A Year of Gifts
Are you competitive? Is competition good or bad?
Some types of competition are certainly fun. I’m not much of a professional football fan but you can’t beat a playoff game to get into the Super Bowl between the Vikings and the Eagles when you live in a neighboring state to Minnesota (Skol!) and a young man from your state has done a phenomenal job in Philadelphia (proud of you, Carson). It promises to be an exciting evening.
But let me get back to my initial questions. Personally, I think competition has a place in life but it can be detrimental if we’re not extremely careful.
We’ve all heard the stories about, and probably witnessed, parents going crazy at their young children’s sporting events. When taken to such extremes, these high levels of competitiveness can strip all the joy out of participating in the sports. We need to remember it’s called playing basketball, or playing hockey, or playing football for a reason. Kids can learn to work as a team, get some exercise and build memories of fun and friendship that can last a lifetime if they can just play. But when sports are taken too seriously, starting with both parents and coaches, participating in a sport can start to feel like a chore for the kids and it’s no longer fun. The true benefits of participating in a sport are often, sadly, lost.
People will argue that kids need to learn to be tough and competitive so they can survive as adults in the real world. Really?
Kids do need to learn many things to live a happy, successful, productive life but I would argue that the need to dominate over everyone else, to be better than everyone else, is not one of those critical lessons. Almost three decades of working in the real world has taught me that some of the most important life skills include the ability to work with others, offer a hand up to those in need, and to learn how to be compassionate servant leaders. Even in fields deemed to be populated with extremely competitive people, it’s usually those individuals that are really good at helping others that succeed in the long run.
Many people around here are proud of Carson Wentz. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Carson grew up in North Dakota and played quarterback for the NDSU Bison. He went on to be a second round draft pick a couple of years ago. He’s played well, but his notoriety is about so much more than football. He is a young man of strong convictions. He has made special connections with fans, especially ones suffering devastating personal hardships. He’s used his success to help many and acts as a leader, both on and off the field.
Because so much of our world is based on competition and “the hype”, it can be a struggle to remember it isn’t all about being number one. Can you imagine how different the state of the world might be if more people instead focused on personal growth? What if we worked to learn from our “competition” instead of working to beat them? Trying to be the best at anything is exhausting and quite literally impossible in a world made up of billions of people. But if each person instead worked to be a little better today than they were yesterday, and that was their own personal measurement of success, it would be so much easier to feel a sense of self-awareness and accomplishment.
I’m trying to focus on becoming a better writer. This means I need to write every day, read and learn from more experienced writers, and keep it fun by writing about things that excite me. While I learn how to write and publish books, I’m crossing paths with others that want to do the same. It’s so fun to be part of something bigger and learn alongside others.
If you like to paint or sell things or teach others, try to do things every day that make you a little better at it then you were yesterday. Help more people do the same. Then enjoy the sense of personal fulfillment you will feel because you’ve made this world a little brighter than it was yesterday. Everyone wins!
Cheering you on, Kim
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a self-published fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!