Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone discusses why being average is not normal and why you should be obsessed about getting lots of success by dominating all the key aspects of your life.
Be Obsessed Or Be Average Summary
In this book summary, I’ll be sharing the best lessons I learned after reading this book.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Obsession can save you from falling into the traps of life and thus help you save your precious time.
Take this advice with a bit of caution.
Before we talk further, let’s understand ‘what is obsession?’
Obsession is more than passion.
When you are passionate about something, you have a strong desire for something.
It can be anything like a goal or object.
But good passions are usually about achieving a goal or working towards a big cause.
But obsession is almost like being crazy about achieving a goal.
When you are passionate, you are still sane.
But when you are obsessed, you don’t stop until you achieve your goal or fulfill your desire.
You might be wondering, “How can obsession save me from falling into traps?”
Yes, obsession sounds bad.
But if used correctly, it can help you achieve your wildest goals.
If I use an analogy:
Obsession is like a volcano bursting out lava. It won’t stop until it burns everything around itself. Until the hot flaming lava cools a bit down.
You see, it’s a powerful force to reckon with.
And if you use it in the wrong way, that means, if you are obsessed with wrong things, your life would become terrible.
The author talks about how obsession saved his life.
When he was graduating, he got a drug addiction problem.
And his life became pretty terrible.
Because he was obsessed with wrong things.
Obsession itself is not much of an issue. But have it for the wrong things and your life will become terrible.
Fortunately, the author realized his mistake.
But he didn’t see obsession as an illness.
He changed the things he was obsessed with. And said NO to drugs.
So what he got obsessed with then?
He got obsessed with SUCCESS.
Now you don’t have to copy the author here. It won’t be much helpful.
The lesson you can take from this story is:
Be obsessed with the right things.
The thing is:
Your desires will pull you in different directions.
Obsession is simply the desire with 10x force.
So if you are obsessed with inner transformation or growth, it will help you thrive in your life.
And it will help you in avoiding the traps in life e.g. addiction to drugs, porn, movies, etc.
It looks like we all have a void inside us.
So we run after various things to fill that void.
And the things we choose to fill that void make all the difference in our lives.
Also read: The Power Of Intention Summary
Obsession is not a fantasy — it’s a tough nut to crack.
Let’s admit it:
“Getting obsessed and achieving your wildest dreams.”
This almost sounds like a fiction movie.
It sounds cool.
But is it really?
The author discusses how most people believe that obsession is unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs to live a happy life.
When you say that you are obsessed with something, it means that nothing is more important to you than that thing.
Obsession demands full dedication.
You can’t put it on the back-burner and shift your priorities.
How can you — when it’s your most important thing?
The author also talks about how he had to hustle and put his ass on the line to achieve the degree of success he has today.
Did he succeed in all aspects of his life? Maybe not.
But he succeeded in becoming the words #1 sales trainer and speaker as he was obsessed with it.
He wanted to become crazy rich.
He was obsessed with earning money.
He wanted to enjoy success and freedom.
Or put simply:
The author wanted to have it all — more than he could think.
He believes that he hasn’t achieved everything yet and needs to put in even more effort.
The question is:
Why aren’t we all obsessed if obsession is that great?
Well, the author says that most of us have been given the wrong knowledge all this time.
For instance, when you are obsessed with anything, people say that it is not good.
They say that your life will get out of balance.
They say that it’s not good to do anything in extreme.
Such notions often get in our way and stop us from chasing our wildest dreams.
Do we all have great potential? Of course, we all do.
But wrong notions limit us from using our full potential.
Just think about it, if Mahatma Gandhi wasn’t obsessed with freedom, would he have become a great freedom fighter and help free his country? Obviously not.
Just look at Elon Musk, his only goal is to get humanity to Mars before he dies.
Is he obsessed with his goal? Yes.
Are you able to see the pattern here?
Most successful people or people who have achieved something great in their lives are often obsessed with their goals and dreams.
They don’t quit when the entire world says that your dream is unrealistic.
Even the author faced various challenges while he was pursuing his dreams. People said to him that he was greedy and selfish.
But the author denies this idea. He says that we must not let such limiting beliefs get over us.
