George Clooney plays the part of Ryan Bingham in the dramatic comedy “Up in the Air.” His official job title is corporate downsizer, which literally means that he fires people for a living. He gets hired to fire people when someone chooses not to do it themselves.
At one specific moment in the film, he is speaking to an older man who has been with the same company his entire career; however, this day will be his last with the firm. As the man is ranting about how unfair it is that he was let go, Clooney makes a statement that makes the man take a step back and reconsider his current predicament. His question is simply, “Do you know why kids love athletes?” Needless to say, this is not a phrase most people would expect to hear when being fired.
The man is clearly caught off guard and does not know how to respond. Clooney expands by saying, “Kids love athletes because they never gave up on their dreams.” After this statement, the mood shifts from one of anger and frustration to one of curiosity and hope.
In what seems like another random statement, Clooney points out that the man minored in French culinary arts in college and had worked cleaning tables at different French restaurants to help pay his way through college. The man concurred with the statements and eagerly anticipated to see where the conversation was headed.
After a brief pause by both parties, the conversation continues with a more serious tone. Clooney asks, “How much did you first get paid to give up on your dreams?” The employee replied, “$27,000 a year.” Knowing that the number had no bearing on his next statement, Clooney emphatically responded, “And when are you going to stop and go back to what your true passion is in life?”
Now I ask you the same type of question, what is the price tag for your dreams? If you are doing a job you hate just for the money, is it really worth it? Have you traded in happiness for a paycheck? Often you hear people say that it isn’t about the money, but if you looked at the way they lived, would you reach the same conclusion?
This is not intended to be an anti-wealth or anti-money post, but rather an opportunity to reconsider your priorities. Have you sold out on your hopes, dreams, and desires simply to get a paycheck?
Since you only have one opportunity at life, are you spending yours the way you want to?