This is the only obsession worth having, and it isn’t to be liked

We get frustrated because we aren’t progressing as we had planned.

We aren’t there with the traction we hoped we’d be getting with all this work we’re putting in.

We’re not getting enough of them dratted likes, follows, pings, pokes, thumbs ups, and subscribes.

And little Johnny Genius over on YouTube seems to be getting all the views, which makes it worse.

Receiving less validation for what we’re doing makes us doubt ourselves.

With less confidence, how can we be expected to be inspired to keep going?

It sure is a tough racket out there.

. . .

Let’s talk for a second about obsession and how understanding it can help you.

The word ‘obsession’ often brings with it somewhat negative connotations.

We imagine the ‘sweaty-bespectacled-man-staring-out-at-his-sexy-neighbour’ kind of obsessed.

Obsession, done right, is vital. Obsession in the right place is our salvation.

Not one of us is NOT obsessed with something. Just before we popped out of the womb, a hidden force imbued us with a dark, mysterious power that is operating in us continually.

It is there to bring energy, focus, and determination to things that are important to us.

This is the power of obsession, and we all have it.

We may divide its focus toward several things like a scattered laser beam. Or we may direct it to places that do not serve us, including harmful addictions — a misuse of this dark power.

We can be obsessed with worrying thoughts. Infatuated with a member of the opposite sex. Enamoured with getting validation on Instagram. Addicted to drugs; porn; gaming; partying; tv. Enraptured by the idea of being liked by other people.

The surging energy of addiction; of infatuation; of obsession, is within all of us.

We just need to direct the bulk of it to the places that serve us the best.

The psychobabble of purpose and passion that we hear all the time are other ways of interpreting the idea of obsession, except that passion is fleeting, and obsession is for the long-term.

The idea of obsession reveals the most significant difference between the winners and the sufferers of the world:

Winners, whether conscious of it or not, are obsessed with growing themselves and their value.

With this focus, the likes will come, but it’s not your focus, which can only lead to disappointment.

Sufferers are obsessed with everything else, namely getting validation from others.

This is where I believe most of the unhappiness we see in the Western world lies.

Some validation is important. We need to know if we’re on the right track. But if you find yourself consistently depressed at how little others are validating you, you must turn the attention of your inbuilt, natural obsession with becoming best kind of person you can be.

This is an on-going process that will never end.

Pour your energy into becoming increasingly more valuable in all areas of life. That is where the joy of living lies.

Work-wise, this might mean mastering something particular over time. It can also mean joining several interests into a hybrid red-hot point of value that the people need.

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” Robert Greene, Mastery

In many cases, it might mean having to get strict about what you choose to focus your time and effort towards, and what you will need to drop to make the former possible.

In any case, when you’re focused on bettering yourself, you are forced to get conscious of how best to accumulate value into a mighty, influential mass that the people who matter to you need.

How can you become so good at something that you sizzle someone’s skin off when they try and touch you? 

This pursuit must become your new obsession. Desperately looking for approval will become a lesser priority when you do this anyway.

By seeking admiration, you are basing your self-worth on the approval of others, and that is a very flimsy position to be in.

As Einstein said:

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

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