When we think of obsession it’s usually in a negative light. Like someone obsessed with an ex-lover, or a celebrity to the point of stalking them, or someone with a mental disorder. But what if we focused our obsession into something that would help us improve ourselves and our lives? What if we controlled that obsession and turned it into something positive?
The first time I encountered the possibility of obsession as a good thing was in Grant Cardone’s ‘Be Obsessed Or Be Average‘. It had such a profound effect on me I credit it as one of my top 3 books for helping me to change my life.
At that time, I was going through great upheaval. My soon to be ex-wife had moved out just months previously, leaving our son and I. We were going through a really tough, depressing time. I was smoking a ton of marijuana, as I had done for years, and I had resolved to do something about it. I knew that for things to change for the better, I had to change.
So I started reading, then listening, to lots of personal development books. I devoured books on mindset, habits, self-improvement. When I discovered Cardone’s book I found myself listening to it over and over. It wasn’t that I was learning anything different from what I had encountered previously. I just found that his infectious attitude and drive really helped to give me motivation.
His book helped to remind me why, and who, I was really doing all this for. If I was feeling a bit low, or dwelling on things that were outside my control, I would listen to his book and it would give me the impulse to get off my ass and do something about it.
Cardone was known for his previous book ‘The 10x Rule‘ which I hadn’t listened to at that time. The basic idea of that book was to 10x everything you did. By putting 10 times more effort into something, even if you fell short, you would still accomplish more than if you just tried a little bit. Be Obsessed was the 10x of 10x.
While he comes from a sales background and focuses mainly on that, he would also talk about how you should be obsessed with all avenues in your life. Not just your financial goals, but in relation to your family and life also.
As I said, I found it motivational and inspirational. I even sent him an email telling him my story and letting him know how much his book meant to me (something I had never done before)… and he replied!!!
Fast forward a few months and I happened upon a short video by successful entrepreneur Ed Mylett, which added to the whole power of obsession idea. The example he gave really struck a chord with this reformed 20plus year heavy marijuana smoker.
Obsessions Become Posessions
Mylett talked about how ‘our obsessions become our possessions’ and that ‘we really do acquire what we are most obsessed with’.
He used the example of a drug addict living on the streets. Someone with no job or income. No source of money. Someone who only has the meagre belongings they carry with them. Maybe only the clothes on their back. But someone who, no matter what, was able to get the drugs they wanted. They were able to overcome any and all barriers to reach their goal of getting their drugs. Yes, they were an addict. But addiction is a form of obsession.
This made me think of all those years I was smoking pot. All those years that, no matter how much money I had, I always found a way to get my weed. The times I would drive to places I wouldn’t go to normally as it was too much hassle, too far out of the way. The times I would gladly sit up to 3 am on a work night waiting for the supply to come in, eager to get it as soon as possible. The numerous lengths I would go to just because I was obsessed with pot.
Obsess over the right thing
Mylett also took it a step further. He added that: ‘if you are obsessed with your worries and your stresses and your problems. ‘you will find a way to obsess on them and you will eventually possess them’.
So the negative side to obsession, the one we tend to think of when the word is mentioned is obviously true. If we focus and obsess on all the negative or upsetting things in our lives, that’s what our lives will become. I know when my ‘wife’ had left, all I thought about, all I obsessed over, was that loss and the feeling of unworthiness it gave me. The constant introspection, where I saw nothing but my failings, only made me feel even more like the failure I imagined myself to be.
Importantly, Mylett added, the same rule applies to the things you want.
Basically, if you are obsessed with something enough, regardless of the conditions, you will find a way. If we just direct our obsessions to enable us to have the same level of commitment to something positive there’s no telling how much we could achieve.
“Good requires motivation, great requires obsession.”M Cobanli
Look at yourself, really look. Has there been a time lately where you have obsessed over something? Obsessed so much that nothing would get in your way in pursuit of whatever goal it was. I’ve talked before about how people’s obsession over a movie helped box offices earn $1.2 billion in a matter of days. About how much difference we could make in the world if we could obsess like that over something worthwhile.
There’s plenty of people who will obsess over tv shows, computer games, celebrities. I know people who have taken time off work because a new computer game they had been obsessing over had been released. They’ve spent the entire day and some of the night playing that game. But they still can’t manage to do something else, something which might improve their lives, with the same level of commitment.
The point being, if we took a little more time looking at the things we obsess over. If we directed those obsessions into something that would actually benefit us in some way. We could end up living the life we’ve always dreamed about. We would work harder towards that goal, put more effort in, not let things get in the way.
Obsession is the thing that will drive you on. It’s the motivator that will not let any obstacles stand in your way. It’s the obsessed who will keep going long after everyone else has given up and faded away. It’s the obsessed who are more likely to achieve and succeed. It’s the obsessed who make it look like they are more than they are. When in reality they are no different from you and me.
“This is hard work. This is an obsession. We are all equals as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that’s that. I am not talented, I am obsessed.”Conor McGregor
Here’s something I was obsessed with this week. There’s an English entrepreneur/author/personal development guy called Rob Moore. He released a new book this week on Audible called ‘I’m Worth More: Realize Your Value. Unleash Your Potential’. The first 200 people who bought his book got to join a special WhatsApp group with him as an accountability partner and receive a ticket to his brand new Money & Mindset event. A certain amount after that would also receive tickets to the event.
The book was meant to be released at 1 am. I was so determined, so obsessed, with being a part of that group, that I sat up to 1 am on a work night. When I went to Audible the book was still showing as available only for pre-order. He had specifically said in his marketing emails not to get it on pre-order. I spent the next hour refreshing the page. No change. To say I was a bit pissed off is an understatement.
Next morning I was up at 7 am to get myself ready for work and my son ready for school. I kept checking Audible. Kept checking Moore’s Twitter account and Facebook group. Still no book available, but lots of people saying they bought it on pre-order and hoping they could get into the WhatsApp group.
I kept checking Audible. At around 7:34 am the book released. As soon as I got my email confirmation of the purchase I sent it off to the appropriate email address. While I was still a bit pissed over the delay from the night before. I still wanted to try. I was buying the book anyway and had put so much effort into trying to be 1 of the first 20o that being annoyed at the delay wasn’t going to put me off.
That day I was exhausted. I still did my work and all my fatherly duties. I still did my exercise. I still did my blogging stuff later that evening. I was still a bit annoyed I missed having a good chance of getting my place. But as with all things. You just have to get on with it.
I got a phone call yesterday. It was from Rob Moore’s office. The WhatsApp group was full but I got tickets to the event. My brief obsession had paid off.
If a small burst of obsession can pay off, imagine how much a long-lasting, ongoing obsession, could achieve. I know this blog has become 1 of my obsessions. I know helping others has become another. I know that being a better person and creating a better life for my son is the biggest obsession behind it all.
The reason I’m writing this is to let you see. If there is something you want. If there is something you would like to achieve. It doesn’t matter if it’s to be the most successful person alive or the greatest parent or sibling someone could have. Do yourself a favour. Don’t just work hard or work smart. Don’t just persist. Get obsessed.
Make whatever it is you want to achieve consume your mind. Do whatever it takes to get you where you want to be. Be relentless, be determined, be obsessed. Fuel your obsession to increase your possession.
It all comes down to a choice. Your choice. A choice that is best echoed in the words of Cardone himself: ‘Be Obsessed or Be Average’. I know what choice I have made. What about you?
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