Sometimes we retell things based on how we want them to be, and not exactly how it was supposed to be.
Say for example, I remember playing basketball with my brother back in High School. Of course, he’s leading and I’m left with nothing but shame. But then my shining moment came. In the last three seconds, I took a shot, half court, and there, the ball goes round and round the ring… and wooop, INSIDE! My brother had this blank face for a few seconds, still skeptic about how the score came about and then he put on a smile right after. I was ecstatic and couldn’t believe it too so I dropped the playstation console and cheered for myself.
“Kaya mo yun, kuya? Hahaha”
Instant bragging rights earned.
You see, this story has a catch. First is, I scored half court, which sounds cool, right? Second, we’re just using a playstation, so that lessens the coolness. And lastly, I retold it by how I remembered it, which I hope is correct.
I didn’t saw that instance coming. I never expected to score half court and I never realized that that particular moment will give me a piece of laugh to share today. With that in mind, I never intended to remember every tiny details in the story, like what my brother and I are wearing that day, nor what food did we eat for lunch that day, nor what time did we stopped playing NBA that day. So I told the story just as it is: the details that I’m aware of plus a clear intention of making someone laugh.
If I were to simply just tell that story by revealing that we’re playing playstation in the beginning, and that I scored half court, will that give the audience a more impact? No, right? They’ll just be somehow amazed (or even blame luck for it) but they won’t get to feel my euphoria that moment. It could possibly be boring if it was told that way, isn’t it? But if I delayed the catch, they’ll have a story to laugh about.
In short, I somehow tricked them into feeling that emotion.
This is how powerful storytelling is. You get to describe a scenario having clear intentions in mind, in able to evoke a certain emotion or appeal to the audience. Whenever I tell this story, my main goal is to make the audience laugh. And it never fails. So in the end, I made someone happy, and I am happy too.
What I’m trying to tell here is that, we all need to set a goal. By setting a goal, we can have guidelines, focus, and motivation. And through this, I believe that we can achieve happiness that is beyond what achieving this goal can give —the experience and the lessons that come along the way.
Now if only I can make someone in particular to laugh… I’m sure to be the happiest.