I am competing right now, I am writing an
article about competing in order for me to be noticed. We compete nearly all of
the time; competition is good for us, without it we would not evolve, we could
not better ourselves, sporting records could not be broken and products would
not be enhanced. Competition makes life better; surely it must do, it is our
human nature to compete.
At work, if we want to get on we need to compete, to put ourselves
forward, get that promotion and move up the ladder, for some it does not matter
who we tread on, dog eats dog and that is the way of the world, right?
In business small companies compete, jockeying for position, trying
to get themselves noticed, undercutting where possible to give the best price
for that new conservatory or landscaping job. Big companies compete as well,
they keep a check on their competitors, discuss strategies to win contracts,
always trying to go that extra mile and yes, undercutting their prices to win
the contract. That is healthy competition, which is what we want as the
consumer, giving us our value for our money, or is it? What then when they
cross the line, an imaginary line, but a very real line where they cannot
fulfil the obligation and corners are then cut. Who has caused the competition,
who is the greedy party, the consumer or the provider?
I recently flew to India. When my wife and I landed we collected our
luggage, eventually negotiated the arrival checks and we were then greeted by a
horde of baggage porters, desperately trying to grab a case and move it a few
yards to a waiting coach or taxi, for many new arrivals to India it was an
almost frightening experience with some getting very agitated indeed. India is
not the only place I have witnessed competition for baggage at an airport but
it is probably the most desperate, the competition for that pound or dollar in
India will probably not be to pay for a luxury item, so they must compete we
might not like it but we should understand it.
Like many people I have witnessed natural disasters from the comfort
of my living room, I have donated to the appeal funds, fortunately I have never
been caught in an earthquake, tsunami or typhoon, Ive never had to experience
famine or disease first hand, but I do take my hat off to the aid agencies that
selflessly strive in disaster zones to feed and care for all humanity, in some
areas it becomes so difficult that survivors compete with each other for the
bare essentials to live, we find that competition disturbing to watch, so perhaps
we should act quicker and plan more for the future.
Competition is never as obviously intense as it is in sport. Sport
is about winning is it not? Beating the opposition, coming first, there is
nothing wrong with competition in sport, it drives us forward it makes us
better and we often pay to watch such competition. But again, there is a fine
line to be drawn that shouldnt be crossed, when competition becomes obsession
and we no longer respect our opposition but come to despise them. Such
obsession can lead to violence and cheating. Fortunately most of us play sport
to compete and enjoy, uneed2getoutmore, lists sports and activities to show
they do not have to be competitive; they can also be fun and varied.
So how competitive will you be today? Will it be a fair price? Will
you be helping the poor? Will you be planning for the future? Will you obsess
in your game?