Curious, Committed, Passionate... or Obsessed?

Reflect on the way you approached your tasks and activities yesterday. Which of the four words in the title would best describe the attitude with which you worked on them? Here's my simple definition of each one:

  • Curious. You engage in the task, but often move on to something else before the job is completed because you are curious about something else.
  • Committed. You focus on the task, attempting to complete it in a timely manner, and sincerely try to prevent other distractions from taking you away from it. Others respect you for your work ethic.
  • Passionate. You make the task a priority, plan for it before you start, and work on it with an enthusiasm that brings admiration from others. Your energy is contagious, encouraging others to take on their tasks with a similar passion. They may even want to get on board and help you accomplish it.
  • Obsessed. You are so hyper focused on a task, project or activity that you are willing to neglect work on other tasks of similar importance-even when they need your attention. Unlike passion, your obsession drives a wedge between you and those around you because they don't see you as being concerned about the bigger picture-and interested in accomplishing other goals important to the team.

As I said earlier, there's value in each attitude, but I find that most people spend most of their time and energy in the "curious" or "obsessed" arenas. To achieve excellence we need to be more committed and passionate about those things we SAY are important to us. And stop obsessing about those things that just don't matter as much.

What word will best describe your work and life today?