The Winner’s Mindset: Competitive Spirit
When I first started to compete in bodybuilding, I did it just to compete, for the experience.
And as most things go in life, I got the seed planted in my head that more is better. A joyful experience turned into one of external circumstances, which never ends well.
As the years went on, I learned to savor the process of competition and getting ready. The day of the show was just a celebration.
In 2007, I had won my first show and one week later I was competing in a bigger show that I had already done numerous times. I thought this was going to be my year to win that show.
Well, at the weigh-ins, I saw a competitor who would later become a good friend, and I knew that there was no way I could beat him.
He was a professional caliber athlete and later did turn into an IFBB pro. Yet, I wasn’t disappointed. I had enjoyed the process of being the best I ever was up to that point.
Up on stage, I gave it everything I had and it was an honor to go against such competition. My spirit was enhanced, I was inspired.
Which begs the question: what is the point of competition? Is it win, lose or draw? Yes and no. The only person you are competing with is yourself. There are certain ways to express the human spirit, the main ones being: sport, art and music.
Competition should inspire you. If you aren’t growing from the spirit of competition, then you are going about it wrong. If you are measuring your worth by whether or not you won first place, then joy will be short lived.
Yes, you should want to win. Heck, I want to be a killer every time I compete in something. To honor competition requires such a mindset of ‘finish’. Don’t take your foot off the pedal. Give it your all and leave nothing in the tank.
All of the mini-competitions you have just part of the bigger game of life. Life, however, is a game that cannot be won. Once you win, you must set new targets or risk dying a slow death of mediocrity.
Every expression of the human spirit must enhance oneself. Every time I make writing a chore and start to think that my writing worth is what others think, I am no longer writing for the joy of writing. And I burn out, I no longer get lost in the process and the expression of creativity. It becomes something else.
You need something or someone to compete against, so honor that entity. Games are supposed to be fun and a game can only exist when you have someone to play against.
Feel the ups and downs of competition but realize that they don’t define you. Competition is just a way for us to experience some of the flavorful emotions of life.
It’s about what you learn on the journey and who you are being on that journey.
And remember, it’s all your path.