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Thank you for writting this article, John. It helped me understand myself a little better and put my thoughts into words..In my past, I had a tendency to obsess and attach but now that I have a clear sense of my identity; I can feel passionate about something without obsessing. Passion brews through me in many areas in life and remaining curious and open is part of who I am..I just discovered a whole lot with the help of this article. Thank you again



The question of passion v. obsession is one I've often thought about. My son (now 18) is autistic, and one of the challenges has always been trying to figure out if he is obsessed with his interests, in which case we would need to try to redirect his energies, or passionate about those interests, in which case we would want to encourage him to continue to pursue them.

Thanks for this great discussion of the two.


Brilliant article and observation!

Elliott Ng

John, I am so appreciative of this post. I can be obsessive and I can be passionate, and the distinctions in kind you draw between these two states help me cultivate passion, while watchfully avoiding obsession.

I'm afraid we haven't had a chance to see each other since your Supernova mixer pitch about 6-12 months back, but I wish you well. Thanks for this post -- it was a blessing.


John, Awesome post. I remember reading @johnmaeda debunking popular myths about artists. Can I summarize as: Obsession = Passion - Love.

Brian Kung

Great post! I honestly haven't been reading every word of every post lately, but I did for this one.

I'll be writing something about this myself on CallMeKung.com

David Wang

John, Great post. Do you think that passion and obsession can work together? I'd like to think that a little obsession is better than passion at times (and vice versa).



This is an excellent article which I highly recommend to all my colleagues who work in creative fields: artists, collectors, designers... &, yes, even academics ~

Jean Russell aka Nurture Girl

Fabulous post John. Really helped me see a distinction I had not made clearly yet. I especially appreciate the clarity about passion being relationship-building and expansive. It resonates with how I have been thinking about curious people. Curious people emanate passion, but it isn't a fixation on a focused mark. I heart curious people.

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