By Ph.D. Eric Maisel, Ann Maisel
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Additional info for Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions
As Merian’s biographer, Kim Todd, writes: “Her careful observations of iridescent blue morpho butterflies and giant flying cockroaches made her one of the first to describe metamorphosis . . ” Did her desire to see living things alive in nature, rather than dried and mounted in museums, amount to a modest and small obsession or an immodest and grand one? Who knows where your “small” obsessions may lead? chapter five Making the Ordinary Extraordinary ’VE SUGGESTED THAT YOUR PRODUCTIVE OBSESSION should be a grand and mighty thing, a place of genuine interest and existential utility, because I want you to set the bar high and make yourself proud.
A novelist may have one book come easily and the next book prove more challenging. That doesn’t mean that she is less obsessed with the second book. It means only that the second book is harder. In fact, she may be more obsessed with the second book and may be traveling with it to a deeper place where the answers are rich but obscured in darkness. It would be a grave mistake to suppose that the proof that you are productively obsessing is that you are finding the going easy. Much of the time it may be hard work — maybe even all the time.
First, I’m afraid that I’m performing only because my parents wanted me to perform. Second, I’m afraid that I don’t love classical music enough to spend a lifetime trying to master it. I think I could deal with the first fear — if it weren’t for the second. ” Jennifer, a member of my productive obsession group, reported, “My department head offered me a project much larger Are You Conflicted? than anything I’d ever tackled before. He wanted to give me the whole advertising budget for our department to spend any way I liked on the new media and social networking sites.