HEALTHY COMPETITION- What is it and how to be a healthy competitor?

battle black blur board game
“Compete with purpose, or not at all”-YOUR CHOICEST LIFESTYLE.

Competition is in all of us, whether one admits abour it or not. Some are openly competitive and some secretly. Some people find competition in minor things and some compete for big goals. Some people compete with one or two people and some with a block of population or in their guild.

But..How many people are healthy competitors or have healthy competition streak?? You must think about it. Let’s crack the code.

DECLARED VERSUS UNDECLARED COMPETITION-

basketball team stacking hands together
Well defined competitions are well competed-Your Choicest Lifestyle.

When a competition is clearly defined and declared to you and you have accepted it openly because it serves your desire to be a part of it, then it’s a healthy competition, be it related to any field and be it against a single person or a group or a population (population here refers to the people having one similar standard set as the dependent variable for their competition and not the whole population); but if the competition is undeclared and the person you are consciously or sub-consciously competing with has little to no idea about it or they are not on the same page with you, then your competitive streak is outrightly unhealthy and you may even prove yourself to be a fool by being in that dynamic over and over again.

PURPOSEFUL VERSUS PURPOSELESS COMPETITION-

colorful cutouts of the word purpose
Purpose helps in creating respect for competition-YOUR CHOICEST LIFESTYLE.

When a competition serves any of your purpose in making your life better or improving your personality, then it is surely healthy but if your competitive streak hits your psyche only when you see somebody else doing something good or better than you and you feel like competing with them, although it doesn’t serve any of your desired purpose of self-improvement in the long run, then it obviously is unhealthy competition. The latter competition arises out of inner lack of worth and envy and jealousy towards the person secretly being competed with.

CONSCIOUS VERSUS SUB-CONSCIOUS/UNCONSCIOUS COMPETITION-

people running during daytime
Mindfulness (using logic) is required for respecting one’s time and energy- YOUR CHOICEST LIFESTYLE.

When a competition is entered into by and after putting a good amount of conscious thought and then decided upon to enter into it, it is a healthy one because this way your logical side is allowing you to invest your time and energy into it; but a competition is sub-conscious i.e. you tend to compete with people (be it anyone) out of impulse and without putting a good thought into it, then it is unhealthy for you, as first of all, you are not even recognising that you are competing; you may be imitating other(s), trying to look, feel and prove to be better than other(s) and you may have no to little idea about it. It may arise out of sub-conscious envy or jealousy or need for validation from other people to be recognised as better than the other person, although the persons you compete with may have no idea about it. This is downright wastage of both, your time and energy. One needs to be mindful and careful before entering into any kind of competition because it takes a great deal of one’s time and energy.

COMPETITION WITH ONESELF VERSUS COMPETITION WITH OTHERS-

man in black suit achieved an accomplishment
You can never win from everyone, but you can always win from your past self-YOUR CHOICEST LIFESTYLE.

When one competes with one’s past self and tries to improve upon one’s previously achieved standards, then it is surely healthy, be it in any realm of life-career, education, health and fitness, money, social service, etc.; but if one always or mostly competes with other(s) and never tries to figure out and improve upon oneself, then it is unhealthy because then that person is just trying to meet the standards set by the one/ones whom he/she is competing with, although that other person may not have any clue about it, or even if any other person has created competition, it is unhealthy to compete with them or join them because it is not going to serve one anything and may lead one to be exhausted in the end while fueling the energy (probably unhealthy ego) of the other (who has instigated one to compete with them).

So, how to be a healthy competitor?? Always keep in mind your purpose, be conscious and highly logical about where to put your time and energy, have a strong purpose in mind, and preferably compete with your older self while entering into any kind of competition. Life is too short to waste on unhealthy competitions and to deal with mentally unhealthy people who mostly want to drag you into their self-created unconscious competitions.

Emotional Pain-Tolerance and Reactivity.

adult alone anxious black and white

Emotional Pain is something that we all go through being humans moving through life’s ups and downs. But not all of us handle the emotional pain in the same way and even the same person handles it differently at different times during different kinds of circumstances. The patterns involved can be various but let’s talk about the main difference between people having high emotional tolerance and those having low level of it.

The former reacts to the painful situation when it becomes unbearable; whereas the latter reacts the same way even at the hint of pain or at most, at the initiation of a painful event.

Illustratively, emotionally highly tolerant people have the experience(s) of a deep wound(s), which opens up and bleeds every time it’s touched, poked, hit or exposed i.e. emotionally it gets triggered but they get accustomed to tolerating that much pain, so they take it as their normal and generally do not react to what actually normal people would react to to a good extent; 

Whereas emotionally lowly tolerant people have little to no such wound and they become afraid even at the thought of having any wound, so they act dramatically in order to evade from any kind of pain; they show pain which is the bare minimum for other normal people which actually can be too much for them because their threshold of emotional tolerance is quite low.

Because of this, one shall never judge other’s pain based on their reactions. Some people are natually highly reactive, others are experiencially highly tolerant.

If somebody is laughing, it doesn’t mean that they are not in pain;

If somebody is silent, it doesn’t mean that they are in pain;

If somebody is in pain, it doesn’t mean they cannot or won’t react;

If somebody is reacting, it doesn’t mean that they are or are not in pain.

Pain cannot be described and treated by others with rules set in stone. As much as pain is subjective, so is its expression.

