The school I went to for high school could be called one of the most competitive schools in Nevada and maybe even the United States. Many people wanted to get into better colleges and grades and competed with everybody in the class. When someone had some success, instead of appreciating that person and congratulating them, more grudges and competition resulted. Then there is the repetitive nature of most people to compare themselves to others and feel horrible when they do not reach the person they are competing with. This post will address how to turn this competitiveness into something healthy instead of letting this unavoidable tendency become an unbreakable burden in our lives.

The foundational element you need before having healthy competition is to value and have respect for every person. If someone has a different opinion, you can have respect for the person’s considerable passion. There are always some good elements in somebody that you have to learn to see. A student in my class always received the award despite me working incredibly hard to be one of the hardest working students in the class. I always idolized this person and tried my hardest to reach his level. When he won the award, I congratulated him and told him that I would try my hardest to beat him next time. We became great friends and continued to learn from each other. This relationship encouraged me to be a better person, have more determination, improve myself and work as hard as I can. Try to find something you can appreciate in another person and then attempt to learn from that person’s strength. Instead of having a negative competitive attitude, you can see how it can turn into something that can help you flourish further. 

The second element you need to have this healthy competition is understanding it is not all about winning but learning and gaining other insights from the journey. I am not saying it is okay not to win, but you could win by learning more from a journey. People say that mistakes help people grow more than continuous successes. I have repeated this theme previously, but make sure you learn from your mistakes and become a better person. Even if you do not beat somebody, make sure you continue to strive to be better. You need to be more flexible with what you consider “winning.” Think of winning as gaining valuable experiences or information that can help you improve instead of just having victory over somebody. You do not have to let your efforts go to waste when you do not necessarily beat someone. Make sure to turn all your efforts into improving yourself, as self-improvement is the embodiment of winnings in my books.

The next thing you need to do is set short-term personal goals instead of long-term goals that may be hard to reach. When people set short-term goals, they feel accomplished when they complete them, which allows them to remain motivated to complete the goals. I like to have an overarching long-term goal, but I break this goal down into short-term ones. I feel that this allows me to accomplish the long-term goal faster. This type of competition is oriented with yourself, and you get short-term winnings that make you feel incredible. When you convince yourself that you are winning and approaching this long-term goal with short-term goals, it helps you compete healthier against a negative mindset and ensures that you remain confident in your ability to have success. Not only can you compete healthier with other people, but you can compete with yourselves by taking advantage of short-term goals. 

This element relates to the idea of finding value in everybody. It involves you respecting the effort of others. If you value every person, I believe this step becomes significantly easier. Take pride in the human ability to strive towards a goal in an attempt to better themselves. When somebody wins an award, respect their efforts and understand they are trying as hard or even more than you. Keep in mind that they may not necessarily have the same goals as you. I know many people who treasure the time spent with others more than studying or working towards a career goal. Respect their different priorities and understand everybody is trying to find a balance and work towards their happiness and future success. I do not deny that there may be some exceptions to this rule, but try to keep a flexible and open mindset. This admiration of other people will help you see what gives these people value, and you could mimic attitudes or behaviors to better yourself. I can assure you that there is always someone better than you at something. This is not something to be necessarily sad about. You also have good parts about you that other people do not have. I am suggesting that you understand that person’s value and take anything that may be of assistance to you. Through the respect of others, you can learn more and be more compassionate. There is nothing better than this. 

These four components will help you compete healthier with others and yourself. There is so much bad blood between different people, which is solely due to competition. Turn this competition into something more beneficial for your improvement. I despise seeing competition resulting in friendships and learning opportunities being broken. There is so much more value by competing healthily with people, so I want everyone to begin taking advantage of this. These new attitudes have helped me grow exponentially, so please avoid harmful competition and do something that can lead to positive growth.