Why Kids Love Athletes


*For the sake of risking my reputation, I want to preface this story with the fact that I was on an airplane and no other movie to watch*

I was watching the George Clooney movie ‘In The Air’ last week – in short, Clooney plays a character that travels around the country and companies hire him to conduct mass layoffs.  So, he goes into offices, and fires hundreds of people that he has never met, and tries his best to keep them under control.

There’s a scene in the movie where Clooney encounters a guy who really starts breaking down, upset about the situation of course, and discussing that he won’t be able to support his family or pay his bills, and discusses how much of an embarrasment he will be in the eyes of his kids. In order to calm him down, Clooney replies with the following;

Ryan Bingham: You know why kids love athletes?

Bob: Because they screw lingerie models.

Ryan Bingham: No, that’s why we love athletes. Kids love them because they follow their dreams.  

Entrepreneurs are forced to rework their definition of success. As you grow up, you’re instilled with this belief that success is working your way up the ranks until you have an office in the front hall with a big window and retired at 65. Was that really your dream though? The point Clooney makes in this scene hits home hard for the gentleman he is speaking to.  The guy who just got fired started working at this job right out of college, and like many people, got stuck paying bills and was always afraid to leave his job.  People get comfortable, and then bam, its been 25 years and you’re still at the same job that you really do not like, dealing with the same bullshit day in and day out.

Clooney’s line here makes the guy realize that being fired from this job is actually an amazing opportunity for him to reinvent himself, and actually earn the admiration of his kids.  When people get fired from their job, they’re always in a terrible mood.  But they hated that job, so really it’s a gift – the freedom to rediscover your dreams and actually pursue them.

So like Clooney says – you and I love athletes because they screw lingerie models, but kids aspire to be like athletes because this is what they dream of doing.  You never dreamed of working in a cubicle with people you don’t particularly like doing work that’s no fun.  It’s time to reinvent yourself. If you like cooking, look into being a chef.  If you like sports, look into start an eCommerce store selling sports memorabilia.  If you like travel, start a travel blog.  You get my point.

 Photo courtesy of Army Recruiting on Flickr


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