I ordered Grant Cardones new book, Be Obsessed or Be Average, at the same time as The 10X Rule which I reviewed earlier. This book has a very similar tone as the first book, but it considers things from the viewpoint of obsessions. The title is provocative for sure but it is consistent with the style of the author, no doubt intended to shock people a bit.
The main argument of the book is that while our society tends to treat any obsession as a problem or disease, obsession itself is not necessarily unhealthy if it is not directed towards harmful occupations. People with obsessive tendencies are often labeled as having ADD, ADHD, OCD or some similar disease. Unfortunately, the go-to solution in our pharma-centric society is prescription drugs. Mr. Cardone argues that instead of drugs, the solution is to direct the obsession towards healthy and positive accomplishments. And going further, the ability to be obsessed should be treated as a positive and should be used as fuel to improve the life of the individual.
As the title suggests, argument is made that the alternative to being obsessed is to be average. While being average does not sound bad to many people, that by itself has become a problem in our society. This was one of the things that really hit me in the book and got me thinking. Why have we become so accustomed to settling for average? I know this personally because I have had this average-as-a-goal mindset on many things. This mindset creates thoughts such as "if I could just be paid the average salary in my field I would be doing fine". Often what follows is something along the lines of "if I could just live in an average house with an average wife and have two kids". Incidentally two kids is the average number that people have. Why has this become so acceptable and common in our society? Do we no longer strive to do great things?
One important aspect the book addresses is haters and naysayers. I think most people, including me, tend to be very worried about what other people think of them. More specifically, the worry is usually that expressing opinions freely will attract "haters" with negative attitudes. We all know there is no shortage of negative people on the internet. But it is important to realize that even though their attacks may feel personal, they are usually not. The haters don't really hate their target, they hate their own life. A person who is hateful towards successful people (or those aspiring to be successful) is really trying to make sense of why they are not successful or why they gave up on their dreams. Do not attempt to win an argument with a hater; you cannot defeat irrationality with logic.
While I agree with most of the book, there is one part that I disagree with. Cardone seems to suggest that all departments and people in a business organization should be primarily focused on money. I agree that money should be the focus for the executives and sales department (and probably many other departments), but not everyone. My experience has been that a lot of people are simply not money-oriented but they are still very valuable to an organization. These are often people with more creative tendencies such as graphics designers, artists and writers. My understanding is that these type of creative people are most productive when they can work unencumbered by financial concerns (at least to some degree).
This is definitely a good book and worth the read, though not quite as good as The 10X Rule in my opinion. However, if you are one of those people who have been diagnosed with obsessive disease, and maybe you are even taking prescription drugs for it, you should definitely read this book. Maybe you can take that obsessive tendency and harness it for productive endeavours instead of destructive ones. Or perhaps you have not been diagnosed but catch yourself having obsessive thoughts now and then. This book gives you permission to be obsessed.