On Need and Obsession

The greatest enemy we face is the one that we do not see.

Doubt ensnares us like a slowly creeping vine. We never see it because it always grabs us from behind. If we cannot see it then how do we rid ourselves of it?

We all spend a good part of our lives telling ourselves that we cannot do one thing or another only to find, much later on, that we were completely mistaken. Sadly many folks never reach the point of discovering their misjudgment because revelation always arrives straddling the back of necessity. When necessity is absent, discovery will not ensue.

In his book “The Hotel New Hampshire” John Irving stated that: “You need to become obsessed and stay obsessed.” I think Mr. Irving was trying to tell us that need has a way of eradicating doubt. If you absolutely need to do something then you will find a way to make it happen. The need will create an obsession. Obsession also brings with it a powerful diffidence removal system. You cannot hold onto obsession and self-doubt at the same time. One will drive out the other. Even a cursory glance at anyone successful in their field will reveal need and obsession in equal measure. The reason that most people don’t reach the point of obsession is that they rarely do anything for themselves. It is impossible to get obsessive when you only create for someone else.

So just how does one become obsessed and stay obsessed? You have to develop a need within yourself and for yourself. Do something; find something, anything that brings you personal fulfillment. Make it something that no one can take away from you. Learn to play guitar, grow a vegetable garden or write a book that no one will ever read. Set a goal and stick with the goal even when you don’t feel like doing it; especially when you don’t feel like doing it. Don’t do it for food, shelter, sustenance, fame or recognition. Do it because you feel incomplete without it. When need turns to obsession then creativity will be the result. 

If you do this you will see the enemy before it sees you.


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