I “Liked” being competitive in that it always seemed to get more out of me, but at the same time I didn’t like it.
After all? If you’re competitive by nature, what happens in an area where someone blows you out of the water?
You get very unhappy real fast. And if you think about it, regardless of almost any area in our lives – let’s face it, there is a good chance that there is someone better than you.
Let’s say you get really buff at the gym, you still aren’t Mr. Universe? What about you earn $200K+ one year, well there are a lot of millionaires in the world which you aren’t? What if your business grows at 20%+ year on year – well, you still aren’t as big as Facebook or Google?
One of the biggest problems in my own psychology was that I had been too competitive with other people. That is, I think being “Competitive” is excellent, however in the way Michael Jordon applies it in being:
– Competitive with your own personal best.
To me this is a very strange, but liberating concept in the sense that if you are simply competing “With Yourself” it makes life a lot more fun and easier. In addition as well, when you choose to stop “Competiting” with every man and his dog – you can actually really focus on your own Goals / Outcomes in a way that makes sense to you.
What painfully taught me this lesson was in learning how to Trade the Forex Markets (i.e. Currency Markets). Because I just had to be “Better than everyone else” it really caused me to ignore the basics and not learn the fundamentals. This basically meant I wasted lots of time “Changing what I was doing” so I could “Beat” other people in my reference group.
Instead of just taking it slowly at my own pace, ignoring everyone else – I kept getting sucked into what everyone else was doing. In addition, if someone is just a “Brilliant Trader” leagues beyond me, I would instantly be put off in that I would instantly think “I am a failure or doing something wrong”. No – it’s just that in this area, someone is getting a better result than me – so what?
I then felt very bad about it and found out – it’s a common trading mistake.
It’s also not a trading mistake – as I have found that in many areas in society this type of thinking is a big problem for a lot of people. “Keeping up the Joneses” thinking can lead to excessive levels of debt, poor young girls (who are convinced they are “Fat” by some photo-shopped model on a fashion magazine) feel bad all the time and in extreme cases can even die from eating disorders, people use unethical workplace political tricks to undermine others who are “Beating Them” and the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting in anyway that we “Stop Trying” or use this as an excuse. I have just learnt (and also observed from a lot of top players) that when you start playing your own game, is when the results really come in. That is, if you are really competitive with other people – you are actually saying to the world “I don’t believe in my own journey, goals or outcomes”.
Think about it – if you were on what you know is the “True Path” for your life – who cares if someone can run faster than you or has a better car? If you feel the need to “Compete” with others as I did, then I can bet you that you either don’t know what you are after or have lost sight of what you were once after.