Obsession Is A Good Thing


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


21 responses to “Obsession Is A Good Thing”

  1. Kudos James!

    What is normal anyway? I find that people who are obsessed are the most successful people on the planet. I think the word gets a bad rap when it is linked to obsessive compulsions like tapping ten times before you open a door…stuff like that.

    Anything that gets in our way of growth, development and success can be an obstacle that needs some fixing. But when we use the word obsessed, it sure is normal to me. Well, maybe it is because I obsessed myself about my business.

    It is something I love to do. And you said it wisely when you wrote that when you were blogging and making no money yet, if you were logical, you would have quit. Thank goodness you didn’t!



  2. Hi James

    The way I look at it is that obsession is fine as long as it manifests in positive ways. Let’s call it the magnificent obsession.

    Any success that I’ve had has been because I became somewhat obsessed with it.

    Interesting you talk about your desire to have kids. I never felt like that when I was young. But I was kinda obsessed about getting married. And of course, I did. The kids came 12 years later.

    Human progress has only come about because unique individuals became obsessed with making a difference. They were what we might call unreasonable people. They would not take no for an answer. Nor would they allow criticism and roadblocks from naysayers stand in their way. The world needs unbalanced people like that.

    Great topic, James


  3. Hi James,

    Once again, I agree with you – but this time around, only to a point.

    Being obsessed with something is a basically positive feeling and emotion. As a matter of fact, I sincerely believe that, to reach to any point in life (that is considered worthwhile), one must really be obsessed – or passionate…there are no other ways.

    In this regard, we are on the same page.

    However, I beg to differ when obsession is completely divorced from rational existence/thought.

    Taking your example, you stood firm (in your blogging hustle) because you knew for certain that money could be made online…this reality/thought was in turn influenced by your rational thinking self – which processed all the ‘details’ before obsession came on board.

    To get my point clearly: imagine someone obsessed about swimming from one continent to another via the Atlantic…you and I know that this obsession will take such a folk nowhere – even if he/she stayed determined on it for a whole lifetime 🙂

    In summary, this is my point: rationality/possibility should always precede obsession – or failure is certainly close by!

    Thanks for aways giving out the best content available on the web today.

    Make the day great!

    Akaahan Terungwa

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would say obsession is always not good to have it on your mind and drive you accordingly. You need to keep up with your mind and do the right thing before the devil conquers the other part.

  5. Obsession is better than non-obsession that without it, people can’t find hardly accomplish what they want in life.

  6. Hi James,

    Well having taken your Success course, and knowing what I do about your career, there’s no danger of me (or most of the online blogging community) thinking of you as Average!!

    I know what you mean about the obsession lark. I too would have quit blogging years ago if I weren’t obsessed with it. The silly thing is I don’t actually do it for the money, because I have other sources of income than blogging.

    It’s some nagging thing inside me, that only a certain type of person will understand. I think the only other person in my family who understands me is my younger son. The rest of my family, and my friend, just think I’m nuts – and of course that’s what drives me on even more.

    But I have to confess I must have a bit of an obsessive personality full stop. My sister lent me a 1,000 piece jig-saw puzzle.

    I think it was supposed to relax me and get me away from the PC.

    Oh no – not me! I was only up until 3am and 4am several nights in a row obsessed with finishing it before I went on holiday. (And I did, and I did every other job I had set myself to do before I went.)

    But really LOL. That must verge on insanity! (I’m collecting my next jig-saw from her this afternoon.)

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

  7. Hi James. I think obsession is usually considered bad because the news is full of people obsessed with negative things. Positive obsession is usually overshadowed by the success, which is all that other people usually see. Of course, a lot of other people see success as a bad thing too. It makes them feel lazy.

    I find it curious that you would even consider what other people your age think about having a family when you don’t seem to care much what other people your age think about having a business. You’ve probably gone against the norm all of your life, so keep going. Live your life. Keep doing your own thing.

  8. Hi James, what an inspiring post mate, really. Obsession is a good thing as long as you’re obsessed about something that could lead to a positive result and not a negative one.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had obsessions in life that have lead to disastrous consequences, we’re only human after all I guess and we can’t stop feelings lol. But in business or blogging I can most definitely see how obsession can lead to positive results.

    Like you I’ve become obsessed with generating income online. I get a fix every time I see a sale of some sort come through and I think to myself, wow, I know I worked so damn hard initially to make this happen, but now it’s happening without me having to do much work for it, and that just leads me to want more and become even more obsessed with making more income online.

