What do you think of when you hear the word?
The dictionary defines obsessed as “an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.”
You’re obsessed with something when it dominates your thinking, when it’s constantly on your mind.
I don’t know about you, but many people consider obsession to be something negative. Something to be avoided. If you are obsessed with something, you need to step back, relax, and focus on something new.
But I disagree.
Who Defines What’s Normal?
I was on a call with my life coach this week and we spent a good amount of time talking about a subject I am clearly obsessed with: one day starting a family.
The truth is, that is one of my biggest goals in life and surely will be one of my most fulfilling and much of the work I do with my companies revolves around one day enjoying that stage of my life.
However, as I think around my circle of peers, it’s obvious that nobody else I know in my age group shares even this interest, let alone an uncontrollable, complete obsession.
We talked about this for a moment and came up with an important insight – why do I care at all what other people consider ‘normal’ thoughts or behavior, why should I let that dictate how I feel about my own wishes, and why should other people’s personal ideas affect my own actions?
The choices I’ve been making in life have been working great for me, and I should continue allowing myself to feel my own feelings, have my own ideas, and do what I feel is best for me, while letting others do the same.
I believe this is key.
What is ‘normal’ behavior on a broad scale doesn’t really matter, because what truly will take you anywhere is how you act.
I Still Don’t Believe In Average
If you’ve taken my Success Simplified course, you’ll know exactly why average is a failing formula.
We all have desires, large goals, wishes, dreams, but if you look around at those people you know, chances are most people will never get even close to achieving them.
The reason to me is clear – most people simply don’t care enough to go for anything beyond what they deem to be ‘comfortable.’
They’re satisfied with being average, with being just comfortable to get by, and no more.
They care just enough to get to that point.
But contrast this with people who have become extremely successful in something. A famous CEO. An athlete. A musician.
Do you think any of these people were satisfied with just being average? If they were, you wouldn’t have thought of them. In fact, you’d have no idea who they are, because they are known simply by the fact that they are exceptional in something.
The very definition of exceptional means something that goes against the norm. They have gone beyond what most people have done, and put in an insane amount of effort to do it.
If ‘comfortable’ is the normal level most people go for, and a mediocre level of care is what leads to this, then it can be concluded that those who remain average never really become obsessed with any particular thought or action.
Of course, this was probably already clear.
It Makes You Wonder…
If obsession is not a normal thought process, then it makes sense why people would automatically label it to be bad.
The human ego is a fragile thing and most people do not want to admit that they have not lived up to their full potential, especially when they want something somebody else has – be it fame, money, power, whatever.
Therefore, people make up excuses to justify their own lack of actions, and often this comes at the expense of other individuals who have gone above and beyond themselves. People who care about something more than they did are “freaks.” They’ll tell you to “quit working so hard.” To “sit back and enjoy life a little.” I promise these are the same exact things they’ve told themselves when deciding to give up on whatever goal they were formerly working towards.
People will always criticize what’s different, especially when it’s something they inherently desire. Many people want to succeed, but most people are not obsessed with their goals enough to put in the work required to make that happen.
Those who achieve anything exceptional in life are those who are obsessed with the idea of making that thing happen.
It is only when you are completely obsessed about something that you’re willing to be unreasonable enough to achieve it at whatever costs necessary.
When I started blogging, I made no money for a very long time, and put in an insane amount of work.
If I were logical at that time, I would’ve given up and focused on something else.
However, because I was so obsessed with the idea of making money online, I persisted anyway and after many other failed projects eventually started doing well.
The idea of financial freedom dominated my thinking every minute of every day and it no longer felt like work – it felt like what I was meant to do. I became distant from those around me and focused entirely on what was right for me at the time, and I’ve got to say, blogging has transformed my life more than I had ever imagined possible.
Pure obsession over your goals and your dreams is not only encouraged, it is necessary. Because if ‘comfortable’ were enough to get you there, you wouldn’t even be thinking of them as something worth chasing. You would already have them.
So become obsessed. Ignore what others think. Because as we know, you need to do what’s best for you, and let everyone else settle for what they deserve.
– James McAllister