A “Grand Obsession” is not a goal. Although goals help one to achieve a “Grand Obsession”. A “Grand Obsession” is not a to do list, even though a to do list is somewhere to be found as you pursue a “Grand Obsession”.  A “Grand Obsession” not just a dream, yet you dream about

 your “Grand Obsession” every day. A “Grand Obsession” is not a job, but you will work. You will work harder at a “Grand Obsession” than towards a

nything else in your life. A “Grand Obsession” is not a normal pursuit of something you desire. It is just what it says it is - an obsession. A “Grand Obsession” is not a cause for frustration but it will cause you crazy frustration. A “Grand Obsession” is not something that you will complete in a year or two, or even at all. A “Grand Obsession” is not something you plan. A “Grand Obsession” is not destroyed by obstacles or set backs or emergencies or someone else’s opinion. A “Grand Obsession” is not a matter of size, there are no small “Grand Obsessions”, only Grand Ones. A “Grand Obsession” does not make your life easier. But, a “Grand Obsession” will make your life worthwhile.


“A “Grand Obsession” is not a cause for frustration but it will cause you crazy frustration.”



Ok so we know what a “Grand Obsession” is not, now let us discuss just what a “Grand Obsession” is. Carol King sang “An everlasting vision of an ever changing view”  A clear concise description of a  “Grand Obsession” was written by Trina Paulus, I quote... “How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” 

But what is this thing I Call a “Grand Obsession” 

I like to think of a “Grand Obsession” as an idea that will take a lifetime to achieve, no matter how many years you have left. A “Grand Obsession” is the top of the mountain, and then the top of the next mountain. Once it was putting a man on the moon and now it is Mars. For some of us it is a day of sobriety by choice, not by chance, for others it may be coming to terms with body image. What ever it is, I know it is Grand!

Let me tell you a story about a young boy that had a dream. The dream was to be able to do what ever he wanted to do, whenever he wanted to do it. He dreamed of the day when he could go to school if he wanted, or not if he didn’t want to go. He dreamed of the big fast car and the house on the hill. He dreamed of seeing the world and running his own company. As a young man he was able to put a name to his dream, he called his “Grand Obsession” financial independence. He believed that if he achieved that status, all would be right with his world. 

The funny thing about a “Grand Obsession” is that we don’t truly understand what we are chasing, when we chase it. We think we are seeking some object like money or muscles, a home or a perfect body. But what I have learned is that what we receive is an understanding of ourselves. You see, to reach or come close to a “Grand Obsession” we must grow. But we must grow from the inside. Our brain must refresh itself. You have heard me speak of the brain I am sure, but a quick reminder is in order. Beginning shortly after conception to around age 8 our brain evolves. First it grows connections to all kinds of possibilities and then it starts paring connections away. What gets used we keep, what we don’t use we loose. A three year old may be bilingual, but if for some reason one of the languages is not spoken, by eight, all of the second language is forgotten, yet the same child is fluent in the first language. Amazing! One reason for this is myelin sheaths, and bear with me while I simplify this too greatly. Our brain coats connections that we use and thus must need with myelin so that they become high speed connections. We call it second nature. By eight years old our viewpoint of life is hard wired, right or wrong. Later in life, the only way to change our brain is with a concerted effort. So if you don’t question where your lot in life has taken you, you will live a life unchallenged, and you won’t coat new connections with any more myelin.Your existence will be average and ordinary. Think of it, you, an above average creation, filled with possibilities to change the world, your world, and yet you give it away to an eight year old. You, an exquisite mind, wasting away in average and ordinary land. So understand your brain, learn a bit how it works, and learn a bit how to change it. If you do then you open the door to a “Grand Obsession”. 

But back to my story. Our kid was one of the lucky ones, he didn’t “fit in”. And his baggage prevented him from holding on to a job for very long, let alone think about climbing the corporate ladder. He didn’t have many friends, he was a bit of a loner, but not by choice. What this did for him is it made him dream. He lived in a very scary world and he dreamed of a different existence than the one he was living. As a child prior to age eight he saw much violence and anger in his home. What he learned was that if his home wasn’t safe, the outside world had to be much scarier. He learned that if his family didn’t care about him, people outside of his family are sure not going to care about him. So as an adult, with this 8 year old driving him, he just wasn’t going to be working with close knit groups, no, he had to figure a way to get financially independent on his own. A “Grand Obsession” was born. 

Oh and by the way, did I mention how much anxiety and fear this childhood caused the kid to carry inside of him? Enough pain to say yes to  alcohol and drugs when they were offered to him. They brought immediate relief from the overwhelming and paralyzing feelings of anxiety. Self medication quickly became a way of life. But through the fog and haze of alcohol, our friend still kept a spark of his “Grand Obsession” alive. And when sobriety knocked on his door, that spark was able to turn into a flame and a torch and a reason to be alive embodied our friend. 


“Sane, sober & successful”


I am sure your guessed that the kid in my story was me. And it wasn’t until years later, when I dissected my life, did I realize that my “Grand Obsession” is what kept me sane, sober and successful. And please understand, I have not reached my mountain top yet, I am still in the trenches fighting along side of you. I found though that there are just 3 ingredients needed to form a “Grand Obsession”.


1. Dream Big

2. Think Big

3. Believe Big


A “ Grand Obsession starts with a dream. I didn’t have any money in my life, or my pockets when I dreamed of being financially independent. In 1985 I earned 6,000.00, for the entire year. That is only 500 dollars a month, 125.00 a week. I don’t think any of you are that down. What made me think that I could ever become financially independent? Thinking Big, that’s what. President Kennedy didn’t dream of sending another rocket around the earth, no, he wanted to send a man to the moon and back. 

And how did we as a nation do such a thing? Easy, we believed - Big. And speaking of believing have you ever listened to Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech? Take a moment now and you will start to understand a “Grand Obsession” https://youtu.be/3vDWWy4CMhE You will start to understand how to believe Big!

A “Grand Obsession” is different from a goal. A “Grand Obsession” is built upon many goals. A goal needs to be clear and concise with timelines and deadlines. A “Grand Obsession” is our ministry. A “Grand Obsession” gets us up early in the morning and keeps us working late into the night. Our “Grand Obsession” is why we keep getting up each time we get knocked down. 

And don’t worry, you don’t have to dream of being a billionaire, or a runway model or a Cary Grant, you just need something that is much bigger than your current situation. Something that you can work towards. One of my first obsessions was to earn 20,000 in one year. You see, that was a big number for me, and it actually took me longer to do than you might imagine. I wanted to do it, though, through commission income. And as I reached that peak, I realized that there were higher peaks in front of me. Mountain tops that I couldn’t see because this one hill was blocking my view. But as I reached the top I saw what wondrous things I could try to accomplish in my life. And this is my wish for you. Understand that we don’t blow up a balloon with one breath. A “Grand Obsession” takes time to understand it’s terms. You learn over time and through experience. The Key is start. Start where you stand. Start the dreaming today. I began this quest in earnest over 30 years ago, and there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t dreamed a little. Start today! Figure out a plan to get on the road to what you want to achieve, and with a little success you can start the belief process. 


“Start where you stand!”


And remember that little boy that thought financial independence would deliver him happiness? Well he found himself along the way, and that has brought him the most joy.

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