The word compete is derived from some Greek words that mean ‘to strive together.’ As the very successful founder of Manpower, Lance Sectreten, puts it, competition “creates personal stress, weakens physical and mental health, causes low self esteem, demotivates, toxifies organizations, and damages personal relationships.” Whoa.
I have always considered myself a competitive person. I have found myself proudest of the moments when I went for it, even if I was unsure in the moment and wondered what people might think. In the end, it’s me who has to live with myself, so I figure that I’m better off going for the opportunities which present themselves, lest I be pissed off at myself for missing a chance to do something awesome that might not come up for me again. This means keeping on my toes and being ready to compete, only in the end, I’m inevitably only competing with myself. I’m looking to keep up with all of the awesome opportunities that come to me by positioning myself in the line of fire. It is a game, like any sport, only one where I actually control the outcome and gamble on my own successes.
I’m tapped in, and I know a lot about what the universe needs me to catch. How familiar are you with the voices that call out to you to make this or that play?
When we expect to be judged by others, we are messing with the purity of the game. When we invite politics, we tamper with the economy of the sport. Why not play without the need for observers? There is enough excitement happening on the field. Players are best when focusing on making the most balanced and harmonious movements with their bodies. Everyone who’s ever played a game of volleyball, for instance, knows that the most fun is had when you have an incredible back and forth rally. There is a synergy between the players and between opposing teams that excites everyone on the court. Scoring points is a break in that synergy, and an end unto itself. Scoring is not the driving force behind the desire to play the game. It is, though, behind the drive to capitalize.
I will assume that there is hardly an athlete or artist out there who begins their craft with money as their ultimate goal. The desire to achieve synergy, or flow, as some call it, is what drives people to use these physical expressions of creativity. Synergy – with purpose, with others, and with passion.
Competition between people turns our focus on destroying our opponent. It can be seen as healthy… if you believe that culling the herd is the best way forward. Our current methods of advertising are a form of this egocentric competition that we hold dear in the free-market economy. It is all about me, and identifying and exploiting my needs.
“Those who commit to a practice of life-long learning – intellectual maintenance you might call it, can rest easy knowing that they will stay relevant and young. What’s more, it’s good for the soul. Learning leads to regeneration; it is the fuel of the soul. Without learning, we cannot grow, and without growth, the soul withers.”
– Lance Secreten
The Internet gives us the potential to create a web in our human history, and for the first time ever, we have interwoven our human consciousness in a tangible form. This is an omnipresent oneness, linking our souls into one. Through the Internet, we are able to share our passions and goals, creating the space to work and grow together. It is our job to enable each person in our sphere to seek out, learn, evolve, and excel in whatever ways call out to them. We must honour what is good in each other – those most profound, most secret things that we show glimpses of to each other, seeking recognition.
Reach out and inspire someone to follow their creative voices so that each of us is heard. If we don’t, imagine what we’re missing out on.
And when we look to help one another out, it is important to know that there is a difference between motivating someone and inspiring them. As Lance Secreten has taught me, motivation is an intention to influence another’s behavior, to achieve the goals that we have in mind. It is a service to our own best interest, which causes cynicism in those whom we are trying to lead.
But when we seek to inspire another, we breathe the breath of God/Life into them and help them find the Diving Influence in their life.
Let us not guide each other in our motivations of greed and self-interest; let us instead inspire each other, as though we are speaking from soul to soul, with love.