In my book review of InSideOut Coaching by Joe Ehrmann, I talked about how he describes competition as a mutual quest for excellence, rather than a way to prove superiority. (Click HERE to read the book review).
As I have mentioned before I enjoy running. I have several loops close to our house that I like to run. One morning I was running the four and a half mile loop and when I was getting close to the halfway point I crossed paths with one of my neighbors who also runs pretty frequently.
I decided I was going to try to beat him back to the opposite corner of the loop before running the last quarter mile to our house.
I had been feeling pretty good and I started picking up the pace knowing that I was going to need to push it to beat him back to the spot.
As I neared the corner and saw him I realized that I was not going to beat him to that arbitrary point I had designated.
As I continued running hard and carried that momentum into the final leg of my run I thought about a couple things.
Do I even know if the distances where we first crossed to that arbitrary point were even? In other words, how do I know that I didn’t actually cover more ground than him in that amount of time?
Did the fact that my neighbor is older than me make me think I could do this simply because I was younger?
What if I had kept running at my normal pace and not picked it up but I had beat him to the arbitrary spot? Would I have been the winner? What if he had stopped for 2 minutes to tie his shoe and that is the reason I beat him there in this scenario?
Did I push myself to be the best I could be, to try to reach excellence, because of this “competition”?
Would I be a true competitor if I would have quit and started walking once I saw that I was not going to beat him?
I think this is a great story about what competition should be about. It is not about beating someone else. I have no control over how fast my neighbor was running, what his training regimen was, and I don’t even know if we had equal distances to run to that arbitrary spot!
But...my neighbor was giving his best and I was giving my best and this helped me improve my best because of our mutual quest for excellence.
Don’t focus on competing AGAINST your opponent. Comparing ourselves to others is a trap that often puts us on the rollercoaster of emotions. I agree with John Wooden who believed you could lose a game when you won on the scoreboard and you could win a game when you lost on the scoreboard.
Instead, focus on competing WITH your opponent to bring out your best self! If you can do this, you will experience what Kirby Ingles calls “forward relentless progress”.
And the results will take care of themselves.
Enjoy the Journey of Writing Your Own Story!
Success vs. Achievement
Chop Wood Carry Water
Would You Rather...
First Things First
Do You Have Trouble Sleeping?
What is Your Plan?
One Word: Blessed
The Pursuit of Happyness
You Win in the Locker Room First
What Are You Training For?
Winning Is A Mindset
Always Be Faithful in Small Things
Are You a Leader?
What is Your Why?
I Love Watching You Play
Keep on Failing
The Coach is the Student
The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership
Now They Know
Esse Quam Videri
Powered by Purpose
Are You All In?
The Eyes of Your Heart
Sunrise or Sunset?
We Need Boundaries
What is Right Over Who is Right
Carry Your Bobsled
Do You Have Any Suggestions for Improvement?
Sing Out Loud
Be An Eagle
The Power of One
You Are a Lighthouse
I Hate The Grind
Closing the Gap
The Big Time
What Profit Are You Seeking?
A Better Life
Don't Do It For the Applause
A Harvest of Impact
It's a Wonderful Life
One Word for 2018: INTENTNESS
Write Your Own Story
Be Impeccable with Your Word
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
A Second Chance
What If I Don't Get in the Game?
Finding My Passion in a Gym
Play for the Love of the Game
Pursue Your Dreams
Integrity: Living from the Inside-Out