Monday, February 27, 2012

Competition

The other day there was a comment on FB about a Yoga Competition and one of my friends asked if that made sense - since Yoga was more about serenity and tranquility done for ones own peace. Does it then make sense to hold a competition to see who is better at it? Well if Yoga is just about who can contour their bodies more attractively then the competition makes sense - but that will require the definition of Yoga to be re-written.

There is a bigger question about what the purpose of competition is. Competition in my mind is not about comparison between people trying to defeat one another - it is more about raising each other to be the best that we have the potential to be. In short doing better than the other cannot be my goal! If I am declared as the winner amongst others it cannot be about holding the others down - it must follow that everyone including the winner must work harder to surpass the established result fairly. When a sprinter wins a race and goes out and continues to practice to improve his own time while motivating others to meet and surpass his time it is a healthy competition - but when that same sprinter goes out on his own, takes performance enhancing drugs to keep his position of number one he has corrupted his path and introduced an unhealthy competition within the sport.

I must hold myself up to the highest standard and compete with my own potential. The moment I say, "I am better than the other" I limit myself. My success is not about being better than someone else, my success is about being the best I can be at all times. Today India is competing with the rest of the world for economic supremacy but we have sadly lost much of our traditional values to get there. The result is visible in the gap between the rich and the poor growing wider, visible in the way progress is often defined and visible in the way corruption and political mayhem is overtaking the country.

In my opinion competition is about progressing together and raising the bar at every level for all of us within a realm. When we satisfy ourselves simply by being better than someone else we lower the bar of what we expect from ourselves and others. No matter what the field we must strive to do the best irrespective of what the others in a field are doing. Winning is not always about first place it is about entering a field and improving it continuously and with single minded perseverance. Winning is about being the wind below ones wings and those flying with you.

1 comment:

  1. Very well put. If it wasn't for that 80 year old man that lapped me my first half marathon I was power walking, I would never have begun to run. He pushed me to do better and we both won!

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