Become Obsessed to the Point of Madness

Do you want to know the secret to giving up all of your vices? Do you know why you have a bunch of bad habits in the first place?

I will tell you why, and my answer isn’t the one self-help gurus will give.

There is a sad secret that you won’t admit to yourself.

You have vices because you are aimless. Your life has no purpose.

You are simply existing. You are riding whatever wave life throws at you instead of making your own waves.

I have a solution.

It is a solution that every loser and hater will tell you is wrong.

Become obsessed.

Obsession is Not a Bad Word.

Losers will tell you that obsession is a bad thing. You should have balance. That is why they are losers. Consider the average man.

(“Will wife/daddy/the boss man let me play with my train set later?”)

average american man

Here is what occupies the thoughts of the average man:

  • What is my girlfriend/wife doing right now? Is she cheating on me? Why hasn’t she texted me all day?!
  • What’s up with the higher ups? That email my boss sent me was vague. Does he like me?
  • Aimlessly surf the web.
  • What’s for lunch?
  • Feel tired after eating big lunch.
  • Is it 5 o’clock yet?
  • Look for nearby microbrew to can display superior knowledge of hops, malt, and barley to other aimless dorks.
  • TV time!

The average man is just trying to fill up his day with distractions. He is, as the saying goes, “just killing time.”

(There is no danger. There is no play. There is only tedium and quiet desperation.)

Bar man

Become Obsessed with Excellence.

Let me tell you what happened when I became obsessed with taking Danger & Play to the next level.

Because I am on a mission, it doesn’t taken me any willpower at all to rid myself of these filthy habits. I don’t have any magic tricks for you. I simply don’t have time for nonsense because I am thinking of too many other things.

I do everything for D&P and outsource nothing. I write/edit every word, edit every podcast, design the page, and handle the backend crap. Running a website involves a lot of back end stuff that isn’t always fun:

  • What is a bounce rate and how does it impact my SEO and what are the best WordPress apps to decrease it? Is Alexa legit; they don’t even know what search terms people are using to find me. Disqus? JetPack? What is an SSL and private IP and do I need one?
  • Write newsletter.
  • Post to social media.
  • Record and upload podcasts.
  • I’m committed to helping every man who comes to D&P but can barely keep up with reader emails.
  • Do I sit on this post for a few days until traffic drops or keep juicing my stats?
  • What happened to the day!? Time to hit the gym!

Now instead of breaking myself of bad habits that impeded my success, I am becoming a victim of my own success.

I have too many posts and too many podcasts in the works and I’m overwhelming my readers with original content. Let’s do a separate post linking to and annotating some posts.

When you become obsessed, you develop tunnel vision. Nothing else matters. You simply don’t have to “break yourself of bad habits” because those bad habits cannot compare to your obsession. Find your obsession and everything else will fall into line.

What is your obsession?

Do you have one? If not, what are you going to do to change that – starting today?

  • Fortis

    Great post. I really like the theme of insanity that has been going around the manosphere. Time to toss out all the old distractions and get distracted with something new.

  • Mike

    hehe I will show my enemies what I am capable off hehe

  • Chains

    See I don’t mind being obsessed. But with what? I don’t know how to find the thing I would be obsessed with, I don’t know how to be obsessed. My life is too easy, but I have not clue how to break free.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      What makes your life so easy?

      • Chains

        That I have everything I want, my parents are well off.

        • Danger & Play Blog

          Well here is what I would do.

          Take whatever money your parents give you and SAVE it all. DO NOT use it for any of your own personal expenses.

          Start paying for everything you do with your own money. If that means getting a job at the mall, do that.

          Just earn your own way.

          Now you are learning to be your own man, and guess what, now you also have a war chest to invest into buying an investment property. Or buy a website.

          So now you have the best of all worlds. You own yourself and you have mad cash set aside to use to make real money.

          That is what you can do.

          That is what you know you should do.

          The question is: What will you do?

  • Hugo To

    Fuck! Awesome Mike. I was thinking about this the other day. Clearly obsession that trumps it all. Or passion, as some would prefer to call it.

    When you live and breathe your work, and becomes so ingrained in you, its where you become a channel for ideas and creative thought. I know how you feel at times, when there’s so many posts and ideas thats your fingers cant type it fast enough to catch it everything, so you become a mad man trying to grab hold of everything by typing it away in a blurry mess.

