The Competition Isn’t Outside You, But Dwells Within You

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Your competition isn’t other people. Your competition is your procrastination. Ego. The unhealthy food you are consuming, the knowledge you neglect. The negative behaviour you are nurturing & your lack of creativity. Compete against that. – Jade Jackson WSBT.

I read this quote recently and it struck at the heart of how I think about competition. I have never been a competitive person. The idea of competing against other people gives me heart palpitations. Why would I want to fight against someone who is on a completely different path than me, and who has different life experiences, different agendas, and different goals in mind?

It didn’t make any sense to me, until I realized a few years ago that my competition isn’t other people, it is in fact, myself. I am competing with that older version of myself. The version which is more foolish than me, perhaps less fit than me, definitely has less life experience than me, and hasn’t done as much as I have, in my current version.

I am competing with all of those older versions of myself. No one else matters in this competition, except me and my older versions.

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Having An Internal Point Of Reference Makes Decision Making Easier

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I visited my friend Zita, recently at a tiny beach town in Mexico, called Sayulita. She was chatting at a dinner about her recent trip to Las Vegas, and how when she told her friend about the trip, the friend said immediately, “You are so lucky you are in party central.” My friend quickly informed her that she sleeps early and has no intention of going to any parties, drinking, or clubbing at all. Her friend was so disappointed in her, and said, “You HAVE to go to at least one party when you are in Vegas.”

We then started talking about internal points of reference vs. external, and how this was a really good example of a person who holds themselves by external points of reference, rather than internal. My friend, Zita, of course, had a very strong internal point of reference, which told her, that if she didn’t want to dancing, or partying, even if everyone else in Vegas was doing that, she didn’t have to.

An internal point of reference makes judgements, decisions, and holds beliefs, based on something inside of them, some belief system or vision that they hold dear to themselves. They are the kinds of people who will do something even if no one else on the planet is doing it, if it is important to them. And they are the kinds of people who refuse to do something if they don’t wish to, even if every other person on the planet is doing it.

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