Competition cultivates the will to win, the desire to succeed, and the drive to achieve your full potential. Competition is the catalyst to success and excellence. Competition brings out the best in us.
“Men [and women] will die for points” – Greg Glassman
Have you ever noticed that most people will do anything to win? Both guys and gals will do whatever it takes to stand on the podium, become the MVP, move up one spot on the leaderboard, win the church softball league, or beat their significant other in a game of Scrabble. People like to compete, and I don’t blame them – competition is awesome!
At Ballistic Performance, we talk A LOT about loving the process. We preach that you NEED to love the process more than the prize (i.e. the win), and that is 100% true – we wholeheartedly believe that! What we don’t talk about very often is competition, specifically the value of competition as it relates to your health, fitness, nutrition, or any facet of life for that matter.
We define competition, or competing, as the perpetual pursuit of better.
Competition if often defined as “the act of competing” or “a contest between rivals,” but at Ballistic Performance, we define competition, or competing, as the perpetual pursuit of better. We believe that in order to cultivate a lifestyle that you’re proud to live and share with your loved ones, you need to compete. You need to compete with yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends, your coworkers, and your rivals. You need to fanatically pursue better. You need to wake up every damn day and strive to be a better Christian, a better husband, a better wife, father, mother, sister, and brother. You need to be a better student, teacher, mentor, leader, listener, and friend. You must be willing to do whatever it takes to become better.
Now, you may have read that and thought to yourself, “Why would I compete with my spouse, family, and friends? I’m already a great husband, father, mother, brother, etc. I’m already at the top of my class, leading the team in sales, etc.” So, let’s unpack that statement.
You need to compete with them, not against them.
First and foremost, if you remember, at Ballistic Performance, we define competing as the perpetual pursuit of better. When we talk about competing, we’re not talking about trying to outwit, outgun, and outlast your “rivals.” We’re not telling you to engage in cutthroat, winner-take-all competition with your spouse, friends, family, and coworkers. We’re saying that you need to relentlessly pursue better alongside those people. You need to compete with them, not against them. Competing with your spouse, friends, family, and coworkers will cultivate community and camaraderie. It will enable you to build each other up and challenge one another to invest even more time, energy, and effort into your pursuits. It will make ALL of you better.
Competition develops and refines the characteristics and attributes necessary to succeed.
Not only will competition make you better, it will demand that you become the best possible version of yourself. Competition will provide the opportunities necessary to develop and refine the characteristics and attributes you need to be successful in all of your pursuits. It will challenge you; it will teach you to adapt, respond, and overcome; it will transform. Competition will enable you to achieve more than you’d have ever thought possible.
There’s a difference between competition and compulsion.
Where’s the line? Is there a line? How far is too far in regards to competition? These are all valid questions. “It is possible to have too much of a good thing,” at least as it relates to competition. It’s the point where you’re no longer competing with your team (i.e. the people closest to you, the people you love and care about, or your coworkers), but instead, competing against them. You may be asking yourself, “Why would I compete against my ‘team’?” The answer is simple: your desire to compete mutated into a compulsion.
There’s a difference between competition and compulsion. Competition promotes community, camaraderie, collaboration, dependability, trust, leadership, and growth; competition is healthy and beneficial to all parties involved. Compulsion on the other hand is a blinding, uncontrollable urge to achieve the desired outcome. Compulsion is the willingness to do anything and everything possible to win regardless of the cost, collateral damage, or consequences. It’s the cutthroat, winner-take-all mentality that we discussed earlier. Compulsion is the gateway to addiction, isolation, dissatisfaction, and disappointment. Why? Because in order to achieve the end result (i.e. the prize, the win, or the goal), compulsion will force you to compromise, or completely abandon, core values, beliefs, priorities, and relationships. You’ll likely achieve what you set out to accomplish, but when you’re standing at the finish line, on the podium, or in the corner office, you’ll have no one to share the moment and celebrate the victory. At that point, does it even mean anything? Was it even worth it?
Reach out, make connections, expand your circle, embrace discomfort, and challenge yourself to be better than yesterday.
It’s time to start competing. It’s time to embrace competition. It’s time to pursue better. As Gary Vaynerchuk so eloquently stated, “Ideas are shit. Execution is the game.” It’s time to execute! Not tomorrow, not Monday, not next week, next month, or next year, right now! Today is the day. No more excuses, no more delays. Just start! Reach out, make connections, expand your circle, embrace discomfort, and challenge yourself to be better than yesterday. Compete to see who can be the better spouse; compete to see who can be the better friend; compete to see who can be the better team, the better salesman, barista, cashier, and student. Challenge yourself and the people around you to be the best possible versions of yourselves. Commit to the perpetual pursuit of better.