The photo that opens this post reveals the three things you should not chase and gives the general reason why you should not pursue them, but I think just letting the quote in the photo speak for itself without elaboration would not do justice to the salient point the quote makes.
Let us start by elaborating further on the three things we should not chase…
Why we should not chase love.
Chasing love is exactly the same as chasing external validation because chasing either tends to attract people who do not value who you are. Chasing love brings narcissistic and/or selfish people into your life who view you not as a full and equal partner, but rather a resource to be exploited.
Happiness comes from within. If you do not love yourself first, no one else can truly love you. External validation requires work on your part to compel others to give it to you, but does not require others to requite that work in kind.
Why we should not chase fame.
Chasing fame and adulation is the same as chasing love and external validation. When you seek fame for fame’s sake, you will never find it. Even if do, you will very quickly realize how fragile and fleeting fame is. You will also realize that fame has obligations. Fame and freedom are nearly anathema to each other. When everyone knows your name, no one will ever truly know you.
Why you should not chase success.
Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal-Earl Nightingale
Given the above definition of what success is, it should be fairly obvious why you should not chase it. “Success”, in the popular sense of the word, is usually how other people perceive it, not how you as an individual defines it for yourself.
Your goals and ideals are YOUR goals and ideals. The moment you try to pursue everyone else’s definition of what success is, the harder it will be for you to realize it. How many of us pursued an endeavor because it made your parents, your community, your mentors, your friends, or anyone else important in your life happy, but not you?
If you noticed, the common thread in all of the above is not chasing external validation.
Remember, only YOU can define what success is for yourself. Bums and grifters do not have real goals. Choosing to be rudderless and actually being rudderless is not a worthy goal, so do not confuse being content with being unproductive with success.
Now, on to the three things you should chase…
You should chase physical health and well-being.
While there are a lot of things beyond our control that can compromise our physical health and well-being, how healthy we are is largely within our individual control.
A strong body promotes…
You should chase mental health and intellectual acumen.
AKA: a strong mind.
Being well-adjusted and well-read will always serve you well in life.
You should chase excellence, not external validation.
“Chasing excellence” encompasses the first two things you should chase. Chasing excellence means cultivating yourself to be the best version of yourself.
As the quote that opens this post says, if you become the best version of yourself (for yourself, no one else), all the things you want in life will find you.
By the way, being the best version of yourself includes knowing what you want. The three things you should chase are actually your true sources of your wealth.
-The Rational Ram