Some things are unhealthy but we think about them every day. Usually we call those “addictions,” but they could just be bad habits. Either way, they’re dangerous. They’re not only unhealthy actions, but they’re eating away at your thoughts even when you’re not engaged in them directly. Thoughts aren’t infinite; you only get so many each day, and wasting them thinking about things you’d rather be doing isn’t productive.
Some things are healthy to engage in every day but they aren’t things we’re passionate about. I’ll fully admit that only every once in a while do I really “look forward” to my workout. I almost never wake up and think about it first thing. 99% of the time I’m happy about it after I’ve done it, when the endorphins are high and I have a sense of satisfaction, but the act itself is something I’ve had to incorporate into my routine because I believe in it, not because I’m obsessed with it.
But there are some things that are both healthy for you, and obsessively occupy your thoughts. Things that would be beneficial if you completed or engaged in, and are also things you can’t go a day without thinking about.
When you find something like that, fight like hell for it.
Passion will get you through hard days. Long-term motivation can overcome short-term hardship. Being passionate about something isn’t sufficient on its own, but it’s a heck of a booster for your work ethic. So something like that – a great goal that you’re legitimately obsessed with – is a Golden Target.
And yet, people let Golden Targets go to waste all the time. It’s amazing how often humans will pick comfort over meaning. How often we’ll pick not rocking the boat over standing for virtue. We’ll let the hardship involved in pursuing a worthwhile goal convince us that the goal isn’t worthwhile.
Because if you’re that obsessed, you have two options – chase that dream for all your worth, or don’t. But if you don’t, those obsessive thoughts aren’t going anywhere. Instead of being your best friend, they’ll be your worst enemy. Instead of motivating you to amazing success, they’ll poison all your other efforts and keep you from meaningfully caring about or engaging with anything else.
Check your obsession and make sure it’s healthy. But if it is, listen to it. It would be unhealthy not to.