It’s Good to Be Obsessed, Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise

It’s Good to Be Obsessed, Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise

The unsolicited advice every successful man in history has heard:

You’re working too hard, I think you should take some time off, take it easy for a while.

Every soon-to-be-successful man has heard the exact same thing. You’re going to burn out. There’s more to life than work. Working isn’t everything. Money isn’t everything.

Some of those statements are true, but they’re used to diminish a man’s quest, to make him seem greedy, to make him feel selfish, to make him question what he’s doing. I think every ambitious guy’s been there, especially when he’s yet to see the fruits of his labor, or the full fruits of his labor. He’s far from his goal, and the work he’s constantly, persistently, obsessively engaged in doesn’t seem as though it will get him what he wants from an outside perspective, a perspective that doesn’t aim for greatness, think it’s possible, or even really want it that much.

Most people are content with mediocrity, and that’s fine so long as they don’t diminish the quest for more that someone may be on, or have jealousy toward someone who’s achieved greatness and put the work in to actually get it.

If building a legacy, acquiring real, generational wealth and power, isn’t something you want to do because of the lifestyle you’re going to have to adopt, don’t do it.

To that same point, if this is something you have gnawing at you deep in your soul, then by that same token you have to do it or you’ll live a depressing, unfulfilled life that may be successful to some, but not to you.

The Odd Obsession with Success

I was in high school, having just left hockey for basketball. Every morning I’d wake up at 5am, get on an hour-long bus ride to my high school, where the security guard I befriended would open up the gym early for me so I could get a couple hours of shooting in before class.

After school I’d leave to go somewhere in the city to play pick-up or do drills with a pal before practice later in the evening. And sometimes I’d stay after practice to shoot, too.

I wasn’t a great basketball player by any means, but I wanted to be. I wasn’t a great boxer at all, but I wanted to be. I wasn’t a great student and I really didn’t give a shit about that…

What I’m saying is that I clearly have an obsessive personality. With work, I’m the same. I just like it. I like learning. I like chasing a goal, a quest, greatness, whatever. I want to build something big, do something grand. I’ve repressed that a fair bit even recently and in the past.

I’ve quelled my ambitions, reduced my goals, cooled my ideas for what I want from life and also for the effort I put into getting what I want to essentially fit other people’s ideas for what life is all about. The reality is that life is different for everyone, and not everyone is obsessive.

Some are obsessed about adventure, others power, others wealth, success, building a legacy, while others still are content to chill, to enjoy their family and go at an easy pace.

The key is to be true to who you are, and fuck what everyone else says about what you should be, how you should think, and what you should aspire to achieve.

Being Obsessive Isn’t Bad

We’re told that being obsessive is bad, that being obsessed about anything is the wrong way to be. That too much of anything makes you an addict. Sure. But if you’re obsessive about success, or anything previously mentioned, that isn’t a bad thing, that’s how you reach your potential, feel fulfilled, find happiness and meaning, and actually live for a reason.

To turn your back on your obsessions is bad. I’ve been there.

You don’t work as hard as you like to, which leaves you down, depressed, feeling useless. You don’t train as hard because everyone’s telling you there’s more to life than lifting or hunting or hiking or adventuring or writing or whatever it is you’re obsessed about, and as a result you feel like a useless sack of shit, obeying what others think is living but ignoring what your soul calls you to do.

The magic is in being obsessed with success, because success entails more than one focus in life. It demands greatness in your career, your work, your craft. But you also have to be a great father, husband, boss, and leader. You have to live, to adventure, to serve. You have to have every area of your life firing on all cylinders.

To many, the thought of excelling in every single area of life is exhausting, but that’s what the Romans thought of as manliness, excellence in all things. They saw it as a quest to be truly great in every area of life so as to not waste the gift of life, the gift of ambition, the gift of health.

If you’re the type that is obsessive, use it.

Recently I opened up a Grant Cardone book with a title that screamed at me to grab it and read it, so I did.

From, Be Obsessed or Be Average, by Grant Cardone

    When I started studying other obsessive types who were super successful and stopped seeking advice from those who were settling for average lives, average results, average money, average everything and who were never obsessed with anything except defending average, that’s when I began to really live.

