Competing Well Is Not That Difficult!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


Competition has been the buzz word wherever we go. Ironically, day in and day out, most of us are engaged, knowingly or unknowingly, with a mind-set of outsmarting others to achieve success on various occasions including competitive examinations, may be, at times without knowing or thinking as to what that success really means to us in terms of a sense of fulfilment, advancement or a feeling of happiness. Many a times, the competition is so cut throat that we find it very difficult to cope up with the situation and get stressed disproportionately.
In our eagerness and compulsion to succeed by hook or by crook, we fail to understand that each individual has his own level of strengths and weaknesses, potential and capacity, willingness and motivation to perform. When no two persons are absolutely similar either biologically, physically or intellectually, how can they be same and similar in delivering the same results, when subjected to undergo some test or the other in day to day life? Though we know, yet forget to appreciate in practice that every individual is a unique entity having diverse levels of knowledge and skills, conception and perception, potential and commitment. As such, the competition always is fundamentally with ‘self’ to become better day by day and to enjoy the fruits of improved productivity by getting the grammar of life gradually more right.

Before moving forward, please enjoy and emulate what these lines try to convey: “There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Precisely speaking, learning and acting for improving one's own performance should be a continuous process, that is to say, competing on a regular basis with your own old self for definite value addition.
There are thousands of examples of great and successful personalities, both past and present, from different fields of activities, which proved by their own making that self-improvement is a sure way to achieve both success and happiness in life.
Nobody can deny or dispute the fact that every improvement starts with 'I' and to ensure that to happen, the first step to embark upon is to undertake an objective self - ‘SWOT’ analysis. Here, as you might know, 'S' stands for Strength, 'W' for Weakness, 'O' for Opportunity and 'T' for Threat. As such, you must jot down on a piece of paper your present status in respect of all the four parameters. Then, make reasonable assessment of your capacity to perform to the optimum level for consolidating and then improving the positives and for diminishing the negatives with a well-formulated strategy and action plan to grab the available opportunities and managing the risk or threat, if any in order to move towards your own goal of life. In Lord Buddha's golden words, "Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back and choose the path that leads to wisdom."
While talking with students in his own inimitable style on the monthly Radio Broadcast 'Mann Ki Baat' a few months back, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi exhorted every young listener to compete with himself  and use every examination as an opportunity to understand and test himself  so as to ensure their betterment on a regular basis. He (PM Modi)  cited the example of Sergei Bubka, the renowned International Pole Vaulter who broke the World Record for Men’s Pole Vault 35 times and also broke his own record 14 times. Modi said, "You should set a standard for yourself and test yourself …"
Finally, the golden words of Howard Cosell: “The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give.”  

# Click here to enjoy my Blog in Hindi, "Chalte, Chalte" (चलते, चलते)


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