Competitiveness

Competitiveness is generally a good thing, because competing with one’s peers can help push one to even greater heights, but competitiveness has gotten a bit of a negative connotation over the years from people who have taken competitiveness too far.

Some people have taken the quote, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” to heart and twisted the spirit of competitiveness into something malicious and vile.

What those people fail to realize is that cheating to win is not winning, because you are no longer a part of the competition. You are working completely apart from it and from the sentiment behind it.

For example; Think of a woman in a high jump competition. She sets a ladder against the high-bar, climbs up and effortlessly hops over the other competitor’s highest mark. Did she win? Well, technically, if a ladder or foreign implement isn’t prohibited, she might have, but let’s look at the bigger picture.

What she did could’ve been done by just about anyone, so her win is no longer special and therefore, she is no longer special because of it. Further, her actions serve to alienate her from her fellow competitors. She’s robbed them of the opportunity to obtain a gratifying and meaningful victory. All of their hard work and the time they’ve invested seem to have been wasted, superficially at least.

Meanwhile, the competitors and spectators know this girl with the ladder cheated, whether it’s in the rules or not. They lose respect for her, because she’s violated the unspoken spirit of the competition and abused the privilege of competing with her peers. Finally, she proves she is almost assuredly NOT the best, because if she were, she wouldn’t need short-cuts, tricks and unnatural advantages.

Another example…

Men are competing in a 400 yard dash. One of the competitors hops in a car and zooms past his rivals to seal the victory.

Perhaps one can respect this man’s obvious desire to win, since he will do anything to obtain that result, but then again, how can we be sure he cares at all? Taking such a short cut is the type of action done by a person who has little regard for the proceedings, someone who doesn’t care at all.

Think about it on the most obvious level. If you want to run for fun, for exercise, or for competition, you don’t get into a car and drive. Of course not! That defeats the whole purpose.

When most people who are not runners want to go somewhere they simply hop in the car, step on the gas and get there as soon as possible. How are we to know that this competitor isn’t simply bored with the competition and wants to get it over with in the fastest and easiest way possible?

Certainly these examples of corner-cutting and cheating are blatant and exceedingly obvious, but this is to prove a point about cheating in all its forms, including the less obvious ones.

For example, when athletes use steroids or performance enhancing drugs, the deception and infringement may be less obvious, but the breach is in no way mitigated. There is no incremental measurement in the morality of fairness. There is fair and unfair, just and unjust.

The beautiful thing about competition is that it provides a platform and an outlet, which allows one to test oneself, learn, improve and ultimately triumph. But remember that our greatest challenge comes not from our opponents, but from ourselves.

For example, you might be running the 100 yard dash against a lightning quick opponent, but it’s been said that your mind only uses about 10% of its capacity at any given time. Likewise, your body is never working at its optimal capacity.

Imagine your mind and body both working even close to 90% efficiency. Even at this rate, still less than a hundred, your performance would likely be considered super-human. Your opponent wouldn’ t stand a chance, but keep in mind, it wasn’t your opponent holding you back from your best performance, it was you. That potential was locked inside you all along and so the competition lies most of all with our greatest opponent, the one we must confront and strive against continually, ourselves.

The components of pure competitiveness are camaraderie, self-improvement, honor, endurance, tenacity, pride and humility.

The components of a twisted and deviant shadow of true competitiveness are jealousy, greed, hubris, ill-will, vanity and hatred.

If you would like to use competitiveness to your best advantage, be happy and still maintain your honor, keep the following tips in mind…

WINNING & LOSING

The goal of any sport or competition is not to win. The goal is to succeed. Each of us defines their concept of success for themselves.

A head-coach of an NFL football team is under great pressure to win, but that can’t and doesn’t always happen. Perhaps an NFL coach with a 3-8 record is still a winner, because they didn’t cheat or take shortcuts and their players enjoyed their time and improved as competitors and as people. This is not losing, at least not in its truest sense. Perhaps this coach with a 3-8 record has laid the groundwork to win a championship the following year.

Despite our best efforts, it is not always possible to win, but losing, truly losing, is something we bring upon ourselves by means of poor choices.

OPPONENTS

You may or may not regard your opponents as your enemies. Either way, they should also be considered your friends and allies, since they are comrades in your arena of participation and by participating, they are willfully assisting you in your self-improvement and opportunity to compete and succeed.

Respect and honor your opponents. Treat them with fairness and obey the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you’d have done to you.”

Remember, without them, there is no competition and no platform for you to showcase your skills and without fairness and equality in competition, a victory over them means nothing.

COMPETITIVENESS

Competitiveness can be similar to Ambition (see Ambition in LS Subjects), in that it can guide you and carry you to greater things and lasting glory, or chew you up, spit you out and leave you a whimpering, sobbing mess.

Remember to derive love from competition. Enjoy the process. The end result is only part of the reward. If you only care about securing the win, your priorities are not only misplaced, but you’re also putting all your eggs in one basket and thus setting yourself up for disappointment.

Be competitive, but also be realistic. As you strive for greatness, don’t be afraid to fail and fail again. This is the path to ultimate success.

No one is the best all the time. No one is perfect. Strive for greatness and work to obtain perfection, but realize that your ability to give maximum effort to this effort is its own reward and its own success. The quest for greatness is its own reward.

HUMILITY

There’s almost always someone better than you. Maybe that person’s not in your league. Maybe they’re not in your State, or even in your country, but it’s exceedingly rare to be the absolute best at anything. Part of the reason for that is that being the best is also often subject to interpretation.

How does one select the best artist? One can debate who the best basketball, baseball, or football player is, because there are different types of positions and therefore, different types of players. Even players at the same positions have varying skill sets and a player may be better in one area and worse in another.

The point is, even if you are the absolute best at something, you won’t be for very long. Your skills will deteriorate and even if they didn’t, you yourself are temporal and will only be on the Earth for a very short period of time, so be humble. Use humility. It’s exceedingly unlikely that you are the best at anything, but that doesn’t matter. You just need to work on being the best you that you can be. Your real success comes against yourself and can be measured in terms of self-improvement.

SUCCESS

Remember there’s more than one way to measure things. You can measure length in meters or yards, or measure distance in miles or kilometers.

Sure you can measure your “success” in wins and loses, but don’t forget to measure “success” in terms of enjoyment, self-improvement and happiness.

Measure “success” in terms of earning and keeping the respect and reverence of others.

Measure “success” in your ability to do things the right way on the basis of your will, tenacity, desire, work ethic, willingness to practice, acquisition of knowledge, desire for self-improvement, strength of character and competitiveness.
 

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1 comment(s).
José Alexander Jiménez - 11/25/2013 8:28:04 PM
Competitiveness

The competitiveness is good for us, but not all the time, for example, we have to give the best of us in any competition or work we are, we need to be hard-working people, but, if in our mind the topic "competitiveness" take the 100% of it, maybe we would not respect the other competitors and also the people around us, so, be competitive, but always be respectful and polite with the others.

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