Our first home was purchased in 1972.
It was 900 square feet with no garage and two bedrooms.
It cost $27,900 of which we put down $2,790.
We never should have bought it, but I insisted. It didn’t even have an entryway and its driveway wasn’t even finished.
Starting From Ignorance
I knew absolutely nothing about construction. Nothing. Yet one day I started building an entryway onto our home. I used the wrong sized lumber. I didn’t bolt the structure to the cement. It was a mess.
One Sunday morning I went to church, and when I came home, the entire structure I had built had been taken down, and replaced with a new one.
My neighbors had done it. To this day, I don’t know which ones did it.
That was the start of my obsession with building things.
After that, I ripped out a wall and created a third bedroom. A friend had to come in and bring it up to code. Then I built a detached garage and finished the driveway. A car could hardly fit through the driveway to get to the garage, but at least it was possible if you were an exceptionally good driver.
Last, I built a five to seven hundred square foot addition onto the house. The roof line was a little off, so every time it rained, the roof leaked, and we had to put buckets on the floor to catch the water.
By this time I had made a lot of friends in construction, and one of them brought his crew over and fixed the roof.
Sold That Home
Ten years after we moved into that home we sold it for $165,000.
Every time I visit southern California, I drive by and look at that home. To me it is the most beautiful home on the block.
I love that home.
Our next home was a step up, and I couldn’t find anything to change or enlarge. I was at peace with this home, until I got the urge to build a basketball court. It was so big you could have a full five on five half court game on it.
I’m not sure why I did this. I said I did it for my sons, but my wife asked me why I didn’t just put up a basketball hoop on the side of the garage. I didn’t have a ready answer.
This is when I started thinking that I had obsessive tendencies. I did things because I “couldn’t not do them.” (Excuse the double negative, I like the way it sounds.)
The next home was so new that there wasn’t anything I could do other than build another basketball court. We only lived in this home for 2 to 2 1/2 years.
Instead of adding on, or building basketball courts, I decided to build a home from scratch.
We started out building a modest yet elegant colonial style home, kind of a salt box shaped home, then I got carried away and ended building a three story shingle craftsman style fortress that was the biggest thing in the neighborhood.
I had no desire to show up my neighbors, it was just that my obsession to build got the best of me.
Obsession Run Wild
From here I started a construction firm. I wrote about this last week. Building, building, building. I was obsessed with building.
Finally, I got a hold of myself and sold the construction firm to my able bodied son-in-law.
However, my obsession was not satisfied. I then helped to create a manufacturing company. You know it as Grenx. It manufactures Green Tea HP.
I am fascinated with the production of millions and millions of Green Tea HP pixies. I am fascinated over the dozens of flavors that have been created. Thirty-six to this point.
I am particularly fascinated by how things get added to Green Tea HP, like creating a coffee flavored green tea that has a strong chocolate taste to it. It’s all new all the time. I love that.
That’s it. Making something new all the time. That’s my obsession. Making something new that is used everyday.
No Feeling Of Competition
When you have an obsession to make something, you really don’t care about having a lot of competition, or that someone can do what you are doing better. You simply want to make something, and you’ll continue to make it until people like it, and want to use it, whether that’s homes, basketball courts, or Green Tea.
Friends and Partners
You’ll notice that once the obsession begins, people show up and help you through what you are incapable of fully executing on your own. I am convinced that social gravity is created when you build something. The act draws people to you with specific expertise, who are willing to help you finish.
I am no more capable of creating a beverage than I am of creating a rocket to go to the moon
But one time my son Roger asked me what my newest interest was, and I said, “health and aging.”
Then a few months later, Roger came to me and said that he had created this cool health drink called GreenTeaHP. He wanted to know if I wanted to invest in it. “Yes, of course,” I said, and that started one of the most interesting adventures and obsessions of my entire life. I am now absorbed in the manufacturing of a brand new product.
As I said earlier, our company has manufactured millions upon millions of green tea pixies. There are thirty six different flavors. There will be many more flavors. There will be many more brands with many more products.
A Ph. D. candidate in exercise physiology showed up, and has produced the scientific base for the health benefits of green tea. Our scientific knowledge about green tea is the best in the business. We’ll never be outdone in this area.
People with particular talents in making things taste good have shown up. I won’t drink anything that doesn’t taste good, no matter how healthy it is. It does not even matter if I’m one of the owners of the company.
GreenTeaHP tastes good, really good. No one in the world will beat our flavors, ever. I love our flavors. I’m proud of our flavors. I love the Pink flavors, but presently, I’m gorging on the new Mocha. That’s the one that tastes like coffee and strong chocolate at the same time. It has a dark color to it when you are mixing it up. You start to crave it before you taste it. That beautiful color has its own sensual qualities.
I’m a fanatic about spelling and grammar. We’ve even hired an Arabist to ensure our translations into Arabic are perfect.
Our packaging is to die for. Our whole image exudes the best in lifestyle.
What’s My Part?
My part in this is to write an article every single week about any subject I consider important. I’ve now written 52 articles. I have not missed a week. The obsession with writing these articles is the same feeling I had when adding onto my first home, and building basketball courts, and building homes. It’s a beautiful obsession.
What does this have to do with the product? Well, you just get more with us. I’m not about to own a company where I don’t have a relationship with people. Knowing this about me, my son suggested I start writing a weekly article about anything that I felt was important.
You certainly don’t have to agree with me when I express an opinion. I’m just trying to have a good, healthy relationship with you as we are brought together by a delicious drink.
How many articles can I write each week on a different subject? I don’t know, but I believe I am capable of producing hundreds of articles. Why? Obsession has set in. This is what I want to do. I want to write hundreds and hundreds of articles. It’s all part of an experience.
Once obsession sets in, you are possessed by it. Time factors out and concentration sets in. Ah, obsession, it’s what makes life fly by.
Frankly, I didn’t know this about myself, until I wrote this article. I feel like I’m creating a new narrative of my life.
My old narrative, that I thought explained me, was that I was a kid who had a handicap, who overcame obstacles to succeed in life.
But as I’ve discovered, there’s more to me than I thought. And now that I think about it, when I was about 9 or 10, I would go down to the Los Angeles River with my friends and build forts. We would hide food and blankets, and flash lights in them, and on occasion we would sleep over night in them. Usually though, we would become scared by about 10 p. m. and return home.
When my old friends got tired of building forts, I would make new friends and invite them to build yet more forts.
On psychological tests I score pretty high on the “obsessive” scale, but I’ve never paid much attention to these characterizations, until now. I feel a bit vulnerable. My personal narrative is expanding. Do I recommend this kind of self examination? I don’t honestly know. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I’m not so sure that the world is any better knowing of my obsession.
But, I tell you what, I’ve had some great times.