    Your obsession and passion to start a family is a positive one, and that’s a goal I think you’ll enjoy reaching some day. It was never my goal or obsession to start a family, but now that I have one, I think of myself blessed and could not be more thankful for the way things have turned out.

    Have a great rest of the week James, and best of luck on your quest.


  9. Hi James,

    Interesting thoughts! I think obsession can be a positive driving force but I think it matters that you’re in control of your obsession. If it drives you towards ends that aren’t truly your own, then it can be destructive.

    The bottom line is that you know what you want and why (is it truly your own goal, dream, desired result, etc).

    Thanks for getting me thinking broader about Obsession, James. Cheers!

    – Tom

  10. Obsession does more good to me than bad. It helps me focus and be more productive on my work. I guess it depends on how you channel your interests. Thanks for this post. 🙂

  11. Hi James,

    I think obsession is usually considered bad because the news is full of people obsessed with negative things. Positive obsession is usually overshadowed by the success, which is all that other people usually see.

  12. Obsession is a very strong word with, what I believe to be, a negative undertone. Maybe there are other words for it, maybe there are not; either way, continuing to strive towards something with a fire in your heart and absolute determination that this will work for you is an admirable trait in anybodies eyes, especially our own. If we find that we are obsessed with a goal, may we obsess until we reach it. However, it may not be good to obsess over something that is not conducive to your dreams and goals. The line between these things is thin, be careful as you move forward!

  13. Obsession is a wonderful thing, but only when it’s positive. When you are obsessed with something you tend to become more successful in it because you spend more things on doing what you love doing.

    I’m obsessed with blogging and that’s what pushed me through to where I am today and it’s still giving me strength to push harder.

    Thanks for this amazing post…

  14. Giotechub Avatar

    If obsession should be positive i dont think its bad but can be worked upon when its becoming too much whether positive or negative because an adage said that too much of everything is bad.This post its really inspiring and educative…thanks for making me understand more what obsession is all about not only on negative side but also on a positive side…Thanks alot for this.

  15. Hi James,
    very valuable opinion about obsession. I think this obsession sometimes lead to good end results as we are living in the era where we can have a mind of doing something different. so that we opt for doing something unique. that’s good for us sometimes.

  16. Hey,
    very interesting post! Obsession can be classified as a bad thing, but we can’t forget the good that is capable of coming out of obsession. Those that are obsessed are driven. It is what is driving those that are obsessed that will determine whether or not obsession is good or bad. It would easy to say an obsession is a bad thing, but it’s obviously not that simple. How emotional aware and intelligent one is, will go a long way to defining what one is obsessed to and how obsessed they become

  17. Hi James McAllister,

    Great article. I totally agreed with all your words. OBSESSION is not a negative thing & the people who are obsessed are more successful in their life. Many people have their mindset & takes obsession in a negative way. People who are really OBSESSED in their life are having a better progress. As this article will help many people to clear their mind & motivate them to take this word obsession in a positive way. Its true that pure OBSESSION is vital for achieving our goals & dreams and it should be encouraged to get a better results.

    Very inspiring post & Thanks for a share.


  18. Hi James, in some ways, obsession is almost a super power – fueling the drive to get things even when passion or motivation is waning. But obsession without discipline is dangerous to mental and physical health. I used to work on projects till I had actual headaches that would last for days, through which I’d continue the grind. Sure there were some successes, but deep down I knew this was not good healthy. Now I schedule times to get specific things done after planning the end to end approach at least roughly. Works wonders for productivity, quality of output and overall mental health! I’d say disciplined obsession is the way to go!

  19. Ashutosh Kumar Avatar
    Ashutosh Kumar

    Hello everyone , First of all i totally agree aith you here . For me obsession is key Ingredient for success . It’s something that leads us towards our goal and most important thing is if you are obsessed with something nothing can distract you from that . It was never a bad thing unless you are obsessed for something cosy or bad . Obsession turns a man to be more productive , self determined and focused and that what i likes about it most . So whatever it is if we channel it in positive way , something great will surely come out of this .

  20. yep, I can relate to this, completely addictive personality, all or nothing, same with work, find myself thinking about it over and over so that by the time I’m sat at my desk, I’m focused and have a clear idea what I need to get done. Works for me!

  21. Hi, James obsession has both advantages and disadvantages. It could be beneficial if your obsession is in a positive way, You could achieve success and your life goals. If your obsession is in a negative way it is really harmful to you. Thanks for sharing for your valuable thoughts.

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