I think I can say with confidence that everyone I know who is actually chasing their dreams struggles with a bit of compulsive obsession in one way or another. I’ve personally watched it take shape in a few different arenas. I know a photographer who obsesses over light to the point that he talks about it in ways you’ve never heard before. In the music industry I’ve watched rappers obsess over one word of a song, and producers with hundred of sounds in a beat spending hours trying to perfectly place one more. As a writer, I can tell you that we tend to obsess over vocabulary. You’ll know you’ve found one when you notice a thesaurus is their best friend. My notes app contains the initial ideas for probably a couple of hundred articles, because of obsession. And I’m betting that your favorite rapper’s phone looks pretty similar.
Ray Allen’s dream was basketball, and as you’ll see in the video below, he made a habit out of obsession. His discipline and preparation routine are legendary, and when it came time to hit the game winner that would eventually lead the Miami Heat to a championship, it was Ray Allen who drove a dagger through the heart of the San Antonio spurs with an absurd three-point shot from the corner. Was he lucky? Nah. Obsession had him well prepared.
It’s easy to feel like obsessing over something is a bad thing, and surely it can be, but surely it also doesn’t have to be. I’ve never heard it explained like Ray does below, particularly towards the end of the video, and I think it’s beautiful. Perhaps we just need something worthy of obsessing over, and then it’s a quality we can actually rely on. Check it out and let me know any thoughts in the comments.
“Obsession is what makes great, great” – Ray Allen