We like to think that we are competing with other people, such that when we beat other people, we have evidence to support our superiority.
But superiority is temporary.
There is always someone else to defeat.
Until we have conquered each and every single human being on this earth, we will never truly be the best.
We know it’s ridiculous to compete with every single person in the world, so we tend to pick a few as our nemeses.
The funny thing about these few is that they usually exhibit characteristics we desire for ourselves. And it’s as if such characteristics were material things, like trophies, that can be passed or taken from someone and displayed on our mantel for all to admire. (And passed or taken from us once we have them.)
But that’s not how competition works.
We don’t actually compete with other people at all. Instead, we compete with ourselves.
What we are really trying to do is be better than we are. It’s just easier to use other people for comparison because when we use ourselves, we already admit our inferiority. And that is very discouraging.
Competition isn’t a battle of who’s prettier, funnier, smarter, faster, stronger, better. It’s the development of self-worth and the realization that we already are pretty, funny, smart, fast, strong, and better than yesterday.
And no one else has the authority to determine our progress or worth. We are the only judges of our lives, which is scary because it seems like a lot of responsibility.
It is. But it’s good for us. It forces us to be the leader of our own lives and the best version of ourselves, not the best version of someone else.