– So it’s now the end of overtime, and there is five seconds left on the clock, and we were down by one point. And the next five seconds were ones that I will never forget, and here’s what happened. (cheering) (dinging) (dance music) (whooshing) I remember back in high school, there was only one thing that I really wanted and it was to become one of the popular kids. When I walked into a classroom, I wanted everybody there to know who I was, I wanted the cute girls to notice me and smile at me but most importantly, I wanted status. And one of the reasons why I wanted status so bad was because I thought that that was the thing that was going to make me happy.
I thought that if I had this, I could finally feel good about myself. I wasn’t really a super sad or depressed kid or anything like that, but I was a little unhappy and I guess a little lonely. And another reason why I wanted this was because I didn’t have the status at the first high school that I attended, at that school not many people knew who I was, I was kind of like a chameleon who had just kind of blend in with the background. And the only real friend that I had at that time was my basketball, as depressing as that sounds. And I really envied the popular kids, I watched how people would behave around them, how everyone would laugh at their jokes, how everyone wanted to be their friend and I also noticed how the girls would look at them.
And they really were treated differently compared to everybody else and at that time I just, I really wanted that. So instead of hanging out with people and being social, I would spend my time playing basketball at the gym near my house while everybody else was spending their evenings at the movies or with their friends, I would spend mine perfecting my jump shot at the three point line. In the 10th grade, my parents decided that they wanted to transfer me to a different school, a school that had a better academic reputation than my current one.
So on the last day of classes at my first high school, I said goodbye to my kind of friends and I started to prepare for the next school year. I spent that entire summer playing basketball, playing around six hours every single day and I’d love to sit here and tell you it was because I was disciplined and dedicated but the reality is that I didn’t have much else to do.
During that summer, I told myself that I was going to become one of the popular kids so I could finally be happy and fulfilled. So a few months go bye and it is now the first day of school at my new high school. And on the first day of school, I really made an effort to put myself out there, I introduced myself to everyone, talking with the older kids, the younger kids and even some of the attractive girls, which did not go very well. But after some time, I started to come across as a little bit too try hard, it was like I was trying to force myself in the popular kid’s group which obviously puts a lot of people off. So despite my efforts, I found myself kind of alone again but of course I still had my best friend, the orange basketball. So a couple of months went by and the basketball season was about to start which I was very excited for and I was certainly way more prepared for the season compared to everybody else.
I remember in the tryouts that people didn’t really know who I was or that I’d even played but the moment I actually started to play, I went from being that chameleon who had always blend in to a lion who stood out more than anyone else there. See the interesting thing about me at that time was when it came to sports, I was very confident and I’m not trying to brag or anything like that but I have always been relatively talented when it came to sports, but on top of that I had been practicing an incredible amount. So when I stepped onto that court, I turned into a completely different person or animal. So thankfully I did make the team and I immediately started to receive respect from the other athletes which made me feel good and a little bit more happy. But it wasn’t until the first basketball game of the season when things started to get a little crazy. Something that I should mention is that my old high school and my current high school are long-time rivals and they hated each other when it came to athletics and this was the very first basketball game of the season which happened to be against my old high school.
So the entire school came out to watch, the seats were packed, the people were excited and man, it was a really interesting game which I will tell you all about right now. I felt good going into the game but I still felt a little nervous playing in front of this new school where I didn’t know everyone and all their eyes would be on me. But I took a deep breath and I reminded myself of how much I had practiced and how much I was ready to play. I’m not going to give you a play by play of the game but at first, I started off not playing very good, I was too in my head, I was missing some easy shots, I was forgetting some really basic plays but as the game went on I started to feel more comfortable. I eventually found my groove and I started to hit those easy shots and I started to hit more complex shots and I even started to hit some really complex shots and before I knew it, it was the fourth quarter and I had scored 36 points.
So by this point, I had certainly left an impact on the school and people there definitely knew who I was, which already I was feeling really happy about. But we had not won the game yet. Despite the fact that I had played a great game, it was actually a tie by the fourth quarter of the game and it had to go into overtime. And overtime was really intense, it was going back and forth the whole time and it was really close. So it’s now the end of overtime and there’s five seconds left on the clock and we were down by one point and the next five seconds were ones that I will never forget and here’s what happened. (cheering) (dinging) (dance music) boom I scored the game winning shot and for the first time in a long time, I had all eyes on me. It honestly was an amazing moment and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. So the game was over and of course I was feeling fantastic and when I came into school the next day, the entire school basically treated me like a celebrity.
I really did become popular overnight. I went from being that chameleon to a lion. I had people from all ages coming up to me and congratulating me on how well I had done. I had girls smiling at me, I had teachers literally shaking my hand. I thought that I had everything that I wanted and man, my ego was through the roof. I remember every single person who would shake my hand or every girl who would smile at me was like, it was like a little hit of endorphins, it literally was like a drug and I was addicted to this external validation. But, the status really only lasted for about two weeks and after those two weeks were over, everything kind of went back to normal. The teachers stopped shaking my hand, my peers stopped congratulating me and girls smiles just kind of faded away and before I knew it I was basically back to where I was before but this time, I was even more unhappy because I had all this validation and in a short period of time, it all just went away.
I think some of you are probably wondering why are you telling me this story? Are you trying to brag about how you were good at basketball or how you were popular in high school for two weeks? And that’s not at all what I’m doing, the reason why I’m telling you this story is because I think it illustrates a really important point that applies to almost everyone, my biggest problem was that I was relying on other people to dictate my emotions and happiness. I was telling myself, I would be happy if I was popular, I would be happy if this person liked me, I was never taking responsibility for my own emotions, like my unhappiness or how I was not fulfilled in my life.
I wasn’t that happy before the game because not that many people knew who I was. I was happy right after the game because everybody knew who I was and I was not happy two weeks later because a lot of people had forgotten. At no point did I consider the reason why I was not happy or fulfilled was because of something within me, I just assumed it had everything to do with not having certain people in my life. I never told myself, hey you can be a really happy guy without having people lined out to be your friend, maybe the problem has nothing to do with them and it’s actually within you.
And if you’re not in high school, here are some happiness philosophies. I would be happy if I got a raise, I would be happy if I had a six pack, I would be happy if I had this car, I would be happy if I found someone who loves me. I think it’s critical for everyone to understand that if you get your self worth and happiness from external things or people, you are destined to live a pretty unhappy life and there are some people who never really learn this and their whole life is based around chasing external validation and never taking responsibility for their emotions.
Don’t be one of these people. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to the channel. .
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