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In which John talks about quarter life crises and his personal experience with them. South Africa plays the United States.
Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank, and what? I'm the manager of the South African national team? No pressure. Today we're taking on the United States of America in a friendly game, but I'm going to tell you, friends, there are no friendly games particularly not given the complicated history between the United States and South Africa. I'm not going to take this opportunity to talk about global geo-politics, although I will be doing that if I remain the manager of South Africa and don't get fired, which I suspect I will 'cause I suck at this game. But, we're going to do our best to win despite the fact that there is a large shadow of a radio tower on the pitch and I find that extremely distracting. I guess those are the lights. It doesn't seem like it was very good stadium planning.

Anyway, I am going to talk today about quarter life crises. You know, the future is very unpredictable. We don't even have names for any of these players because, you know, or nicknames for them, because, who knows. Will I be the manager of South Africa for very long? Probably not. But maybe. Maybe I'm going to take South Africa to World Cup glory. Nobody knows yet. That's the problem with the future. Oh! Mmm! Mmm! No! Obviously... Yeah! No.

I think, I think the... I had a bit of a quarter life crisis. I remember... I wrote, I actually wrote a magazine piece, I remember, for an online magazine called Nutmeg, which was the first place where I did a lot of, did a lot of writing. And, you know, I really felt like my life didn't have much meaning and, like, I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing and, like, I was gonna look back on it all and feel as if it had been wasted, and it was very unpleasant, you know? It was really, really difficult and I don't, I don't take anything away from people who say that they're having a quarter life crisis because there's a lot of weird...

Oh God! Jones Jones. He scored on us in 12 minutes. 12 minutes into my history as a manager for an international team and look at me. I've humiliated myself in front of the South Africans who have trusted me with this great privilege of being their manager and I want to apologize to them and indeed to... Oh! Nope. Brad Guzan. Why are so many goalkeepers bald? Is it the anxiety? I mean it would indicate that anxiety would make you bald since all goalkeepers tend to be pretty bald. I think they're balder than average people anyway.

So, yeah. I think a lot of the quarter life crisis though comes from sort of unrealistic expectations about what life is supposed to look like in your quarter life. That, like, you're supposed to have achieved something that you haven't achieved or you're comparing yourself to a bunch of people who you real should, can't fairly compare yourself to because - Hold on, I'm going to sneeze. (Sneezes) Because... Oh God, I'm gonna sneeze again - Because they've lived lives very differently from yours or because, like, you know, they are the 1% of people who are, like, experiencing exceptionally productive ages of... You know, being exceptionally productive at the age of 23 or whatever and that's, it's just not fair to yourself. Like you've just got to give yourself a break. I think a lot of the quarter life crisis, and also midlife crises, comes from not giving yourself a break. And also I think maybe a little bit from not having thought very hard so far in your life about what the purpose of life is and what you're gonna sort of value and decide is gonna be the, you know, like you're reason for being.

These players are a lot, all of them. The whole pace of the game is a lot faster than it is with the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers, isn't it. Everybody's just running around like, like crazy-pants. I don't even know what to do. It's extrem... It's kind of difficult to play this, play at this pace.

And I think, you know, it, it's... Once you decide what the point of your life is it becomes a lot easier to feel OK about where your life is going or not going.

Oh! Mmm. Oh, we got a corner out of it. Yeah. No. Yeah.

Yeah. So ask yourself, like, what do you actually want to get out of life? Like what is it that you're trying to do? Like... And if you have a pretty good answer for that question, a lot of times those goals, I mean, you've just got to keep sort of like modest goals and take enjoyment in the things that are there to be take... to enjoy, which there are. I mean, look. The years after college suck and there's no, there's no... Anything... Anyone who says... I was tackled from behind. Anyone who says differently is not being honest. By the way, I've had 66% of the possession. Unfortunately they don't give out goals for holding the ball.

But yeah. So they don't, I mean... I think, you know... A lot of times... And also I think we're raised to have this vision that we're each going to have this sort of, like, grand amazing life and sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't, but, like, if it does happen the life is never as grand as you imagined it and if it doesn't happen then you just can, like, devote the rest of your life to thinking about what might have been and the grandeur that you missed out on or whatever. But in all likelihood you probably didn't miss out on anything because almost all the meaning of your actual life is going to have nothing to do with any of that stuff and it's going...

Oh! There we go! There we go! Show me that robot! Myeni! I do not know who you are but I love you! One-one first half, great goal, Swoodilypooper style goal where you just go to the middle and then you shoot it toward a corner. Eh, it works.

So I don't... Yeah. Like, I think that you're taught all through your school years that you're gonna, you know, like you're gonna get out in the real world and have this amazing life and then what actually happens is that you're working in data entry or you live in Topeka and you have an apartment and, like, it's not as good as you thought it was gonna be and you feel this yearning for whatever amazingness you missed out on or whatever, you know, whatever talent you think you lack or whatever it is.

