5 Life Lessons from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

If you haven’t yet seen the film: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I definitely recommend watching it right now. This article will make so much more sense after watching the film and becoming enlightened like I have done.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is all about a shy guy who works as a photo analyst for Life Magazine.

He has a crush on a colleague, but is afraid to try and get her attention, and has various ‘episodes’ of daydreaming where he will zone out and imagine something amazing happening at that point in time.

Walter can’t find one of the slides Sean O’Connell, a travelling photographer, has sent him to be the featured image on the last issue of Life magazine. In desperate need to keep his job, he goes on an adventurous mission to track down Sean and find the missing slide.


5 Life Lessons from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The adventure becomes an enlightening experience for Walter, and really does change his life. There are so many lessons to be learnt from this film.

It really does say so much about life and we are a much shorter distance away from so many amazing things than we seem to think.

These are 5 great life lessons we can all learn from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:


1. We Are Only Hours Away from Beauty

Walter Mitty had never experienced anything quite as crazy as when he was looking for Sean O’Connell, the photographer of the missing slide. Why not?

His job was so important to him that he made it the only reason he was going to the wonderful places in the first place. Somewhere along the line, he began to enjoy the adventure and let go of his instincts to play things safe.

It wasn’t that difficult for Walter Mitty to travel to those locations; maybe slightly harder than travelling to a more popular location, but still. We are only hours away from something beautiful.

We are literally hours away from a completely different way of living.

Does that thought seem crazy?

It should. Once you are able to let go of all the things holding you back, you can finally realize just how much there truly is in life for you to see, and just how simple it is for you to get there.

Sure, there’s a cost involved, and maybe you have family, possessions and assets where you are right now, but don’t be afraid to let go and experience the beauty that is life.


2. Courage is the Biggest Step to Happiness

Throughout the early parts of the film, Walter is too afraid to do everything he wants to do in life. Which is why he daydreams every fantasy he has and doesn’t take the action needed to do it in real life.

He’s reluctant to go up to the girl he likes because of the potential rejection he might face, being the slight boring and inactive person that he is.

There’s a key moment in the film, and that’s when he actually gets the courage to take the first step towards adventure.

For me, this moment comes at the point in the movie where he’s reluctant to get in a helicopter with a drunk pilot (who wouldn’t be), but then decides to just go for it and leap onto the ‘copter.

At that point, everything changes.

Having the courage to live out your dreams is one of the essential steps needed to do so. Don’t be afraid to leave old lives behind and go for something new.


3. Stop Dreaming, Start Doing

The major factor that the film revolves around, is that Walter Mitty is a shy guy who constantly has daydreams and tends to zone out for short periods at a time.

These thoughts of his are only dreams, and he doesn’t seem to make the decision to act upon them. Which should make you realize that sure it’s all well and good having a dream, but the more you time you spend dreaming means less time you spend actually working towards it.

Don’t get so caught up on the idea of your dream that you forget to actually begin working towards it. Stop dreaming, start doing.


4. Time is Easily Wasted

All that time Walter Mitty spent daydreaming was time wasted. Not only has time been wasted by daydreaming, but the shy way in which Walter has lived his life has meant that he lived a fairly average life.

He could have embarked on so many great journeys within this time, rather than let time slip away from him and continue to work the average and unexciting life.


5. Let Yourself Go A Little

One of the most important lessons we can learn from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is to just let go of our natural instincts and emotions, to do things that we wouldn’t normally think of doing.

Try to let go of yourself every now and again, and don’t over-think certain situations.



This film is incredibly inspiring and there’s so much we can learn from Walter Mitty and the changes that he goes through during his quest to find the missing picture.

Here’s a recap on the 5 life lessons we can all learn from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:

  • We are only hours away from beauty
  • Courage is the biggest step towards happiness
  • Stop dreaming, start doing
  • Time is easily wasted
  • Let yourself go a little
  • If you enjoyed this article and the movie, you might want to take a look at our list of the best inspirational movies to watch.

    What lessons have you learnt from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Leave a comment below.

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