Obsession Is A Gritty Little Word

Obsession is a gritty little word.

It’s when an idea or a thought continually intrudes on a person’s mind. It can haunt you and besiege all your focus and energy. Depending on how well you direct your obsession it can be very bad or very good.



At the core an obsession is the thing that sits opposite of you. There you are at the table and across from you is the thing that you carry in your mind the most. Is it fears and failures that dominate your thoughts?  Or maybe it’s family and the fire for a new idea?

You can choose.  Here’s the thing…

Your Obsession Becomes Your True Focus

And it feels as if we can only carry a few of those at a time, so choose well. Plus, it seems to play a role in innovation. In “Focus: To Light a Fire Under Your Career” John Mariotti says that obsession causes you to:

“Get into all the dirty little details that will make a big difference.”

Business is a constant response to need and desire. The better you understand the desires that impact your business the more room you make for innovation. The deeper you go, the more you can see angles that others have missed, ignored or dismissed.

Dirty Hands…Great Ideas

You can also get your creative thoughts in gear by listening to dirty hands. I mean the people who get their hands dirty — the ones who do what you do. Their insights tend to be core and practical (verses academic). Anita Campbell says:

“Reading the ideas and insights of entrepreneurs who are in the innovation trenches every day is valuable.”

And she offers a short lists in “Must-Follow Blogs for Everyday Innovation.” But that’s not all you can do.

Remember, the goal is to have your ideas to walk with you long enough to see them in a new light. And while those old concepts stay with you, you do new things to turn them over and over until they become more or better.

In this regard, Anita offers four ways to spark your personal brainstorming process in “4 Ideas That Stimulate Solo Innovation.”  One of her suggestions includes “story boarding.” I like this one the most because it adds some structure to your brainstorming.

Anita says:

“If you’re thinking about how to improve customer service…, you could storyboard what happens when a customer enters the store.”

In order to make this work you have to relive your customer’s experience and mentally walk through your business the way your customer does. When you do, you’ll have the chance to see things that really work, as well as the things that just irritate and get in the way.

Make a visual image of each step in the process and include what you want each step to feel like and be like for your clients. Because you’re using images and graphics, it will open up a different part of your mind and there’s no telling the clarity and creativity that can show up.

Obsessive Thinking Photo via Shutterstock


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

3 Reactions
  1. Martin Lindeskog

    Jamillah! I am obsessed by the image, Man using a laptop with light bulb plugged in it! 😉 Great illustration to your thought provoking piece! 🙂

  2. Great article, thanks! It’s a great idea to simulate how your customer perceives your business