Quite simply, obsession creates rapid progress. We all speak of finding a balance in our many life endeavours. But in my experience, a balanced approach brings more slow and steady results, and in today’s world slow and steady just doesn’t cut it.
In fact, throughout my whole life, I have had a tendency to approach things with pure obsession and passion, but also put in methods to prevent burn out too soon. To me, this is my balance.
Maximum Pain Brings Maximum Gain
Instead of going through life at a constant steady climb like jogging up a hill, I prefer to switch between a flat out sprinting and a steady walk. Think about when you go for a run, that slow jog is so boring! It’s not too fast, not to slow. It’s a moderate challenge, without exerting much pain at all. Sprinting is what requires maximal effort. It’s a measure of power, strength, skill, and endurance.
There is always a lot of pain involved. It’s the fastest path between point 1 and 2, and you tend to have NO distractions. You have a clear vision, tunnel vision. You can’t possibly be thinking of anything else. This is when you’re focused on only the task at hand, this is execution time.
Walking is at the most opposite end of the scale. You are purposefully taking it easy, recover and relaxation time, time to look back on the sprint phase and re-zero your target for the next task. Here my mind is free to explore, observe and wonder. This is my time for brainstorming and reflection. For me, this is a holiday, a day at the beach, time with my family, a ride on the Harley.
The word ‘obsession’ often comes with a bad stigma to some, but for me it’s how I live my life. Do you know the actual definition of obsession? Let’s take a look.
There are three key definitions for obsession:
- An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.
- A state of which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is with a huge amount of passion.
- An activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing.
You might think I’m crazy, but I don’t think that description sounds too bad, to be honest. It gets me excited and hungry for my next project. The value of obsession comes down to what that person is obsessed with.
My obsessions are what drive me to be successful, living a healthy progressive lifestyle is a priority for me. Stop looking at obsession in the wrong light and open your eyes to the fact that it’s only as good or as bad as the things you are obsessed with.
Obsession Comes From Simple Goals
I remember my first obsession; Playing FIFA (soccer) on my PlayStation. Controlling how quick those players could make decisions and play the ball with pinpoint accuracy. Seeing the play on screen before it happened. I wanted to be able to think that fast in real life, I wanted to be able to react and play that sharp. I was obsessed with being as good as a virtual reality soccer player. So I did…
I would spend every spare minute of my time in the backyard kicking and playing with the soccer ball. Hitting it against the wall as hard as I could and reacting to the bounce, to improve my reflexes and touch. I would conduct sprints up my driveway to increase my speed and power, sometimes dragging a rubbish bin or two to add more weight. And I would continue to study the game both on the PlayStation and Fox Sports, every last detail of the player’s moves. I would be the captain of every team I played for (and I did).
I was absolutely obsessed with this for a period of time until I felt I had reached my peak and built a solid foundation of knowledge. Then it was time to look back and reflect and choose my next task; this is pretty much how I have approached everything I have ever been interested in.
When I am at this stage I won’t limit how many hours a day I commit to the tasks needed to progress and learn, which means I learn fast and progress quickly. When you’re obsessed you can go from a beginner to advanced in a very short space of time on the task at hand.
My biggest take away from here is when you immerse yourself in something, you will progress fast and succeed quickly, don’t hold yourself back or let anyone else hold you back. Chase your dreams no matter how crazy they may seem, yes this could take focus away from other areas of your life but it’s OK, you can make these up later.
Stay dedicated to your passion in Life.
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Scott Evennett is a health, fitness and mindset expert who has served in the Australian Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) as an Australian Commando