Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
If ever you find yourself in doubt as to which approach to take, kindness or competition, choose kindness. Kindness and compassion are what we need more of, in business as much as in daily life. However, you would be forgiven for thinking the opposite.
Popular culture, best depicted in films such as “Wall Street” and “Wolf of Wall Street”, or series such as “Billions”, would have you believe otherwise. They would have us believe that life is one big competition, and if you want to achieve success, fame and fortune, this can only be done by crushing your opponents and taking everything you can.
There are many different kinds of competition, which can be seen everywhere we look, from the gym to the boardroom. Competition also exists in nature, but that is again very different. In nature, competition is a fight for life and a preservation of a species. Contrary to the lies that the media scaremongers peddle, the human race is safe. For now. That is not to say that people do not face terrible hardships of the worst kind due to natural disasters. But rarely will we be caught in a fight for our lives.
Competition is not about finding the best way to beat others, in order to gain a particular advantage, reward or stand out from the crowd. Any competition you partake in, should ultimately be against yourself. Forget about circumstances outside of your control, such as the strengths and weaknesses of a colleague who is chasing the same promotion, or a competitor in a race. Focus instead on what you can control. Yourself. Challenge yourself to become the best possible version of you. Increase your knowledge, physical fitness and sharpen your skills. Beat any perceived opponents by being the best version of yourself.
When finding yourself being drawn into competition with others, there is a very real danger that you end up forgetting who you are. You change and make sacrifices to the point where you could almost become a new person, completely different to the real you who only comes out when nobody else is around.
The healthiest competition is when you focus your efforts on improving yourself, challenging yourself daily. Wake up each morning with the intention of taking steps during the day which, when repeated consistently over time will make you more knowledgeable, fitter, and more polished in a particular skill or whatever else you desire. This is what competition should look like. After all, as you learn, improve and grow, you become better able to serve those around you.
Which brings us back to kindness. As you grow, develop, progress and taste the sweet nectar of success, PAY IT FORWARD. Share your experiences and what you have learned so that others may be inspired to strive to become the best version of themselves too. Who knows, the person you help today could become your business partner or a mentor to troubled youths tomorrow.
Challenge yourself to chase after your goals daily with vigour and determination and share your experiences with others so that they may be inspired to do the same. The world has plenty of successful people who adopt the Gordon Gecko and Jordan Belfort mentality of greed being good, but what it really needs is more is successful people who act with kindness and compassion, improving the lives of those around them as well as their own.
The healthiest comptition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.