The Art of Obsession (continued)

Purpose. Obsession must have a purpose first of all. The purpose of a tree is simply to grow toward the sun. This purpose is essentially the rudder, the element providing direction for the individual’s passion. A boat without a rudder and destination will never achieve its goal, no matter how much wind is at its back, or how much fuel is provided.

A person’s purpose is typically more complex, but for a single obsession, it is best to keep it simple. A good example is Einstein’s developed purpose, which can easily be gleaned from this quote: “The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of man—though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least”. He also said “If you want to have a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”. His purpose and goal was the search of truth and knowledge, specifically within the realm of science and physics.

Example: “My Purpose for developing this obsession is to become the number one chess player in the world”.


If a farmer wants corn, he plants corn seed. If he wants wheat, he plants wheat. In developing an Obsession, the proper seed must be sown. If I desire for passion of art, I will pursue practice within the field of art. If I want to create an Obsession for business, my practices will be within a particular discipline of business. The seed that is sown is not a single event of decision, but a daily, habitual practice of sowing and implanting that will in time develop into a discipline within our mind and body.


“My Obsession must be within the discipline of chess, therefore I will practice chess daily”.


The atmosphere is the governable external factors of motivation. Why do captains avoid the Bermuda Triangle, or the Straits of Magellan? Because of their harsh and unsuccessful atmosphere. Why are there few plants growing in the desert? For the same reason of course!

The list of external motivational factors is extensive, but here are few to get you started:

  • Social standing
  • Respect
  • Physiological Needs
  • Esteem
  • Safety
  • Relationship
  • Money
  • Sense of belonging
  • Prestige
  • Honor
  • Power

Consider these external inputs and what type of atmosphere you desire to create or put yourself and your Obsession into.


“My personality craves a sense of belonging, therefore I will surround myself with individuals who can contribute to an atmosphere of belonging. This will be achieved by joining my local chess club, as well as pursuing this hobby with friends that share this passion”.


Every Obsession requires fuel to keep it going. In keeping consistent with our boat analogy, consider the steamboat without its steam, or a nuclear submarine without nuclear fuel. The tree as well, needs the sap it is able to produce through photosynthesis. In the same way our obsession must be fed; by converting external forms of fuel into energy.

There are many varieties of fuel that you can utilize in the feeding of your obsession, but choose carefully, in accordance to your personality. The fuel that is chosen is the controllable internal motivational factors; what we are able to generate within ourselves through the conversion of external variables. Love, Fear, and Hate are quite possibly the most effective variables in the feeding of obsession. The more effective of the three is hard to discern historically and statistically, but I would advise the use of love and hate over fear whenever possible.


“My external Atmosphere of belonging will be converted into the Fuel of both Love and Hate, as my relationships develop. I will utilize Love in both my relationships with others and myself, by feeding my Obsession with it, and using the product developed by the Obsession to “re-sow” into my relationships.”

To sum it up, the seed of Obsession must be sown into the proper Atmosphere, and the fledgling Obsession that is created must be nurtured and propelled with Fuel. In order to efficiently manage the desired outcome, the Obsession must be guided by Purpose. Thus, the formula of Obsession is:

Purpose+Implantation+Atmosphere+Fuel = Obsession.