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Discussion #34 - Competition

There is a game that we all play every minute of every day, when dealing with other people. I call it the significance game, and in recent years the intensity of this game has been increasing. It goes something like this. Competition is a huge and important part of life. However, it is considered to be very uncool to seem overly this way. So the game is played by almost everyone competing ferociously in every aspect of life, while pretending they are not. In most cases, living in complete denial or ignorance of this fact. Sometimes for survival, but most of the time for respect. We commonly underestimate the power of the subconscious mind.

Every human being on earth has an ego, and this ego must be fed. The food that it craves the most is the feeling of significance. How this is achieved is largely through competition. As a race, we do not just compete in the olympics or organized sports, we compete in everything. Career, finances, looks, games, evidence of intelligence, social status of ourselves, our family members and our friends. Anything that will cause us to potentially feel superior to our fellow man (or woman).

This competitive spirit rises and falls in intensity, depending on the situation at hand, but is always there to some degree. It is the main reason why wars are fought, and the reason why people work their butts off to succeed in life. It is the root cause of jealousy, and as well the root cause of pure ambition. It can be an incredible source of excitement, fun and satisfaction, or an incredible source of stress and anxiety. It is both good and bad, and an absolutely massive aspect of human life.

In my opinion, it is a really good idea to be constantly aware of it when dealing with other people. Sometimes it's obvious (ie: when playing games or sports), but most of the time it's pumping away beneath the surface. Being aware of this underlying and powerful attitude completely changes the dynamic of interactions. Human social dynamics are a much bigger deal than most want to admit. Based on the divorce rates (and many other concrete indicators) in the wealthier countries, we are still living in the dark ages when it comes to this extremely important issue.

Many disagree on what a healthy, appropriate or wise level of competitive spirit is in any given situation, and most never pay attention to this aspect of life at all. Ignorance is never bliss, and the sweet spot in this area will be different for everyone. Paying attention to this attitude in people will only result in better relationships. This in turn results in a healthier, happier life for you and everyone around you, both spiritually and physically.

In the business world, large corporations need to be very careful when using employee/wage cutbacks for expense reduction purposes, or there will be no middle class left to buy their products or services. Make no mistake, there are still flesh & blood people making these big decisions, people with the same emotions, urges, desires & lifespan as everyone else. They just have a little more money, power & influence.

If you are a competitive person (and we all are on some level), you are not just competing with the people around you but with every living soul on earth. The game goal should not just be to provide an amazing quality of life for your family and yourself, but also to continue quality living for as long as possible. 70, 80 or 90 years will go by in a heartbeat. If we do not at least try, then we are nothing more than glorified fruit flies (in a mortal sense). Building a world for our descendants to enjoy is extremely important, but future and past generations are and will be neither more or less significant than our own.

While competing for our health may seem a little odd, and there are always the genetic factors, it is actually the wisest thing we can do in this life. Even if we do live to be 100, the reality is that this is not a long time in the grand scheme of the universe, and the latter years are generally not quite as much fun or productive if health is not maintained. Money is not just money, it represents time, freedom, peace-of-mind, quality-of-life, and to some degree, excitement and respect. The two most important things in life however; health and love, it does not. In these two areas, monetary assets have virtually no bearing.

There is a price to pay for being overly competitive in life, and that price is pure joy, laughter, and happiness. Sometimes we just take ourselves far too seriously, and it just ends up biting us in the butt. Competition can also take many forms, and some that might surprise you. A good example of this would be in the general area of personal popularity, especially when combined with strongly held personal ideologies (of any nature).

