As a young man, I was sent from Hotel School to do in-service training at a smart hotel at the coast. I was going to live with my friends in a commune, but my room wasn’t ready yet, so I checked into the local YMCA for two weeks. My roommate was a drug addict. I learned a lot from him. He would do anything to get a fix. He would shake so badly when he was about to shoot up that I was always afraid he’d get an air bubble into his vein and die.

As a hotel manager years later, I saw alcoholics who shook so violently trying to take their first drink that their friends had to pour it down their throats for them or it would all be spilt. And watch any nicotine addict getting off a long flight – the poor things aren’t much better off than the crackheads you see falling around in sleazy alleyways after dark.

In the Bible, there is an interesting passage that says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelations 3:14-16) It has been postulated that Jesus recruited Saul and turned him into Paul because Jesus wanted a fanatic – either absolutely for or absolutely against him.

Here’s the thing – either be addicted to failure or success in every area of life, but the most pathetic human being is the one who is addicted to comfort and mediocrity. They line up for the seminars and never implement anything. They buy organic foods but smoke. One of the most depressing sights I have ever seen is sports fans who shout instructions at the referees and players. Amazing. I would never presume to give advice to a top hockey player unless I could play better than he could. But the boys scream at the champions and then stagger home to their wives to report the results. If their team won, they proudly boast, “WE won!” while if their team lost, they say with disdain, “THEY lost.” Vicarious living is the sign of mediocrity.

Addiction to success in every area of your life means commitment without compromise, retreat, excuses, or waste. Someone who is addicted to success is like that drug addict – complete focus, no distraction, total commitment. They take responsibility for achieving their goals. Winners are like Jeff Olson, self-made multi-millionaire, a success in every area of his life. He was playing baseball in a successful team and made a decision to quit the baseball in favor of his business. Being an expert in baseball, unless you’re a professional, does not put money in the bank.

“Whatever it takes” means 24/7/365 availability. Losers will tell you that you need “balance” – “Don’t work too hard”, “Take it easy”. But if I love my business, why is doing business bad but playing golf all day is good? Only losers can’t understand that your business can be (and should be) your passion, hobby, mission and purpose. Success is not only about money, we know that – and words like “addiction” and “fanaticism” are used here in the context of commitment. How do you know whether you’re addicted to success or not? See what you do and think about and talk about and you will know your addiction.

I’m addicted to freedom and congruence – and I do whatever it takes to create freedom, whether that’s making money, getting fit, building solid relationships… I do whatever it takes, and I never compromise.

I love this piece from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand:

“Do you know the hallmark of a second rater? It’s resentment of another man’s achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone’s work prove greater than their own – they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal – for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire.

They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes,thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them – while you’d give a year of my life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don’t know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear.

They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors – hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom – the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don’t respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?”

“I’ve felt it all my life,” she said.”

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com