Competition is my motivation, my incentive, to do better in almost everything that I do. I can credit many aspects of myself and my life to beating or exceeding an opponent of some sort, or even just trying to beat or exceed them. These competitions I create cause me to do more than what I’m comfortable with, a boost to do something new, just to outwit or outlast someone else.
I have a friend that I have known for 6 years, today we are debate partners, we compete together against another team of two people, but the very fact that I know him I can credit to competition. I met him when I was in sixth grade; we sat next to each other in Math class. Both of us being as competitive as we were, we would compare our grades, starting off just as tests and soon expanding to quizzes, homework, class work and soon we were even bringing in science grades to show each other how much better we were than the other in that as well. Our competition was not hostile or antagonistic as most people assume competitions are, we just got a kick out of getting a better grade than each other and it usually ended in a laugh and a promise of reprisal on the next assignment. Not only did I gain a friend through our competition, but I also got an “A” in Math. Our friendly competition created a bond between us that lasts to this day (but I blew him out of the water in Math, he’s now in a class that I took two years ago).
Competition seems to drive me in everything that I do in many different ways. Competition causes me to innovate, if I can’t get out of the parking lot and get home faster than someone I think of a different way to get out or a new way to park. Competition causes me to outwit, if my brother is faster and thinner than I am and that makes him a better basketball player than me then I think of a way to beat him with what I can do. Competition causes me to succeed, if I hold a job in the future that no one else wants then what is the point of working my best to keep it? Competition motivates me to do whatever I do, even as I sit writing this I know that this is going to a competition that I can win and even if I don’t the opportunity to practice writing can make me a better writer and it will help my grade on essays; even in failure competition helps and benefits me. In life I always try to do the best I can do and I do it through trying to beat someone else’s best.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.