    When I started to own the fact that I was obsessed with personal fantasies of indestructible wealth and fame and the desire to create a legacy that would outlast my time on this planet, the world looked different. …I started to attract other people more like me. Opportunities started to present themselves that used to never come my way.

You are not someone else. You cannot diminish your goals to fit in because fitting in is far too overrated. Being obsessed isn’t a curse, it’s a gift, it’s insight into who you are. You have it hardwired in your DNA to achieve greatness, or die trying. That’s you. To do or aim to be anything or anyone else is a lie.

Just as the Alpha lion, the head male of a pride dies holding his throne, just as he risked death to acquire it, he has no other choice. He’s not doing it because he wants to. He’s not fighting other massive beasts because he likes it. He’s doing it because that’s just what an alpha male lion does. To do anything else is a betrayal of his existence, just like aiming for mediocrity, accepting a bad hand, lying down and quitting is a betrayal of who you are, a betrayal of your existence.

Fuck mediocrity. If that’s not for you, then by all means, aim higher, work harder, be obsessed. To do anything else will leave you with regret.

To Win, You Have To Act Above Your Situation

To Win, You Have To Act Above Your Situation

Note: Many, MANY of the ideas in this article are taken from Ray Dalio’s, Principles. It’s a book that every human who wants to live life well, and to live it better everyday, should read. Enjoy the article.

When we are where we don’t want to be, we have to live as the man who is where we think we ought to be.

When tough times come we too often lower ourselves to the situation. We pity our situation, how things have gone, and our energy levels dip, our mood suffers, our perspective dims unnecessarily. We’re sombre, sad, and unmotivated because what’s there to be motivated about? This is tough!

The point of life is to struggle well, not to not struggle. As Ray Dalio alluded to in his book, Principles, even if you try to avoid struggles, they’ll find you.

And when we’re in the struggles – which we always are if we’re trying to improve, that’s the nature of improvement, to incur more struggle, not less – and if we’re in tough times where we’ve had a few failures, where we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we cannot bring ourselves down to the bad situation but rather have to act as if we are – and be – the guy who is worthy and actively achieving the things we want to achieve on the grandest scale possible.

We cannot act as failures even if, by our perspective, we are failures. To do so is pity, it is weakness, and by God it’s far better to be strong than it is to be weak, and not just for us and individuals, but for everyone around us as well.

And we really have no other choice.

And this acting better than our situation doesn’t end.

While the goal of life is to struggle well because struggles are a constant and we may as well do it well than to fail at it, the objective is also to improve, and improvement demands that we act better than where we are and even better than who we are.

I am not where I want to be.

The business is not where I want it to be. I want to improve nearly every situation in my life save for my lady who needs no improving, nor my pup, nor my family, friends, and well, I could go on. But I want to be better. Simple.

I want more success, more of life, more adventure, hell, more land.

Man, am I unsatisfied. I’ve dug myself holes, I’ve climbed out of them and dug deeper ones and climbed out of those. I’ve created good habits and lost them, developed great habits on top of those.

Regardless of all of that, I’m not close to being content, and when I think about where I’d rather be, when I settle into that comparison mindset, it’s painful, it’s a true struggle.

To act to my situation would be a sin. But I’ve done it. I’ve eased into mediocre efforts and habits and then awoken to that fact, the pain that I’ve wasted time by simply doing the minimum, and I’ve realized that I cannot go on like that.

I cannot live to the situation if I want to improve it.

To improve it, I have to act better than where I am.

Success is won by working effectively.

You can be efficient, but still be efficiently unsuccessful.

Efficiency is better than inefficiency, but it’s still not the best way to work.

The best way to work is effectively, to have your time spent doing good work efficiently, but also having that work yield a good result.

Results are all that matters. It’s nice to work your ass off, but if your work doesn’t yield the result you want, and you don’t learn from the failure and improve your work, you’re going to be left disappointed and unfulfilled.

We need to win, and to win we need to work effectively, and to work effectively we have to, in part, act the part not only of the good worker, but the great planner.

In our lives we’re not only the one doing the work, we’re also the one planning what work should be done and when it should be done.

On some level we’re the boss and the worker. Few act the part of the boss, they simply put their head down and work, but if they were to step back and strategically plan what work should be done, the work would be correct more often than it is if it’s reactive.

