It has nothing to do with the inevitable comparison most want to draw from competition. It has nothing to do with attaining some worthless trophy awarded to the ‘winner’. And, it has nothing to do with who I am competing against. It’s simply a test. And, I love to be tested.
Comparison is for the greedy and ignorant. At one moment it claims superiority over the recent victim, while in the next it realizes time holds for no one. So, the glory of today’s victory is certain to be met with tomorrow’s failure. No more escapable than death itself, comparison is destined to leave us disappointed and insufficient.
Competition is void of comparison.
The target in competition, for most, has been completely distorted. In part due to the feigned claims to the importance of unselfishness, sportsmanship, and teamwork. We love to hang signs, create campaigns, and sing the praises of those that abide by such tennants yet when the time comes to recognize our best we defer to the easiest metrics - earnings, salary, or points.
Competition honors what you value.
The competition does not matter. It’s not arrogance. It’s not entitlement. It’s the truth. Competition is about you, and you alone. What you take from competition is your choice. You decide how you respond in the moments of adversity. You choose your response to success and failure. You determine how you will use each aspect of competition to better yourself.
Competition is a personal journey.
Why Should We Care?
The concept of competition has become an ego-driven, self-proclaiming testament to one’s own talents and abilities. Rather than a source of feedback and guidance for improvement, it has become a misguided source of power. In society’s mind it clearly reads, “I’m better than you.” or “You’re better than me.”
This struggle of superiority isn’t what true competition is about at all. True competition is about the strain, the struggle, and the eventual growth. Notice I said, eventual growth. The concept of delayed gratification has been all but lost in the eyes of modern competition. According to it, we are simply whatever our latest result says we are.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
True competition pays homage to the process, not the result. It’s literally ego-less. It doesn’t brag or boast. It just puts its head down and works. When true competitors take a second to look up, it’s not to see where others are but where they, themselves, are. They realize the last result is nothing more than a blip on the screen giving them feedback before the next one.
Those aspiring to truly compete at their optimal level would be wise to begin considering each competition as valuable data to prepare them for their next challenge - nothing more, nothing less.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Competition often boxed into simply sports or business, but true competitors realize they are always competing since the competition is with themselves. Here are a few of the biggest hurdles society clings to that impede true competition.
True competitors are passionate and growth-minded. They’re free and joyful, humble and devoted. The time of day, venue, opponent, and score are irrelevant. They’re rare, but when you see one - you know it.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.