Also read: Grit To Great Summary
“An AVERAGE can’t teach you how to be EXCEPTIONAL”
The harsh reality is:
Most people are average when it comes to being rich.
The author says that we have become comfortable in finding excuses.
When we don’t have enough money, we say that only greedy people need more money.
We believe that money is all evil.
We have associated negative thoughts with money.
On the flip side, we believe that being average is the best way to live a happy life.
Of course, not everyone thinks like this.
But most people who are living an average life surely do.
They are okay being average.
“They aren’t obsessed enough, that’s why they are average,” the author says.
In the end, it’s your call:
Whether you want to be obsessed with your dreams or just remain average all your life.
The fact is:
To become exceptional at anything, you have to give up on being average.
And become obsessed with your dream.
It doesn’t matter whether that dream seems impossible at first, if you are obsessed enough, you will find some way to achieve that.
So don’t expect people around you to tell you how to be successful.
They will find it weird. Why? Because they have accepted their life the way it is.
They hate change.
They don’t want to grow and transform their lives.
They don’t want to be exceptional.
But the question is:
Will you remain average all your life — as the majority of the people on this planet do? Or will you take responsibility like a HERO?
The choice is yours…
Also read: The Habit Of Winning Summary
“Stop listening to quitters — they don’t care about your dreams. But you do.”
The author recommends that we must stop listening to such people who make us hopeless.
Yes, those sorry people who are just talks, and haven’t done anything significant in their lives.
Their escape is to find dreamers and take away hope from them.
Simply ignore those people.
And never take their advice seriously. Because if you do, it’ll only harm you.
That’s the case with normal people, though.
If you are badly obsessed, then those people’s words won’t affect you at all.
No person can take away the dream of an obsessed person, considering you are truly obsessed.
The fact is:
People whose only goal is to pull other people down are those who once wanted to achieve something and failed terribly.
It’s okay to fail.
The problem is:
Those people gave up too early because they were not obsessed badly enough.
So now their EGO gets hurt — when they see someone obsessed with his or her dream.
In short: They are more concerned about their dreams and how they weren’t able to achieve them.
When you have a crazy big dream, most people don’t support you.
Because they don’t believe that something that big could be achieved.
So it’s natural to expect long faces.
The obsessed are the ones who inspire other people.
When obsessed people achieve their goals, they become an inspiration to those quitters who once tried to pull them back.
Read this carefully:
“If you are truly obsessed about your dream, then assume that nobody cares about your dream as much as you do.”
There is a lot of conditioning behind that.
So it’s nobody’s fault. And nobody needs to blame anyone.
That’s also the reason that most people are afraid to become obsessed with any dream.
Also, an obsessed person must expect uncertainty and challenges, which usually scare the hell out of most people.
We all love security.
But an obsessed person never gives more importance to anything other than his goals.
So that fear of uncertainty fails to hold him back.
And so he never quits easily.
Also read: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Summary
Align your obsessions with your core purpose.
The thing is:
Obsession without knowing your higher purpose is a disaster.
We don’t want that, right?
If you have been reading carefully, you now know that obsession could be a great thing if you know what you are doing.
If you are aware of your purpose, obsession can help you achieve your goals faster.
Finding passion is not a big deal.
You have to ask yourself a few questions like:
“What do I love to do?”
“What am I good at naturally?”
“What can I get paid for?”
“What the world needs in the next 20 years?”
If you have read the book Ikigai, then you probably know such questions and will easily figure your purpose out by yourself.
Finding the purpose might look like a tough job at first, but it’s not that hard.
All it needs is a bit of self-awareness and honesty.
But there is a caveat…
The author talks about getting obsessed with your goals.
Normally, you could make mistakes in finding your true purpose.
Often we require experimentation to realize our true purpose.
That’s why you must remain flexible.
The word ‘Obsession’ sounds as if you have to get rigid and just go all in.
You have to go all in. But you also need to be mindful of your purpose.
You will need to check over and over again if your actions are aligned with your purpose or not at any given moment.
As I said earlier, if your purpose is not clear, obsession may be the fastest way to create a living disaster.
Let’s understand this point with an example…
For instance, you believe that your purpose is to become a millionaire.
Then you get obsessed with earning money.
You start building multiple streams of income.
