“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” ~Unknown Author
I used to be really competitive. I was raised in the States so it seemed only natural to want to compete for everything. I believed that winning was a great and ultimate achievement. Besides being an American, I also had three brothers. I had to fight to get attention, food, toys and control of what we watched on television. When I got my way, I felt good. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we didn’t share. Of course, we were raised to share with our family, friends and neighbors. Sharing felt good in a fluffy, golden, wussy kind of way. While winning felt powerful!
Then I grew up. As I matured, I realized that winning only felt good for a very short time. What followed was not always so nice. It usually meant someone was jealous or envious of me, which created tension. If I won, that meant someone lost, so there’s another person who’s not happy with my win. Et cetera. The other thing I’ve come to realize is sharing and giving is a life-long kind of happiness. Sharing my gifts and talents feels good to me and it also feels good to those who were receiving my kindness. In a way, it’s a double-win situation which is twice as powerful!
In my time of competitiveness, two things happened. First off, I hoarded. I collected trophies in the form of job skills and responsibilities. I wanted it all for me, and I was not about to share with others how easy my job was. In fact, if I made my job seem complicated, it was just more reason for my boss to keep me around and give me another raise. Right? The second thing that happened was that I got jealous of others really easily. It didn’t take much. When I saw my competitor (in the form of a coworker, friend, or family member) win or get promoted or get some special acknowledgement, I would feel bitter, resentful and jealous. Why? Because my mind was set to think that winning meant achievement. If someone else was winning, that meant I was losing. Oh, the evil competitive mind!
I have come to realize that this thinking is poisonous. It truly darkens my heart and soul to live so competitively. As soon as I opened my mind wide enough to see this about myself (a feat in itself!), I made the decision to stop this awful behavior. I began sharing with my coworkers how easy it was to be efficient at my job. I showed people my secret tricks. I shared my talents and gifts with people. I became a better team player, which eventually lead to a promotion as a manager. I had two people who reported to me, but I never saw them as my inferiors. They were always equal to me and we made a heck of a team. We did our own duties but we had each other’s backs. There weren’t political moments of ambush or “throwing each other under the bus” because we shared our experiences. We were able to talk openly to each other without fear of “losing” … or winning! Every experience was chalked up as a win.
I’ve also been able to fully recognize and applaude other’s accomplishments. I’m embarrassed to think that I used to get so upset by my friends, family members, or coworkers winnings. I now know that their win has nothing to do with me. By keeping this new paradigm fresh in my mind, I now have stronger, longer lasting relationships. I enjoy a happiness that is much deeper than a superficial “win”. It might have felt fluffy, golden and wussy as a child, but I’ll take that feeling over poison any day!