#96. Obsession Is Okay . . . Until It Isn't
As with most things in life, you are fine heading down a certain path . . . until you aren't.
As a teenager and young adult, most people are perfectly fine eating whatever they want, until they reach a point of higher body fat, bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
You may be fine not saving one penny for retirement until you reach an age you are too burned out mentally to work anymore or your body won't let you.
With this premise in mind, obsession can be a good thing for a certain period of time. And if you are aware of the downfalls and take steps to avoid an obsession from overtaking your life, you should be in a better position at the other end of the tunnel.
The First Time I Heard This
The first time I heard about obsession possibly being a good thing was in Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It has been a while since I read it, but I remember that Hill even argued that building wealth required obsession.
He argued that thinking about money and growing your business is okay, but obsessing about money and ways to grow your business is how you become truly wealthy.
Most people who have accumulated wealth do not luck into it, they usually acquire it from years and years of hard work. Having an obsessive personality helps you put in the necessary work upfront to build your wealth.
Another distinct time I heard someone talking along similar lines was when I heard Grant Cardone talk about overcoming drug addiction.
When fighting his drug addiction, Cardone realized he had an addictive personality in general. So, once he beat his drug addiction, he used his addictive personality as a tool to help him become a real estate mogul.
He became addicted (or obsessed) with growing his real estate portfolio.
My Concern With Obsession
My concern with this line of thinking has always been the same - how do you turn it off?
Obsession is when an idea or thought continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.
Purposeful and guided zeal is powerful, but one can easily be consumed by it. If you have a family at home, and you are spending all your waking efforts towards building wealth through work, this can quickly destroy your family and your health.
Before writing this article, I spent time thinking about how to set up perimeters to help keep you from going overboard, and then it finally hit me.
How To Make Sure Obsession Stays A Positive Thing: Good Habits
Most things can be traced back to a person's habits. If you know a person's habits (what they do when no one is looking), you have a good idea of what type of person you are dealing with.
Obsessing over building your wealth can be kept in check if you develop the right underlying habits.
Do you regularly get 7+ hours of sleep? Do you exercise? What is your diet? Also, do you have a habit of spending time with your family away from your phone?
Habits are extremely hard to create and just as hard to break. Once something becomes a habit, it requires very little brain power to accomplish that task.
Have you ever left the house and not remembered whether you locked the front door or not? Locking your front door can become such a habit that you do it without thinking. Then, it in turn leaves you with no stored memory of physically locking the door.
Establishing good habits before obsessing about a project/business/etc. should give you the proper restraints from allowing this task to overtake your life.
If you need some help or guidance with creating habits, Atomic Habits by James Clear is a great place to start.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Let us be a community that helps each other grow. And if you enjoyed this article, don't forget to hit the heart icon, share it with your friends, and subscribe for more content.