Monday, July 21, 2014

There Is No Competition

Your roles are yours, no one else's. Their roles are their's, and never to be yours. No one is competition for you. The closest there will ever be to any competition for you isn't even you now. It is only who you were yesterday.

Who you were yesterday is the only competition you can ever have. Do you get better? Sure, you can spend time navel gazing and imagining the role that you want to think would've been yours, if only... fill in the blank. But that changes nothing and gives you no way to make things better, to make them more as you want them to be.

It is like worry, focusing on competition feels like doing something without actually doing anything. A better question: are you better at what you do than you were yesterday? If yes, even in some small way, then great, good job, you're doing it right. If no, then look to tomorrow, and do things better then.

The past cannot be changed. Crying over spilt milk, or roles un-booked, or anything that didn't go as you wanted it to will never clean up the milk, book the role or make things go as you would want them to. Is crying sometimes needed, unavoidable and even healthy and useful? Yes. But worth finding how to cry without washing away the next chance, the next opportunity in tears. The future is an unwritten book.

Improve. That, simply improving, is how things get better. Results may not materialize when you like or at a pace you'd choose. But let that be their problem. Improve what you do. And then improve it more. Progress is progress no matter how small or big. Focus on your work, your energy, your growth and health and improve how you do what you do. That's how things will get better.

Things do get better. Sometimes immediately, sometimes very slowly, and sometimes seemingly not at all and then in a big rush. However good things arrive, let them worry about the timetable, your worry will make nothing outside of you change for the better, or speed up. Your focus and energy, put where you can make things better, will.

Compete against who you have been, not who you wish or want to be, and you can go to where you'd like. It is unavoidable. It makes the moment now, the present, where everything that ever happens occurs, deserve your focus. Even when it is unpleasant. Live in the moment you are in right now.

Competition is a compelling lie that doesn't help in the now. Stay in the moment, and improve. That's how you get there. And you will get there, wherever there is.

The best way to succeed in life is usually to not process any sort of competition. If you don't know or care that 50,000 people are competing for some job you like, you're probably going to do better. You're probably going to have a clearer focus on your presentation and on phrasing your cover letter [or the role you are playing] just so, instead of lying awake at night...

(from Down With America's Kid-Competition Complex and thanks to Chloe Bridges for putting me onto it).

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