How Obsession Saved My Life
My parents were children of Italian immigrants who came to the US in the early 1900’s. My father was the first in the Cardone family to go to college. He—like me—was ambitious and had an entrepreneurial spirit. He started a little grocery store and later began his own life insurance company. When I was young he became a licensed stockbroker. With a strong work ethic, he was able to make a little bit of money and buy us a home on the lake.
We went fishing on a boat, water-skied, had a riding lawn mower and lived among doctors in a nice neighborhood. My dad died a short time later, and my mom—with no professional skills—sold the house to downsize to conserve as much money as she could. We went from a house on the lake to a tiny brick house on a tiny lot, surrounded by houses that all looked exactly the same.
Related: Become OBSESSED With Being Positive
My mom’s scarcity mindset became a part of everything we did. Little did I know that this time seeded what would later drive me in life. As I grew into a teenager, I became angrier and more frustrated. In high school I had a big mouth and became disruptive, getting into fights. Drugs soon became a problem, and I frequently started smoking weed and drinking alcohol. By 23 my life was a complete mess.
I managed to get a job at a car dealership but with my attitude at the time it was a dead-end job for me. I was underweight and had little self-esteem. Nobody knew how to help me, and I hated my life, my coworkers, my apartment—everything about my life was a disappointment. One day I showed up at my mom’s place slurring my words, completely loaded. “Don’t come around here until you get your life together,” she told me.
Soon after I checked into a rehab center.
After 29 days my insurance money ran out and as I left, the counselor told me I’d never make it. When I stepped outside the treatment center, I made a commitment to never return to drugs. I also decided to use my “addictive personality” for good that the counselor tried to convince me would be my downfall. I started looking toward the future and not back to the past. I realized that drugs became a problem for me not because I was obsessed with drugs but because I had given up on the things I had been obsessed with at an earlier age—particularly success.
If you don’t go after your good obsessions, you will move that energy to destructive behavior. I knew that if I was ever going to help others, I’d have to first help myself. Even though I disliked my job, I threw myself into it 100%, committed to learning everything about sales. Being obsessed, it didn’t take long to become the dealership’s top salesperson. Obsession gave me a new lease on life.
Being obsessed with success saved my life. Denying my obsession is what caused all the problems. When I stopped diminishing my obsessions and dreams of success, all my energy was renewed. When I embraced my obsession of being super successful, the world looked different. Obsession is a gift, not an illness.
Obsession is the most valuable tool you have to build the life you dream of.
Get obsessed with the right things and pre-order my newest book Be Obsessed or Be Average today.