Is being obsessed with success helpful or harmful?

Every where you look you will find a “get rich quick” scheme or a “lose 40 pounds in three weeks” ad.  This raises an interesting question.  Is being obsessed with success helpful or harmful? While it’s true that there is no substitute for hard work, being completely consumed with being successful might be more of a trap and cause a person to become shortsighted and more prone to give up on their goals.  Most people would applaud the attributes that are required to make a person successful and so do I, however, I do think there is something to be said for people who take time to reassess their plan and stop and smell the roses along the way.  I’m sure the people who are reading this who know me may find it hypocritical that i’m talking about stopping and smelling the roses since my personal creed is “work as hard as you can, as long as you can”.  I must admit however that when I have taken breaks to go see a movie or to round out myself with a hobby it has provided me with much more concentration on working towards my goals.  So how can you balance your aggressive desire to be the best with living life?  I’ll tell you below.



  1. Create a physical outlet for yourself: There is nothing better for our concentration than engaging in physical activity.  Physical activity has been proven to have an affect on brain function, causing the person who is exercising to be able to focus better and even improve memory.  We are all guilty at one point or another in our life of piling our plates so high that things fall off, we start to forget things and it makes us less productive.  Having a physical outlet changes the game, allowing us to work off mental stress that can bog down our thoughts.
  2. Detach from electronics: Every week you should have at least one or two days without using your phone.  The cell phone can be a constant reminder of what we have to do and when we have to do it.  The cell phone also has a way of keeping our minds captive with what we are missing and who is trying to get in touch with us.  When we detach ourselves even if only for a few hours our stress level will plummet and you will feel present in the moment.
  3. Have work friends and social friends: Some times you just don’t always want to talk shop, but the more we spend time around people we also work with, the more likely we are going to talk about office politics and who said what to stab who in the back.   It is nice to be able to spend time with people who have absolutely no connection to what we do at work because then you can talk about other interest you have in a more well rounded way.  With that haven been said, it is also important to have work friends because those friends can help sympathize with you when something goes wrong at work and you create a nice community around your work, the place where most Americans spend their time.
  4. Get a hobby: One of the best ways to relax and take your mind off of the stresses of work is to find a hobby.  I’ve personally recently taken up archery.  This hobby is great because it will take a long time to get good.  Heck it might take me a long time to get the arrow on the target stand.  I think the key to a good hobby is to find one that your interested in, but your not necessarily good at because this will allow you to grow into the hobby over time.
  5. Purge Negative Influences: There is nothing that can bog down someone mentally more than negative influences in our lives.  Whether it is people, experiences or environments, break free from these influences that can keep you feeling trapped and unable to achieve balance in your life.  You only have one shot at living the life you want to live and why waste it around people and environments that suppress your goals and plans. (click here to read the blog post on living the life you want) 



“When you stay focused and keep a commitment you create momentum, and momentum creates momentum.” – Rich Fettke
There’s no doubt that creating a focus on your goals and plans in your life that is laser like, can help you build momentum towards your goals.  You may see some people in your life who you consider successful who just seem to always get the breaks or always find the opportunities.  They may call it being obsessed with success but what it really is, is that they maintain their focus and always are prepared when opportunities come around.  Obsession can cause you to miss opportunities because you may lose your ability to remain adaptable to the world around you, thus losing your ability to change as the world changes.  In the end obsession can make you miss the mark and make you intolerable to be around.  So is obsession helpful or harmful?  Think about your life, think about how you view your work and social life.  The answer can always be found in what your view is about success and life.  Focus is different from obsession, focus is like an unstoppable train progressing towards the end destination.  Obsession is like an airplane without a pilot, you can fly high, you have power, but ultimately no direction and when things go wrong, watch out!  Stay positive, focused and achieve balance in your life and you will accomplish more than you thought you ever could.


Here’s to your success,