DISCLAIMER: I always feel the need to put a disclaimer in these types of posts. I am not, in any way, discussing any situation or person in specific in this post. I actually starting thinking about this topic while watching a television show, and it expanded when I logged on to Facebook and saw an interesting "comment" made on a wall post. These are simply my general thoughts, and not to point fingers at anyone.
What is it with people constantly competing with one another? I'm not a very competitive person. In everything, I always seem to just know that there will always be someone else better. I remember being taught by teachers to do MY best and not to worry about others. There will always be someone better. Someone faster. Someone smarter. Someone prettier. Someone sweeter. Whatever the case may be, it's out there.
I never worried about it. I have never seemed concerned with what others could do that I couldn't. Sure, I tried to learn from them to improve myself, but I never felt the true need to surpass someone else's accomplishments. I made my own goals. I stuck to my own plans, and I didn't care who had my same plans and did them better. For the most part, I've been content with my own life. Sure, jealousy and selfishness captures me just like it does everyone else. Once in a while, I catch myself wrapped up in other people's lives, and compare them to my own. Then I remember: We are all on different paths.
I look at my two best and closest friends and see just how different our lives will be. I'm already married, settled with my love and puppy. One is off to an incredible journey of graduate school to study law, and the other is off to New York for a fabulous adventure of making it on Broadway. Does this really make one of us better than the other two? Of course not. It makes us different. We all had different paths we wanted to take. Different accomplishments. Different lives. And I think these differences are what makes us such fantastic friends. We are able to support each other in a way that isn't competitive.
I never felt the need to compete in academics with my friends. Maybe I should have, and then I could have graduated with that 4.0 instead of a 3.5 in high school haha! I can't say that I did my very best in high school. I did just enough to keep my parents satisfied. School wasn't important to me then, but my dancing was. I pushed myself in my dancing. I did well. Sure, I had crappy performances and bad days in class like everyone else, but I was good. There were girls in class better than me, much better. I always just pushed myself to doing the best that I could possibly do, and that always kept me content. I guess you could say that I chose to compete with myself, not others.
I continued competing with myself and not others on into college. Academics became much more important to me, and I began to work harder. I can honestly say that I have no idea if I ever had the highest grade in the class, or the lowest grade in the class on any given assignment. I didn't care. I always pushed for a better grade than I got the last time. In my department, a lot of teachers post grades outside their office doors according to the last 4 digits in your social security number. I always walked by, looked at my grade, and moved along. I never stood there to analyze other scores to see how I measured up. If I was pleased with my performance, then there was no need for me to know how others did. I always competed with myself, and finished my education very pleased with the results.
I see competition in so many aspects. I obviously see it at work, since I'm in a sales position. There is competition among companies, to gain the most customers of good quality. There is competition among agents within our company, to sell the most. There is even competition in our little office, pushing each other to sell the most.
I also seem to find it in so many little areas of life. Sometimes, we even compete in the negative areas of our lives. People always seem to think that they have it the worst. Let me explain by a completely fabricated scenario:
Person 1: Man, I had a terrible day today. I was so busy at work, and I have the worst headache. I'm just ready to head home.
Person 2: You think your day was bad? Try living in my shoes. We were SLAMMED at my job, I have a headache, and a stomach virus. And when I go home, I don't get to rest because I have a big project that I have to do for school. Once I finish that project, I have a huge test to study for.
I know you are laughing. You've seen this happen before. Maybe you have even done this before. Of course, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. I'm a huge lover of board games and card cames, and always play to win. FUN competitions are great, and can create a lot of laughter.
We (myself included) would be such better friends to others if we could learn to listen to their problems without bringing up our own in attempts make their problems seem obsolete. Regardless of what is on my mind today, it is not as imporant or severe as what is on someone else's mind. When that person wants to share what's on their mind, we should put aside our own thoughts just for a few short moments. Let's make others feel important, and that their lives are worthwhile as well. Why are we always competing in everything else? Why do we always find it necessary to prove to ourselves and others that we are the best? Why can't we just be our best selves, and let that be enough?