"The curse of competitiveness can not be lifted by always winning. It can only be soothed by continual improvement."
Every day in my senior year of college, I played racquetball with my roommate Jeff. I never once beat him. A few friends who listened to Jeff's boastings asked, "Why do you keep taking that beating?" I answered, "Because I'm improving."
Years later, I met a racquetball player in the corporate building where I worked. He bragged about how good he was and others at this company testified to his prowess. As the most competitive person I know, I couldn't help but challenge him to a match.
He was good, but I destroyed him. Sweat drenched, he mumbled as we left the gym, "How did you get so good?" My shirt still dry, I said, "By spending a year trying to beat the best."
The thrill of winning can be euphoric, but euphoria doesn't last.
If you're competitive, you'll find your contentment by continually improving – not always winning.