“Put some heart in it!” My coach yelled at me from the sidelines. I didn’t know what he was talking about. It’s 21 – 44 for the Colts, the Broncos are down by 23 points. I played the left side corner, and was partially responsible for the last touchdown. I watched as the running back turned around the corner that I was supposed to contain. That didn’t feel good.
I left my Grade 10 season with the Broncos with a vengeance. I know we deserved better, I was determined to walk into my next season a better player. I was missing the “heart” element of the game. Playing sports wasn’t something that came easy to me. I picked up my first sport at 15 years old; football.
My competitive nature has always been there. I was the oldest of 5 brothers and sisters, and was raised without a consistent male role model. I always saw myself as the man of the house. I competed against my younger siblings for household dominance at all of the games we played. My independent nature fueled me to be the best, because when I was the best I felt… free.
What is Heart?
I believe that humanity naturally falls into two separate categories. Competitive and cooperative. I believe that a person’s core values are derived from their childhood experiences. A person with a cooperative nature is likely to have grown up in an environment where cooperation and love was the driving force of the environment. A person with a competitive nature is likely to have grown up in an environment where freedom was the motivation.
My belief is that cooperation and competition are equally as important. I believe the only competition that should happen is competition with the self. Cooperation is a universal trait that should happen with everyone at all times, no exceptions.
The Competitive Nature
I believe we are all competitive in nature. There are two separate categories of competitive people. There are the people who compete with themselves, and there are the people who compete with the environment.
“I’m better than you are…”
Competition with the environment in the short term seems like the best option. This mentality drives our capitalist society. Every man for himself, may the best man survive. There’s one thing that competition with the environment forgets; compassion for the fellow man. I believe human nature to have both cooperation and competition in their hearts. Competition with the environment forgets one element of human nature that makes us who we are.
The Heart of Gold
Why do “nice guys finish last”? A cooperative nature without a competitive nature seems like the best one to have. Cooperation with the fellow man means the world turns into a better place, instead of this “every man for himself” mentality.
Cooperation with the fellow man at all times has one flaw, though. There are those who are competitive in nature that can sense an individual cooperative in nature. The ones who consistently look to cooperate get taken advantage of. Their ability to look at people and only see the good in them leaves them ignorant to the competitive side of our human nature.
Nice guys finish last because they forget that there are competitors who naturally take advantage of cooperation.
Life is Balance
Competition and cooperation are equally as important.
I believe we have a naturally tendency to be either more compassionate, or more competitive. I’ll use myself as an example; I’m extremely competitive. In every scenario I find myself, my brain is figuring out a way for me to end up on top. My competitive nature is extremely good for a lot of areas of my life. When it comes to business I do extremely well, achieving my goals isn’t an issue, meeting anyone that I want to comes with ease.
Human nature is about balance. My competitive nature serves me well in many areas of life, but my lack of cooperation hurts me as much as my competitive nature serves me. My competitive nature finds itself leaking into my friendships where I try to outdo my friends, laughing in triumph as my ego walks and talks through the room. My competitive nature leaks into my relationships, where I won’t allow myself to get hurt and I always find a way to leave first.
This weekend I saw the perfect balance of compassion and competition in my two best friends. This article is inspired by the balance they’ve achieved, which is inspiring me to achieve my own. Mikey B is an individual who has a heart of gold, but he lacked the competitive nature in himself to set boundaries that people would not cross. The balance that he’s striving to achieve allows his heart of gold to shine through with confidence, because he knows that he can bring out the best in people without them walking all over him.
Daniel Fexa is a man who looks to be better than he was yesterday every day. The competitive nature he keeps with himself keeps from consistently looking to out – do the environment, and allows him to prosper in the skill sets he develops. Daniel Fexa recorded his first Youtube video yesterday; be watching for it.
Social Dynamics says that you are a result of your environment. I cannot express how thankful I am for the environment I have right now. The Kingpin Social crew always pushes me to become better than I was yesterday, every day, in every present moment.
Competition is important. Especially in the world that we’ve been raised in today, it seems everyone’s trying to outdo their fellow man. Competition alone ultimately sets you up for failure; for two reasons. Competition forgets about the second element of human nature that makes us who we are, cooperation, and competition only allows you to be better than the next man.
You can only be the best if you’re only looking to outdo your fellow man. You will never be your best. I believe that in this life the only person you should ever be competing with is yourself, and you should be compassionate to everyone else that walks this earth. I believe that you need to have an element of life where you compete with yourself, developing any skill set with the intent of being better than you were yesterday.
I believe if this competition with the self isn’t satisfied, our competitive nature will leak into our environment and we will neglect to show compassion. Are you better than you were yesterday?