Banking and financial services have been cautious and slow with innovation and progress. But what if we are looking at our sector as we dream it to be rather than what it is?
There is a scene in the John Cusack movie High Fidelity from 23 years ago that stayed with me. (High Fidelity was also a good book by Nick Hornby set in 1990s London, while the movie version is noughties Chicago. It still works, trust me.) Anyway, the main character’s sorta ex-girlfriend is reading through a top-five list of dream jobs and therefore ‘dream lives’ that the depressed protagonist imagines he could have had if “qualifications, time, history and salary were no object”.
The character, Rob, lists things like “journalist for Rolling Stone magazine 1976–1979”, and musician for “any band besides classical or rap”. At number five he lists “architect — seven years training”. Rob’s ‘sorta ex-girlfriend’ looks at him and asks: “Wouldn’t you rather own your own record store than be an architect?” Since that is exactly the job the lead character has, he nods ‘yes’ and she amends the top-five dream job list to include ‘owning own record store’ at number five.
It’s a small scene, in a decades-old movie that has nothing to do with banking or payments or fintech. So why do I retell it now? The scene stayed with me because I, as many others, have sometimes looked at my life and seen the things that are not, rather than embraced the things that are. However, when we realise ‘the things that are’ can be better than an imagined ‘better path’, life becomes less depressing.