Wether we like it or not competition is all around us. It’s in the classroom, the play ground, the work place, it’s on the sports field, it’s on the high street. We are never going to get away from it so how we deal with it is obviously critical to our own personal success.

Just because competition is ubiquitous it does not naturally follow that it is good for us. Food is critical to sustaining life but if we eat too much of it we become overweight and lethargic.

Competition has many benefits though. It brings progress, improved choice, we all want to purchase better products for less money. We all want a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families.

Children learn about competition from an early age. In fact as soon as they start to interact with their peers they instinctively start to compete with them. It is therefor important that parents and teachers give support and guidance to the child on how to deal with competition and all the positive and negative emotions that surround it.

I’ve said many times previously that a parent should praise their children’s EFFORT not their ABILITY. The reason for this is psychological. Praising someone’s effort encourages them to try even harder whereas praising their ability nurtures within them a ‘fear of failure’.

Children are often branded as failures way too early in life and this can inflict massive psychological damage upon them. We cannot all be good at everything but most of us are good at something. Children should be encouraged to focus on their strong points. These are what will bring them success and enable them to offer the best level of contribution to society.

If we harness competition and control it, it can do wonderful things for us. The enjoyment that the human race has derived from sport down the years is immense. The rivalry between teams of all denominations has given us all untold pleasure.

Competition is good as long as we control it and harness it. However, we need to keep success and winning in perspective. Everything has a price and once we start ‘overpaying’ in order to succeed then we start to loose out in other areas.

I’ve always believed that the main aim of a person’s life is to be happy. Happiness is the best feeling in the world and if being successful at something makes us happy then we should strive to acheive it.

Find out what really makes you happy, decide what you are prepared to give or give up in order to acheive it and go for it.

I believe that competition in moderation is good for us.

Andy.

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