You know the feeling of going after what you want. It’s enthralling. Exhilarating. Gives you a little pep in the step. There’s a certain sex appeal to going after it all, whether it’s money, success, or a woman. A lot of times, it gives you a reason to get up in the morning. You’ve got your eye on the prize. You want the money? You gotta chase after it. You want the Ferrari? You gotta chase the success. You want the house on the hill? You gotta chase after the grind. You want the woman or man whom you immediately knew you’d marry? You gotta chase them. When you get in the zone and chase your target, you can easily get tunnel vision. And it can feel really good to chase your dreams.
Unless, of course, you’re chasing after someone, not something.
There’s a movie from 1994 called “The Chase” starring Charlie Sheen. The title kind of gives it away, but it basically involves a chase. This time though, instead of chasing some dream, it’s a freeway chase. Like you know, the cop cars chasing a runaway car. In the movie, which was part comedy/part drama and actually really fucking entertaining (prove me wrong), Charlie Sheen plays a convict wrongly accused of a robbery and is sentenced to hard time. In order to bide him some time and prove his innocence, he kidnaps a prissy young Daddy’s girl and takes off in her fancy new BMW. As they’re barreling towards the Mexican border, she goes from helpless victim to an accomplice in love. All because he didn’t give a fuck, stuck to his story, had authenticity, and knew he needed one thing: to cross the border and live happily ever after.
Cool, good for Charlie. Dude went after it, stuck to his guns, and had a hot, mega rich chick fall in love with him, even though he technically kidnapped her. Hey, he didn’t chase her at least.
The Typical Result After Chasing Someone
“Adam, you need to understand..I don’t think it’s going to work out.” I sat there, a blank stare on my face. I was toast, mentally and physically. I chased this one in a marathon, and all I got out of it was an ending well deserved, even through the denial. She dumped me, after I had spent 438 days trying to make it work and chasing a runaway relationship.
It was shortly after that entire dramatic fiasco I realized one thing: I couldn’t do this anymore. And you shouldn’t either. Let’s be honest: I know you’ve chased after someone. They were just too good not to. Maybe it was their looks. Maybe it was their bangin’ personality. Maybe it was both. Or maybe, just maybe…it was that Charlie Sheen-esque badass attitude that got you hooked. You’ll be damned if that kind of plot has to stay in the fictional reality of movies…you’re hoping for your own version, minus the kidnapping, of course. But lo and behold, that shit didn’t happen for you.
You found the person, chased after him or her, and got nothing but a breakup in the end. Sad face.
You see, chasing after someone, not something, never really ends well. Why? Because it’s a paradox, in a way. You’re chasing after someone (a person) to give you something (a feeling, emotion, security, validation, whatever else), instead of just chasing after the something (a feeling, emotion, you name it) to make you a happier someone. And once you become a happier someone, you can attract a better someone else. In other words, chase after something, and leave out the someone.
You need to stop chasing and relying on someone else for your happiness and well-being. You are 100% responsible for your own.
It’s Called A Chase For A Reason
Let’s define chase right off the bat.
Chase: verb – pursue in order to catch or catch up with.
You can chase after just about anything these days, once you decide what you want to go after.
Money. Fame. Power. Validation. Material things. You name it. But there’s one that we’re concerned about today. And that’s chasing after someone else. There’s a reason it’s called a “chase”. You’re always at least one step behind from obtaining whatever it is you want. Hence, you’re chasing it. Whether you want more money or whatever else the fuck tickles your fancy, you’ve gotta chase your dreams.
But here’s the problem with chasing someone else: you’re wasting time and energy. If you find yourself running after some schmuck or schmuckette, it means only one thing: they’ve purposely put themselves ahead of you and actively have you go after them. Otherwise, they’d be yours now, immediately, and without any bullshit games. As in happily ever after. On the other hand, chasing something means that something isn’t in your grasp just yet, but not because they chose to be that way. Those somethings (money, validation, a feeling, security, whatever else) are neutral. They’ll let you catch them without playing any games, just hard work.
If you’re chasing someone, you’re already behind by their calculated doing. It’s pretty obvious someone doesn’t care to be with you if they’re moving at a different speed and you’re left trying to scramble and yell at them to wait. Look, this isn’t a subway train you’re trying to catch. Don’t waste your time.
You’re also wasting energy. If this wasn’t already really obvious to you, you shouldn’t have to chase after someone to be with them. The right person will wholeheartedly accept the fact you’re a badass and not fuck their chance to be with you. Spending the energy to chase after someone means you’re wasting valuable energy which could go toward your own ventures.
I chased after so many women in my life it’s embarrassing. Every time, I got run over. Literally, every time. When I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, or the second, or the fifth…I think I finally understood it on the sixth. What kept me going so aimlessly after them, time and time again? It was the chance, the hope. Sure, there’s always the hope you can catch them. But it’s never a guarantee. There is, however, one guarantee: and that’s chasing yourself.
Chase After Yourself and Your Dreams To Win
You never want to get complacent in life. You should always grow, learn, to get better at anything you do. Chasing after yourself (and your dreams), is always the answer. But like I said a bit earlier, chasing means you’re always “a step behind”, so to speak. How is that good? It’s not a bad thing when it comes to your own growth to be a step or two behind.
Here’s why: if you’ve “caught up” to yourself, it means you’ve become stagnant. Don’t ever reach that point. Be comfortable in the uncomfortable. It’s how we grow as human beings. Chase after your hopes and dreams, not someone’s feelings. Chase after your desires, not someone’s validation. Chase after your success, not someone’s ego.
Go after yourself, and chase your dreams, consistently. I spent my 20’s chasing after someone else. I didn’t invest enough in my own success, my own well-being, and my own mental clarity to excel like I could have. I’d love to sit here and regret it while giving you five different versions of a sob story, but I’ll tell you one thing: it’s a waste of time. I’ve learned my lessons, and now invest much more into myself. Thank you Jen/Sally/Erica/Liz/Sammy/Alex, for the lesson I learned six times over before finally soaking it in.