Oh! Mmm. That was, that was dangerous. And I remember that feeling. I remember feeling like a, you know, like I would never amount to anything, basically. But I have to say, like, having met, I think, my 23 year old self expectations for what would mean amounting to something, almost everything that's actually mattered to me and that's actually made something, meant something in my life and is about, you know, my family and the people who are closest to me, and that would or would not have happened regardless of professional success. So I don't, I think a lot of it comes from putting too much pressure on yourself and personal pressure of being, like, "I'm not married yet and I'm 24" or "I'm 26 and I'm a virgin" or whatever. Like, so what? You don't, like, you don't... You know, past, past results are not necessarily predictors of future results as the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers know all too well, and I think you've just got to, you've gotta be a little bit generous to yourself and let yourself kind of have the time...

Hmm. I feel like you could have done better with that ball. Let yourself have the time that you need. That's not to say that, that's not to be an excuse to be lazy or not to work hard or not to try hard or anything like that, but I think, you know, if you're not generous to yourself it ends up being just kind of... The whole affair ends up being really - Oh. Bad ball - really unfun. And then it becomes kind of a spiral of misery.

Yeah. So it is a point in your life where you have to ask what, what you're doing and why and whether you should keep doing it, and the answers to those questions matter. But, you know, if you're lucky, and the vast majority of you will be, you've still got a lot of time in front of you. And, you know, you've got, you know, it's too soon to... That was, that was terrible. It's too soon to feel like a success or a failure. And that's true not only for people who are having their quarter life crises, I think, but also for people who are having their midlife crises or also people who are at the end of their lives. I mean, it's a, you know...

Definitions of success vary wildly. My definition of success is probably very different from yours and what matters, what really matters is that you experience fulfillment and try to make the world a slightly better place for those who will live there in the future. Great save. Yeah. So that's what you really want to do, I think. That's what I talked about at my commencement speech to the students of Butler University, that the real business of being a person is about wanting to be the kind of person who people of the future will be, you know, will feel emboldened and enlarged by, and you don't have to have any particular job to do that.

Oh goodness gracious! Great defense. Just swarming, disorganized defense from the South African heroes. They don't even have a name. We don't even have a nickname for them. The South African Vuvuzelas? I don't know. We need a nickname. There's still so much work to do on the front of being this international manager. I'm excited about the job but I... Oh! Shmoog! I'm a terrible manager! I hate myself! See, I'm not being generous to myself. I'm not being calm and nice, I'm being very angry. Oh, I'm stupid. Well, maybe we can pull out a draw anyway. That was a dumb goal. We haven't really had any of the possession in the 2nd half. I think we've just been outmaneuvered. I mean, frankly it's like the guys are playing well and I'm just being really out-coached.

So, what does that say? It might say that I'm not as good a coach as maybe the South African Football Association thought when they hired me. I'm probably going to be let go of my job after this single day. You know, this is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to quarter life crises so I should stop doing it. So...

Anyway I do think, you know... The other thing that I think contributes to a quarter life crisis is that you do not feel any stability in your life, and the reason you don't feel any stability in your life is because there is none there, and it's really, really, difficult. Like, humans don't do well in, like, when they don't feel, like, safe and secure and don't have reassurances about tomorrow and stuff. So that...

Oh! That's definitely a foul! That problem will get better but... I always hit the wrong button here. Mmm. Oh! Oh God! That's the closest I've ever been, I think. Unless I wasn't close, it's hard to tell.

That problem, that lack of stability, lack of security, lack of feeling, you know, like, comfortable in one's self and one's life, that problem will definitely get better. That's the only guarantee I can give you is that that... It's not a temporary problem but it is a problem that definitely gets better. I have, I have, I remember my first couple of years out of college just being sort of in a constant state of low level panic because of that particular issue of feeling, like, I don't know, just a lack of, you know...

Oh! Oh! All I needed you to do was shoot! Oh! That was a great ball. That was a great ball, it almost worked. But like so much effort in this world it came to nothing. Yeah. So that, that will get better at least. Come on! Oh! It's a tie ball game! Yes! Yes! Tshabalala! Yes! I don't know how to say any of these people's names. I'm going to need some pronunciation help if I'm going to be a good manager for this team. Thank you in advance for your comments. That guy's name appears to be Tshabalabala... He's my favorite. He is our hero. He's the Other John Green of South African national football. Come on boys. You know what? You don't have to be a 90 skill level to be able to compete with the United States. Oh! Can we do!? We needed a big save and we got one! Oh, can we get a win? Can we steal a win, maybe? No. No we can't.

But that's a great result for the South Africa Shmoodilypoopers? I don't know. Think of a name. It's a good result. I'm pleased. we had a nice comeback, 90th minute goal. It's good, that's a good start. It's not where we want to be, but it's where we are. Thanks for watching, best wishes.