This is a question I have been pondering for a lot of time. To give a little context, I’ve always been a competitive guy and I just can’t help it. When I was a kid, I wanted to know more than anybody else and I really wanted to be the best. The problem is that when I entered in college, it was the same thing: I wanted to know more than anybody else, to learn more than anybody else, and to have better grades than anybody else. It worked well and I had good grades, but I wasn’t happy, and it sometimes impacted my relationship with others.
So, is it better to compete against others or against yourself? Most people are recommending that you should only compete against yourself. I think most people believe that competition is unethical, insane or unhealthy: “Be the best version of yourself and do not focus on other.” I think it’s true, but I do think that it depends on who you are. I believe that some people can’t help it and need to compete against others to get motivated. In fact, this is my case: I realize that I don’t like to compete against myself very much. For instance, when I’m at the gym, I can always do more, but I really don’t like it. When I’m competing against myself, I’m not at my full potential because I don’t want to do more or because I’m depreciating myself and think that I just can’t do more. I know it’s weird and I don’t like to say it, but I’m at my real potential only when I’m competing against other. I get so frustrated when someone is doing better than me, I really hate it.
Here is what I’m thinking at this exact moment (20 years old – November 21, Tuesday 2017). What works for me is to deploy both: competing against other and competing against myself. On one hand, I would be wrong to say that I’m not competing against myself. In fact, I believe that it’s me vs. me every day. Every day I try to be a better person, I try to work more, to care more. I try to wake up at 5 am every day and you know how much it’s a humongous competition against oneself to wake up. On the other hand, I would be wrong to not think that I’m not competing with others. The truth is that if you want to get your way in life, you need to compete at some points. To get the girl/guy you want, you must be better than the other guys/girls. In the business world, I’ve read a lot of entrepreneurs saying that you don’t just need to compete but to dominate your competitors. To compete means to strive to win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same. Whether it’s your business or the girl you want, you will have to compete hard to get it and succeed. Everything in life is a competition, and that’s just the way it is. If I’m deeply interested in something, I will do anything to get it, I don’t just want to compete for it, I want to dominate.
Strangely, I found that in our day to day life, competition is present everywhere. And I firmly believe that it’s not possible to compete everywhere. So, what I do is that I try to compete on things that I’m deeply interested in. I’m competing to get what I want, to get my way in life. For example, I want to be involved in the Tech Industry, so I try to know more about technology than anybody. I’m competing here. I’m not trying to compete anymore in school because I really don’t care about getting the best grades, I’m not competing here. I’m not competing to be the guy that lifts the most because I just don’t want it.
I just love competition, it strives me, and I can’t help it. I realize that I don’t like to compete with myself very much but I can see the benefits of doing so and I really understand people that are only competing with themselves. It’s not how I’m working, but what is true for me might not be true for someone else, and I respect people’s opinion. Everything in life is a competition, sometimes against yourself, sometimes against other.
Thanks so much for reading. When I’m pondering a lot, I like to write what I’m thinking and it’s helping me very much. I wasn’t supposed to share this writing, but I want to see how my thinking evolves over time. Also, I would be glad if it can help some people along the way. Don’t hesitate to comment what you think 🙂