Thinking and Action: Obsession Helps You Succeed

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 10X Rule" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the relationship between thinking and action? How does The 10X Rule approach thinking and action?

Your thinking and action need to be coordinated in order for you to achieve great success. In The 10X Rule, Grant Cardone describes how obsessive thinking and action can help you.

Read more about thinking and action as described by The 10X Rule.

Obsessive Thinking and Action

Being obsessed with something is often seen as negative. People who are passionate may be viewed as crazy or off-balance, as workaholics, or as not “having a life.” However, in this world of short attention spans, the single-minded pursuit of extraordinary goals should be seen as a gift instead of a flaw. Obsession is a hallmark of 10X thinking and action.

Most great achievements were someone’s obsession at one point. For instance, space travel is the result of the decades-long obsession of teams of scientists and engineers with figuring out how to do it. Artists, musicians, athletes, philanthropists, and business owners are obsessed with success.

Children naturally become obsessed or fixated on whatever stirs their curiosity, whether it’s a subject like elephants, a snack, a toy, or an activity. Unfortunately, adults sometimes suppress children’s obsessions, and children give up intense commitments for average commitments.

However, obsession is a requirement for pursuing 10X goals with 10X actions. It sends the message to clients and competitors that you’re fully committed to success. As a result, they take you seriously.

So be obsessed and stay obsessed with making your goals a reality. Feed your obsession—compound your success by taking continuous 10X action. The alternative to obsession is spending your life making excuses for failure.

Your Thinking and Action Should be Unwavering

Part of being obsessed with your goals is going “all in”—committing yourself fully to extreme action.

In poker, going “all in” means putting all your chips on the table or going for broke. In situations outside of poker, many people would rather play it safe and guard against losses. However, unlike poker chips, the amount of action you can take isn’t limited.

Salespeople often fail to go all in with every sale because they fear rejection or failure. But failing with one customer shouldn’t keep you from going all in with the next one. Go all in with every opportunity.


Overcommitting, like being obsessed, is another practice we’re warned against. Businesses aim to under-commit and over-deliver. They fear not being able to meet high customer expectations, so they would rather create low expectations that are easy to exceed.

You can see how silly this is when you imagine advertising a Broadway show as featuring average or mediocre singers and dancers and then over-delivering on opening night. Of course, producers should advertise the show as outstanding and then deliver an even more phenomenal performance.

In keeping with the 10X rule, you should overcommit and deliver more than promised. That’s a critical part of your thinking and action under the 10X rule. The greater your commitment to a client, the more you usually end up delivering because you’re making a commitment to yourself to excel as well as to the client. Knowing you can do it with a 10X effort motivates you to do just that.

Another form of overcommitting that salespeople fear is contacting and signing up too many customers for fear of not being able to serve them all. However, making 10X efforts to acquire customers and making big promises (overcommitting) will differentiate you from competitors and compel you to deliver big.

Of course, overcommitting creates a problem for you—you have to find a way to deliver. But such challenges go along with having big goals and are signs of progress; if you lack problems, you’re not doing enough. Put another way, successful people seek out problems, while average people try to avoid them. Problems drive you to find or create solutions, so overcommit first, then figure out how to deliver. It’s far better to have too many appointments and customers than too few.

If you make it a practice to overcommit and take extreme or 10X action, you’ll create problems, solve them, and exceed both your customers’ expectations and your own.

Thinking and Action: Obsession Helps You Succeed

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Here's what you'll find in our full The 10X Rule summary :

  • How to set goals that are 10 times bigger than average
  • How to use extraordinary thinking to achieve extraordinary results
  • The 3 myths that will sabotage your chances of success if you let them

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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