To Be Successful, You Need An Obsession


You have an obsession when an idea takes over your thoughts and decides not to budge from your conscience. There are times, however, that this idea will willingly step back and allow other thoughts to move to the forefront of your mind. But almost predictably this obsessive idea will bully its way back to the front.

Now I am not advocating morally, inhumane or downright horrendous ideas. What I am saying is that in order for you to achieve anything substantial, particularly where your hard work lives beyond your lifetime, you will need to commit to an obsessive idea. Ultimately your obsession should contribute positively to the world.

Here are three symptoms to prove that you have an obsession that may make you successful:

Symptom 1: You can see what others cannot


As if you are peering into a distant reality, you see what seems silly and impossible to others, but to you it is very much a tangible reality. Just because you can see the Goldfish leaving the Goldfish bowl and waving ‘bye’ whilst pulling his luggage along, it doesn’t mean everyone else will, and that’s okay, that’s what makes your perspective unique.

Being fixated on an idea when others disagree with its viability may seem pig-headed. Your friends may even think that your dinner consisted of out of date Mackeral which is impeding your ability to think logically. But imagine if Rosa Parks didn’t sit at the front of the bus because she didn’t want to show up her friends? Or if Steve Jobs was more concerned with fitting in with his pals than spending time developing concepts for new products? Both Rosa Parks and Steve Jobs could see something different, and they were obsessed.

Symptom 2: You are constantly thinking about how you will make your idea happen 


You are constantly chewing on the cud your idea. Thinking about how you can make it happen. You have spent endless hours in deep thought regarding the future and have created your version of a new reality.

Continue to carefully construct your plans like a Leonardo Da Vinci painting. Write down exactly what you intend to do, what exactly those things involve and the resources necessary to complete those tasks.

Symptom 3: You have an unwavering belief that you will succeed


You have an unfounded belief in yourself to achieve this dream. You may be the Clark Kent in any other area of your life, but you are the Superman when it comes to your obsession.

This is not about locking yourself in the attic and plotting to take over the world in isolation. Mentors are necessary and propel us to move horizontally whilst avoiding the pot holes which they have fallen victim to.

Remember that Twitter was a flop for the first five years and nobody bought sliced bread for the first fifteen years of its conception. You need to continue to believe in your idea and your ‘whatever it takes’ determination will be the force that propels you into the success zone.

You can however have the symptoms and not be diagnosed with the condition. Although you have an idea, failure itself will be part of your success. Take Twitter as an example. Before Twitter, the founders created Odeo, which was a podcasting platform. Once Apple had launched their iTunes podcasting platform, the Twitter founders had to bin their idea and start brainstorming again. Likewise, you may also reach a point where you have to adjust your blueprint or choose to continue with your obsession as a lifelong pursuit.

What are some of the obsessions that you have? Do you have anything that people doubted but have now flourished? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to join in the discussion on Facebook or leave your comment below.

Images courtesy of Bplanet & Vectorolie at


19 thoughts on “To Be Successful, You Need An Obsession

  1. “To be successful, you need an obsession.” How true. We are awash with overused motivational quotes these days, but I think this is one of the most on-the-nail remarks I’ve seen in a long while. It’s hard to explain why something takes over your head sometimes. I want to earn my living as a writer. It is going to be a rocky road, but even when I’m a bit demoralized, something inside won’t let it go. I pacify family and friends who wave the ‘Be Realistic!’ flag at me, but I’ve absolutely no intention of giving this up. I don’t really care if it’s realistic. Your post has shone a torch onto my own internal grit – and there’s a bit more of it than I’d realized!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad. I can see from your blog that you’re a talented writer. It’s just about learning how others earn a living by selling books and following the formula i.e promoting their book 9 months before it is due to be released to their mailing list of 500,000! But you are very talented and I enjoy reading your posts.


  3. Diana- I can’t tell you enough how I love posts about human potential and becoming a better version of yourself. As far as Symptom 2 I can’t tell you how many ideas I have had in the past–but either (a) didn’t execute or (b) let the idea go for fear of starting and failing. That is the definition of a want-pre-neur and I was a BIG one. Amazing what happens even when you take just 15 minutes to start anything–you actually START. Great post thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is so true! The first step is starting, the second step is remaining consistent regardless of how ‘weird’ you may seem. The key is to just keep doing it and slowly you’ll see progress. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marc.


  4. I wholeheartedly agree. For us to accomplish anything great, I believe we need to be obsessive about it (and I say that with a positive connotation). Otherwise our actions will always be haphazard, partial, not fully committed. Hands down I can relate with your mindset. I wish to rub this on to people as I see people everyday “give up too soon” at the slightest challenge. Thank you for liking my post.

    Liked by 1 person

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