Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If You're Not First, You're Last

I am a very competitive person.  I always have been.  I struggle with the thought that this is still a good quality to have.  It is helpful in my professional life as I work to be the best at what I do.  But I actually take it a step further.  Not only do I want to do my very best, but I want to be better than the guy/girl that did the work before me.  All in all I don't think it is a bad thing, as the result is that I usually elevate the performance of wherever I am working.

However, when it comes to my personal life, I am not so sure that the competitive bug is a good thing.  Example: When I was in high school I played in the Western Big 6 athletic conference.  To this day, if anyone tells me they are from Quincy, I have an inclination to dislike them.  When I hear the name Brian Moline, a reporter on the local radio station, I cringe a bit because of his last name.  And when I read about my daughter's birthday party on my wife's blog and saw the name "Treasure Rock Island" my stomach turned a little.

I race innocent girls on the streets over my lunch hour and I challenge Olympic athletes to half marathon races.  Sure my ultimate goal is to do my very best personally, but my best work in a race is done when I am chasing somebody down from behind. Competition helps to keep me sharp, but is it really a value I want to display and possibly have my own children emulate?

I don't know the answer.  I am asking.

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