Competitions can be fun. At one point or another in your life, you probably have enjoyed being part of some kind of competition. However, competitions have the undesirable quality of being a “zero-sum” game (i.e., in order for you to win, someone else must lose). Nonetheless, throughout human history, people seemed to have enjoyed organizing competitions in one form or another, from the ancient Greek Olympic Games to modern soccer or football.
Competition is such an integral part of daily life in multiple areas, including education, sports, business, and politics, yet, surprisingly little is known about the group dynamics of competition. For example, does knowing that one is up against hundreds of other qualified candidates for a job drive an individual to despair, or does having a large number of competitors increase an individual’s drive to compete?
Some people believe competition is an art, others say it is a skill. Yet others think it creates intense anxiety that is harmful, especially for younger children. Read what Sadhguru has to say about competition.
Sadhguru: Right now we live in a world where we think it’s competitive. Whether you were fighting for a piece of meat when you were a caveman or you are fighting for a piece of Mars now, is not different in any way. It’s the same emotion and same struggle. It’s only that the means and capabilities have enhanced, so it has all become big, but the world has always been competitive. It’s just a magnified version now, but it’s always been the same as far as the human being were concerned. It will always be so and there is nothing wrong with that.
Even the monkeys compete with each other, like who peels more nuts in a day, isn’t that active competition? It’s just that when joyless human beings compete, they make the situation ugly and when the joyful do it, they make the situation beautiful. Hence, competition is never the problem.
Though people are trying to paint it as something very ugly, it is not so. It is just that if two happy people are competing with each other, they would compete in one way. If two unhappy people are competing with each other, then they become mean in their competition. If you are happy and you are competing with somebody else who is also happy, then sometimes you win and sometimes you lose because that is the nature of the physical existence. My profit is your loss; your loss is my profit. This is the way every transaction is, whether it is within the home or office or in the outside world.
So, that’s how the world is. It is just that because you are in a certain level of unhappiness, when you don’t get what you want, you become mean. You want to kick somebody in the face simply because you are unhappy. When you are happy, have you seen, you are a very generous and wonderful person. When you are happy, have you noticed that you are wonderful? In fact, anybody is a wonderful person when they are happy. When they are unhappy, they can be very mean. Isn’t it so? So, it is the joylessness which is the problem, not the competition.