John Bogle, founder of Vanguard, reflects on living a meaningful life by sharing this parable of the retired greyhound:
I said to the dog, “Are you still racing?”
“No,” he replied.
“Well, what was the matter? Did you get too old to race?”
“No, I still had some race in me.”
“Well, what then? Did you not win?”
“I won over a million dollars for my owner.”
“Well, what was it? Bad treatment?”
“Oh, no,” the dog said, “they treated us royally when we were racing.”
“Did you get crippled?”
“Then why?” I pressed, “Why?”
The dog answered, “I quit.”
“Yes,” he said, “I quit.”
“Why did you quit?”
“I just quit. Because after all that running and running and running, I found out that the rabbit I was chasing wasn’t even real.”
Know what kind of rabbit you are chasing. Figure out what “success” means for you on your own. If you don’t, you are no better than a greyhound running laps around a man-made track.