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YOUR Best vs THE Best

I've often, and maybe obviously, been accused of being competitive. Believe it or not, in the past the verdict made me bristle, but now I'll culp to it. Yes, competitive I may be, but if you've ever competed against me, you may have missed a key ingredient in our battles. I'm not too concerned about winning.

Maybe different words may help. Whipping someone's ass ain't my goal for success. If it's yours, 'twould behoove you to consider why. NOT winning, however, is not on the table. Here's the thing. I may not always beat my opponent. But I rarely, if ever, lose.

The current idea of winning isn't synonymous with being your best, no matter how it is packaged. They aren't automatically synchronized with the other. And both have much different implications on our lives, and the lives of those we connect with. Therefore striving for YOUR best instead of THE best allows you to define what winning is on your terms.

Being THE best and being YOUR best are only synonymous if you believe that a struggle for a prefabricated idea of greatness will allow you to sacrifice what you know, in your heart, greatness truly is. Which is why the modern idea of winning doesn't mean much, in the long term, beyond being a weird cyclical monster of winning to inspire others to win that eats its own tail. Today's win comes with temporary cheers and maybe some pizza. If you're one of the very, very, very-to-the-power-of-many-more-verys lucky, maybe there is money and a dose of fame involved. But with that comes the yoke of new levels of expectations from other people. This makes contemplating our relationship with competitiveness frightening, because it has us looking into ourselves and our future in a way that ultimately might not jive with our value system. There can only be one Number 1 in our predefined rule structure or common societal templates, and we're served a great heap of cognitive dissonance to think that it could be us. Even worse, we're convinced it's important,

But within the modern framework of defined success, very few people win forever. Success through curiosity about what you can do has far different roots, and much greater longevity, than aiming to see who you can beat.. They also both have dichotomistic influences, one from the inside, one far less so, but disguised as self-will. Just like obsession is a disorder parading as passion, the motivation to win through domination is a disease masquerading as a benchmark for success. The desire to win is often a desire to prove yourself, and if that's not unwrapping a giant onion of painful reflection, then I don't have a penchant for ice cream and Hostess products. One quick thought, however. Might there be better ways? Yes, I'm competitive. Winning, however, means something quite different for me. Accepting a challenge and learning from it.

This makes for crappy trash talk, though.

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