Perks Of Competing To Be Better Than Yourself

posted by Anupriya 9 Comments
Be Better Than Yourself

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Here we are, at the third post of the seven post series that is participating in Bar-A-Thon. I am sharing my experiences from the two Half Marathons that I ran last season, and it’s been an amazing journey so far. My attempt to draw some analogies from my experience and see how one can use them to live a happier life is finding resonance with so many of you. That’s really encouraging. Thanks to All of You!

To Bring More Happiness Into My Life

So here are the seven relevant lessons that I have been able to derive from my Marathon running experiences, for a happier Me.

  1. Endurance
  2. Plan Your Energy Expenditure
  3. Be Better Than Yourself
  4. Run Together
  5. Cheer For Others
  6. Don’t Give Up
  7. Practice Discipline

Be Better Than Yourself – What does it mean?

As I have already shared that in my first marathon I clocked 97 minutes.  Even with that time, when I crossed the finishing line, I pumped both my fists into the air in victory. A dogmatic person would frown, thinking ‘As if she’s won the race or something!”. But no I hadn’t won the race. I had won over myself. I had accomplished something I never thought I was capable of doing.

When only fifteen dates later I clocked 86 minutes, I felt like I had beaten the world. Once again. When in reality (once again) I had beaten only myself. The feeling was ecstatic. I really was on cloud nine. And trust me, when I exchanged notes with other runners (with much shorter finish timings), they too were extremely impressed and congratulated me for the improvement.

Be Better Than Yourself

Why You Should Aim To Be Better Than Yourself

We live in a competitive world. I recall the words of a particular fictional Prof. VIRUS, a dean of an engineering institute who would call for an orientation meeting for the fresh joiners and tell them to strive for the first rank. In his exact words,

“If you don’t stand first, no one will ever respect you.”

I wish I could tell him,

“You seemed to have stood first all of your life. Yet you look so scum. Why? Aren’t you happy still?”

In my view, the measure for success should not be whether the world acknowledges you or not. It should rather be whether you acknowledge yourself. Sounds preachy? I’ll tell you more.

Take a paper and pen and write the names of three people (I mean famous personalities) who you admire. Now, against each of the names write why you admire them.

Next, check if any of the answers match the reason “Because they are famous”?

Even without looking at your list, I am sure your answers rather complete the sentence “They are famous because….”.

Did I guess it right? I am inclined to think I did. Let’s go a little further. Now analyse the reason for your liking the person. Does that fit in the statement “ (reason) is what he loved to do. (reason) is his/her passion” ?

Did I hit the nail in the right spot again? This time I am sure I did. So I guess we can safely conclude that,

To do what you love and are passionate about without comparing to what others do, is what counts. Fame (if it is meant to be) will follow. But in the process, happiness will be guaranteed.

Some Perks Of Competing With Yourself To Be Better Than Yourself

  1. You become your biggest critic. You are now not dependent on others to tell you what you should do. You accept external criticism but do not get overtly affected by it. You know your battles better by now.
  2. Morning is, when you rise. Yes, you are your own alarm. You wake and you get to work. And you get to decide your own pace too.
  3. Whenever you beat yourself, it’s a victory. It’s good for your self-esteem. You come out a more confident person.
  4. When you are competing with yourself, you do not feel insecure, while comparing yourself with others. Instead you learn from the differences and see if you can change your approach.
  5. You keep negative emotions such as jealousy and resentment at bay. Hey! That is a good thing for peace of mind.

If you have watched the famous movie “Student of theYear”, recall that the most competitive girl in the batch, turned out to be a happy stay at home mother a decade later. I guess it surmises the misleading notion of success that we carry and tend to pass on to our kids. It’s most important to live a clean, ethical and happy life. Enjoy what you do and love yourself. At the end of the day that’s what counts.

This post is participating in the 15 day Bar-A-Thon Challenge with Blog-A-Rythm

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Sitharaam Jayakumar July 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

Great article. It is better to peak into yourself and try to figure out how you can be better than what you are at the moment rather than look at others with a comparative eye. Another thing is trying to compete with oneself rather than others also makes you look at criticism from others more constructively. One learns to differentiate between genuine words of constructive criticism and things that are said out of spite and jealousy.

Here is my #barathon 3rd post.


Sonia Chatterjee July 6, 2018 at 10:25 am

Fantastic points and I agree with them. Society has set weird parameters for judging success but it should be up to an individual to decide what is her idea of success or rather what makes her happy. Very thought provoking post-Anupriya.

BellyBytes July 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm

I am that mom who did well in class and is a Stay At Home Mom. I don’t quite correlate success in school to success in life. In my experience it is almost always the person you least expect to do well in life does so. Is it because no one expects him to?

akshata July 7, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Loving these mantras of being truly happy in life that you are sharing each day Anu. In today’s fiercely competitive world its so easy to get burnt out and thats because the moment we achieve something, we look around and see someone who is a step further. Rather if we set our own goals and understand that each person has their own journey we will be a contended lot. In my life I feel I am far contented now as I have learnt this lesson. Of cos I have those times when I diverge from the path but I remind myself again “this is my journey and my alone”

pushpendra dwivedi July 7, 2018 at 10:01 pm

thoughtful interesting motivational post thanks to sharing

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Addy Brown July 15, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Competition can make us faster, but not better. We get better when we start comparing ourselves and competing with what we have done or what we have achieved because we are all differently made, we have capabilities and capacities like nobody else.

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