paralyzed by fear and routine?
In the “secret life” of Walter’s imagination, he delivers a witty retort to his jerk boss, he asks the woman of his dreams on a date, and he risks his own life to rescue a helpless animal from disaster. During the film, we observe Walter transform from a timid soul who watches the world go by, to a brave man who acts upon his heart’s deepest dreams. His story confirms this positive thought.
“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
So what exactly catapulted Walter into the life he’d always wanted? Bravery perhaps? Did you know that bravery is the single most powerful emotion we can harness while overcoming our fears? “Be brave? I’ve never been brave”, you say. Well, I’d like to suggest, in the coming year you do one thing that scares you every day.
It can be something little, something like talking to a stranger (if that makes you uncomfortable), or ordering a new food that you find interesting but weird. The point is this: there’s a comfort zone that we all live within and you need to get out of it regularly. Think of your comfort zone as a bubble. A big, old, boring bubble. It’s stagnant. Keeping you from the world and the world from you.
Secondly, we must stop eliminating disorder in our lives. Yes. I said that. We’re constantly trying to keep chaos at bay and usher in order – to a flaw. Did you know that as disorder is eliminated from our lives it causes us to be less spontaneous, which reduces our exposure to new ideas and experiences? This leads to more ignorance and isolation than it does open-mindedness and collaboration.
Lastly, There’s great intrigue in disorder and spontaneity. The human mind actually needs new, unfamiliar activities to thrive? It stimulates brain activities and creates new neuropathways. Yes, new paths in your brain actually mean new paths in your life!
So how about adopting a new outlook on life in 2014? Maybe unplugging from technology and relying on a new source of life and adventure. Maybe stopping to talk to a stranger or figure out which way is east by looking at the sun. Or, you can be like Walter Mitty, and borrow a skateboard from an Icelandic teenager and skate your way into an adventure.
All in all, let’s stop talking about having a vibrant life and start living it.
Break out of your routine. Do something crazy. Move out. Go buy a plane ticket and be the story instead of hearing the story.
When have you been brave? Tell me about it in the comments below