I’ve never liked competition. Do I need to see someone else lose to feel better about myself? Do I need a bigger house or a fancier car to be happy? Do I need to put others down to get that promotion at work?

Here in India, right from the time we’re in school, we are surrounded by voices and behaviour that encourages fierce competition to come first in the class, to top the school. Teachers always making comparisons between students, parents often compare their children to their friends’ or neighbours’ kids.

Similarly at work, we’re so afraid to share what we know, afraid to help others, thinking that we will become redundant.

We have situations where we are forced to compete, for example when interviewing for a job. But most of the time we are in control and have a choice. We can choose to compete with others over who’s more attractive, wealthier, happier, or more successful.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Everyone is on their own path, and we all do what’s right for ourselves, in our own time. I believe we live in a supportive Universe where everything unfolds perfectly—at the right time, in the right place. Comparing ourselves to others is an infinite source of stress and frustration, and it doesn’t serve us well.

Doing your best is more important than being the best.

Zig Ziglar

When it comes to ourselves as well, what’s the use of constantly fighting with ourselves to be the best? We set ourselves goals, most often based on what others are doing around us. For what? Doing your best is definitely the key. As long as I know I’ve done my best, nothing else matters. When I know I’ve done the best I could, there’s no room for regrets. 

I choose to see myself as perfectly beautiful and beautifully imperfect. I celebrate my mistakes as much-needed opportunities for growth. I celebrate both success and failure because this is what makes me wiser. I treat every life experience as an opportunity to learn new things about myself and other people. I am enough and worthy, so I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. Not even to myself.

The world doesn’t need fiercely competitive people. It needs more compassionate and loving people, people who celebrate others’ success and comfort them during the rough times!

Here’s a lovely story that touched me.

A professor gave a balloon to every student, who had to inflate it, write their name on it and throw it in the hallway. The professor then mixed all the balloons. The students were then given 5 minutes to find their own balloon. Despite a hectic search, no one found their balloon.

At that point, the professor told the students to take the first balloon that they found and hand it to the person whose name was written on it. Within 5 minutes, everyone had their own balloon.

The professor said to the students: “These balloons are like happiness. We will never find it if everyone is looking for their own. But if we care about other people’s happiness, we’ll find ours too.”

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