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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

All Hype

I was watching the NBA Draft a few weeks ago and it was supposed to be a one-of-a-kind draft, with a stellar talent coming out of the draft in Victor Wenbanyama. Pundits and sports experts were hyping over this year’s draft class like it was something to behold and uniquely must-see TV. I heard countless stories about how Victor was a better potential talent than LeBron James himself!

This new cycle must’ve dominated the NBA sports circuit for at least the past month if not much longer. Everyone hyped up the draft like it was a must-watch event. And then once the draft came and went, it felt like just another ordinary show. It did not feel all that exciting nor unique in any way. Players simply marched onto the stage to shake hands with the NBA commissioner, take their obligatory smiling pictures, and give a standard interview afterwards. That was it.

It was honestly a bit boring and unremarkable. I didn’t feel the need to watch the whole thing and didn’t feel like I was missing much in my life by not watching the show! I felt like I was roped into something that was not as spectacular as it seemed to be in the first place.

That’s pretty much how it is in much of life. We spend time thinking about that Gucci handbag, thinking that it will make us feel fulfilled and happy once we acquire it. And then once we buy it and use it for a little bit, it becomes simply another accessory for us to use.

We think that driving a nice Lexus around our neighborhood will make us seem to be rich and powerful. We see advertisements of the luxurious businessman sipping a coffee in his comfortable high-end luxury vehicle and we think to ourselves how awesome it would be to one day own such a car. But then once that day comes, it doesn’t necessarily seem to match up to the level of excitement shown in the advertisement or on the billboards.

We see the smiling faces of the moms that use a certain detergent in their laundry machine and how it improves their lives significantly for the better. With happy kids, happy dogs, and a happy husband. But once we use that brand for ourselves, it’s simply another wash cycle no different from any other wash cycle.

I think marketing of products and services has been out of control these days. Companies and people like to promote their stuff to be one-of-a-kind and something that you simply cannot do without. But the truth is that there is not much stuff out there like that, if any at all.

We’d like to think that we can’t do without our morning coffee. Or that we need to live in a certain style of apartment or house. Or that we need a particular person or a partner to live a thriving life. But honestly, we humans are adaptable creatures, and we will figure out a way to live and thrive without a certain possession. Because at the end of the day, external possessions can only move the needle so far.

I’m not mad at the system though. I understand that people need to market themselves and their products - in this day and age - in order to survive in this economic landscape. People need to make others believe that their products are in some ways special to entice them to buy and make a living. Businesses need to make money. People need to feel good. And this system is what it is.

Marketing will not go away anytime soon. Those happy advertising campaigns of family and friends eating a whole and hearty meal at McDonald’s will continue to run through our TV’s. Those promotions of the latest hyped athletes wearing quality shoes and clothing for training will continue to be there. We will be marketed endlessly whether we like it or not and whether we know it or not. Some ideas will stick with us and others will fall by the wayside.

They will make us think that we must have these products to live a fulfilling life. But the truth is we don’t need much out there to thrive. External satisfaction is fleeting. All the achievements and possessions that you’ve acquired throughout these years are not permanent. It’s important to separate external hype from internal reality.

That doesn’t mean we don’t go for that nice watch that we always wanted. Nor does it mean that we don’t buy nice clothes or nice shoes that make us feel good. All that is fine and dandy too. At the end of the day, it’s a form of temporary satisfaction and that’s okay too. It’s like enjoying a good meal on a certain day. Or having a nice conversation with a good friend. It leaves a mark on you and at the same time, it’s not the end all be all.

My belief is that most of us already have everything that we could possibly need in the here and now. We have the world in the palm of our hands already. We have so much to be grateful for and it’s important to practice that habit daily so that it compounds to extraordinary levels.

Accept the hype but realize that it does not match up to the real thing.

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