I have this phrase, whenever I get really into something. I say, "I'm on my honor grind."
Back in 2005, I was a 15-year-old playing World of Warcraft 19 hours a day. In the game, you earned rewards through what was called "the honor system" (nicknamed "the honor grind"). I poured my heart and soul into that game, and by the time I graduated high school I was one of the highest ranked World of Warcraft players in North America, as well as an e-famous gaming blogger with over 10,000 daily readers.
It is such a pivotal part of my journey that I wrote a book about it, called Confessions of a Teenage Gamer--and will be releasing it on Amazon next month.
Whenever I am confronted with a challenge in life, an obstacle, I always think back to my years playing World of Warcraft. For me, it is an analogy from which I can draw a parallel between setting a goal and doing whatever it takes to get to that finish line.
What holds you back from success is never the obstacle itself. It's how obsessed you are with finding the solution.
I am at a point now, after many years of reflecting, where I can tell when I have entered a new "honor grind." I know the feeling. It taps me on my shoulder, in the same way it did when I was 15. It is a challenge asking me not how strong I am, or how experienced I am.
It is asking me how obsessed I am.
"Are you obsessed enough to figure it out?"
This is what people don't understand about work ethic, goal setting, productivity, time management, etc. There is no secret. There is no productivity app that makes everything easy. Every single pursuit in life, every goal, every aspiration that is measurable costs the same thing. And it's not time. And it's not energy. Because both of those things end up being relative.
The cost is obsession.
Are you obsessed enough to do what needs to be done, first? Are you obsessed enough to get out of bed when a great idea strikes you? Are you obsessed enough to work while you eat your dinner? Are you obsessed enough to spend your Friday night after a full day of work in your apartment, by yourself, finishing what needs to be finished? Are you obsessed enough to go outside your comfort zone, over and over again, until you learn what you need to learn? Are you obsessed enough to change your group of friends? Are you obsessed enough to move somewhere that will better suit your endeavor? How obsessed are you?
This is the brutal, honest answer people don't want to hear: It comes down to obsession. You want to change the world? You better be obsessed. You want to build a billion dollar empire? You better be obsessed. You want to change the way our society thinks, acts, operates, trades, shares, etc.? You better be unbelievably obsessed.
Obsession is what makes working 18-hour days tolerable. Obsession is what allows you to power through. Obsession is what gives you the courage to take leaps of faith. Obsession is what breaks down massive barriers, leading to wide-open roads of exploration. Obsession is what drives work ethic--raw, gutsy, real work ethic.
I know the feeling of obsession. And every time a new interest catches me, and I can tell it is something I could get obsessed with, that's how I know it has potential.
If you aren't reaching the levels of success you would like, you need to ask yourself, plain and simple, "Is this something I am obsessed with?"