Living for Something Bigger than Yourself: The Obsession of Successful Leaders

Rise above self-obsession so you can live for something bigger than yourself.

You might be self-obsessed if you:

  1. Always know the “right” way.
  2. Can’t take criticism.
  3. Make excuses for your flaws, frailties, and failings.
  4. Drone on about yourself in conversations.
  5. Exaggerate your talents and achievements.
  6. Set unrealistic goals.
  7. Neglect peoples’ emotions.
  8. Interrupt often.
  9. Refuse to take responsibility.
  10. Think about yourself most of the time.

Obsession and success:

Steve Jobs was obsessed over simplicity.  Jobs said, “The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious.”

Steve Jobs coded video games at Atari. Walter Isaacson wrote,  “The only instructions for Atari’s Star Trek game were: ‘1. Insert quarter. 2. Avoid Klingons.’”

Apple’s first marketing brochure led with, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” (1977)

Obsession is hunger:

“While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed.” Sir Edmund Hillary

Obsession is nagging hunger. It’s hard to imagine climbing the tallest peak in the world and plotting another climb while standing on the summit.

Worthy obsession:

Self-obsession means you’re living below great aspiration or worthy cause. An obsession with results, for example, is too low for you – unless it motivates you to develop others.

Someone might ask, “How can I overcome self-obsession?” (That’s the question self-obsession asks.)

The question is, “How might you give yourself to something bigger than yourself?” You might evaluate your use of time, talent, and treasure to determine if you’re giving yourself to something that elevates life.

We become our best self when we serve something bigger than our self.

Obsession for leaders:

Great dancers obsess over dancing. But do great leaders obsess about leadership?

George Colony, CEO of Forrester preaches customer obsession. How does that sit with you?

What’s your obsession?

Bonus material:

Billionaire Investor Says Follow Your Obsession, Not Your Passion (Entrepreneur)

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