Watching people I respect destroy themselves of late. Get themselves into situations where they have to pretend to believe in all manner of bullshit. Where they have to go so far as to distance themselves from former acquaintances or delete things they’ve said publicly that didn’t square with the new gig.
And these aren’t even people that have to do this. They’re forcing themselves. For something they think they want. Do they really want it? Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Or come close to getting it, with nothing to show for when it doesn’t happen. Or, worse, have a cost incurred in the effort that can never be recouped. A reputational cost, an opportunity cost, a social cost – costs come in all flavors.
I used to think I wanted certain things, but then I observed the people who had them – the people I had previously wanted to be like. Sobered me right out of those dreams and deposited me gently onto my own track. I think I know what I want now, and what it’s going to cost me. These are costs I am glad to bear – time, effort, energy – without betraying who I am or what I believe, without the need to burn bridges or become a caricature of my true self.
I hope everyone can find that track for themselves, and not do self-destructive things to themselves as a consequence of chasing something that wouldn’t have been satisfying anyway.