Obsession, it’s a powerful word that can conjure up all kinds of different sorts of images and emotions in different people. Often times when we think about obsession we think of an unhealthy preoccupation with something – an all consuming obsession that takes over one’s life and leads to no place good.
However, obsession, and obsessive feelings can be used for both good and bad, particularly when it comes to finding meaning in one’s life. A lot of people talk about how apathetic today’s youth is, and how so many young people seem to be just aimlessly drifting through life with no real sense of direction of purpose. This is certainly a sad state of affairs, and I agree that this is indeed a wide spread problem that really does need to be addressed. That said, what if there was a way to use the power of obsession to motivate young people to put down the video game controller and to get up of the couch and make something out of their lives? Certainly we can all agree that this would be a miracle.
That said, I think it is very important that we define what we mean by obsession. Of course two of the first things that come to mind are the often over diagnosed condition known as “obsessive compulsive disorder” and what is sometimes referred to as “sexual obsession”. For some reason the idea of obsession is often thought of in terms of sexual or romantic obsession, and there are even those who would attempt to create this kind of obsession in another person in order to get them into a dating relationship using something called an obsession formula. While this is certainly an interesting idea, that is not the kind of obsession I’m talking about.
Instead, I am referring to obsession as a sort of a driving force in one’s life, a “reason to get out of bed in the morning” if you will. So long as one’s obsessive drive is centered on taking some kind action that will improve one’s situation (and hopefully the larger world that one inhabits) then certainly this power of obsession can be a force of good. Perhaps one’s obsession could be the need to educate themselves in a particular field, so that they are able to provide a good life for their family, or maybe one could get obsessed about fitness and losing excessive weight so that one cam live longer and do more fun activities with their loved ones.
Of course the danger here is the fact that obsession can go to far, and interfere with other parts of one’s life. We have all heard about workaholics who get so obsessed with their jobs that they end up neglecting their health, their families, and everything else in their life. In the end, I think that the real is showing our young people how powerful the force of obsession can be, and how much positive change it can bring about when used constructively, and aty the same time warn them not to let their healthy obsessions stop them from nurturing other areas of life and aspects of their being.