You Don’t Have to Chase What is Yours
Learning to pursue what is meant for us
When you Google the definition of the word chase, the first entry that comes up says “to pursue in order to catch or catch up with.” When we are chasing things, we are striving to be something outside of ourselves. We don’t have to chase what is actually meant for us, it will naturally unfold.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I went through lawyer, doctor, judge - all the things. Really, if I’m being quite honest, what I really wanted was to be an adult. When the Scholastic book sale came around, I ordered cat posters and cookbooks. I wanted to be a grownup. The one detail I was sure of though, was that I wanted to dress like an office professional. I wanted to wear dresses and slacks and nice little coats. So now, even when other people are dressed down, I dress up. For someone who doesn’t like dressing up, chasing the idea that they need a dressy wardrobe doesn’t make any sense.
We chase things because:
We think it looks cool. We see what someone else has, and we like how it looks in their life, so we decide we need it in ours.
We feel pressure. We may struggle with the expectations of the people around us, or even the culture we live in.
We’re unclear about what we want. We lack clarity, and without that we are misguided.
Rather than trying to catch up to someone else, we should instead focus on ourselves and what we want for our own lives. Figuring that out can be hard, but without that work we end up chasing someone else’s dreams. Furthermore, when we are chasing someone else’s dream, even if we end up catching it, guess what? We don’t even really enjoy it.
When you are trying to determine what you want, you can ask yourself:
What makes me happy?
What makes me feel fulfilled?
What is my idea of a healthy relationship?
What does work-life balance look like to me?
What is a rich life?
What does financial fulfillment look like?
We can admire, be inspired by, or even be envious of what someone else has, but that doesn’t mean we need to chase it. This idea of trying to catch up to or go after stuff that is not on our path, is really a distraction. That energy is better served supporting and pursuing something we actually enjoy.
What are you chasing, and where would that energy be better served?
A Few Things That Caught My Attention This Week
4 Signs of a Martyr Complex & How to Heal, From Psychologists, by Nafeesah Allen, Ph.D. on mindbodygreen.
Beef. You can watch this show on Netflix.
Money Clutter on The Minimalists podcast. You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you stream podcasts. At about the 18 minute mark, the episode gets really good as they start talking about the root of a lot of the anger we feel, which they say is actually disappointment.