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For the past month I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant. Something that stands out to me in regards to Kobe’s dedication is how his complete and utter focus gives him what’s described as being a polarizing personality, which is similar to what I’m feeling with myself.

Throughout the years, and especially now, I’ve noticed that the people who are most attracted to me are those who, like me, are obsessive about pursuing the things they care about.

There was a period in my early 20s in which my focus was on building character and charisma, and getting into a “social flow state,” as I now get into with work. At this time, I was very socially savvy and could build relationships with anyone, a period of my life which I’m very grateful for.

Now, however, most of my time is spent in front of a computer screen and it takes me at least an hour of in-person conversation for me to mellow out and talk aimlessly, “vibing.”

Work flow state ≠ social flow state, and while this doesn’t apply to everybody, it takes me a sizable amount of time chatting, around an hour, before I can access this purely social side of my personality.

In a social flow state, I’m reasonably good at creating deep relationships with anybody.

In a work flow state, I’m working and not talking to people.

If I’m coming out of a work flow state, however, the people who want to develop deep relationships with me seem to only be people who are obsessive about their passions, and anybody who’s not obsessive gets turned off.

Throughout my life, I’ve always had a knack for recognizing obsessive people and instinctually wanting to develop relationships with them, as they remind me so closely of myself. These people always seem to like me and I think they’re able to see something in me which less passionate people see; and it’s this quality I have that comes through no matter what “state” I’m in.

For this reason, I have a polarizing quality to my personality, similar in ways to what Kobe is described as having. I attract people who “go hard.” At times this can be frustrating, but I’m happy that the people who are most deeply attracted to me are those who are most ambitious, competitive, and ultimately, successful at whatever they choose.

Edward Sturm

Edward Sturm is an SEO and video and image producer.

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