Sunday, October 3, 2010
Not knowing palmistry, I'm going to make this up: on my right hand there's a "competition line". Being competitive was one of my core attributes before being introduced to the Son-Rise Program and delving into The Option Process®. In my teens, I was devastated when I lost a prestigious national violin competition. I felt like a big loser. It got back to me later that one of the judges scored me highest. That judge instantly became, to my mind, the most knowledgeable musician on the panel. In the decades since, I have owned through self-reflection that I simply didn't prepare well for the competition, the winners were equally talented, and there weren't "stupid judges", despite what I said to my friends.
The kicker about competition is that it's all make-believe like everything else. We may perceive that something, like a race, is about winning and losing. But is winning and losing what anything is really about?? Are we, in the spirit of competition, blowing things up to life-and-death proportions?
What IS competition? How does it serve us? Competition often seems to be a way of motivating ourselves with unhappiness if we're focused on not losing. On the other hand, if what we want is to win something, then we're going for what we want, which is another way of saying we're being useful to ourselves, and that's cool. Is competition a frame of reference in which the outcome is judged, good or bad, victory or defeat? How about taking a more expansive view?
What if we didn't freak out over losing? By that token, what if we didn't "need" to win? What if we saw the finish line as the beginning line, where we begin anew with whatever comes after?
I started considering the place of competition in how I "roll" when I realized that I wasn't feeling competitive anymore in major areas of my life: in my career and with myself. Starting with the latter, I tell myself all the time that I'm doing the best I can and I believe it. What an awesome help that is! To not judge myself because I trust myself. In the workplace, I adopted the belief that there WAS room for me and I didn't have to fight anyone to make a place for myself or keep my place secure. Not that I started slacking off in my work or stopped improving my skills. Actually, after the Extraordinary Man program at The Option Institute, I dropped my fear of losing my job. I learned that I am adaptable, skilled, a capable problem solver, and developed confidence in my ability to make it in this world.
Back to my "competition line", I wonder if that line is coming to an end. Lately, even after being introduced to the Wii, the two-headed competition monster hasn't surfaced. I love playing table tennis with my wife without getting in "needing to win" mode. I want to win, sure. But without attaching losing to my identity, I feel that I've won just having played the game.