When Getting Better Isn’t About Competition

It makes me really mad when people are better at things at which I consider myself skilled. There is a myth out there (or, you know, a lie the world tells us. I get tired of saying it this way.) that says that everything everywhere at all times is a competition.

In this line of thinking, anyone who succeeds in something more than me is succeeding to my disadvantage. They are doing awesome things, and thus, I cannot. I don’t tend to care in things I don’t like. It doesn’t bother me that Kanye West is nominated for a bunch of Grammys. I don’t make music. He can step on me to get ahead in music all he wants. But if Kanye was my peer in school (which, by the way, would be pretty cool), you better believe that every time he got a better grade or a higher position in an organization, I would grow more annoyed and angry at him.

I don’t like that I am this way. There are a lot of people who aren’t. I was hanging out with a man while he did his job today. And he was so excited. A lot of his excitement came from the fact that his coworkers were some of the best in his field. That didn’t discourage him or make him jealous; it made him hungry for knowledge. Instead of being disappointed with his own achievements, he was trying to figure out how to use his peers’ deeper knowledge to better himself.

I liked that.