Get Obsessed and Stay Obsessed

The only way to ever get anything done, and done well, is to have ruthless focus.

That’s the truth. If you disagree, you’re wrong.

I’ll use Leonardo da Vinci as an example. The man was a genius, sure, but he seemed too scattershot in his doings to really make that much of a lasting impact in any one field. He’s know for doing a lot of things really well, but he didn’t paint and sculpt like Michelangelo or compose like Beethoven.

Speaking of Beethoven, the man lived music. That’s all he did. Even when deaf, he still composed. Talk about obsession.

It’s not just the arts. Look at what Arnold Schwarzenegger did with his body. Look at what Henry Ford did regarding automobiles. Look at what Bruce Lee did with marital arts.

The problem as I see it is this: We live in a society that discourages the pursuit of excellence by turning leisure for leisure’s sake into a worthy goal in and of itself.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying a movie or a drink or a trip to Vegas or video games of whatever. I argue that there is something wrong with filling every angstrom of free time with entertainment.

There’s not much culture other than pop culture, true. And it’s good to get out of reality from time to time. But it’s more worthy to create something, even if nobody else will see it.

Keeping minds active and inspired is one of the greatest things one human being can accomplish for another.

How do you get this focus? You need to be jealous with your time. Set limits. Wake up at the crack of dawn if you must. Sacrificing for what you want is a sure sign that you actually want it.

And yet there are so many demands on time. Work, for example. Spouses. Children. Friends. Sleep. These things are worthy as well. But it is not wrong to say they can derail focus, especially if you are trying to, say, get fit.

There’s also the belief, maybe unique to America, maybe not, that if an activity is not making money, then it’s somehow a waste of time.

And yet, many who think this don’t see vegging out in front of the TV in a similar light.

I’m not here to discuss human hypocrisy. I’m here to tell you that, yes, your obsessions to create are worthy, and many things will conspire to hold you back. Don’t give up.


  1. Good points, especially about focusing on the leisure activities instead of substantial stuff. I’ve known people that if they spent 1/4th of the time and focus that they gave to videogames like World of Warcraft they would have PhDs by now.

    I’m a fan of the concept of serial achievement. So many driven people lock themselves into one thing, one profession, one obsession. I think it’s good to aim for multiple things, back to back, etc. Don’t just be a writer, be a painter also, or a bodybuilder, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Multiple things, yes! Always be a student of LIFE (thank you, thank you, powerful stuff, I know.)

      You make a great point about video games, etc. Leisure in and of itself is not a bad thing. But people elevate it to THE thing to aim for. Like you, I know people who always SAY they want to do X, Y, or Z, but end up just watching THAT AWESOME NEW NETFLIX SHOW and drinking or gaming.

      Again, as with everything, moderation and priorities…except for important stuff. That’s where you’ve got to focus. At least, I think so.

      Thanks for the comment man!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great article – My girlfriend only half jokes that she forces me to take down time away from “always needing to be productive”. Although I think a lot of us who inhabit this corner of the internet (whatever you want to call it) are the same in that respect.

    For me I am currently obsessed with finishing a distance learning course by June 1st. Along with getting some consistency back into my fitness regime (2x cardio/2x 1hr weight sessions a week) after a 6 week period at the start of 2018 where I was having fits and starts).

    I am also taking up meditation again (I kept stopping and starting for months) – its bloody hard and easy to skip too.

    The nice thing about a dash of ruthless obsession is that it negates the need for all the “10 ways to be successful” and “How To Get Motivated” articles out there. Get 1-3 specific, measurable goals, get a pen and a hourly diary/schedule, block them in and go (that also includes relaxation with family/kids/friends too…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it EA! It’s funny, isn’t it? When you commit to something, maintaining ruthless focus gets EASIER. It’s the inertia of it all, and the fact that positive habits are just as sticky as negative ones.

      Best of luck with all of your plans!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s