Down the road, after 4-5 years, you may realize that money doesn’t solve all the problems in the world.
You also need inner transformation.
In that case, you have a new purpose: To become a self-realized person.
Now there are two purposes:
- To become rich.
- To become a self-realized person.
But since you were obsessed with earning wealth, you didn’t pay much attention to your inner growth.
The lesson here is:
If you don’t handle your obsession carefully, you may end up wasting your time and energy doing something that you didn’t need in the first place.
In the author’s case, he wasted his time on social media and other such unproductive activities when he was young. (Hard to say if he still does it or not.)
He was obsessed with wrong things.
The key is to find your true purpose.
After that, there shouldn’t be any problem with getting obsessed.
No need to get scared.
Just be aware of why you want to achieve a goal so badly.
Clarity in your goals is necessary.
Recommended read: Ikigai Summary
Learn to tame and feed your beasts.
I’m borrowing the “BEAST” term from the book here.
It’s interesting how the author calls the multiple aspects of your life as beasts.
The more you feed a beast the stronger it becomes with time.
Likewise, the more attention and energy we give to anything, the more it grows.
Think about it…
If you devote more energy to your fitness, your body will become stronger.
If you devote most of your energy to build multiple streams of income, your financial portfolio will become stronger.
The more you read, the more your brain gets stronger.
I don’t remember who said it, but “What you focus on expands.”
The author tries to tell the same thing in the 3rd chapter.
The question is:
Where are you spending most of your time and energy?
Are you giving most of your time to your relationships?
Are you more focused on your career?
It could be anything.
If you don’t want to remain an average, you must find out which beasts are worth feeding.
And make sure that you choose the right beasts to feed.
Otherwise, the bad beasts might hurt you back.
No point in feeding a disaster, or is there any?
There are beasts everywhere…
Be it your personal life or the organization you work for.
We are also beast when we are obsessed with a goal with a laser-sharp focus.
Our minds must be fed with the right information.
Our bodies must be fed nutritious food.
Then there are our bank accounts. They also need nourishment. We all need money to pay our bills.
Also, there are emotional banks, our relationships, they also need some food.
If you have employees, they must be fed with the right tools too. They might have problems to be solved. They might need motivation and direction.
I think it all boils down to which beasts we give more priority to.
It’s okay to want everything, the author says. (Bypass those limiting notions that hold you back.)
But it’s also true that if your focus is spreading in all directions, even your obsession won’t help you much.
So choose wisely.
Ask yourself over and over again:
“Which beasts am I feeding and why?”
This question will give you clarity in your thoughts.
Suggested read: The One Thing Summary
Never let your doubts and fears hold you back.
The author says that your doubts are your enemies.
And they can stand between you and your success.
Although, doubts are helpful at times.
For instance, doubt and fear can save you from dangers.
I learned in The Gift Of Fear (Summary) that fear is also a gift. And it’s essential for our survival.
If we don’t have our fears and doubts, we may end up in a terrible situation.
Our brain is so sophisticated that sometimes the subtle aspects of it, which were meant for our survival, prevent us from achieving our goals.
Especially, when the goals to be achieved are tough and appear impossible.
But where do such doubtful thoughts creep into our heads?
Such thoughts mostly come from outside.
We have naysayers and haters. And they intentionally or unintentionally pull us back.
When we talk about our goals, the naysayers tell us how incredibly hard it is to achieve them.
But the author tells us that we shouldn’t listen to the naysayers as they want to justify their average results.
Naysayers are often our close friends or relatives.
That’s the hard truth.
When we are average, the people around us also average.
An average person makes average friends.
Just think about it.
Have you ever thought about why your friend is not like Elon Musk or Bill Gates?
Why do we enjoy the company of our friends so much? It’s because we get a sense of familiarity when we are around them.
Our friends give a lot of data about how we think and what we believe in.
So whenever you tell your friends that you want to become a millionaire, they will say that it’s too hard and how only a few fortunate people get there.
They want good for you — but unintentionally they pull you back.
What happens then is, you start doubting yourself.
Your obsession loses its power.
You start thinking, “Maybe my friend is right. I will be crazy if I pursue that unrealistic dream. I should think about something else.”
