competition

“Of all human powers operating on the affairs of mankind, none is greater than that of competition” -Henry Clay

When most think of competition, they do not associate it with something that can be beneficial. We tend to think that competition of any kind is bad for us. However, there are many positive aspects to competition and by learning about them, you can best be ready to use those benefits to your advantage. This applies for business as well as in your personal life:

Keeps you alert
Without competition, you’d be on cruise control, with no worries in the world. This makes you vulnerable and prone for mistakes that can be costly. With competition around, you are more likely to keep your eyes open and capture every detail along the way so that you remain on top of your game. Competition makes you see things that you normally would not bother noticing.

Helps assess your strengths & weaknesses
Following up from my previous point, what you do notice is what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. With competition, you have a way to measure how well or how poorly you are doing. Knowing what you are good at and what you are not is extremely important, because success is all about accentuating your strengths and hiding your weaknesses. How well you accomplish this determines how far you go.

Makes you creative
Without competition, we’d probably still be in the stone age. Look around you, everything you see is a by-product of some kind of competition. Look at how far humanity has come. Whether it’s about business or your personal life, creativity brings about the best in all of us. Without competition, we would end up settling for far less than what we are truly capable of.

Helps to manage success & failure
Of course, with any competing environment, you will suffer setbacks along with successes. How you cope with either one truly defines and shapes your character. If everything was always going our way, what lesson would we ever learn? Plus, life would get pretty boring very quickly! Competition forces us to deal with both sides of the coin, and this is why sports are a great learning experience for kids growing up. It helps them deal with winning and losing and how they react to it, which is a crucial skill to possess as you manage your life in adulthood.

Increases your quality
Whether it’s a product or a service a business puts out there, or how you present yourself personally, competition forces you to increase your quality. Improving and moving forward is part of evolution, and competition makes sure that you bring your A game at all times. The better you get, the more appreciation you will find around you, which is the one constant we all seek: acceptance.

Makes you persevere
When you look at someone ahead of you and you do whatever it takes to catch up to them…that is the essence of perseverance. You don’t give up until you are at the top. Without competition, we would have no reason to persevere. We wouldn’t know our limits and how far we can stretch them. The rewards of perseverance are priceless and to experience such rewards, you need a reason, and competition is that reason.

Long term planning
As you persevere, you are obligated to plan ahead. You have to have a direction and a goal. Without competition, you wouldn’t know where the finish line is. How would you get there then? Having a clear and concise “map” of what you need to do to get to the point that you want to be at, is necessary if you ever want to accomplish anything in your life. Competing pushes you to have a plan to carry out, because that is the only way you can truly be in the game and have a chance at winning ;)