Obsession is a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently, especially in a way that is not normal. The word obsession comes from latin obsidere “to besiege”, the transferred sense of “action of anything which engrosses the mind”. Developing a healthy obsession to achieve your goal is what is required to bring your vision to life.
You must develop an obsession to go from where you are to where you want to be. One of the hallmarks of the highly successful people in the world is that they chose a craft and became laser-focused on it for a very long time. As the saying goes, “We get rewarded in public for what we deliberately practice in private.” They deliberately practiced for a long time. Overnight success usually takes ten years or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in a particular field or endeavour.
Success usually looks sexy in the frontend, but the backend is very messy. Success has many friends, family, and backers, but failure and struggle are lonely processes of grit, perseverance, and dedication to stand back up with every defeat. It is an obsession with the big picture and actualizing your ultimate vision that would make one continue to push forward even in the midst of obstacles, criticism, failure and struggle.
- It is an obsession that would make someone go to the gym for an average of 2.5 hours daily, as I did in 2023.
- It is an obsession that would make one run nine marathons (Toronto, Fredericton, Halifax, Calgary, Manitoba, Regina, Quebec City, Victoria, Prince Edward Island) and two half-marathons (Mississauga and Montreal).
- It is an obsession that would make one average 25 minutes of meditation daily for 775 days and counting.
– It is an obsession that would make one read an average of 100 books per year.
As Jim Rohn often said “Live is a battle to keep death at a considerable distance” hence I obsess over my health. Taking care of my body, mind and soul is a personal obsession of mine. Everything in moderation but one has to choose their battles. The battle to stay focused in a world that is constantly trying to get one distracted from one’s ultimate purpose in life is a battle that requires using all the tools and strategies one can muster.
The attention economy and the algorithm built by technology giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple are so powerful that one needs to develop an obsession with getting one’s attention back and using these platforms mindfully should be an obsession. Develop an obsession to stay focused, stay mindful and be of service to the world.
One of the most inspiring movies that I saw on Netflix in 2023 was Nyad. It is the story of swimmer Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 set out to achieve her lifelong dream to swim 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida ( Straits of Florida). Nyad had attempted the challenge 30 years earlier but with the help of her best friend and former partner, she eventually achieved her goal. Nyad was obsessed with her dream, she had to overcome various obstacles but she persisted. I teared up a lot watching the movie as I can relate to a lot of what she had to deal with. When most people around you feel you are nuts and crazy to attempt to achieve a vision you see clearly.
One of the phrases that inspired Nyad to follow through on her lifelong dream are the last two lines of Mary Oliver’s poem “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Passion is the expectation, the first door to success. But if you can stay highly emotionally engaged and laser focused over the long term, even when motivation and passion inevitably rise and ebb in waves of interest, even when others are criticizing you (and you know they might be right), even when you fail again and again, even when you are forced to stretch well beyond your comfort zone so that you can keep climbing, even when the rewards and recognition come too far apart, even when everyone else would have given up or moved on, even when all signs say you should quit—that’s a leap beyond grit into the territory of what many might call an irresponsible obsession.
The moment you know that something has transcended being a passion and has become an obsession is when that something gets tied to your identity. It changes from a desire to feel a particular state of emotion—passion—to a quest to be a particular kind of person. It becomes part of you, something you value more deeply than other things. It becomes necessary for you.
Just as some people fear setting high standards for themselves, many fear becoming obsessed. They prefer casual interests and passing flames. It’s easier to live with passions that have no stake in who you are.
High performers can handle this sort of internal pressure. They don’t mind diving into the deep end of their passions. Obsession is not something to fear. Quite the contrary. It’s almost like a badge of honor. When people are obsessed with something, they enjoy doing it so much that they don’t feel the need to apologize to others for it. They lose hours working at a task or improving a skill. And they love it.
Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Container
It can be difficult to hold emotion but running from it and repressing it can deepen it. We want to create an emotion within us where we can hold it, so that we don’t become emotionally blocked. When we learn to offer space for our emotions with tenderness, gentleness and acceptance. We can live with anything no matter how hard or scary it feels.
Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – The Artist’s Eye
American modernist painter and draftswoman Georgia O’Keeffe once said “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Researchers have found that practicing keen observation helps with our mental acuity. Let your mind linger and your vision expand.
Daily Trip with Jeff Warren – Where’s Waldo?
- A Masterclass in Riding the Waves of Life — “The School for Good and Evil” Creator Soman Chainani
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.