Then come the haters…
“Haters, as the name says, hate you. They don’t want you to succeed.”
So simply avoid them.
Use them to fuel your growth.
And if haters or naysayers weren’t enough, sometimes, YOU might be your biggest enemy.
Yes, it’s true!
There is also a thing called self-doubt.
Other people may doubt your abilities, but you should never let self-doubt creep in.
You can fight the doubt that’s coming from outside.
But it’s 10x harder to fight the doubt that has originated within you.
Self-doubt is the enemy inside.
It’s hard to beat that evil. It requires a different approach.
But yeah, it’s easy to say that kill your doubts. They are your enemies.
But in real life, it takes a lot of courage.
It requires courage to say YES when everyone — even your friends — are saying NO.
When you are obsessed everyone will think that you are crazy and needs counseling.
And maybe obsession is not good for everyone.
It might be true that obsession might have helped the author, but it might not be good for you.
But as I said and discussed earlier, it is a powerful force.
If you want to use it, you must know how to direct it properly.
And when we talk about doubts and fear, they often give us more data about us and our environment.
So I recommend that you consider your fears & doubts. And see whether their inputs are worth considering or not.
If not, you must go all in and simply ignore them.
Any insignificant thing(s) that is holding you back should be ignored or dealt with. This will increase the probability of your success.
You may also forget the ‘probability.’
if you are obsessed enough — even failures won’t stop you.
It’s possible to work on multiple aspects of your life — all at once.
This idea didn’t resonate with me at first.
But after reading this book, I realized that often we underestimate our potential.
The author says that we must allow ourselves to dominate all sectors of our lives.
Most of us never try to improve all aspects of our lives.
For instance, when we focus on our careers, we forget about our relationships.
And when we work on our relationships, we tend to lose focus on our personal finance.
The author says that it’s possible to manage it all.
Yes, it’s hard to digest.
But if the author can do it, I believe, we can do it too.
Maybe the idea that balance is an extraordinary thing holds us back from balancing all aspects of our lives.
True success is when you have dominated or mastered all aspects of your life.
You don’t become fully successful when you become a millionaire.
You also need to master your mindset, relationships, etc.
Why this is hard to digest?
Because when we try to master everything, we may burn out.
You might end up exhausted.
But that’s what obsession is, isn’t it?
Obsession doesn’t come easy.
It’s hard to stay obsessed with 360-degree growth.
Not everyone can do it — unless he or she is obsessed with success.
The takeaway here is:
Permit yourself to master all aspects of your life.
You are capable of doing much more than you think.
Yes, it’s a hard pill to swallow.
But that’s the mindset one should fix to make his wildest dreams come true.
Dangers and fears won’t trouble you if you are dangerous yourself
We all have fears and insecurities.
Sometimes, they interfere with our path to success.
The thing is:
We keep searching for safety and comfort.
Nothing wrong with that.
But doing so we forget that we have to face risks to go beyond our current potential.
And when we start to avoid risk all the time, we get used to it.
The problem is:
Adapting to this risk-abstaining behavior makes us a coward.
Whenever we feel any potential risk, we tend to avoid it.
Even for the things that are important and must be done at all costs, we choose the easy way. Why? Because we are afraid of failure.
We imagine how everybody will mock us and how our entire life will become a joke. (This is just imagination though, nothing happens. And even if it does, hypothetically, you can get over it with courage.)
As a result, we become weak.
Even silly challenges scare the hell out of us.
No situation should trouble us — no matter how tough it may look.
The only way out is: To become DANGEROUS.
Here is a little disclaimer:
Don’t misinterpret the word “dangerous” here. The author means that you have to become so strong that your fears won’t be able to control you.
The FEAR itself will fear you, though it won’t happen in reality because fear is within us.
It’s not something outside of us.
Fear is also a thought that initiates behavioral changes within us.
You must have a strong mindset such that when you face any fearful situation, you understand it without running away from it — and ultimately overcome it.
Is it easy? Of course not.
It’s tough. It’s not something that you could learn in 2 days and say “it’s done.”
That’s why you must be obsessed to learn about how you can overcome your fear and break out of your tiny comfort zone.
And as the author says in this book, “You have to stay dangerous.”