“Work Smart, Not Hard”- How much does it work?

accounting analytics balance black and white

Work smart, not hard.” I am sure that you have come across this saying at least once by now, or if you are following quotation pages on any kind of social media platforms, then more than once. But what does it exactly mean? Does smart work replace hard work everywhere and in every task? Can it do so? What if something needs to be done with high precision? What if even after having enough tools and sources of accomplishing a task smartly, you still cannot complete it without paying attention to every single detail and without putting all your efforts and time into it? Actually, only smart work works only in a few thing, that too, if its already done once by somebody else. You can really make and do something smartly by using the available gadgets and information for doing something but the hard work required to do that thing cannot always be replaced by smartness. For example, if you have to make an architectural design of a house, you can have access to and use all the applications on computer to make the design but won’t you have to use your mind and take your time to make an original design through to its perfection? You will have to. Let’s take another example, if you are preparing for an exam and you have access to all the information required to get good grades in that exam and you know what is more important and what is not so important keeping in mind the previous patterns of that exam but what if the old questions don’t repeat again? You will certainly get lower grade than expected. Here, if you would have studied the whole of the syllabus rather than considering only a good portion crucial for preparation, you could have gotten better grades. Let’s take one more example- suppose you are an artist and you know what you want to paint on a canvass, you have seen many tutorials on the internet about how to do it in simpler and easier manner, but still you will have to put all of your efforts to paint it according to your chosen style and desired end product and it may take you days, weeks, or even months for its completion.

What I am pressing upon here is it’s not always that you can choose smart work over hard work. One needs to coagulate smart work with hard with in order to excel in anything. Choosing smart work over hard work for everything may make your end product or outcome mediocre sometimes because it’s already tried and tested by somebody else. While choosing only hard work may be hectic and overly pressing on you, choosing only smart work may be too easy and useless; achieving excellence and getting exceptional results in anything needs both hard and smart work in consonance with each-other.

Emotional or mental ditching- Ever felt ditched emotionally by people closest to you?

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

That was my weakest time emotionally and you were not there.” Ever felt like quoting it or saying it out loud to anyone? Well, we all go through this kind of phases several times in our lives involving a plethora of situations and different people and their several roles in those situations.

What I am going to point out here is when and how one is supposed to show that they truly care about you and/or respect your relationship with them?? It is not when you are at your best but particularly when you are at your weakest point. Anyone can and will join you when you are in prosperity but not everyone will do so in your adversity. Sometimes, the people that seem closest to you in your cheerful and happy moments, don’t show up when you are down, that too knowingly. They do so because they don’t want to interfere or because they don’t care?? You need to figure this out very thoughtfully as well as practically. That can be anyone literally, a friend, a lover, a life partner, a relative, a colleague, or even a parent.

But you can’t blame each and everyone in your weak times for behaving indifferently for everyone does not know you very well. Only those who are always present when you have something good or positive to offer have a moral liability to support you when you can’t offer them anything but need them for emotional support. And, if they are unavailable or make excuses (for even listening to you) or act ignorant like they didn’t even get to know about your mental situation, then it’s time to say goodbye to them.

Give up on each and everyone who cannot understand you howsoever hard you try, howsoever good and understanding you become to them. Your time is also precious which is being spent on them for a long span. Your energy gets burnt by doing things for them that they won’t do for you.

Sometimes, people think that the one who is the doer in a relationship / friendship is supposed to keep doing that stuff. And when he/she stops or recedes, then he/she is generally taken as someone who has changed. No! That person has not changed over time as it is blamed but that person has started realizing his/her importance and the unstable dynamic of the relationship! One just needs to fall back and think or sometimes test his/her relations with others to know if their efforts will ever be reciprocated or not?? But it shall not be done by thinking one-sidedly only. The other person might have genuine problems in life due to which they could not help. For knowing that, it’s better to talk to each-other openly about the issues that are affecting the relation on psychological grounds.

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Does your pain entitle you to offend others?

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

“Take it easy!”,”Chill !!” – The phrases you often listen to whenever you react to someone’s statements that can offend boundaries set by you in your relation to that person. Such a person might be a total stranger, a colleague, relative, friend or lover. What boundaries you have set in your dealings with that person are not meant to be crossed for any reason whatsoever. They might give you the random chill in your spine by intimadating you or might lead your temper to rise or may make you numb in a way that you stay stunned about what to say or how to respond to such a stimulus.

And when you react to it with anger or even affirm your boundaries again, then they try to teach you how to chill and not to take life too seriously. Sometimes, they affirm you that they have gone through great ordeals that you have no idea about and still they are capable of playing around. Actually, they are just playing around with their words or even emotions but seldom logic. Their pain does not entitle them to offend you. If their words are hurting your emotions or sentiments or feelings or you are plainly feeling misunderstood or made fun of or taken advantage of or manipulated with, it’s an offence to your person and their own pain is no excuse to inflict any pain upon you.

For a moment, you might give them another chance by giving due regard to their suffering as a benefit of doubt but that kind of behaviour might continue if not opposed or stopped at the first instance. They might play hooky under the veil of their pain or anger but it is not acceptable because you are not responsible for that pain and thus, it’s also not your duty to tolerate it for any measure.

For opposing or making it stop, you do not need to play the same. You don’t need to play mind games or get angry or play the blame game or be pitiful in any way. Be sympathetic and neutral simultaneously in whatever you say and the tone in which you say it.

For example; say

  • “I have no idea what you have gone through but your pain does not entitle you to offend me and I found your behaviour offensive to my boundaries”
  • “I would like to understand your reasons but still your this action/behaviour is unacceptable to me.”
  • “I did not offend you, and I would appreciate it if you reciprocate the same.”
  • “How would you feel if I offend your boundaries and then give excuse of my pain?”
    And, if he or she still does not stop or get even more offensive or aggressive or passive aggressive then be a little more strict and say “Would you understand my dignified silence or you want me to react like you have reacted?”

What you say should be clear, and should give them a message that their behaviour is unacceptable whatever might be the reason behind it. But do not trigger their emotions or do anything to hurt them as it might worsen the situation altogether. Keep calm and be firm and unprejudiced in your approach.