It may seem odd to say coming from a former athlete, but I’m not fond of competition all that much. I played hard to win back in my school sports days and when playing cards. But, I was not particularly eager to compete in several things – the first was music. I felt music was pure beauty – for enjoyment only, and competition spoiled that for me. I quit orchestra rather than give in to the pressure from my teachers to continue competing with my violin skills.
I never competed with my brother for anything at all. My friends were compatriots, so I never had the desire to compete with them either. I enjoyed playing cards and board games, but more so for the pleasure of keeping their company than winning. When one of us did well, we all were happy for the other’s successes.
Competition With yourself
In fact, the only competition I can really get behind is competing against myself. Yes, I want to win the game, get the grades, finish the race, but mostly I want to keep bettering who I am in all of that. When you are your only competition, there are no hard feelings, no unequal power dynamics, no schadenfreude. The competition helps you to keep your focus on what really matters – becoming the best version of yourself.
Galatians 6:4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.