Hum Most people nowadays engage in endless competitions with others, not knowing that this behavior can only serve them more damage than good. In fact, some of the world’s top achievers directly attribute their success to competing with self rather than others.

In the real world, there would always be people above you and others below no matter your stage in life. Moreover, each individual has their own personal goals and destiny operating under a different time frame, hence trying to be like them will definitely not work out the right way. According to John Wooden, the successful UCLA basketball coach, those who get overly engrossed in things they have no control over ultimately lose focus on factors they can easily control.

Former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan also lives by this philosophy, at one time he said that during his career he missed more than 9000 shots, lost around 300 games and missed 26 winning shots for his team. But all these disappointments are part of the reason why he’s successful. He also encourages people that obstacles don’t have to stop them from pursing their dreams, if one runs into a wall they should not give up or turn around but rather find a way of passing through.

Another winner who didn’t compete with others but followed his own destiny is Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain. By the age of 17 he had already lost 4 jobs and by 20 he was a single father after his wife left him for being unable to provide for the family. He eventually found a menial job as cook and dishwasher in a small restaurant, then retired at 65yrs old with nothing to his name but a $105 retirement package from the government.

One day he sat under a tree ready to commit suicide, but then ended up writing what he would like to achieve in his life. Sanders borrowed $87 against his initial cheque and started selling fried chicken from door-to-door in his native Kentucky area. At 88 yrs old, Colonel Sanders was a billionaire and owner of an international fast food chain restaurant. His story shows that it’s never too late to try even if others seem ahead of you at the moment, patience and the ability to set your own goals without looking at what others are doing is what’s important.

Disadvantages of competing with other people:

  • a) It often leads to jealousy and strife since you’ll always feel as if they don’t deserve what they own.
  • b) Low self-esteem. You’ll probably develop insufficiency thoughts by looking at what they have against yours.
  • c) Strains relationships with them. If it’s a friend who seems to be moving ahead, one will start avoiding their company so as not to encounter their successes in life. It gets even worse in a family setting where the husband is constantly competing with his wife or vice versa.

Instead of comparing yourself with others, be content with what you have and work harder to achieve what you don’t. The principle of self-competition is much better since it leads to enhanced mental health, less emotional strain and overall self-improvement. Those who follow this philosophy in life also end up attaining what they had earlier set up to achieve.

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