Justine Musk, former wife of Elon Musk, saw this all too often. “Extreme success results from an extreme personality,” she says. If you’re wondering how to separate yourself from the pack on the way to success, her advice is, “Be obsessed.”
If you’re looking for extreme results, you need to take extreme measures. This is why successful people spend years learning their craft. It’s also why they spend thousands of dollars on coaching to help them get ahead. Be obsessed, and your success will naturally follow.
Here’s how being obsessed can show up in your life and habits.
Commit to being the best
Many people think that average is good enough. They feel that being an average worker means being a good one and that being an average student means being a good student. But what if they decided to be exceptional?
It’s possible to go above and beyond in everything you do. Unfortunately, most people won’t even consider doing more than their responsibilities. Dedicate yourself to rising above the low bar of your peers and being your best self.
Start by focusing on the most important areas of your life. For example, start by being the best leader you can be at your job. Read up on leadership books and listen to leadership podcasts. Measure your effectiveness as a leader and set up accountability structures for improving your performance. Ask your team how you can better serve them as a leader and follow through.
You can choose a different focus the next month and commit to being the best at that. Rinse and repeat until everything in your life is elevated to an exceptional standard.
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Creativity is worth its weight in gold. It’s the reason you can never replace human ingenuity with technology. Creativity is your way to leave your mark on the world. It’s an expression of who you are. Even if your work is analytical in nature, you can always find ways to be innovative and bring your work to a new realm of possibilities.
Use your creative side to your advantage. Always look for ways to think outside the box.
Be proud of your work
Take pride in your work. It is easier to be exceptional when you are proud of what you are doing and are passionate about it. Your personal best should be your standard in all the work you do because no work is insignificant.
This quote sums it up best.
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
The pride you take in your work will help make the world a better place. Be obsessed with adding value and excellence to everything you do.
Raise your standards
If you’re going to use obsession to help you be successful, it’s important you raise your standards. Why just be good when you can be great? It starts with raising the standards for yourself. Commit to doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Others will follow your lead and be influenced by your example.
Raise the standards in your relationships by being a great listener. Help others be good contributors by being the best contributor you can be. Other people may think you try too hard, but obsession with high standards will be what encourages others to follow suit. Don’t compromise on your standards, despite what others may say or do.
Take responsibility for your mistakes
You won’t be perfect all the time. In fact, if you’re aiming for the stratosphere, chances are you will make some pretty big mistakes on your journey. Own up to your mistakes right away. Apologize to those who have been affected and take responsibility when you know your actions have impacted others. When you consistently own up to your mistakes, you demonstrate confidence, which is crucial when you’re pursuing excellence.
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If you’re someone who becomes obsessed to get ahead, you’ll want to be selective with what you say “yes” to. Don’t say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. You can’t do everything, but you can do anything. Your obsession won’t be effective if it’s divided between several projects at once.
Find fulfilling work. Say yes to opportunities that get you excited to wake up in the morning and pursue them with reckless abandon. Your time is a precious, limited resource, so use what you’ve got to the best of your ability.
The bottom line
The degree to which you become obsessed with your work can be a good indicator of how successful you will be. You’ll become fixated on overachieving, finding the perfect tools, and developing the right mindset to be successful. You’ll also need the right coaches and mentors to help you along the way.
Your mindset is a powerful thing, and you can use it to turn your obsession into success. Check out our life coaching and executive coaching programs to help you get started on using your obsession to reach your full potential.
What’s got you obsessed? Let us know in the comments!