Obsession can be a bit of a loaded word, sometimes reserved for creepy love affairs and conspiracy theorists. But can an obsession be healthy?
Definitely, when the focus is on making something better. And what could be a better focus than self-improvement?
Obsession can also denote a higher level of energy, propelling you toward your goal. When it comes to healthy obsessions, it doesn’t get any better than an obsession with self-improvement.
Below are some ways to get obsessed about becoming the best version of yourself.
Start with a growth mindset
You have to believe that change is possible, even if you don’t know how just yet. It is this open mindset that serves as fertile soil for self-improvement.
By embracing the simple, but life-altering belief in that possibility, you open the door for self-improvement.
Feedback Loop For Success
As we have all seen from resolutions, it’s all too easy to lose momentum – that’s why an obsession with self-improvement is so important. It’s the best tool to inoculate yourself against ill-health and emotional struggles in the long term.
So why isn’t everyone obsessed with self-improvement?
Humans are highly adaptable and emotionally stoic. Most have developed obsessions with maintaining the status quo rather than self-improvement. The big secret is that we are stronger and braver than we give ourselves credit for.
There is a reinforcing cycle to being obsessed with self-improvement. The pleasure gained from pursuing your goal is as rewarding as reaching the goal itself.
This is important as the goal of perfection isn’t advisable or even likely. The pursuit of self-improvement is different from the pursuit of self-perfection.
Obsession Equals Continuous Focus
Steve Jobs once said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.”
Being obsessed simplifies the options.
You become single-minded in the pursuit of your goal. You move through life with a clear understanding of what you do and don’t want. You’re ready to say no to anything that doesn’t serve your pursuit of self-improvement. Obsession is focus on steroids.
Being obsessed sets your brain on a higher level of responsiveness so that you notice opportunities to meet your goals. When you obsess over something, you need it to happen and do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Obsession with self-improvement simply redirects the energy you were spending putting up with something and turns it into energy for growth. You’re going to spend the energy one way or another, might as well make it transformative!
It’s Not All About You
Another reason why you should be obsessed with self-improvement is that you motivate others to do the same. You never know who you might inspire: a family member or co-worker, your child, or the guy at the bus stop.
Living the obsession for self-improvement sets an exciting, hopeful example that can lead others to take the same risk of growth.
Pave Your Own Way
Self-improvement is focus with purpose and can happen in any area of your life. One way to start is by choosing one part of your life where change feels doable and simple to implement.
For example, you could decide that a simple self-improvement task could be to keep your living space free from clutter. You could commit to a few minutes a day and quickly enjoy the results.
Perhaps not deeply meaningful, but it’s simple to implement and the results are enjoyable, serving as a great starting point. Another starting point is to choose an area of your life that feels deeply meaningful.
For example, you may decide that your self-improvement journey should begin with becoming more spiritual.
In this case, you’re unlikely to reach an ultimate goal, but the path is profound and deeply meaningful. The right choice is the one that works for you.
Caveats and Pitfalls
Identify what is important in your life and seek balance. Yes, you may have phases of your life where spirituality may receive more focus than physical fitness.
Or your relationships take precedence over work. There is an ebb and flow to life and an evolution of priorities.
Awareness of balance will keep the obsession with self-improvement within the realm of healthy and beneficial.
Another mistake that many people make is obsessing over learning about self-improvement. This is not the same thing as doing.
Yes, it is important to learn, but sooner or later (ideally sooner), you have to take action. Reading books about driving a car is helpful, but if you want to actually learn to drive, you have to get behind the wheel.
The same is true for self-improvement. If you want to successfully become a better version of yourself, then you have to give it a go. But it’s not a one-and-done try.
It’s a decision to move in a certain direction with no possibility of anything other than success. You may achieve what you’re after today, or maybe it’s next week, or it might take years.
Make the process itself satisfying and your obsession for self-improvement will thrive and grow right along with you.