I spend far too much time acting reactively, and far too little time reflecting on whether those actions have yielded the result I wanted them to. I’m busy being the worker without thinking like the boss.

I’m acting down to my current situation instead of acting up to the situation I’d like to next end up living in.

How to Act Above Your Situation

This is a problem I’ve had to – and am still – think about solving. I’ve had to reflect, detach, look at my situation and my reality without the veil of emotion.

There are a few truths that we have to come to grips with:

  1. What has gotten us here won’t get us ‘there’. That is, we cannot continue to do the same things every day and expect to improve. We have to shift, adjust, change what we’re doing, do things bigger, better, and often radically different.
  2. At the same time, doing ‘different’ for the sake of it being different is wrong. Persistence is key, and quite often we’re changing plans and adjusting our course too often that we don’t let our work realize its potential.
  3. We can act however we want to act. We do not have to act like a fella making 6 figures if we want to make 7 or 8. We do not have to act like a fat person if we want to be ripped. We are not relegated to acting as our upbringing dictated we act, nor are we stuck acting as we’ve always acted.

Too often we act as we think we’re supposed to act rather than how we’d like to act.

We’d all like to act more successful, but only a minority among us know that this choice is ours. Thus, we improve, but far too slowly.

We don’t aim high enough, and that isn’t necessarily in our goal-setting (though this is almost always true), but in how we carry ourselves.

Our opinion of who we are betrays who we want to become.

We can stop worrying. We can stop fearing. We can stop being lazy, envious, and ineffective. We can start acting with courage, discipline, and focus.


There are so many choices in our lives that we’re unaware of. We have more power than we realize, and this is especially true when we feel powerless, when we feel beat up, distraught, as if life won’t turn in the direction we’d like it to turn. We ignore that we’re the catalyst and the vehicle for change. So we don’t change, and neither does our circumstance.

Every struggle is an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve, and if we evolve enough, we will become who we need to be to deserve what we want to deserve.

It begins with a choice, but also an understanding that there are choices.

Spend time and define two things:

  1. Define who you are.

Identify your strengths, what you’re good at or can be the best at, and what you love to do.

Understand, also, where you are weak. I can be hard-headed, even defensive. I have a natural instinct to fight that doesn’t have to be my instinct. I need to be more open to criticism, and to seeing things from outside, often more correct, perspectives.

  1. Equally important is it to define who you want to become.

Not just what, but who.

What principles and values and virtues would you like to embody?

Who would you like people to see you as?

What thoughts do you want to dominate your mind?

Understanding the truth about who we are allows us to move forward from a position of truth in a world, existence, and society of image and delusion. If you understand the truth, you can use it to set you free to accomplish great things. If you want to ignore reality and remain blind to both your limitations and strengths, you’ll remain reactive, working on things that won’t get you to the level you want to be at.

In short, act to the standard you want to rise to, don’t continue acting down to the situation you’re struggling through right now.

Get after it.

Give Everything It’s Time and Place

Give Everything It’s Time and Place

Hey brother, I’m writing this on Monday night… It’s a bit of a change for me, I normally do this on Sunday, which goes against the purpose of this email…

… But I’m sitting down to plan my week.

This was a long weekend here in Canada, and for once, I actually took much of the long weekend off.

I hiked, drank beers, played darts, took the pup out, pool, read, and enjoyed some much needed one on one time with the sweetheart.

I took my time this weekend, something else I’m doing more of.

Especially with work.

Which is why I’m sitting on my porch with the pup with my Effic journal, putting things in their place.

That is, planning the week and the most important tasks and writing down exactly when I’m going to do them.

I’m also scheduling fishing time.

And time to work on a few projects around the house.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, but I’m a constant work in progress, persistently getting better at doing what I set out to do and it’s always a matter of simply doing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it.

Give everything it’s time and place and don’t ever even attempt to give more than one thing it’s time and place at one time.

So, Sunday’s (Monday this week), everything is given its time and place and more work is finished and less worry (bad stress) is had, and more life is lived.

That’s the key.

If you’ve ever heard anything or read anything about or by Jocko Willink, you’ll know the phrase, DISCIPLINE = FREEDOM.

And that’s how it brings you freedom.

It gives you accomplishment, something that men need to feel like we’re here for a reason.

