The Dark Side of Being Competitive

The Dark Side of Being Competitive

November 23, 2018

America loves winners.

We love people who say, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

We love conquerors. We mock losers.

But we don’t think about what happens when the contest is over. What happens then?

There’s a big difference between being “competitive” and being a “competitor.”

Being competitive is an all-the-time thing. Being competitive means we’re trying to win the games and trying to win the things that aren’t the games.

When you’re competitive, winning is the only thing.

By living that life all the time, there are certain benefits. For one, you probably win a lot.

But there are also dark consequences.

If you’re competitive, you’re not satisfied with being one of the best in the world, you need to be THE best.

How you get there doesn’t matter–as long as you get there.

If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. 

When it’s over, though, a debt comes due.

You have to pay for the people you squashed, the rules you bulldozed.

Competitive people might have some trophies. But they also have this. And this.

And awkward, petty speeches like this.

Was a trophy worth it?

A competitor, however, doesn’t deal with that dark side.

A competitor tries to win, sure, but then it’s over.

When the game is over, it’s time to be humble.

It’s not necessary to win any more.

A competitor wins trophies but also wins respect.

No mania. No rule breaking. No dark side.

Winning isn’t everything.

It’s also not the only thing.

Be competitive at your own risk.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.