“How much did they pay you to give up on your dreams? ” A line from George Clooney in the movie Up In The Air.
Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham is the guy sent around the US to fire people without making them feel instantly suicidal. His technique involves asking them about their dreams and finding out what they really wanted to do before they signed up for 20 years of corporate mediocrity.
It is a great film, maybe not artistically, but because it highlights the way that so many people bury their dreams and instead settle for less. Perhaps this comes from being told on a daily basis at school that you need to get a job to pay the mortgage and support your wife and 2.4 children. With that pressure and reliance on credit, people have to keep their job otherwise the house of cards falls down.
How many times do you ask people how they got into their line of work and they respond, “I just fell into it” or “it pays the mortgage”? There’s a depressing sense of resignation in these people and clear evidence they have given up on what they really wanted to do.
Think back to when you were a kid and someone asked you the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most of us would have replied, “An astronaut” or “President” or “in a band”. But at some point, those ambitions fade away.
Up In The Air provides a new take on this by making you think about how much you are being paid to do something other than your dream job/career. It makes you suddenly think, I should be paid a lot more to give up that much.
So in signing off, I ask you to think about the question, “How much has your company paid you to give up on your dreams?”