A Collection of Ideas on Passion, Obsession and Change

“The brain wants to either move towards pleasure or away from pain.”

I don’t recall from who I first heard it.

But the quote at the top of this page has been in my mind for many years.

As I look back over my life and what has guided my behavior, I can definitely see the truth in it.

However, when I’ve arranged my environment to discipline myself, applying that principle hasn’t been easy.

Simply knowing what I want most isn’t enough. And imagining negative consequences doesn’t work either.

Giving in to Obsession

Dreams, desires and pleasure isn’t enough.

To get yourself to move, not just for a moment but as a way of life, it requires time.

Time not only to create a habit, but time to find the area that grabs hold of your addictive nature.

For those of us lacking in the trait of discipline, we must pull on the strings of our obsession.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Obsessions or addictions have negative connotations.

When others see us going beyond the norm; when they label us as an “extreme”, a “geek” or a “nerd”. They encourage us to calm down and make for us a seat on the couch of complacency… we’re tempted to curl up and just be normal.

No one wants to be a freak, geek or nerd.

But freaks and geeks and nerd have an intrinsic drive for something beyond social conformity.

They’re not antisocial but simply resilient for their own passions.

Run Forest!

In recent years I started running marathons and it was here in running did I find my peace with my obsessive nature.

Training for marathons is not for the normal, not for the average.

You don’t do it just for fitness or weight-loss. Those are byproducts.

I personally could never just discipline myself to run six days a week for 16–20 weeks.

But it was because I allowed myself to give into pleasure and personal drive.

The Dying Empty Gap

Certain language and expressions have always excited me.

“Dying Empty” is one of those phrases that instantly snags the strings of my love for extremes.

I started branding myself and blogging at dyingempty.com 6 or so year ago.

But when Todd Henry came out with his book, Die Empty I was shaken.

Shaken to see the truth of the gap between my talk and my walk.

Perhaps you’ve read books that describe willpower as a limited, and yet extensible resource. This is the idea that if we do not protect and direct our will, we may run out of our best thinking as our our day lingers on.

This also relates to decision fatigue.

The justification comes from citing how some of the world’s greatest thinkers and producers reduce the number of decisions they make in a day so as to have the highest ability to think and decide on things that really matter.

Recently I’ve realized how this idea can also be true with passion.

Our passion for the things that really matter can wane when we give it away to every tantalizing option.

Whether it’s passion for your spouse or a zeal for your life’s dreams, by consciously choosing to shut off enjoyment for lower level things, you will increase passion for the things that truly matter.


Arvell Craig is a marketing guy, entrepreneur, speaker, coach, author, etc. @ chatbotfunnels.me