  • Peter Phoenix

    That’s a great mantra, reminds me of a few other people:
    “Nothing in moderation” – Chris from GoodLookingLoser
    “Make it your magnificient fucking obession” – CT Fletcher

  • Rick Disko

    Focus and get results.

    Everyone has a best time of day. For me it is roughly 5am-9am, Find your best time of day and dedicate that time to your obsession.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      That is a really good practical tip. I’m going to add that to a post compiling some of the best tips from readers. Thank you.

      For me, I am most productive from around 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

      No clue why, but there’s no doubt that I need to be “locked down” and during productive stuff during those hours. Then I goof off on other hours.

      • Hollentunder

        almost the same, best ideas and the best focus is around 23:00-03:00

        • Danger & Play Blog

          My theory is that a man really only has 4 solid hours a day where he can go balls out. He needs to rest or do minor/admin tasks the rest of the day.

          • anon1

            4 hours a day is about the time frame many successful men have used when working on their muses (business,athletics etc) I’m trying to find a link where I heard this concept being discussed at length. And as a side thing nassim talebs anti fragility lines up with a lot of the ideas you’ve been talking about here at d&p. I especially like his barbell strategy to risk (no middle. 90% conservative. 10% balls to the wall high risk high reward stuff)

          • anon1

            A half assed approach to life guarantees mediocrity

          • Mob Barley

            Haha that answers my question, I was wondering why I was only able to zone in on my daily goal at work from when I got there, (at 11) until 3.

  • Oskar

    In the past month or so your blog went from being good to GREAT – especially the podcasts and the design has made it a site I check everyday now.

    As for the post, I agree that obsession is a positive thing. Throughout my life I’ve always been told that my obsessions are unhealthy, but the only things I’ve been good at, are things I’ve obsessed about.

    I obsessed about fitness, so I spent 3 years reading anything I could get my hands on, and experimenting.

    Then I started blogging, and I spent all my best hours of the day (morning+early afternoon) on building my blog.

    With that said, I’m not in an “obsessive state” all the time. I usually alternate periods of hard work with periods of easier work to avoid burn out.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Thank you.

      I take a lot of vacations to avoid burning out.

      • anon1

        I was going to say, you’ve been killing it on the posts lately. I haven’t had a lot of time to ruminate on each one as much. Content is excellent and there’s definitely at least 1-2 applicable points per post I try to incorporate immediately after reading something of yours. For instance with the HIT podcast, or more recently about making as many revisions as possible to articles. (I’ve just been doing one shot articles, same day same hour as being thought up) I think its harder to find the motivation to revise and hone when you do not have an audience that’s regularly checking you for content. Is there anything I can do to keep the motivation up to write when I don’t want to? Or improve articles I know are not yet being read by an audience?

        • Danger & Play Blog

          When your site gets bigger people are going to go back through the archives and you’re going to be ashamed of the garbage you first put out.

          I have been re-writing posts from the past. It’s a pain in the ass.

          Do it right the first time.

  • Z.

    To parrot the many before me—the new design adds a ton of value to your site. I was one of the people really disappointed when you went self-hosted, only because of the magazine style theme you were using.

    Have you been happier with Disqus over Jetpack?

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Disqus and it’s not even a close call. If I ever get around to do it, I’ll do a list of, “Things I wish I had done from the get-go.” A few come to mind right away:

      * Not having links show up in the URL. Look at the URL in the screen on D&P v. Fit-Juice.

      It looks so much better without the dates. I’m not sure if I can change things mid-stream without having a bunch of broken links.

      * Disqus – much cleaner on the screen. It’s easier to follow a conversation. You get more page views, too, as Disqus gets commenters back to the page.

      * Self-host right away. None of this crap.

      * Treat each blog post as if it will be a brand new reader’s first impression of you. That gets rid of junk and throw-away posts.

      * Engage commenters. I used to never comment. My reasoning was that the comments were for readers to have their say. But it just ended up making me look snobby and unengaged with my audience.

      * An email list with Mail Chimp or whoever. Build the list early.

      I have a loooong list of mistakes.

      • Z.

        “Treat each blog post as if it will be a brand new reader’s first impression of you. That gets rid of junk and throw-away posts.”

        This is a great point to keep in mind. I learned many of those lessons myself writing my previous blog; enabling me to make new ones on my current one.

      • WellBuiltStyle

        I was fortunate enough to implement all of these ideas (aside from mailchimp…but that will be coming soon enough).

