I believe in obsession: pure, passionate, I-can’t-live-my-life-without-it obsession. I believe in putting one’s whole self into something, so much so that living without it would be like living without air. I believe that passion and obsession are one in the same, and serve as a driving factor in life. Without passion, without obsession, people would get nowhere.
Obsession is staying up late reading your favorite novel for the thirtieth time, the pages clutched tightly in your hand as if life will end if you let go. Obsession is running until every molecule of your body is screaming in protest. Obsession is playing basketball in your driveway until it’s too dark to see the hoop, or until the pounding of the ball against pavement forces your mom out into the cold to tell you its time to call it a night. Obsession means, even after everything and everyone tells you enough is enough, you still keep going.
Take Michael Jordon for example, a fixated dedication for the game drove him to become a champion. He once said, “The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.” He accomplished what he set out to do in the game of basketball through unrelenting hard work and dedication. He obsessed over the one thing he truly loved, and he achieved his goal by becoming one of the world’s most famous basketball players. Of all the seven year old boys who dream of joining the NBA, he is among only a handful of players who realized this dream, all because of his passion and obsession for the game.
It is average people with burning passions and undying obsessions that turn into the great people of tomorrow. The passion within us makes our lives extraordinary rather than just ordinary. Watching my brothers play basketball in the blistering heat until the need for water drives them inside for a quick break proves to me that people can push their limits to previously unknown heights. Watching my brothers slowly but surely progress and get better year after year shows me that anything is possible when you are obsessed with becoming the best you can be at something you love.
So get out there and indulge in the I-can’t-live-my-life-without-it art of obsession.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.