How Wreck-It Ralph helped me Re-Focus My Life Vision (Part I)

Michael Maman
2 min readDec 6, 2021


Ralph in ‘Hero’s Duty’, image from IMDB

I watched Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph after graduating college with a degree in Philosophy. Having aspirations for military service, I set my sights on becoming an Air Force Officer. I was also after the status and prestige. In my mind I thought: “An Air Force Officer! Think of the travel opportunities, the military training, the discipline.” I thought I would become a new man. But what happened if I did not get selected?

External Validation

In the film, Ralph sees getting a medal in Hero’s Duty as the only way to give his life meaning and value to others. He wants to be seen by the Nicelanders as “hero” who will get cake and stay in the penthouse. In a similar fashion, I saw myself as needing this officer commission in order to add meaning and value to my own life. Not knowing what to do with my Philosophy degree, and struggling through majors in college, I thought this opportunity could kick-start my professional career into high-mode.

In any case, after interviews and putting together what I thought at the time was a strong application package, the selection board was cancelled.

In light of my disappointment, I thought of applying again, but needed to do something else in the meantime. I opted to train with the founder of a traditional Japanese jujutsu school in California. It was a live-in apprentice program, which appealed to my younger obsession with martial arts and discipline. But in the meantime, I was still fixated on the Air Force Officer career, my “medal.”

…To be continued in Part 2