Book Review: Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grand Cardone

I ordered Grant Cardone’s 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.

Being Average

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.

Focus on Money

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.

Book Review: The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

I must admit, I struggle to read books. It is so easy to get distracted with other things such as YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of valuable content in video format, but there is something special about reading which engages the brain in a different way. After hearing over and over that successful people read books I realized it is something I must do, there is just no way around it. Writing a short review of a book that I have read is a good chance to reflect on what I have learned.

The 10X Rule

The 10X Rule is a good introduction to the philosophy of Grant Cardone. He argues that people should set 10 times bigger goals, and then take 10 times more actions to achieve them. While the basic concept is easy to understand, the book goes in-depth, explaining why it makes sense and how it can be used to improve the life of a success-oriented individual. The basic premise is that generally people do not dare to dream big, and if they do, they do not dare to take large enough actions to make those dreams come true. I think a lot of this aversion to making big actions is due to peer pressure and wanting to “fit in”. The book makes the argument for the opposite, that obscurity is really the largest issue companies and products face, and the goal should be to stand out.

Success as Ethical Issue

One interesting argument the book makes is that aspiring to be successful is an ethical issue. That is, it is unethical if a person does not try to achieve their full potential, or intentionally achieves less than they are capable of. I had never considered success as an ethical issue before reading this, but it is a very powerful idea. If a person is capable of making a positive contribution to the planet, however way he does it, then it could be argued that the community is worse off when it does not receive the full contribution that the person is capable of giving. This is another way of coming to the conclusion that we should always try to do our best and strive to make a positive contribution to the planet we live on.


Another idea from the book is that a person aspiring to be successful must learn to take responsibility for everything. One activity that most people spend considerable time on is to blame others for their condition instead of taking responsibility for their own life and making an attempt to improve it. But blaming others does not move the ball forward when it comes to improving your life, instead it is a mindset of surrender. By giving other people and entities the blame for your condition has the side-effect of implicitly also giving those external entities the power to improve your life by surrendering your own responsibility. I know, as I have been living in this victim-mindset most of my life. Mr. Cardone argues in the book that we should in fact go the other way, and take responsibility for everything, even things that are not really our fault. This thinking establishes a positive mindset where a person feels in charge of their life and destiny.

Fear and Uncomfort

Human beings have a tendency to want to be comfortable and our subconscious mind seems to direct us towards that, almost automatically. Experiencing fear is one of the most unpleasant feelings we can have. The problem is that it is not possible to move to the next level in our lives by staying where it is comfortable. Comfort implies that we are dealing with familiar people, living in familiar surroundings, and performing work that has become routine. To improve our lives in a meaningful way, we must be willing to be uncomfortable. Grant argues that fear and uncomfort should in fact be taken as indications that we are on right path. They should be embraced, not avoided, because conquering fear and uncomfort allows us to grow and reach the next level. Whenever I think of fear I always remember the great quote, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”.

Commit First – Figure Out Later

For me personally, the most important thing I learned from the book was the idea of committing to something first, and only then figuring out how to make it happen. Initially this feels counter-intuitive because at least my brain attempts to figure if something is possible, or how to do it, before committing to an idea. But I have observed something really interesting regarding this. When I try to think of ways to do something before committing to it, my brain tends to work against me, and come up with reasons why not to do it. I tend to think of problems, not solutions. But as soon as I have committed to something, my brain automatically starts to find solutions on how to make it happen. Now the question is not if, but how. This is extremely fascinating to me and I have to stay this understanding has helped me greatly.


I think this is a good book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interesting in improving their life and expanding their thinking. Have you ever caught yourself wondering whether you deserve to be successful? If the answer is yes, you should read this book, as it gives you permission to be successful. In fact it goes further and states that success is your duty, obligation and responsibility.

Journey Begins

Starting my own company is definitely a big step for me, but one that I am very excited to take. I have no idea where this journey leads, but I know all journeys we embark on must begin with a single step. I have been lucky to work with amazing people during my professional career, and while I will continue to work with them in the future, the fact is that sometimes a change is needed. Change is a necessary component if one wants to grow as a human being, as only change enables one to go beyond familiar territory to discover new ground to conquer. At the same time I am also starting this blog which is a new experience for me as well. While initially my goal is just to get my thoughts out, I hope that eventually I can provide something of value to someone reading this. If you find something here that you connect with, I would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, hopefully you enjoy the visit!