By Azra Farzana Shuib
John D. Rockefeller, the first billionaire in history, said competition is a sin. Short, straightforward, but with a deep meaning to the core.
With so many young successful entrepreneurs in the country, so many people of the same age group have become impatient to taste success. They aspire to be the best, the richest, and of course, to do better than anyone, no matter in what field. But, is by being part of a competition a good choice to make?
Personally, I believe the biggest competition we have is within ourselves. We are and we should be fighting our own demons – bad habits, underachieved goals, toxic relationships and the list goes on. If we had focused on the real battles we wouldn’t even have the time to look at what other people are doing.
Take it this way, if you want to be the best student or the best athlete, oftentimes the thought that comes into the head is that you have to beat the rest. You always have to be better than the others in the aspect that you have targeted and no one shall surpass you.
“If I am the best, then I would have the highest marks, the highest grade, the highest this, and the highest that…”
Whether or not we are conscious about it, we’re living in some sorts of a competition. It has instilled in us since our early age at school. If you want to be the best in your class, or the number one student, then you would have to be the smartest. Simply put, smarter than everyone else.
It’s such a pain to know that some kids are stressed out because they are constantly being compared with their friends who do better than them. Getting 90% is not enough when your friend got 92%. Often, efforts are overlooked and outcomes are overemphasised. It’s too bad that some parents are not bothered with the fact that the hard work put into the pursuit of gaining something is the real learning process in itself.
I’m not talking about competition in business or sports where it is really necessary. The focus right now is the battle within ourselves. If we want to be successful, do we have to compete with everyone else? It seems like a simple concept. We would argue that we’re not competing with anyone in life, we’re definitely just trying our best. And yet we would be triggered by the slightest achievement of people around us. Don’t need to look far, it’s there on social media. Our real life is a constant competition, even virtual life is also a competition. Everyone is competing for this fake representation of a “fun and perfect life”.
Being competitive is not wrong. It’s not a negative attitude. What’s wrong is being overly competitive, to the point that you feel worthless if your goals are not met. In this world, even in the virtual world, nobody’s perfect even they might seem like they are. And it’s important to accept the fact just the way it is. There will always be someone better than you – prettier, smarter, and just seemingly downright flawless. But that doesn’t mean they have everything. No one has everything. If you are good in certain aspect, that doesn’t mean you are good in other aspects. If you have this, that doesn’t mean you have that.
At some points in our lives we just got to stop looking at what other people are doing and what they are achieving. Don’t ever shift your focus to what’s really important, which is yourself. Life is a constant battle. All of us have some loopholes that need to be filled. Not by others, but by our own effort.
We should stop defining our own success by other people’s achievements. If you have worked hard for something, own it, be proud of it. There’s no need to say “he/she has done better” because everyone has put his or her own effort. Some make great progress, and some just need some time to attain greatness. It doesn’t even matter because no two people is living the same life.
If you’re constantly looking at your own development from other people’s perspective, just stop doing it. Don’t be embarrassed by your flaws and failures, but embrace them. Learn from them and just start again. ***