Healthy Obsession

11 05 2007

In yet another link to Seth Godin, the marketing guru/author mentions the newest (and coolest) update to Google Analytics and believes that Google Analytics can become a distraction in the unending quest for more traffic, more traffic.

It’s indeed a great point to bring up. It’s a refocus on the one metric that is most important. Whether you want more sales, more content creation or more spreading of an idea, you need to focus on what’s most important to you and (basically) ignore everything else. And you need to be able to use tools like Google Analytics to systemically help you get to your goals more efficiently. Otherwise, you’re just blind walking in the dark.

Google Analytics is an addictive program and eventually I need to get sick of continually checking our key metrics.

My focus here is on obsession. Is there such a thing as healthy obsession? Of course, there is unhealthy obsession, possibly of the type that leads to restraining orders.

Sure, there is such thing as healthy obsession. There are likely linguistic issues with this phrase. By a short definition, obsession is an irrational preoccupation. Some may say that healthy obsession is better phrased “healthy fascination”.

In fact, the goal should then be “rational preoccupation”. You should be extraordinarily preoccupied with the right things. Like Andy Grove says, only the paranoid survive.

I liken this to exercise. At one point during college, I was not obsessed with nor fascinated by exercise. I got fat and felt lethargic far too often. I’m now obsessed with getting exercise pretty much every day of the week, not usually the weekends but especially the weekdays when my stress level is high and I’m obsessed with getting that release. I’m not obsessed by any means by exercise though. I’m basically fit but by no means a lean, mean fighting machine- this alone generally dictates I’m nowhere near obsessed. If your goal is utmost physical fitness and your well being is predicated on your physical fitness, then you should be obsessed (or rationally preoccupied). It’s not for me, so I’m OK with this.

With iLetYou, I find myself obsessing over the particular areas that I think will propel the concept forward and make it successful in the long run. I use the word obsessing because I think that’s ultimately the danger with preoccupation with anything. A human being generally can not help but get into an obsessive mode to some extent, maybe some more than others. I think an obsessive and addictive personality can be a positive, properly channeled.

The overriding goal is to focus that energy into those areas that are worth obsessing over. This overall ability to choose where to channel your energies to ensure your organization’s utmost success in is what separates the best of the best I believe.

You may argue over the use of words, but however you want to say it, I say obsess away. Your neurotic nature will propel you to greatness one day.

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