My friend Annie has a slogan:
She believes in this so much that she’s developing a branding company based on, what else, living excessively.
In most people’s minds, just the word excessive holds a somewhat negative connotation to it. It brings visions of out of control sociopaths, megalomaniacal CEO’s of fortune 500’s, Patrick Bateman brushing his teeth in perfect circles with four rotations per tooth.
I mean, who wants to live in excess? And excess of what? Money, power, fame, women (or men—I don’t judge). Okay, so maybe a lot of people do.
On the other side of the coin, there’s living moderately. Being balanced and humble and loving life without the need for achievement, or dreams, or possessions or glory. I’m not going to knock that, that sounds amazing, and as I get older I’ll probably gravitate toward living in that manner and find myself meditating on my bed for seven hours each morning. Possible, but likely not.
My message is this: if you love something so much, why not do it over and over and over again?. Now of course I know everything has consequences, or in my eyes, there’s a reaction for every action you take. If you love eating food, you’re probably going to get fat. If you love sky diving, there’s a chance your chutes not going to open. But if you have the ability to deal with, and adjust, or solve, whatever is thrown in your direction, then these “consequences” become inconsequential.
Having a love for something fills your life with that energy that makes everything worth it. To moderate this love seems absurd. Of course, if you’re like me, we could love something and get frustrated with it later down the line. Things change. That’s fine. But the things that I really love tend to come back to me time and time again.
Living excessively with what you love would also mean you have an obsession with it. The obsession compels you to take action, which is why I believe anything that you love will, and should, make you do something about it whether it’s mastering the 540 on your snowboard, or mixing the perfect blend of coffee and chocolate. Howard Shultz had an obsession with that last one, and now you’re probably having a cup of it as we speak.
Seth Godin had a term for this: Otaku. I’ve heard it mostly from my anime and manga circles. It’s used as a term to refer to people with obsessive interests (Had to Wikipedia that one). Here’s a benefit from having an obsessive interest, if it’s a skill like break dancing or ballet, being an otaku will exponentially make you better. If the end goal is to build the perfect J.A.R.V.I.S (refer to Iron Man), than eventually you’ll make the perfect J.A.R.V.I.S.
So what are you obsessed with?