Life is not a competition
Life is a competition; the winner takes it all…
From cradle, we have been taught to believe this…we see it in our everyday lives…we even preach it to people…
But is life really a competition?
To answer the question better, it is best to know the meaning of competition. A competition is a rivalry or contest between two or more people, animals, organization etc., for territory, resources, social status, power and profit. It arises when two or more people strive for a goal which cannot be shared, where one’s gain is the other’s loss…
For something to be a competition, the parties must be fighting for a common goal. Which brings me to another question-how can we be fighting for the same goal when we claim to be gifted with different personalities, interests and visions? Why should I compete to be better than another person when we are both working with two different visions in life? I have come to understand that the beauty of life is in its diversity. I bet you that life would be so boring if we all heard the same dreams and aspiration.
Life is not a competition. And if there is a competition at all-it is between “you and yourself”. You are your competition, so you should live everyday trying to be better than you were yesterday because there are lots of untapped potential in you. The ‘life is a competition …’ mentality is the one of the reasons people battle with depression, low self esteem and self criticism. Most people keep grading their success and failures according to the world’s definition of success.
Yes, the world has a definition of success; it tells you that you can’t make it in life if you don’t go to school. The world makes you believe that you cannot be successful if you don’t graduate with stellar grades. The world dictates the kind of job you must have to actually be termed ‘successful’. Not only that, it goes as far as giving you statistics and facts to prove its theory. And so we see ourselves unconsciously conforming to this world’s standard of success.
In the process, we stifle our uniqueness to the point when we don’t recognize ourselves anymore. But you see, great success ever recorded in history occurred when men decided to rebel against this world’s definition of success and create their own definition by looking into themselves and embracing their uniqueness. Ashley graham, the first famous plus size model gained fame and recognition when she decided to embrace her unique body type and not conform to the already existing modeling stereotype.
I had a competitive mindset growing up . I constantly battled depression because whenever I thought I had arrived, I would see someone who would remind me that I haven’t. So I never arrived and I was never happy; because to me the stakes keeps getting higher. My life changed when I changed my metaphor. Instead of seeing life as a competition, I decided to see life as a puzzle. To me the best part of a puzzle is the excitement you feel knowing that every attempt takes you a step closer to solving it. I decided to focus less on trying to be the best among my peers, but channel that energy into discovering the uniqueness in me and becoming the best of me no matter what.
Stop trying to be your friend, stop trying to be your spouse, stop trying to be another person… Know that you can only give your best when you start being YOU….