Obsession with Success: The Key to Becoming Wealthy

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What does it mean to have an obsession with success? Is obsession necessary for becoming wealthy?

An obsession with success is an overriding desire to stake everything towards achieving a specific goal. Obsession is key to success because mere hopes and desires cannot give you the hunger you need to succeed.

Read on to discover the importance of having an obsession with success.

Have an All-Consuming Obsession With Success

The first step to riches is having an all-consuming desire to achieve your specific goal or definite purpose

Hopes or wishes for something aren’t enough — in fact, if your desire is no more than a wish, you’re likely to quit striving for it when you hit roadblocks. You have to want something badly in order to achieve it.

Your hunger to reach your goal must be so strong that you stake everything on achieving it, and you burn your bridges, leaving yourself with no way to retreat. 

It is only when you have an overriding obsession with success — that you can devote your full energy to a single goal at the same time. 

Examples of strong desires laying the foundation for success:

Example 1: Edwin C. Barnes’ burning desire

Barnes’ story is told in Chapter 1, but here is a closer look at how his intense desire to partner with Edison played out. To start with, his goal was specific: He wanted to partner with Edison, not work for him. It became the consuming obsession of his life, and when he was ready to act on it, he left behind his past life and devoted everything to reaching his goal. 

While Barnes worked for Edison as a mere salesman for five years, he didn’t give up on his desire for a partnership or decide to do something else instead — his obsession with success only grew stronger, and he focused on becoming Edison’s partner until it became a reality.

Example 2: Department store founder Marshall Field

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many merchants who lost their businesses chose to leave the city in defeat rather than to rebuild. However, one merchant, Marshall Field, refused to give up. He had an overwhelming desire to build the world’s greatest store on the ruins of his original store, no matter how many times it burned down. He built the Marshall Field’s department store in downtown Chicago, which eventually grew into a national chain.

Example 3: Director Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg had an all-consuming desire to make movies. He had made films as an amateur, but hadn’t broken into the industry. He came up with a unique idea for literally getting in the door. He took a Universal Studios Tour, then sneaked away and hid on the lot until after the tram had left. As he left at the end of the day, he made a point of speaking to the guard. Because the guard then recognized him, he was able to return daily for three months. 

Then Spielberg’s obsession with success drove him to find other entry points. He always wore a suit and carried a briefcase, giving the impression he was a student with a summer job there. He spoke often to directors, writers, and editors. He found a vacant office and moved in, and he added his name to the directory. Spielberg eventually got to know the head of production for the television department, who became his mentor and gave him opportunities to produce films.

Spielberg’s obsession with success forced him through obstacles that would have held back many others in his position. His desire seemed all-consuming, and he was willing to do anything to achieve it.

Obsession With Success: The Key to Becoming Rich?

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Here's what you'll find in our full Think and Grow Rich summary :

  • Napoleon Hill's 1937 guide to success
  • How to use thoughts, visualization, and affirmation to achieve wealth
  • The importance of a Master Mind group and how to start one

Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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