The Skill Of Obsession - Chris Knott

The Skill Of Obsession

“What’s the point of being alive, if you don’t do something remarkable?”

Kind of deep right?

Continuing from my message that purpose and happiness are heavily linked, today I’m going to discuss the drive behind that purpose and a different way of looking at mastering skills. 

Obsessed is stigmatised as a bad word. We connote obsession with extreme behaviour or unhealthy devotions towards actions or patterns. When you say someone is obsessed, it usually implies they have little control over the quest to acquire the goal they wish to pursue. In other words, obsession is bad. 

Like anything in life, thought processes and concepts can be trained and developed through the correct applications of pathways and techniques. We can manipulate and dissect positive aspects of even negative thought processes and use them to our advantage if done correctly. 

I remember that one of the unhappiest times of my life was when I was totally dedicated to eating perfectly clean. I didn’t want to drink, eat sugar or carbs or socialise much. I was working at David Lloyd at the time and thought getting absolutely shredded would help me stand out in the industry. So in retrospect, I was obsessed with being lean. 

Now my views have changed quite substantially. I can see that true obsession isn’t about thinking acutely, it’s about looking at things globally and seeing the wood through the trees. 

What do I mean by this?

The more a goal means to you, the greater you’ll delve in to ways that will help you achieve said goal. Although not eating a cake or drinking a beer will mean you will be lean tomorrow, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be shredded in a weeks time. Any type of behaviour that could cause future negative manifestations is ultimately detrimental to your progression. Therefore they must be avoided at all costs. 

Being truly obsessed with a goal requires you to think of ways that help you obtain an advantage, not put you in a disadvantage. 

Think of it this way. One of the greatest ways to unwind is by socialised and chilling out with friends. The laughter and mental break from work provides the perfect antithesis when you’ve had a hard week. One of the biggest alienating factors is when you religiously proclaim that you can’t eat, drink or be merry because you don’t want it to mess with your “gains”. 

Now, I’m not for one second proclaiming going out and hitting the jaeger bombs, kebab houses and waking up with a traffic cone in your bedroom, I’m talking about taking a break from the intensity of constantly trying to live the perfect life. 

Obsession to me isn’t about doing everything flawlessly. It’s about having the mentality of doing what you need to do regardless of what gets in your way. 

We all know that 8-9 hours of sleep is optimal for recovery, but sometimes you have to work on 3-4. We all know that sugar isn’t great for you, but sometimes you have to train when all you’ve eaten is a coffee and a flapjack all day. Obsession is being intently focused on your goal, not being hindered by the variables that effect your goal. I know they go hand in hand, but the realisation that not everything can always go smoothly sets you up for a far greater outlook during testing times. 

If you are obsessed, you are smart enough to appreciate that balance will give you much more longevity than unwarranted deprivation. You go out, you have fun, but you still turn up and do the work. When it boils down to it, it’s all about work ethic rather than proclamations about what you can’t eat or do. What you’ll notice about high achievers is that they have a very broad outlook on the task in hand. They do it come rain or shine. This is a vast contrast to those who go balls to the wall for a brief period of time, create unsustainable patterns and then lose track of what they want to achieve. 

To conclude, obsession is a great thing. To achieve great things, you have to be completely and utterly consumed with reaching your goal. However, obsession means hard work and completing the task in hand. It does not mean neglecting friends, family or foods that you enjoy. Stay focused, do the work and maintain the balance; that’s what obsession means to me.