It’s the year 1968. TVs barely have color. Computers as we know it have barely been invented, and there is one young man who has just had his first interaction with a computer-based tic-tac-toe game. He openly admits that he thinks it’s pretty neat.
Little does he know that what he refers to as “neat” will grow into a burning desire and passion that he will use to change the world.
Fast forward a couple of years and this young man is completely entranced by the possibilities of computer programming, which is barely even possible in the early 1970s.
He snuck out of classes in high school to visit the computer lab, which was then only available in small blocks of time to the most gifted students. He got banned from the computer lab for breaking in and programming at night when he wasn’t supposed to.
He even traded his own social time in his early college years to find bugs in his school’s software in exchange for programming time, which was a rare commodity at that point in time.
This young man was completely fascinated, and was clearly obsessed. And this young man went on to become one of the richest and most respected men in the world.
This young man was Bill Gates.
The Power of Obsession
If there is one single feeling that can drive a person to accomplish great things in their lifetime, it’s a healthy obsession.
When you’re obsessed with something you think about it every single day. It bugs you when you don’t get to do it, time passes extremely swiftly while you’re engaged in it, and you make what others would call ‘sacrifices’ to get to do more of it.
But these things are not sacrifices to you. They’re just part of the equation that allows you to do more of the thing that thing you love to do.
Back when I was a Computer Science student in college, I had several friends that went home and programmed for fun. They built computer games, read help files because they were interesting, and built their own fully functioning web applications that were well beyond what we learned in class.
It was at that point I realized I was in the wrong field. I didn’t really care for programming. I just did it because it was going to pay well.
Luckily I found my obsession in the Business and Information Marketing field. So I changed majors, and eventually went on to get a Graduate degree in Business.
Obsession Is a Must
To truly be successful, to love life, and be fulfilled every single day, you have to be obsessed.
For my dad, it’s woodworking. He has more birdhouses, handmade pieces of furniture, and even musical instruments than a freaking antique store.
For my fiance’ it’s real estate. We’re not even in the market for a new house and she’s constantly asking me to stop and get flyers from houses we pass just out of curiosity.
For me, it’s writing in this blog, creating this website, and building a resource that will help people improve their lives significantly. Nearly anything to do with this website, I love to do. I’m obsessed with it. Sometimes, actually most of the time, I’d rather sit at home and write than leave the house and socialize (I know, I’m somehow broken).
I bet you know a ton of people who have turned their obsession into a means to a way to live an amazing lifestyle.
That dude who never left the practice field, and is now a pro athlete.
That girl who stayed late and worked on her lines, and is now a Hollywood actress.
That kid who sat in the computer lab all day, and is now a Silicon Valley millionaire.
You always thought they were crazy didn’t you?
Nope. They were just obsessed.
What’s Your Obsession?
So this is my question to you. What’s your obsession?
What is that thing you couldn’t live without, that time skates by while you’re engaged in it, that is a positive influence in your life, and burns inside you when it’s absent?
That’s your obsession. That’s what you’re truly happy doing. That’s what you will no doubt have success with in your lifetime.
Think about it. Find it. Harness it. And do something awesome with it.
If you find your obsession, toss it in the comments below and let’s talk about how you can use it to increase your level of success.