It’s the people around us that make us feel left behind. In the old days, competition among people was for territory, power, food, shelter, and survival. Things have changed course, though we still compete for all those things, but in a modernized way.
In our schools, children compete for good grades, positions, classes, and perfection which I deemed decent. I’m all for any type of competition meant for academic purposes.
Recently, competition has taken a new twist— people compete for money, fame, wealth, recognition, and clouts. Rather than encouraging healthy competitions, people now take delight in showing how wealthy and influential they’re. This reminds me of an old Hindu quote that said,
The goal is not to be better than the other man, but to be better than your previous self.
Why competition is bad.
1. It breads an imitation.
Every individual has his or her identity, capabilities, and potential. God in his wisdom and tranquillity knows why he created you that way. Changing that to just look different in the eyes of people does not help your purpose on earth. Remaining yourself is the best way to ensure your actual God-given potential is maintained.
2. Focus shift.
Your intentions determine your attention, therefore what you focus on determines your future actions. When you’ve got something done, it is impeccable to focus on that. When you want to focus extensively on people, trying to please them, you end up shifting your attention from your core mandates.
3. Losing sight of people you’re supposed to learn from.
Competition can make you lose the ability to learn from people. In a quest for superiority and affluence, you end up missing out on things you ought to have learned from people who are ahead of you in life. It can blind you to the extent that, you’ll go the extra mile to challenge people you should be learning from.
4. It wastes time and money.
When the intent is to win at all cost no matter what, one may end up ‘biting more than what he/she can chew’. The desire to beat someone to a position or status they’ve worked for over the years can make you waste precious time and money you do not have. Instead, be content with what you have and build upon it over time.
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The strong edge to beat a competitor can create serious ill-will between two people. Striving for the top has a huge price to pay. If care isn’t taken, violent actions which are extremely hostile might be adopted without realizing. Which tends to destroy long-lasting bonds?
In a nutshell, I’m not against competition, but my difficulty is with meaningless competitions. I don’t determine what a healthy competition should be, but competition should make you better and not bitter.
My point is if you’re competing with somebody just to corroborate your popularity, power or wealth then you’ve lost focus. Competition should inspire you to greatness and not to be envious of people you should be learning from. If rivalry enhances your imitation rather than your capacity, there’s a big problem.