How many movies and stories have you come across in which there is a character obsessed with something? Villains in Bond movies and psycho killers come to mind, and so do funny scientists and the village fool.
Obsession has such a sickly, psychotic feeling to it. It results in lives spiraling downwards. In the least, it causes a person to disregard health, social life and happiness. At it’s worst, it threatens the world.
So, can any good ever come of it?
Is obsession really that bad?
I think there is a lot of dogma associated with obsession.
Not too many people make the effort to find a work they really feel connected to. A lot many times, instead of accepting the uncomfortable truth about their own lack of purpose in life, they find it easier to ridicule the one who is going after it. Calling such a person obsessed, foolish, dangerous or worthy of pity, gives people a sense of comfort.
This is not to say that obsession is always good. Obsession can be bad when it is not a conscious decision you take. It is bad if it is a surrender to a baser desire like fear or greed, or if it is a result of accepting defeat in life. Taking to drugs or alcohol, or vengeance are all misplaced and harmful obsessions.
But when obsession is the result of a conscious and deliberate decision, taken by a determined and clear mind, a mind where the intellect and the Inner Voice have become one, it represents intense and total focus on a worthy purpose. It is surrender to a worthy mission.
But will it not make us disregard other important things?
Obsession is focus with faith. There is an inherent belief in conscious obsession, everything that is outside your focus will take care of itself.
When you start out with an obsession, you will not be perfect, and yet, you will be so. You may start out with disregard to important things, like your health. But soon these things will make themselves felt, they will start affecting your performance. Because of your obsession with your work, any adverse effect on your performance is totally unacceptable. You will attack the problem, without much premeditation. There will be no worrying, no contemplating, there will be a quick and sharp assessment of the cause, and swift action towards its removal.
You will not start out perfect but, almost perfectly, move towards the most optimal balance for best performance.
What does this healthy obsession feel like? What are its benefits?
When you offer complete focus and devotion to your purpose, your obsession can lift you and your work to a whole new level.
Ego dies and humility emerges. An easy, natural confidence rises in you and so does a feeling of self worth. All fears and doubts vanish. You feel intensely aware and alive.
Lessons are revealed. You start seeing yourself better, without judgement. There is peace in your mind. It is like you are in the eye of a storm, everything around may be in chaos but you stay your equanimous self. Their is intense focus on the present, on the task at hand. There is clarity about what needs to be done.
There is effortless, focused action. You experience a sense of easy, flowing productivity. You become one with the activity, it feels like an extension of your own self. It is not stressful anymore. There may be things that you have been fretting about for weeks or months, that you will get done now, without so much as a thought. There is very little thinking and analyzing. There is a lot of feeling, intuition and flowing.
How to experience such a healthy obsession?
If the idea of healthy obsession interests you, don’t try to force such an obsession on whatever work you are doing. If you feel deeply connected to something, but took up a secure job in something else out of fear, forcing yourself into obsession to do better at your job will not help. It will backfire. You will not accomplish much, and will lose health and temper.
Find your purpose. You can experience it only when your work is totally aligned with your heart’s calling, when work and action flow in the direction your Inner Voice points to. First and foremost, seek out what your heart wants, find your purpose(you may want to read this).
Have faith. You will have to take a leap of faith, you will have to follow your heart’s calling and wait. It will come to you.
Start working towards your purpose everyday. It maybe for only a little time but keep it regular and disciplined. During this time, listen to your heart, your Inner Voice. If you need rest, the Inner Voice will tell you so. If you need to change tracks, it will let you know. A time will come when it will ask you to just stay at what you are doing, with your horns locked in. When that happens, have faith and just stay. Don’t analyze, don’t worry how will other things be managed, just have faith in your heart and keep going where it leads.
Hand over control to your Inner Voice, take the resistive force of your ego out of the driver’s seat. Once the weight of worries and doubts is past, your being becomes free of resistance, and lets the force of creation to flow through. What gets accomplished through you now, will be beyond your wildest dreams. Miracles happen, the impossible becomes possible. You make progress in leaps and bounds, and you experience a rare spiritual high. You become completely alive.