My favourite part about watching my son run around the track at his athletics club is that it’s not important who crosses the finish line first. The focus is on getting the best out of yourself and going for a Personal Best (PB) time. I love seeing him run faster, throw, and jump further than he has ever run before. He is excited by that as well as he discovers that he is capable of so much more than he thought possible.
Sometimes he wins, sometimes he doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter, he is only competing against himself. The strength of that attitude is that it leaves space for more than one person to win in any race. It is not a zero-sum game, but it’s a place of growth, a place of development, a place of abundance.
We might think that type of attitude has no place outside of kids’ athletics, but it is truly how we can live our whole lives.
In a world where we live with the philosophy of “survival of the fittest” (which is a sham by the way), we are taking the easy way out. It’s easy when all you have to do is try and just be a little bit better than the other team, the other person, the other organisation, we do improve but only incrementally.
If we shifted our focus from trying to be a little bit better than someone else, and begin to imagine what we are capable of, then we realise that we can always get better compared to what we have done before and we are capable of so much more than we think is possible.
Mostly, just because someone else is doing well, it doesn’t mean that we lose out. There isn’t a limited amount of success in the world, there is an abundance meaning we can celebrate when other people are doing well and strive to get our own PB.
As Reese Witherspoon said, “Someone else’s success isn’t impeding mine”.