Why do I compete?


Competition: The act of competing; rivalry for supremacy, a prize, etc. A contest for some prize, honor, or advantage.

In any competition, there will be crowned winners and commiserated losers. So choosing to participate should be a decision based on whether you believe you’re going to win.

Research shows that men and women do this in different ways, with women being more calculating and conservative, whilst men more likely to ignore the odds. The core driver behind it is the same, we’re in it, it seems, to win it.

A Winner’s Story?

So let me tell you story of what is NOT going to happen.

The average Joey arrives on the field at the competition. The judges excited and anxious for the games to begin watch from their shaded podium upon the great open fields of the arena. The other competitors prepare for their own games, among the sound of clattering tools and sparks of skill filling the air.

The board is set and the game begins.

A flash, a blaze of light. The secret power of all things gamification descends on the newcomer imparting all the power and knowledge of the digital heavens upon them. The judges and competitors are in awe.

“You are descended from a secret line of gamifiers.” They’ll declare. “The power passed from generation to generation. This day has been your destiny.”

The crowds go wild.

Its the story, we’ve all told ourselves at one time or another. The story of the average, who turns out to be special and as lovely a story it would be to believe. It’s an awful way to live your life.

If we try to live this story, the winner in waiting, its like living as if there’s a waiting lottery ticket in that back pocket of your old pair of jeans. Merely forgotten and waiting to be discovered. We go through life waiting for the amazing to happen and forget to seize upon a different kind of story.

I have nothing to lose and everything to learn.

Its something I was reminded of when I came across this Ted Talk by Sam Solie. There aren’t a million YouTube views and Sam isn’t the guru imparting his formula for making a million dollars. It is however, a wonderful reminder of a different definition of winning.

So why do I compete? In the stolen and adapted wise words of Sam’s dad.

“Maybe the process of competing is more important than the competition itself.”


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