It gives you peace, something that men need to be where we are, to know life and living and happiness.

It gives you time, adventure, it gives you the pursuit of your important desires like adventure and the outdoors and freedom.

So, if you don’t do it yet, please, schedule 30 minutes where you plan your week.

Put your most important projects at the top (I just released the Lost Art of Discipline Audiobook – get it here FREE), that’s my priority.

Everything else is secondary.

Give everything it’s time and place.

Give your family their time and place but place rules around that time so you don’t bring your work into your time with them or them into your time of work.

When you give everything it’s time and place you give your everything to that thing.

It’s a far better way to live.

Get after it brother.

Be Legendary,

Chad Howse



Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it. ~ Viktor Frankl

Don’t chase success, be successful.

Don’t aim for success, let it hunt you down.

Simple, be great. Be better every day. Live stronger.

What you’ll inevitably realize if you chase success is that there’s never enough of whatever you’re aspiring to have – and what you own will, in the end, own you if you place all of your wants and desires on symbols, things, and stuff.

Success isn’t the aim, it can’t be. (Read This: How to Define Success)

To be successful is something you either are or aren’t. You control this every time you wake up with purpose or with the stress of trying to find something that you do not control.

You control your emotions, you control your decisions.

Make decisions based on what you think – deep down – is good, right, and best.

Have the guts to make your own choices, see them through, and do your best at being your best, and success will hunt you down like a lion does a wildebeest.

Don’t chase success, be successful.

Stop worrying about what you’re going after. Stop caring about awards and accolades.

Stop caring about what other people think and simply be the best man you can be every day.

I’m serious.

Most will write this and then move on to some other article that ‘inspires’ them to hustle and get after this all-elusive success.

They’ll ignore the warnings of men like Frankl, and chase what they think they should chase instead of being who they have the potential to be.

Read the quote above once more.

Remember it. Recite it daily. Figure out who your best is, and be him. Stop caring about the destination; focus on the process.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



Success is merely doing the work that you don’t want to do every day for your entire life.

Within your line of work there are things you love to do, and other things you don’t like as much. (Read This: Find Happiness in Work. Not Work In Happiness)

Success, victory, winning is found in consistently doing the things you don’t want to do.

Think about it…

Everyone does what they love to do and want to do. Most people aren’t tough. They won’t do what they don’t like to do or what they don’t like to enjoy. It’s human nature not to do that stuff. Go against your nature.

For me it’s video. I hate doing video, but it brings a lot of people to the site so it has to be done.

People don’t like answering emails or writing long books or getting up early. They don’t like training hard or training every day. They don’t like staying late at work. They don’t like not buying stuff. They hate saving.

People don’t like to persist.

The act of simply outlasting everyone is a valid approach in any industry.

Unless you’re a complete goof, you can’t help but learning things along the way if you persist.

Please, think about this…

What in your line of work do you not like doing? (Read This: You Don’t Matter, Your Work Does)

Think about it. Give it some real thought. This doesn’t have to be something difficult, it’s just something that you don’t like doing.

Do it.

Do it every day.

It may be bookkeeping. I hate bookkeeping, but if I’m to know what’s coming in, what’s working, what’s not working, and how the business is evolving, it has to be done.



Under the radar is the only true path to success. 

It’s what you do every day that matters, not what you do every once in a while.

I dream a bit too much. Dreaming can be a good thing, but when you’re constantly thinking about this big, grand, audacious goal, you can get discouraged about the sheer enormity of the mountain before you.

Even if you don’t get discouraged, but always focusing on the dream, you pull yourself out of what really matters, the process. The process, the work, the daily grind is what will get you to where you want to be, and if you focus only on the work, you’ll likely end up somewhere even grander than you initially dreamed.

When you’re focused only on the end, however, clarity can waiver. You can question your process and forget about the habits that will create the goal.

Step #1: fall in love with the process; forget about the goal.

Talkers are rarely doers.

There’s an insecurity involved in being a talker. Insecurities can work in your favor. If you’re continually trying to prove yourself, you can end up working more than your competition merely to show them up.

Talkers, however, rarely fall into that category. It’s those who work in silence, for the sake of the work not to seek fame, that do, that accomplish and create while the talker feels as though he’s accomplished something simply from his proclamation.

