The Curse of Competitiveness

"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.