We play to win. We compete. This is why we race, right?
I believe the most basic reason we race is NOT to compete. I believe the Olympic spirit, if you will, is all about something very different. Historically, we came together from all over the world to measure our might in sport. TRUE.
However, as you study high performers throughout history here’s a very common refrain. The real reason for competing wasn’t to beat the other as much as it was to be with another. High performers throughout history have recognized and played this fact to their favor. Playing with exceptional golfers raises the game of the competitor who is trying to reach his or her peak. The same is true for runners, cyclists, and countless other competitors. The reason we race with others is because without them we would be forced to race alone. Our times would drop without another running with us. Fact.
Go out tonight and ride as fast as you can. Stick it in the big ring and hammer your brains out for 20 minutes. Then try it again with a bunch of like minded cyclists. Ride alongside. Ride with, but not behind your competitors. You’ll notice the push that comes from being with. Our adrenaline would NOT kick, without another kicking alongside. Study the world’s number one’s in just about any endeavor and you’ll notice how much they need someone exceptional across the net, if they’re truly to raise their games. This fact is just as true at work. Study, learn, and apply all that you can from those with which you compete. You might find that today’s competition is tomorrow collaborators. It’s happened before.
Why we race is really to be with, not simply to win.
Try teaching this thought to your team in work and life. Of course, this thought makes no sense for the next quarter, or the next year. This thought only makes sense to the leader that has line of sight beyond today’s horizon. This thought is for the BTL leader that is looking to endure, over time and through a long history of adversity. In it to win it for sure, but looking at the long haul. Vision over visibility, right Bono? Try looking at your competitors and practice being with. Who knows what a change of perspective, like this, might bring. We race because we really do need each other. We’ve been wired for relationships, including the ones with whom we lock horns. Yes indeed my friend and my foe, we need you both. Together we transform. Always together. This is why we teach our sons and daughters to shake hands after a good, hard, tough, competitive game, right? Play to be with. Play with the best. Bring your best and extend your right hand (win or lose) in gratitude for having a worthy opponent. Masters level up by competing and collaborating with other masters. Are you?
Live hard. Love harder…