In my opinion, there are 2 main forms of competition; the "in the trenches" "dog-fighting" style, & the more laid-back & paced "big picture" style. Good analogies would be sprinting vs. long distance running, or "tortoise & the hare". Different strokes for different folks, but the latter will take you further. Although we humans love to compete with each other (and it's normally healthy), the vast majority are competing (often) in the wrong areas of life.
Discussion #34 - Competition

There is a game that we all play every minute of every day, when dealing with other people. I call it the significance game, and in recent years the intensity of this game has been increasing. It goes something like this. Competition is a huge and important part of life. However, it is considered to be very uncool to seem overly this way. So the game is played by almost everyone competing ferociously in every aspect of life, while pretending they are not. In most cases, living in complete denial or ignorance of this fact. Sometimes for survival, but most of the time for respect. We commonly underestimate the power of the subconscious mind.

Every human being on earth has an ego, and this ego must be fed. The food that it craves the most is the feeling of significance. How this is achieved is largely through competition. As a race, we do not just compete in the olympics or organized sports, we compete in everything. Career, finances, looks, games, evidence of intelligence, social status of ourselves, our family members and our friends. Anything that will cause us to potentially feel superior to our fellow man (or woman).

This competitive spirit rises and falls in intensity, depending on the situation at hand, but is always there to some degree. It is the main reason why wars are fought, and the reason why people work their butts off to succeed in life. It is the root cause of jealousy, and as well the root cause of pure ambition. It can be an incredible source of excitement, fun and satisfaction, or an incredible source of stress and anxiety. It is both good and bad, and an absolutely massive aspect of human life.

In my opinion, it is a really good idea to be constantly aware of it when dealing with other people. Sometimes it's obvious (ie: when playing games or sports), but most of the time it's pumping away beneath the surface. Being aware of this underlying and powerful attitude completely changes the dynamic of interactions. Human social dynamics are a much bigger deal than most want to admit. Based on the divorce rates (and many other concrete indicators) in the wealthier countries, we are still living in the dark ages when it comes to this extremely important issue.

Many disagree on what a healthy, appropriate or wise level of competitive spirit is in any given situation, and most never pay attention to this aspect of life at all. Ignorance is never bliss, and the sweet spot in this area will be different for everyone. Paying attention to this attitude in people will only result in better relationships. This in turn results in a healthier, happier life for you and everyone around you, both spiritually and physically.

In the business world, large corporations need to be very careful when using employee/wage cutbacks for expense reduction purposes, or there will be no middle class left to buy their products or services. Make no mistake, there are still flesh & blood people making these big decisions, people with the same emotions, urges, desires & lifespan as everyone else. They just have a little more money, power & influence.

If you are a competitive person (and we all are on some level), you are not just competing with the people around you but with every living soul on earth. The game goal should not just be to provide an amazing quality of life for your family and yourself, but also to continue quality living for as long as possible. 70, 80 or 90 years will go by in a heartbeat. If we do not at least try, then we are nothing more than glorified fruit flies (in a mortal sense). Building a world for our descendants to enjoy is extremely important, but future and past generations are and will be neither more or less significant than our own.

While competing for our health may seem a little odd, and there are always the genetic factors, it is actually the wisest thing we can do in this life. Even if we do live to be 100, the reality is that this is not a long time in the grand scheme of the universe, and the latter years are generally not quite as much fun or productive if health is not maintained. Money is not just money, it represents time, freedom, peace-of-mind, quality-of-life, and to some degree, excitement and respect. The two most important things in life however; health and love, it does not. In these two areas, monetary assets have virtually no bearing.

There is a price to pay for being overly competitive in life, and that price is pure joy, laughter, and happiness. Sometimes we just take ourselves far too seriously, and it just ends up biting us in the butt. Competition can also take many forms, and some that might surprise you. A good example of this would be in the general area of personal popularity, especially when combined with strongly held personal ideologies (of any nature).

In my opinion, there are 2 main forms of competition; the "in the trenches" "dog-fighting" style, & the more laid-back & paced "big picture" style. Good analogies would be sprinting vs. long distance running, or "tortoise & the hare". Different strokes for different folks, but the latter will take you further. Although we humans love to compete with each other (and it's normally healthy), the vast majority are competing (often) in the wrong areas of life.