Day #174:6 Unusual Obsessions For Extreme Achievement

Its coming to the end of the year when we start doing an appraisal of the current year and working on setting goals for the new year. Like most people, I always fall into the trap of ‘The New Year Resolution’ where you list a bunch of things you want to do or stop doing. As we know, most resolutions never survive beyond February. I always had this problem until the beginning of this year when I decided to set goals to live an extra ordinary life in 2013 rather than just make a list of things that I want to do or stop doing.

One of the great books I read at this point was ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari‘ By Robin Sharma. Since then, I have been interested in anything written by Robin Sharma.

Today I want to share what Robin calls 6 Unusual Obsessions For Extreme Achievement. I hope it would help you someone as you plan and prepare for an extra ordinary 2014.

#1. THE MASTERY OBSESSION.

Commit–TODAY–to becoming a master. Ask yourself what are you best at? What things do you do that when you do them you feel happy + at peace–and sense your creativity and gifts pouring out of you. We get the life we’ve settled for. We get the brains we’ve earned. Start looking for those things in your work (and life) that you can become a Picasso at. Life shifts once you do.

#2. THE PROGRESS OBSESSION.

Yes, I’m obsessed with progress. With making every day better than yesterday. With making this year 1000X better than last year. Drives my team crazy. Sometimes irritates the people around me. But I fiercely believe we are built for growth (not stagnation). For expansion (not contraction). Good enough just isn’t very good as far as I can tell. The whole nature of the game is to see how far we can go–and to express our potential so we create the lives of our dreams. And elevate the world in the process. (Failing to realize your gifts makes the world less of a great place to be, no?).

#3. THE EXCELLENCE OBSESSION.

My friend and colleague Tom Peters made this word even more famous in the circles we work in. But here’s my take on it: leave everything you touch better than you find it. Surround yourself with excellent people. Use excellent words. Drink excellent coffee. Read excellent books. Wear excellent shoes. Create excellent projects. Be an excellent parent. Think excellent thoughts. You deserve no less.

#4. THE HAPPINESS OBSESSION.

Yes, I’m obsessed with being happy. No, I’m not happy all the time (I’m human after all). Sometimes people tell me “you don’t live in the real world”. My reply: “Who wants to live in the real world?” A world with negativity and wars and greed and chaos. I want to create a world of my own making–while living in this very real world. I want to do work that matters and live with the people I love and pursue my highest ideals and live the life I have envisioned. I want to be happy–and so I block out the noise. So I can do so.

#5. THE CREATIVITY OBSESSION.

We are designed to create. We are all Artists. Each of us is a Creative (not just the people in advertising and design). Accountants and firefighters, math teachers and breakfast servers. We are all meant to innovate + ideate and use our brains to birth our best ideas into the world. I write and record ideas everywhere. On flight sickness bags on airplanes. On paper napkins in restaurants. In my journal that follows me much of where I go. Yes, I’m obsessed with creativity. And that’s my encouragement for you too.

#6. THE CONTRIBUTION OBSESSION.

This one’s my oxygen. I’m revealing it to you here. My Dad instilled this value in me. Deeply. As I grew up, he spoke of Gandhi. And Mandela. And Martin Luther King Jr. And Mother Teresa. And other Saints of Humanity who on my best days I acutely remember. My father told me that the real purpose of life is to serve. To be of use. To uplift those around us. To be helpful. And for this ideal–I owe my Dad the greatest debt of gratitude. Yes, I run a business. Yes I want to win. But above all else, I want to serve. It’s my obsession. And I make zero apologies for it. Ever.

I hope this helps you to refocus on building yourself to live the life you want to live.

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