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Chris Wilkinson column: Obsession applied to goals is key

I remember in Grade 7 being so obsessed about a Norco mountain bike
Chris Wilkinson has begun a new life-coaching venture, called Chris Wilkinson Coaching. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

By Chris Wilkinson

Obsession is such a loaded word. Most people associate being obsessive with something like OCD. Labels and judgments aside, obsession can be one of the best serving traits!

Have you ever been obsessed with having something super important to you? Did you get it? I’m betting that you did.

I remember in Grade 7 being so obsessed about a Norco mountain bike. I had the Norco booklet with the bike models and pictures in it. I spoke about it to my parents and brother. I looked for ways to make some extra money at my dad’s work so that I could purchase it. I looked at the pictures in that booklet nearly every day and night. I fell in love with the blue and yellow mountain bike. Before I even had it. I absolute had to have it. I obsessed over it.

Obsession can be healthy in the right context. Focus is healthy. Obsession is focus turned up loud!

Obsession is particularly healthy and effective when related to a goal, or personal growth. It’s been said that, “Good requires motivation…great requires obsession.”

Perhaps you are familiar with author Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule, that it takes about 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery in a chosen skill/profession. This requires obsession.

Simply stated, obsession is the sum of high focus plus persistence. Focus can come in the form of clarity. As in, exactly what do you want? Persistence shows up when something is so deeply important to us that we just won’t give up on it.

Lack of clarity, procrastination, indecision, and relying upon others to solve our problems are symptoms of a lack of persistence.

Healthy obsession means you learn with more depth. Healthy obsession means that you don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Healthy obsession means that you sacrifice in other areas to create space to act on this important goal. Healthy obsession means that some people may think you’re misguided. Healthy obsession gets you out of your quicksand comfort zone. Healthy obsession can make you an expert.

If you are wanting to make a change, or learn a new skillset, become obsessive about it! Be clear why you want it. Be persistent. Clear space on your daily schedule, even if it’s only five minutes, and schedule it in. Be incredibly committed to your goal. Get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and embrace the grind. It’ll all be worth it when your goal shows up right in front of you.

As Tony Robbins says, “Progress is happiness.”

Chris Wilkinson is a High Performance Coach who works with driven leaders and entrepreneurs who want to breakthrough to their next level. For more information visit or email Chris at