Recently, Sue and I got some good news about a significant donation to VisionZambia, which was obviously a cause of gratitude and celebration but that is not the way it went; instead we had a spat which was not pleasant. After I went to my workshop I asked myself what the underlying dynamic was that drove the unpleasantness and it was obviously competition – competition driven by our desire for specialness.
Now, during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, competition is often in the news. It also fills the airways in the American Presidential race. In fact, we appear to be surrounded, even immersed in competition and it shows up in many layers of our lives. For nearly 40 years Sue and I have sought to free ourselves from this most destructive force. Our desire for specialness relentlessly pushes us to compete and competition destroys relationships.
All competition is based on erroneous beliefs in scarcity. We believe there is not enough love, recognition or approval to go around and so we fight each other for that quality – we fight to be special. Specialness is always of the ego and the ego, being the principle of separation, creates separation in our world.
I have so often heard people say that we have to compete and there is healthy competition, but I beg to differ. Competition is based on the domination of another, sometimes even a desire for their destruction, as we hear so often in the Presidential election. We believe in some misguided way that winning over another is success.
One of the acid tests for our secret levels of competition is to look at those significant people around you. How are they all doing, is anyone failing in anyway? If someone around you is failing in any regard it brings your levels of competition to the surface and being willing to give it up is always a great place to start. Ask yourself, what are you competing for? It is most likely the same thing that you have competed for your whole life, which will come up layer after layer in any significant relationship. Competition is about taking, so now would be a good time to give instead, to love and support all those around you so that they can enjoy success in every area of their lives.
Success will result from our co-operation, our mutuality and our shared vision. Then we can learn to truly enjoy our success and celebrate that with our family and friends. This Saturday our daughter Katie is getting married and we are preparing a great celebration and it all feels easier now we have cleared another layer of competition.