Less Competitive?


What should I do to be a less competitive person?

Gary's Answer: 

By a “less competitive person”, do you mean a person who competes less successfully?

Or, by a “less competitive person”, do you mean a person who cares less about their success in competition? More of a failure in life? 

Why would either of those options sound good for you? Something to be desired?

You cannot mean “less competitive” in the sense of “engage in fewer competitions” because we have no choice about the key competition in our lives. “Competition” means “comparison”. A competition is nothing more or less than a comparison among a number of things: armies, sports teams, similar products, and so on.

Competition is not a choice is most key areas of life. We are constantly comparing things and people with similar things and people. We are also being constantly compared to other people in whatever area in which we function. At work, we are compared to other employees (or bosses, if we are a boss). In our personal relationships, we are constantly compared to other spouses, family members, or friends. In our every interaction, we are being compared, if only with the social expectations of behavior.

The only optional competitions that we engage in are those which are not absolutely demanded by life but these contest are some of the most meaningful, fun, and rewarding We don’t have to compete for a promotion: we can settle for the job we have. We don’t have to compete in sports or other forms of play that are also contests: we can sit on the sidelines and watch. We don’t have to compete for romance: we can be alone. We don’t ever have to create anything that will be compared with what others create: we can create nothing.

Does that really sound like a good idea?

Do you really want to care less about how you finish in life’s competitions? Do you want to be satisfied by not getting the promotions? Not winning true love? Not doing any better in anything that you are doing now?

I think what you really want is to be more successful in competition. There are a lot of useful things to learn about doing that. But the first thing to learn is to stop fooling or lying to yourself about your role in life and its inherent competitions.