        I think another couple things worth looking into is a custom logo/banner for your website (we’re glad we had one made) and perhaps some intro/outro music for your podcasts. I think you should even submit them to itunes for greater exposure.

        • Danger & Play Blog

          Yep. Both on the to-do list. I haven’t been able to find the right concept for the logo.

          • Z.

            You might also consider changing your favicon, even if just to a generic “D”, as currently it just displays the “G” for the Genesis framework I assume. Besides branding, the problem with this is if I have a lot of tabs in my browser open, and if your site is one of them, it doesn’t jump out at me to go back to. Especially with Genesis being popular and many other sites have the generic favicon as well.

          • Danger & Play Blog

            Got one buddy, thanks for the suggestion.

      • anon1

        definitely taking onboard these tips for being pro from the get go

  • Ironthumb

    I am obsessed with lifting
    damn what else!
    BTW I dont usually watch serries(unless they are in spanish) but speaking of obsession, I love the serries,
    He’s the personification of pure obsession (at least in the screen) I hope all real doctors are as obsessed as he is with medical and diagnostic perfection – because they aren’t and this comes from a guy from the inside

  • Ryan

    I told a girl that I work with that I get up at 4am every day. “That’s obsessive” she said, implying that being obsessed is not something one should aspire to be.

    Yup, sure is. I’m obsessed with become stronger every single day.

    I just smiled and walked away.

  • Faggotslayer

    This is a potentially life-changing post for me. People may even complain and say, “yeah, but there’s unhealthy obsession!” Ahh, but you can become obsessed about being healthily obsessed. I like this general principle; it echoes a lot of self-help literature that with strong desire you can achieve most goals. But, the word “obsession” for me right now strikes me harder than “passion” or “desire”. Perhaps it is because obsession is related to the “pathological”; I don’t think that all progress is pretty, “no pain, no gain”. So I like how being obsessed could also be “neurotic” and “unhealthy”, but productive. It might mean walking on burning coals, which is “unhealthy”, but overall AWESOME. Balanced people are obsessed with being “healthy”; do people just substitute one “obsession” for another, when they have no obsession? The dangerous opposite of obsession which we see today is apathy.

  • Axel Page (Shameless Pride)

    A quote I love by Ben Franklin goes like this “Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.” On the train home the other day, I was doing my typical reading as I can never get enough new info in my head. The guy next to me was playing candy crush.

    Setting priorities and making a plan – something very few people do.

    • Fortis

      “Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.” That’s fucking scary, if you think about it. i feel like I just turned 25 and I’m finally beginning to live.

  • Fortis

    Funny, I used to be so obsessed with things as a kid and it allowed me to mentally outrun my peers. Eventually, I bought into moderation and become *gasp* more average. I am obsessing over reading and writing again. I loved it when my mind was as fast as lightning and my tongue was as sharp as a whip.

  • G-Freedom

    I like your site. One thing though: like so many other “real men” you seem to have issues regarding long term girlfriends and marriage? How can you be more of a man than the leader of a strong family? To me, that’s just fucking laughable mate…

  • Jose L Romero

    Fantastic Post!

    I have to admit that there are some things in my life where i put in all of my time to! One of those things is my blog! I enjoy to write and i want to do it all the time! I think about what I’m going to write while i drive to work, I write a post at work, Make sure i have some keywords sprinkled in as well as making sure the post is in good SEO order. I think and read articles on how to get more readers and get more traffic. How to get to the first page on Google! And Now I’m trying to figure how i can view the keywords Google is hiding from me once they went from HTTP to HTTPS.

    And even now! You just reminded me that i needed to check something in my blog and its already midnight here! DAMN!! :)

  • H.A

    Over the years, I have grown a lot. Yet, in many ways, I am still a child.

    I did not take enough action. I have lived in my head too much, and still continue to do so. “There is no danger. There is no play.” Not enough anyway!

    I have no sense of purpose. No deep desire. Calvin Newport rejects the notion of “finding one’s passion”, and instead says to simply put in deliberate effort into an activity one finds worthwhile, and to keep pushing oneself. He advocates “being so good they can’t ignore you.” This seems reasonable to me.

    I am not certain what kind of lifestyle I want for myself. At least, not the specifics. The “alpha lifestyle”, from afar, looks suitable. Financial independence, personal growth (physical, intellectual, emotional), etc.

    For what it’s worth, I am not a complete slob. I work out, and I study, and I try to read, and talk to girls (new goal: talk to 3-4 girls everyday, so ~100/month, hopefully a month from now, I’ll get laid)…but not in a concrete manner. It is too haphazard currently. This is NOT enough.

