Who are we competing with really?

This is a question that comes to me quite often. The reason for this is that I deal with a lot of competitive people. The corporate world is full of competitive people. People that are after power, money, glory and an ever expanding self development that does not let them think simple things in the meantime. And then what?

I was at the gym the other day and I could tell people are passionate about lifting weights and running on a treadmill machine to keep in shape. Some were showing off while some others were simply struggling to get to a point where they would feel they ‘ve surpassed their comfort zone. And then I heard a guy bragging about his workout routine and why everyone should follow his lead. No. He wasn’t the gym owner nor a member of their trained staff.

Following this I kept thinking that people feel good when they think that they are better than others. And I admit this happens to me too. And this is an illusion really that comes out as a passion rather than a logical reaction. Why? The reason is simple. It is satisfying to know that I am better than someone and this is where we kinda lose the point. We get into the thinking that if I continue to be better than anyone else means we are getting better. So we get into this almost never ending game of competing with everyone else thinking we are on a roll of achievements only to find out at some point that the others don’t really notice that because they have their own set of goals to go after. And this realization makes us unhappy. And of course, we want more.

So if this all competitiveness thing is an illusion, who are we competing with really? Easy. We ‘re competing with our never pleased ego. But we should forget about this question and focus on what the question should be. And that is, who should we competing with?

The answer is ourselves. It’s healthy to want to become better. No argument there. Better than who though? Concentrating on becoming better today than you were yesterday is the real goal I guess. And that should make you feel happier. Because becoming better than someone else doesn’t really mean anything. And you will be stuck in a loop of unhappiness.

And so I compared myself to yesterday’s self. Same. And I wondered. Who should I be competing with to become better?

Me.

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