posted on August 29, 2012 in business, life, private

In Defense Of Being Obsessed

In nearly all kinds of media you hear about those obsessed people who are just bad, evil and likely terrorists or psychopaths. Why? Because they are obsessed. What they never tell you is that an obsession can be something great. Not if you want to live a boring, standard life like your neighbor and his neighbor and so on.

Every time I hear about people explaining why it is such a bad thing I try to not join the discussion. I stay away as far from it as I can. I would know what I am talking about but since they do everything to believe that an obsession is bad and should be treated - you would have an easier time arguing with a blind person about what blue looks like.

Before I continue let me define the term "average life". I mean a regular life. You have friends, many hobbies, a job. You are not trying to do something amazing and are happy just getting up, complaining a bit about your job, going home to your friends and family,… you just live from day to day, sometimes thinking about the future. I do not try to argue about that lifestyle and I do not judge or care about it. Just wanted to get this out before misunderstandings happen. :)

When I was in school I did not really care about parties. I went to some but most of the time I was in front of my computer. When other people went to Spain to drink themselves into oblivion I organized network parties. Others were hiding a Playboy under their bed, I was just reading computer magazines. Looking back at my youth I was obsessed with computers. Well, I still am.

But I have a tendency to this behavior. When I started training martial arts I went from zero to 5 days training a week. I wanted to play the guitar and my teacher told me to first learn the flute to understand notes and stuff. He said I would have to practice a year. After 4 month I got my guitar.

There is an easy way how I explain the way I learn and practice things. "If it is worth doing, give 100%. If you are not ready to give 100% just do not do it." Personally I just do not like half assed attempts.

From time to time I look back to see how far I have gotten. I remember 15 years acting this way. People told me that I am obsessed and that I should do something else than spending my whole time with computers. They told me I annoy them talking about it. That my life would suck because I have nothing else. (A quote from the mother of an old friend.) People in my class did not really like me (but neither did I like them).

When I was 16 and still in school preparing for my diploma I started my first company. After finishing it I started a second one together with a training in a completely different profession. I am self employed and earning money since I was 16. I did not need my parents to pay for my car. I was able to move in my own apartment and live on my own when I finished school.

People who went to school with me are still studying. They need their parents to support them. They have no idea what work is like, but believe they will have an easy life because they studied. They do not really work hard, do not have good grades,… They are just average and the only thing they want is making enough money to pay a car and alcohol. They already resigned and subscribed to an average life. While talking to some of them I learned that they do not even see or imagine that something else would be possible.

Looking back at my school time and every time people told me I would live a sad life because I am obsessed with things makes me smile. Thanks to my obsession I enjoy my life. I am good at the things I do. I am even great in some of them. I do not have to regret not doing things because I did everything I really wanted to do. I gave everything and if I could not achieve a goal, I never had to think: "if I would just had tried harder".

Now please do not get me wrong. I understand that there is a clinical type of obsession that is not healthy. I am not talking about this one. If you stalk a girl or forget to eat and drink because you are sitting in a tree trying to catch a bird to make sweet, sweet love to it you should really look for help. There is some kind of illness but I am not talking about that.

In the end the only thing that counts is a happy, full filled live. If an average life, no stress, no pressure to achieve things is what makes you happy - go for it. But just one little thing (and I believe it is not too much to ask for): If your friend, your fiancee, your daughter or son are obsessed (in a not clinical or critical way) do not tell them they are doing something wrong or that their life sucks. There is a reason and maybe they are onto something and one day achieve great things. And if they don't, they will not regret anything. Living obsessed is for them what living an average life is for you.

I would love to talk to you about this post, your ideas or awesome projects.

I am @fallenhitokiri on Twitter and GitHub or you can send me a mail.