Why Obsession Creates Success

Being obsessed leads to success. If you do it right.

Part of it is being obsessed with the right thing. But you don’t need to be obsessed with painting to be a good artist. Or obsessed with working to be an entrepreneur.

What matters most is having one goal, principle or philosophy. True obsession means that everything you do is in service of that goal.

It’s surprising how indirect this approach can be. Let’s say your obsession, your keystone habit, is serving others. If you place this above all other goals for your life, what would that look like?

Firstly, you would take care of yourself. You would exercise, eat well and relax well. After all, you can’t serve others if you’re underslept, low energy and wasting your time.

Secondly, you would go out into your community and help people. You would donate your time and money to charities. You would mow the lawns of old people. You would spend time using your hands to help grateful people. Can you imagine the benefits this would have on your mental state?

Thirdly, you would seek problems. To best serve, you need to find every problem that people have. And every solution. There are plenty of solvable problems in the world – remember that next time you hear an idea that makes you think “wow, that’s so obvious!”

Bringing problems and solutions requires you to apply your skills, learn new ones or lean on your network. Say you need a coder. If you can code, great. If not, you can learn. Or you could find a coder that shares your vision. Either way, you have enriched yourself and the world.

Now, imagine living like this for a month. Or a year. Or three years. How successful are you going to be? There are no guarantees, but I bet this approach is more likely to earn you a million dollars. And you’ll earn it the good way, by helping people. You’ll deserve it.

Valve does this. Netflix does this. Alcoa did this. This approach isn’t easy. But success rarely is.

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