Have you ever chased something just to be better than somebody else? Just making that much effort to step above the other and boost your ego?
Yesterday I competed, and I lost the first match. Meaning you are out, direct eliminations. However, Jiu-Jitsu is a beautiful sport and I believe that I meant to learn something from that experience. And I did.
Being calm and in the right mindset is essential for those moments. Also physical and skill preparation.
But something was missing.
I had those moments of glory so to speak when I had won. I had times when I was down too.
Being a winner is a personal trait, that can be cultivated.
With a deliberate action and discipline towards a goal.
The Downside of Competition
It is programmed in our system, in our human brain that we need to win. Back in time that was on a life or death matter. A victory may be to kill a predator trying to eat you alive or to survive hard weather conditions. Now we are barely left with a boost of ego from that. We seek victory to put ourselves in a better social position. With that, there are more than some material benefits, but more of them aren’t. It is a vital feeling for a person to feel needed and helpful. However, victory is a level above that default level. It amplifies your sense of self, you get pretty proud and sufficient. And that can come from a lot of ways, not only from sports.
Winning means progress, while it isn’t the only way.
Winners draw attention to themselves and we adore them. It is natural. But here is something we rarely consider.
We no longer rely on “win or die” mentality to survive and live.
Life is easy and we are getting more comfortable than ever. While there is no wonder why some of the best world-class athletes are coming from a background of the low-status family. Nearly surviving around the poverty line. Because they are already living in those harsh conditions and getting out is the only way.
It is vital for us to keep the cooperative part within us as well.
Imagine competition is the far left side of the spectrum and cooperation is the far right side.
Say Hi to Cooperation
When we are not cooperating we are competing and the vice versa. Why is that? Just because when you pursue your desire to win a pushing force is driving you within you. With other words you are intrinsically motivated to win, you push yourself.
While cooperation is the opposite, you are being pulled to contribute to the whole team, you are being pulled to act for the common good.
Where it is no good or bad between those two. But you are either on one side of the spectrum or the other. So what is in the middle than? An indecisive person trying to do both in the meantime. I felt that was what I experienced on my last competition. And cooperation is thus far more critical for me. I have always been more cooperative than competitive. There was this moment when I was still going to taekwondo competitions. I was like twelve years old or close. I vividly remember that series of competitions where I and another kid from the club were fighting versus each other. That was so stupid for me, I couldn’t play my best. Where those fights were the finals. It was beautiful how we climbed after each fight to finally meat at the top, but being there was awkward.
A prediction on a global scale is that we are going to the dispensary as a civilization if we don’t change the rules of the game. We are not allowed to win that with anger and fist fight, but with a much more intelligent way. Helping everybody to start even and finish where they want. But living in cooperation is hard. We all seek that next benefit for ourselves and we ain’t willing to share it. It is hard to build a foundation where everybody is going to be socially responsible for his acts.
However, there are much more entrepreneurs and businesses who start making those decisions to strive for mutual good. For increasing life standard ubiquitously.