Competitiveness is Crucial
All my life I have been in search of the “winning edge.” As far back as I can remember I have always been competing against everyone I met. This, to me, was the only way to play. There was no time for paddy cake, you are either a winner or a loser. Winners win and losers lose. There was never really any gray area to me (I guess that could just be how I was raised, but who knows). I was always going at 110% and there was no stopping. To me, there was no point in not putting in the extra effort. Why else do you play if not to win?
This theory stayed with me as I grew older and bigger. It became, not so much a sports thing as it was a life thing. I realized that not only did giving your all help out a lot in sports, but it helped tremendously to build character and instill commitment desire (which are HUGE for young kids). Being hard-nosed and ultra driven can be seen as a negative to some, but I loved it. It gave me this extra gear to keep going and it showed me at a young age that people are capable of a lot more than others may give them credit for. It gave me an extra edge that helped to separate me from “the pack”, and the more I kept pushing the easier it became.
What was really nice about it, that being a young kid that is already fairly driven, it gives other kids an example to look after. I’m not saying I was a role model, but kids tend to follow other kids and so on and so forth. The more I was able to put in the effort and get results, the more the other kids around me wanted to put in effort because they saw it working. This is an invaluable thing that people should never take for granted, your actions have an affect on everyone around you no matter your age.
As I progressed sports became more and more important in my life, and the competition got better and better. That’s the thing about growing up, you’re getting better, stronger, faster, smarter; but so is everyone else. There are new challenges every day and there will be setbacks, but the key is to keep pushing. The only way to get better and be able to beat the other guys, is to do more and stay ahead of them. Continuous improvement is the key. Let me say that again for emphasis, CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IS KEY. Okay, now we’re back. As I grew I realized that although you may be good, there is always going to be someone new that will be there to push you.
Many people see this as a setback, while it should be seen as a setup for a big boost. It is within our nature to rise up when we face adversity so there is no need to be worried when you’re no longer the best. Adversity is an adversary, not an enemy as so many see it. The way I was able to envision this as a young kid is invaluable and (I don’t know who to specifically thank for that so I’ll just say my parents so I don’t get in trouble) it proved to help provide a much needed boost in many situations. The fact that I was fortunate enough to play baseball in college from where I started is beyond me, only God (and a select few) know how that happened.
Of course there were missteps and bumps along the way, but those do little to you once you have established a way of grinding it out. Once the “competitive edge” or will has been instilled in you, it is tough to break. Now, if you do not feed it every day it will eventually die out, like anything, so you must treat it like your favorite Chia pet and feed it everyday. Ch-Ch-Ch-Champions are not built in one day and they are not built in one year. It is an accumulation of all of your efforts that bring you to the point of where we all, deep down, strive to be. That is why it is so important to grow and foster your edge (will) everyday so that you do not lose anything you’ve built up prior.
The most important quote I can give for this final paragraph is this, “You are never staying the same, you are either getting better or getting worse.” This is so crucial that I should’ve put it at the beginning but I wanted to make you all work for it. Compete each and every day and work to create an competitive edge that will set you apart. This is not only for your benefit, but it shows others the way and gives them a goal to work towards. When you see someone that is better than you at something, do not get discouraged, challenge them until you can compete at their level. This is how winning is done and that is how champions are made.
I love this topic so I might add in a Part II at some point, but until then comment or do whatever it is people do on these sorts of things. Thanks, til next time….