Being under the radar is the best way to achieve a daring feat. It is such because it’s not about the individual, it isn’t a contest in comparison to others, and thus it’s not dependent on their praise and affirmation. It’s a personal quest, and therefore it’s habitual in nature, not requiring boisterous actions that are visible to the public.

Success, real success is dependent on hours of solitude and silence, and when you’re doing what you’re doing just to show others than you can do it, silence can be deafening.

To accomplish, you have to simply shut up and work.

 Step #2: shut up and work and be okay with solitude and silence.

Arrogance doesn’t fit into a successful story; it’s usually at the heart of the downfall.

To succeed you have to learn and to learn you have to know that you don’t know everything.

Studying, however, isn’t enough, you have to know what to study.

What craft or skill is essential to your success?

What do you have to become the best at to become win?

Find the best books on that topic. They could span a couple of skills, like copywriting, selling, marketing, and running a successful business. Reading for the sake of reading, if you’re attempting to build something great, isn’t enough. You have to study, and you have to explore the topics that will lead to your success.

Identify the ten best, most highly rated books in a given field. Buy a small journal to take notes in for each book, or take notes using Evernote or Google Drive so they’re always there and readily viewable (I like journals, but now I’ve got so many of them I don’t have the slightest clue where particular ones are. I suppose I couldn’t categorize them better, but Drive or Evernote are easier ways to get this done.).

Take notes. Highlight questions. Actively learn from the books you’re reading, study them, don’t just gloss over them. The worst use of a book is to use it as a notch on the belt, for show, so you can have it on a shelf in your library so you can show people how much you’re reading.

It’s better to study a single book than to gloss over a dozen.

Step #3: study like a madman.

Approval shouldn’t be the pursuit.

If you want to ‘show everyone’ just how great you are, you’re not going to do the right things, nor make the necessary sacrifices to achieve what you set out to achieve. When you forget about others, when you remove the desire to compare where you are in relation to where others are, you free yourself up to focus on the work.

It’s the work that matters.

This isn’t a race. One effective day doesn’t make you a great man. It’s the incremental victories won daily that produce a lifetime of achievement.

Whatever will help you focus on the process, to be okay with solitude and silence, do it. If it’s finding a mentor, then do that. If it’s getting off social media all together, then get off it.

Know that the process is everything. Who you are every day is all that matters and to expect ‘big things’ right away is juvenile and silly.

If you want to be successful – however you define it – become the man worthy of that success. That isn’t ‘do something that will make you successful’, but become the man, acquire the habits, live your life to a higher daily standard and one day you’ll wake up with the life that was once your dream.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



The struggle, the pain, the excruciating process has to be your goal because the goal doesn’t sharpen you, it finishes you.

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The metaphor of  the road to success being a mountain isn’t right. (Read This: Life Has No Summit)

There is no end. Thinking that there is takes you away from that thing that’s sharpening you, strengthening you, making you tougher, and that thing is the grind, it’s the process, it’s the minutia and the struggle of a life that’s ambitious.

To expect the grind to dissipate is to desire and end to that thing that makes you better. To rest on top of a mountain and to think you’re done is to finish life, it’s to give up or give in.

You’re not working to some end. You’re not hustling trying to find a place in the sun, a place of silence and peace. No, you’re hustling because you love the hustle, you see the good in it, the necessity of it.

To be great is to forego the mindset of the many and acquire the hard view, the torturous view that every damn day you’re going to wake up and thrive at what others run from; the struggle, the hustle, the pain that makes weak men strong and strong men great.


The struggle gives, it doesn’t take. It seems like it’s breaking you down, and it may be, but you decide whether it makes you stronger or if it defeats you.

If you have any ounce of ambition or pride you’re going to guarantee that it doesn’t consume you but that you use it daily to become stronger and harder.

The best among us add to the struggle.

They train harder even when they don’t have to.

They wake up earlier and do something immediately to get into the day.

They use discipline to rule every area of their life, not just a few areas that they think are more valuable than others.

They make their lives tougher because they’re tougher.

This should be you if you want to become something more than the weak, soft, sedated male of our modern world. Training isn’t something relegated to the gym, it’s your way of life, it is your life, and you understand that it’s this training that you need to become who and what you want to become.

Get at it.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –