I have a friend who, without exaggeration, is one of the kindest people I know. Which makes it really funny when he talks about the jerk of the day who races with him in the pool.
He laments that when he swims every morning he likes to be left alone to do his workout in peace. But there’s always a dude who will get into the lane next to him and push off when he does. He wants to race. And just like Pavlov’s dog, my friend races him. He picks up his pace to let the other swimmer know who is boss in the pool. My friend hasn’t lost yet.
I have to laugh, though. I tell him, “If you want to be left alone, just ignore them and continue to just do your thing.” But I know that’s hard.
You see, he can’t help himself. He is compelled to race whoever wants to challenge him. It makes total sense to me. After all, we live in a competitive society. Whether we are keeping up with the Joneses or you have a friend who is a “topper” (i.e., whatever story you tell, he’s got a better one), we are looking to get a leg up on someone else.
I know there are schools who teach that non-competition is the way to go, but so much more will have to happen in order for us to be non-competitive overall. Is it even possible? And, can competition actually be healthy?
Competition: a contest for some prize, honor, or advantage
Because I have learned that, based upon my own priorities, there will always be someone who has “more.” However, when I shift my perspective to think of competition like a golf game, any and all that I do is in the context of stretching my own boundaries. I always seek to improve myself, and to me that is prize enough.
Do you find yourself becoming annoyed or jealous when you think of someone else’s life? If so, it is a perfect opportunity to get to know yourself better. When the comparisons crop up, you can try the following:
- Rather than think about the other person’s material possessions, make a list of qualities or a state of being you perceive them to have perhaps because of their possessions (e.g., confidence, happiness, power).
- Ask yourself in what ways you are confident (or happy or powerful). Recognize how those attributes are present in your life.
- Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, and invite in the level of confidence you perceive the other to have. Imagine them cheering you on as you expand your own level of confidence.
You have the ability to create internal advantages by transforming any sense of competition into a win-win situation. Thinking in metaphysical terms, if we are one, it means that you already have what you believe you lack. When you come across abundance in any form, welcome it as part of your experience. You will find your mood shifting into the realm of optimism and peace when you do that. All it takes is practice, and everything around you can become and expression of your own abundance.