“Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” – Nancy Pearcey
However, after a while, I realized that competition actually brought out the most effort and growth in me. I noticed that I have a lot of fun when I’m good at something, such as video games or at work, competing to be the hardest worker or most recognized. It was then that I started to understand the true importance of healthy competition and having a rival.
Rivals can be individuals or even groups that bring out the best in us. They help us set higher standards and goals for ourselves, pushing us to strive for excellence. Healthy competition is not about putting others down, but about lifting ourselves up.
In his book The Boy Crisis, Dr. Warren Farrell highlights the importance of competition for boys, and how it can be beneficial for girls as well. He breaks it down into three categories:
Individual sports such as wrestling, boxing, or tennis, offer a one-on-one challenge that tests how well you can perform against another person. It requires physical strength, strategic thinking, and mental fortitude to come out on top. The victories and losses are personal, and the lessons learned from them can be applied to other areas of life, such as work or school.
Team sports, such as football, soccer, or basketball, offer a different kind of challenge. These sports test how well a team can work together to achieve a common goal. It requires communication, cooperation, and leadership skills to be successful. The experience of playing on a team can teach valuable life lessons about collaboration, compromise, and accountability.
Pick-up sports are team sports that are formed impromptu, without having a pre-existing relationship with the other players. These games test how well the team can work together without having built a prior relationship. They offer a unique challenge of having to quickly build trust and rapport with the other players.
Having a rival can also be beneficial for self-improvement. A rival pushes you to work harder, to strive for excellence, and to continuously improve. A rival can be a source of inspiration, motivation, and accountability. By having a rival, you are constantly challenged to grow and develop, both personally and professionally.
In conclusion, competition is an essential part of personal growth and development. Sports, in particular, offer a valuable way to experience and learn about competition. Whether it’s through individual sports, team sports, or pick-up games, the lessons learned from competition can be applied to other areas of life. Having a rival can also be beneficial for self-improvement. By embracing healthy competition, we can push ourselves to achieve our personal best and become the best version of ourselves.
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