Just think about it…
Who gets controlled by the situations?
Only those who aren’t strong enough to tackle tough situations live in fear and expect someone else to help them.
When we lack knowledge, there is ignorance.
And that ignorance (not knowing fear) — causes a sense of fear inside us.
So become strong.
Get obsessed and defeat your inner demons.
Obviously, not just in theory — but in your daily life.
Also read: You Can Win Summary
“Believe in yourself that you can achieve what you want.”
I know what you are saying right now:
“I have already heard it countless times. It doesn’t work for me. Let me scroll past this and quickly get to the next lesson.”
Did you understand its meaning properly?
Probably it’s not what you think.
Maybe you tried believing in yourself before and failed terribly.
Let’s discuss it further…
Let’s start with this question: Why do we believe anything?
We believe because we don’t want our brain to waste its energy.
That’s why we believe, don’t we?
Our beliefs are there to save our time and process thoughts quickly.
When you believe that you can achieve something BIG, you rewire your brain to think that you have the required potential.
Then you don’t waste your time worrying about the failures.
Let’s understand this with an example:
The author worked very hard in the initial days but wasn’t getting the desired results.
Nobody was paying him much.
Then he realized that he didn’t really believe in himself, so why should others?
After that, he changed his mindset and started overpromising and overdelivering.
And voila! After that, he made lots of sales and got lots of customers.
Did he get those results just by sheer thinking or luck? No.
The author took action and he got those results based on the value he delivered to his customers.
Why “Believe in yourself” doesn’t work for us?
It doesn’t work for us most of the time because we think that by merely believing in a big idea, we will get results. This is not true at all.
You can’t get results just by thinking something.
I’m not saying that thinking doesn’t help. It helps you plan.
But you only get results when you take action.
You have to put yourself to work.
Even when the work is boring. Even when you don’t feel like doing it.
You have to get obsessed and work — even if the people around you don’t believe in you.
Here is a caveat:
Before you believe in anything, investigate the thought or idea properly.
Otherwise, “believe in yourself” might bring terrible results to your life.
Believe that you can achieve or fulfill your dreams.
I also recommend you investigate your dreams before you go all in.
Then just be honest and do the work.
That’s it. (Why make it more complicated?)
Recommended read: Outliers Summary
The Key Takeaways from Be Obsessed Or Be Average Summary
Let’s quickly recap the key lessons from this summary:
- Obsession can save you from falling into the traps of life and thus help you save your precious time.
- Obsession is not a fantasy — it’s a tough nut to crack.”
- An AVERAGE can’t teach you how to be EXCEPTIONAL.”
- “Stop listening to quitters — they don’t care about your dreams. But you do.”
- Align your obsessions with your core purpose.
- Learn to tame and feed your beasts.
- Never let your doubts and fears hold you back.
- It’s possible to work on multiple aspects of your life — all at once.
- Dangers and fears won’t trouble you if you are dangerous yourself.
- “Believe in yourself that you can achieve what you want.”
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Be Obsessed Or Be Average Quotes
Here are a few quotes by Grant that I liked in this book:
The only way to guarantee your safety is to become obsessed with being the most dangerous person in your space.
Do great things and those who want to do great things will find you and want to work with you.
The super successful will never tell anyone to do less, to settle, or be satisfied.
If the people you see aren’t screaming success, they are validating average.
Be Obsessed Or Be Average Review
I liked this book. it didn’t take much time to finish.
This book was not heavy on the head.
The author talked in simple words.
What I liked about the author is that he is honest.
I felt that the author is sitting beside me and talking to me.
I didn’t realize when I finished reading this book.
When it comes to how actionable the ideas in this book are, I would say that the author has tried to motivate the reader and urge him to become exceptional.
Throughout this book, the author has made it clear that if you want to have great results, you must rise above the average mindset, become obsessed with your dreams, and go all in.
There were areas where I didn’t agree with the author.
But overall, the author knows what he is talking about as he directly talks about his experience.
I give this book a rating of 8.5/10
Now it’s your turn
That’s it for now!
I hope this summary helped you or motivated you to achieve your goals.
If you enjoyed it, feel free to share it with your friends and family members.
And if you have any questions or suggestions, let me know in the comments below.