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.