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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Time to Get a Little Emotional!

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Have you ever met a an ambivalent success story? Have you ever admired someone or aspired to to achieve their state of nonchalance?

The polar opposite of indifference is obsession. Is this a more favorable disposition? if someone described you as pathologically compulsive, would you feel flattered?

Somewhere between these two states lies our default zone, and as a direct consequence, our capacity to shape our destiny.

Ambivalent people are mostly bit players, and extras in the comedy of life. Life indeed, is something that happens to them, rather than something they direct. Motivation is the fuel that allows one person to run through a brick wall in the pursuit of a goal, indifference provides barely enough fuel to get out of bed.

On the continuum of emotions from indifference up to obsession there are a myriad of complex stimulators and inhibitors that aid or hinder our quests. The problem with obsession is that the narrow focus and lack of peripheral insight repels rather than attracts the object of the obsession. It is an addictive and often self centered pursuit of self gratification.

If you could choose your emotional state (which of course you can), which emotional state would be most conducive to your pursuit of your dreams, goals and aspirations?

This is a simple scale of emotional states you CAN choose from.

  • Ambivalence/Indifference
  • Wish/Hope
  • Vague Interest.
  • Strong Desire
  • Passion
  • Obsession

Very few changes in the conditions of our life will ever occur, unless we can find the inspiration and hot button to move us into the state between Strong Desire and Passion. That is the zone in which common folks find the energy to accomplish uncommon goals.

Sadly most people live in the zone between Hope and Vague Desire, which provides neither the energy or motivation to set goals, take action and move out of the comfort zone.

All of us have unimaginable potential to achieve great things, but a combination of lack of belief and unempowering mindsets, inhibit our ability to achieve fulfillment.

Try being a tad obsessed about achieving a significant goal this year, and if you lose traction perhaps you'll slip back into the zone labeled passion!


  1. Kiaran, interesting post.

    It really comes down to how strong of a desire do you have to succeed.

    Why does passion come so easy to some and not at all for others?


  2. "Sadly most people live in the zone between Hope and Vague Desire, which provides neither the energy or motivation to set goals, take action and move out of the comfort zone."

    This is so true.. and until people get out of this "gray zone", they wont be motivated enough to take action - and massive action equals massive results..

    thanks for sharing
    talk soon

  3. Hey Kiaran,

    I would say that I have a passion for what I do that can borderline obsession.

    Like you said it is when that obsession becomes so self absorbing that we lose ourselves in it that it becomes very self-centered.

    A healthy obsession with the right goals in mind though can help people achieve extraordinary things ;)

    In Success,
    Howie Perks

  4. Hi Kiaran,

    thanks for sharing an interesting post. Obsession. Well, in German language, "possession" and "obsession" are the same words, at least in certain tenses. So there's a saying going "There's nothing wrong with possessing something, the only problem is if we are possessed (or obsessed) by something - if we don't control things but are controlled by things.

    I fully agree with you that the zone between strong desire and passion is ideal to have an ideal amount of energy - and self-control.

    Take care


  5. Hi Kiaran,

    It's true that there is a 'happy medium' in there.

    It's like that annoying ex who became so obsessed with you that they were totally repelling you, because they only cared about THEY wanted.

    This topic you wrote about can be applied all over our lives, and is no different in business. We do need to find that healthy ground for our businesses to grow and flourish.

    Thanks for the reminder!


  6. Inspiring post, Kiaran!

    It's all about having a burning desire to succeed.

    If you’re hoping something will work for you, you’re leaving it up to some chance or “magic” to become successful. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen :-(

    “If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it”. ~ Brendan Francis

    Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

  7. Hey Kiaran,

    When you develop a burning desire. Nothing and I mean nothing can get in its way.

    Having an obsession toward something is nothing more than having an attach emotion. That will fade out eventually.

    Chat with you later...

  8. Belief is a major factor in how we feel. Dr. Albert Ellis, father of rational-emotive therapy taught that stupid (his word - meaning irrational) thoughts can cause us to have inhibiting emotions. So to go back to your statement - "of course we can change our emotions" - well yes, most people can but not by directly trying to change the emotion. Emotions result from other things (one of which is what we 'think' about stuff; but there can also be biological factors, environmental factors and perhaps other things - not to mention complex combinations of any of the foregoing) and it is those other things which must be addressed. Incidentally, we can change surface emotions without addressing causes (like whistle in the dark?), but that is not very long-lasting.

  9. Hi Kiaran,

    I believe passion is something that comes naturally. It's also the fuel one needs to keep going despite any obstacles.

    You can't try to be passionate about something, you either are or you aren't.

    Obsession is an extremist expression and seldom lasts in my own experience. If it does, its usually at the expense of something or someone else and never a healthy state of affairs.

    Thanks for the the thought provoking post.


  10. Certainly something to think about. It is interesting…I have been working through some of these things recently as I can easily become obsessed if I am not careful. I have found a way to stay a bit more balanced with a passion that is aware of the surrounding world and circumstances. I do appreciate the post…thanks!

  11. Hi Kiaran,

    Your posts always make me think and I totally look forward to reading them. I really like the scale you gave and I can find my self in each of the areas with regards to different areas of my life. While I feel passion about my family and my business, I'm in the wish/hope about other things like being better organized. I guess it's why I struggle to get motivated with it.

    Great post!
    Heather C Stephens

  12. Great post Kiaran I think we can achieve a lot with strong desire but I think real success comes from having an obsession with the goal in mind.

    A magnificent obsession would be a more apt way to put it. But only towards goals that ultimately help ourselves and others.

    Steve Shoemaker

  13. Kiaran, I really think it does require an almost obsessive emotional state to achieve a positive result in this business, at least the results I am looking for! I probably am borderline passion to obsession. I spend alot of time on my business every day because I know that's what it takes. I feel very lucky that I have the motivation to put in many hours every day working on my business.
    Thanks for the great post! ~Joseph McDevitt

  14. I agree it is a choice on how you feel.I also believe the lack of belief will always effect your success level.A really great post.

  15. Hey Kiaran,

    There is a fine line between passion and obsession. We all walk that line with everything that is involving our lives.

    Sometimes we want to be so successful at what we do that the line is sometimes crossed. Keeping ourselves under control is the key.

    ~ Tim

  16. Hi Kiaran,
    You are absolutely correct in stating people can CHOOSE their emotions. Some would argue with that, but I know personally that you can shift how you're feeling. This is powerful when you discover it. It makes a huge difference in your life. Many people just don't know they can do this and articles like this are very helpful. Welcome to TSA!!

  17. Hello Kiaran,

    Great message your sharing with us all today!

    Yes, we all must watch out for being to overly obsessed with just about anything in life. Just try and find that balance in life and always have passion thrown in there as you live life and it seems to all work out.

    And one last thought...Check your attitude each day as you wake up and choose to make it a great day and choose to be happy!

    Wishing you all my best :)

  18. Hi Kiaran,

    I'd never thought of it in those exact terms but I think you're right. I move from inaction to action when I know I have to do it to achieve. Need is good, want is better but when I know I have to do something to achieve the goal, it gets done. A mild bit of obsession is good for me!

    Thanks & regards,


  19. Hi Kiaran,

    Wow, this post really stands out from all that I have read today, and there has been a lot!

    ''If you could choose your emotional state (which of course you can), which emotional state would be most conducive to your pursuit of your dreams, goals and aspirations?''

    I'm for sure in the passion bracket! I'm very driven to achieve my goals and almost everything I do is to achieve them. I've never been one to obsess, unless staying up all night working on my goals is considered obsessive!!

    Thanks for a great post.

    Emma :)