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.
I Am Also Competing With All Of My Negative Self-Beliefs and Behaviours
Not only am I competing with the older versions of myself, but I am also competing with my current self, but in it’s worst essence.
Every time, I choose a negative behaviour vs. a positive one… Every time, I choose to lie around eating chips and watching TV, rather than doing my work… And every time, I choose to skip the workout, or skip the meetup with my loved ones… I am choosing the lesser version of myself, and I am bringing myself down.
All of those negative behaviours, and choices are my real competition. I am absolutely aware of the fact that these negative behaviours and choices will hurt me. I know that. Oh, believe me, I know that. It still doesn’t change the fact that I keep on choosing these negative pathways, rather than the pathways I know will bring me up to the highest version of myself.
These choices are made in a jiffy. In a blink of an eye, I can make a choice that will absolutely defeat my future self, and result in my future self’s defeat.
Even knowing that, I keep on choosing falsely. I might attribute it to exhaustion, or false information, or boredom. But the truth is, that knowingly, I make these wrong decisions, because they are simpler to make. It’s easier to skip the workout and eat junk food at home, than get dressed, and go to the gym to run that mile. It’s easier to sit at home and pretend like no one loves me, rather than arrange to meet with some close friends and loved ones and build upon my relationships.
The Solution Isn’t As Simple As Choosing The Right Behaviour
I wish it were as simple as choosing the right behaviour. It’s not that easy. In almost all cases, we knew what the right choice was, and we could have made it, quite easily, if we wanted to. But we didn’t. Instead we chose wrong, and harmed our present and future self.
It’s about making conscious decisions, always. About staying alert, and knowing that the world might try to convince you that your competition is somewhere outside of yourself, but it is in fact, deep within you. That competition is always trying to pull you down to your basest level. It’s trying to defeat you.
But if you stay conscious, and awake, you will be able to catch these negative behaviours and choices quicker, and stop them in their tracks, before they become monsters that you cannot hold back anymore.
Every day, we get a fresh new day, and with each fresh day, comes fresh choices. Will I get up and do my morning routine? Or will I get up and read mangas? Will I have my green smoothie in the morning, or will I get lazy and guzzle down some bubble tea? Hundreds of such choices will present themselves to you, and you are going to have to make the right choice anew every single time.
Keep your future self in mind as you do this, and hopefully, you will be able to make the right choice at least 85% of the time, which will be better than what you were doing in the past.