While this may sound like a fight to the death between two women’s fragrances, it has a much more serious theme.

Ask yourself a question, am I obsessed or am I passionate about what I do?? The end result of passion is that you remain passionate about everything and easily, very easily, always view the glass as half full. The end result of obsession is this constant hunger, analysis, and emptiness. Passionate people burst out of bed WANTING to do those things in life that fulfill them. Obsessed people HAVE to get out of bed. Something is eating at them and they start to analyze it. Passionate people run towards pleasure, obsessed people run away from pain. Lots of pain, both mental and physical. Passionate people are carried by interests, obsessed people are driven by need.

Let’s view some examples of types of people we all know. One the most hackneyed examples is the single mom or working mom. We can also use the term single dad or working dad so that we remain politically correct. Either they take every opportunity to collect pity for their place in life (as if they were the only human born without choice), or they consider themselves the luckiest person alive for the great fortune of enjoying their work, having a family, and being healthy and alive. I have personally seen both types of people and the only thing different was their governing drive, passion or obsession. Another example is the retired athlete. Despite injuries or inconvenience they remain active, enjoy vitality, and good health. They deal with the aches and pains as byproduct of an active lifestyle and largely ignore the trivial inconvenience. The preceding as you are beginning to gather is the “passionate person”. The obsessed former athlete goes over and over his past victories, injuries, shoulda’s, coulda’s, and woulda’s. He or she is a shell of their former self and lets everyone know it. They may have difficultin in moving around, standing up, or sitting on airplanes and NO one except for Dr. John Sarno can tell if the physical pain is real or part of their mechanism to deal with narcissistic rage. They will also constantly try to regain some sort of fame rather than enjoy their life. Living a few miles from Dan Marino gives me a view of one of the most incredible quarterbacks who ever lived. Retired, he works out, golfs daily, and does incredible work for Autistic Children. Dan has passion. I don’t need to mention any former jocks who are obsessed,… you will find one on every block or bar reliving their glory with some hangers on. They exist in some sort of shadow world where the past has to be relived as if it is the duty of everyone they meet to hear the whole story whether they want to or not.

Enter food and eating. Are you passionate about food or obsessed with it? Passion requires nourishment. That means good food, good smell, good taste, good atmosphere, good friends, and therefore good life. It is an end within itself, a circle with no circumference. Obsession with food has nothing to do with nourishment, either physically, spiritually, or psychologically. It has to do with medication. There is no end, just intermittent satiation. Having a Grilled Chicken Caesar with a glass of red wine with old friends for a lunch is passion. Squatting on the kitchen floor at 3AM eating a bucket of macaroni with an ice cream scoop is obsession. Figure it out. If drinking alone is sad,..what is late night eating?? Both are forms of medication where the patient gets to set the dose. Remember the old story about a lawyer representing himself having a fool for a client?

Passion in training dictates that the workout gets you ready for life and that the competition that you are entering is just a way of keeping score with yourself. Obsession with training means WIN at all costs. Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing. It is more important than ethics, health, relationships, spirituality, or legality. Pain is fear leaving the body,…playing injured is part of the game, and so on. It means your identity is founded in what you do (train), not who you are.

The big difference is that those who obsess are trying to achieve happiness. Those who have passion happily achieve.

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