Competing to be the best or unleashing your true potential

Who do you compete against?

“If you aren’t first you are last” … “compete not with others but with your last best performance.” … two very different definitions. Compete and be motivated by others or have the intrinsic motivation to win. Is one better than the other?

If you are at the top of your sport, career, business etc. do you continually look to improve and innovate or you are glad to be at the top and you assume you’ll stay there. There is a difference between great and legendary. We have talked a good amount about the difference of being great and legendary in pat articles. When looking at an all star team. The players are all great, in their own regard. They made the “all star” team, so they must be the top of the top, however, of every great group there are the elite few. Their hunger, drive, sacrifice, ( insert -> all the words that you usually hear of the  elite), supersede all the others efforts. If you listen to what they say, not the words,  they don’t do it for anyone but themselves. Terrible! Selfish.. but think of the other side, competing to beat someone else or competing to prove something to another individual. What do you do when you finally beat that person or  you’ve finally proven whatever it was you were looking to prove to that person.  All that work and now… ?!

Competition isn’t nice. Someone always loses, it just depends on how high the stakes. In 3rd grade gym class, losing in a volleyball game you didn’t care about may not have high stakes compared to the wild, where, a lion either catches and kills another animal or his pride starves. Eat or be eaten. Intense! That’s competition. A lion competes to survive not to be better, being better is an important variable of surviving.


There is always someone younger, looking to knock out the champ. Think of teams, the best player on the team eventually gets older and is at some point challenged by a talented young gun who wants to take over. No matter how great the veteran player was, what memories were created or how great they were in the community, age hits all of us and at some point it’s what is in the best interest of the team.

Competition can suck! … it all depends on your mindset. Compete with yourself, continue to strive to get better, innovate, find ways to develop your craft. Feel like you’ve achieved everything you possibly can… there is no higher level? The legendary, the elite always find a way top themselves. Michael Jordan won 6 titles! If you ask anyone else there is nothing else for him to do.. He has plenty of money, connections, time. When he retired, he went on to be the  first player to own a basketball team. Compete for yourself, achieve your true potential, block out the noise and stop worrying about the risk and possible “failure”… we all lose. Losing allows for true growth and reaching your maximal potential allows you to reach legendary status.


Kirill Vaks


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