Someone recently told me "it's all about balance," regarding work and life. This is a common trope and I think it is what normal people think. People that work safe jobs at a 9 to 5. But people that tackle hard problems, that build first of their kind tools and applications can't think this way. They know it's not about "balance," but about an unyielding "obsession."

About a year ago I was talking with my grandfather about how much time I was dedicating to Forever Labs. I told him I felt "obsessed," and that it consumed most of my time and thoughts but that I've never felt more fulfilled.

Being an entrepreneur himself, he didn't hesitate, he looked me square in the eyes and replied, "there is nothing wrong with that."

Don't get me wrong, I make great efforts to be a good father/husband and friend. But you have to be obsessed to do great things. This is my aim.

So if you find yourself obsessed with solving a problem or building something new, I say "there's nothing wrong with that. Balance schmalance."


To me, obsessing means that I have this enormous internal drive to do something I care about. The result is that I'm laser-focused on achieving my goal. If I were to make a list of "things I've done that I'm proud of", I'm certain 80% of them were obsession-driven. My Ethereum thingy was made by spending an entire long weekend on it, writing and drawing from dawn till dusk. When I wrote my article a few months ago, I spent most of my evenings and weekends on that thing. I "wasted" an entire Sunday on creating a timelapse because I became obsessed for a bit with open-source Sentinel satellite imagery.

Just don't feel bad for pressing the pause button on your obsession and you should be fine. :)

posted by thenewgreen: 246 days ago