    I feel like I am finally getting to a position where I will be able to start taking deliberate action. Get the basics (cooking, working out, specific study/reading blocks daily) set to autopilot, so I can concentrate on the more important stuff. How can I take those goals and somehow fit that into my vision of a “deep purpose” that I can be “blindly focused” on? (question 1)

    I believe that my ideas being so disorganized is what is, at least partially, detrimental to my progress. I do not yet have a firm grasp of what my beliefs are, though I have been developing/progressing throughout my teens (21 now). Thankfully, I have had some help with like minded friends along the way. Right now, there is one such (also red pill aware) friend.

    People say that one only understands a subject when they can write a book about it. Or at least, explain it. I find it hard to articulate my views on the world, and how I fit in, in the grand scheme of things. It feels like I have my views on them (say, existence or women) internalized, but it is harder than I thought to properly lay them them out, to the point where a completely uninitiated person would understand. Perhaps, I need to write them out . Pick one topic at a time, and go at it. What do you think? (question 2)

    Anyway, I’ll stop here. I appreciate the work you do here. It helps.

    Thank you.

  • Farhan

    I read three of your posts and DP turning out to be one of the best thing happened to me. Feels patronizing.

  • Brandon C.

    Question for you and the readers here – how does one cultivate obsession? This post resonates with me. A lot. I spend a lot of time just passing time. I like my job, but it doesn’t fulfill me. My hobbies, my true passions – it’d be hard, if at all possible, to make money pursuing, and I feel guilty about them as they aren’t…. particularly valuable, I guess? as I see it.

    I see people who are obsessed with things, and I want that. I want that passion and that drive, but I just. don’t. have it. I don’t know where to start.

    I have a wife and 2 kids. I have very limited time, and I’m tired much of it. I want danger and play.

  • Debi Gervaise

    As a woman who loves to be feminine and a dominant man, I absolutely find your thoughts and views spot on. I love your neutered male reference. So true.

  • Debi Gervaise

    I made a terrible typo in my previous comment: This is what I meant to say, “As a woman who loves to be feminine and ENJOYS a dominant man, I absolutely find your thoughts and views spot on. I love your neutered male reference. So true!”

  • StacyH

    I’m female. Am I allowed? Lol. I see all the comments and posts for men. I am still interested in your posts and your site.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      20% of D&P readers are female.

  • Guillaume Bach

    I practise guitar every day 10 hours at least to be a proffessional guitarist, sadly I didn’t had the time yet to send you my congratulations for your amazin blog.
    Guillaume Bach
    Narbonne France

  • Theo J Ellis

    I’m obsessed with success and being all that I can be. The funny thing is everybody is obsessed with something, yet those same people view obsession as a bad thing. For example – being obsessed with watching 5 – 8 hours of TV everyday. That’s an obsession. Just not a productive one! Love this post!

    • Mike Cernovich

      Great comment, Theo.

  • brandon ramlal

    You are the master at linking your posts. I literally have 20 tabs open and I can not read them all today or tomorrow. But, they will be read.

  • Dan

    I’m a man of 43yr, I very much get and agree about an obsession approach to learning and achieving a clearly defined goal. When directed towards a clear and positive objective, and coupled with great ambition, an ‘obsession’ approach is simply essential. Right now, in terms of work I know what I want to learn and achieve, and am pretty excited about walking that path. So once again I agree with an ‘obsession’ approach, I also already knew about it before reading about your post today.
    But let’s be very clear here please, that if mis-directed, an ‘obsession’ approach can turn really sore against you.
    I do have problem of breaking from 3 really bad habits I developed over time, which I would purely qualify as obsessions, and they are these: porn, food and just being such a horny dog when around women. At least 2 of these are really bad obsessions and are working against me all the time (porn and basically wanting to fuck women all the time when around them, which I project as a pure neediness, and of course each time they see and sense that). These have became bad obsessions for me and I struggle every day breaking free from them. I also do understand that it’s not only a question of just a ‘breaking free’ day or a moment. It goes much much deeper than that. It tells a lot about the ones self respect, confidence and by extension, the respect for the other peoples and vice versa. I’m busy with sorting these things out as we speak. One needs to have a will power, coupled with a qualified approach. Ordered your book (paper back) couple days ago, also reading info on the danger&play website. I like what I see a lot.