Is It Worth Entering The ‘Race’ Of Competition?…


Is It Worth Entering The ‘Race’ Of Competition?



From the moment we begin to comprehend the world we consciously or subconsciously compete. We experience competition in every aspect of our lives – at work, school, college and even in our homes. We want our children to achieve the highest grades to get them into the best schools, at work among our peers to strive for promotion, at sports, and at home to show we are the better parent or sibling.

There is, in fact, nowhere in our lives where there is no competition. Society asserts that competition, something instinctively part of being a human, is positive as it brings out the best within us.

The prize for winning is self-esteem and a sense of pride and superiority. For those who lose they feel saddened, defeated, un-confident and sometimes resentful towards the winner. For the winner to maintain being at the top takes an enormous amount of energy and effort – but inevitably the winner is replaced by someone else. In the words of a famous Indian philosopher, “Even if one comes first today, he will indeed come last someday.” For example, no sportsman or sportswoman can remain at the top forever; someone who is younger or fitter inevitably beats them.

Similarly, in our lives, even if our child excels academically, he will probably not be able to excel in sports. Alternatively, if you are promoted to the highest rank in a company, you will find another manager in another company who possesses a higher rank than you do! So the quest for ‘winning’ is endless and can never be fulfilled.

SEE ALSO: Empowering Yourself With Gratitude

So what do You Gain by Obsessively Competing?

Many people spend all their time and energy trying to prove they are better than someone else. If they do win, it is only temporary and they attract jealousy and other negative thoughts from other people. If they lose, they continue to feel miserable and unworthy. The constant striving to compete only results in friction and clashes even at home – everything is about how they can change yourself or others around them so they can be the best!



Is it Worth the Effort?

Should you be like that? Contrary to what people think, there is an alternative: if you chose not to obsessively compete, you could appreciate what you have and not what you do not have. You will experience peace and serenity within you, which will profoundly change the atmosphere in your work and at home. You will spend your energy and time on things that are significant to you, not on trying to get somewhere. Like climbing a mountain, you will begin to enjoy the journey. It is not just about reaching the summit; it is about enjoying the scenery around you whilst you are climbing to its peak (which you may never ever achieve.)

Instead of competing, you could experience freedom from the negative emotions that can arise:

  • Anger and resentment for those who are better than you
  • Pride of having beaten others
  • Freedom from the fear of being deceived by others
  • Greed of wanting to have everything at the expense of others, even if they suffer

Focus on Yourself

You should focus instead on competing and bettering yourself. For true peace of mind, you could strive to better yourself not in terms of what you have achieved, but what you can change within you so you can better serve others.

When you do this, you will realize that you only compete out of a sense of ego. Once you realize your true Self – your pure Soul, which is separate from your emotions and your body, you will become aware that the horse race of life is the one you have experienced over many lifetimes and it is a race that only brings pain and misery. The only competition worth winning is the one that achieves liberation – the freedom from the perpetual cycle of birth and rebirth!! Everything else is fruitless and ultimately involves suffering.

In the words of Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, “People suffer because they compete. They enter competitions. Just watch the competition; you have to simply ‘see’ which horse comes first. Those who enter a ‘race’ have to suffer the pain. So, is it worth entering?”



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