You are your new Competition November 22nd, 2011

Vinod Kumar

The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself – Washington Allston

In business, at school and even at work – we always try to define an external yardstick to measure performance. In my opinion, in professional life if you are going to measure success by evaluating with external standards you are guaranteed to be dissatisfied. In this competitive world, you will always find someone better than you, doing more things than you, making more or has more than you can imagine. This catchup game will never end.

Define your own standards for success

In the past, I have had the opportunity to interact with so many people who say my inspiration is Bill Gates or Steve Jobs etc etc. Instead of focusing outwards, see what are your acceptable standards for success. You will be amazed to know your goals are larger and not constrained when compared to your idols. Don’t put yourself inside a box, think as though you have no box to constrain yourself.

Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity. – Daniel Burrus

Don’t wait for that moment, create them

If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.

It is concerning when people say they are waiting for the right moment in their life to actually do “what they want to do”. Tomorrow is a mystery and we can only control what we have today at present. So the best investments today will not be on gold but on the people we love, the dreams that we have and living the life the way we want.

Reading Warren Buffett’s concepts around “doing what you dislike today so that you can do what you like tomorrow” is a great start. I personally feel, creating the opportunity and ceasing the same at the right time is critical.

Today, the work itself may be really exciting and noble, but if you are not positioning yourself for life after work, you need to change your role and revisit where you are. If you are counting upon that Life Changing Event, you are wishing for statistically unlikely event. Most successful people have taken the risks in life and it is these risks that make them what they are today !!!

Final words

I am not trying to advocate you leave your job and look out for that dreams. Work towards the dreams but be prepared to create that opportunities when the dreams can come true. Finally, be your best judge – don’t look out for that pat-on-the back or recognition that someone is going to shower with that lovely words over mail. Those will eventually come, set your own goals – work towards them and measure your own success.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any interesting comments.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at 17:07 and is filed under Personal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

20 Responses to “You are your new Competition”

  1. Lohith says:

    Gems of wisdom …


  2. Ravi Gupta says:

    This is a very nice and inspiring post. But the last para “Final words..” felt to me like rain just before a charged up cricket match between two arch rivals.

  3. prathyu says:

    I often read your blog and tweets.This post is fabulous.
    you inspire me a lot.great blogger.

    thank you for nice posts.

  4. Ashish Jain says:

    Great post Sir,
    I came to your blog by chance, but now i feel like i am going to follow it. I like this post very much.
    For me, True Success is when a person can feel his success himself, not because other people talk about his success. We can feel it only when we achieve goals set by us, not by others.

  5. Tahir Gul says:

    Excellent post.
    Everyone should write his own destiny. The only thing that hurdles our success is our own self.

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      So true Tahir. We are on the same boat :) … Thanks for reading the post and your time in dropping a line.

      Thanks Hari :). Glad it has got you charged !!!

  6. HARI says:

    Dear Vinod

    Chanceless… dont knw how to express in words:) that much happy and feel enthu right now. great and so much kind of you.
    Especially “don’t look out for that pat-on-the back or recognition that someone is going to shower with that lovely words over mail”

    thousands of thanks and pls keep posting:)


  7. Basava says:

    Hi Vinod, You self-assessment tips are really inspirational. One needs to analyse by setting his own goals and work towards them rather than wait for an opportunity to grab. if the going gets tough, the tough get going…


  8. Anoop says:

    Excellent post, totally agreed. There is no point in “trying to prove a point”.

    For a true artist, the true inspiration is the inner joy he experiences when the painting manifests through him. The appreciation/criticism he may receive for his painting is just bonus. Don’t get attached to the bonus, focus on the preset, the inner joy. Karma yoga ;)

  9. Vinod Kumar says:

    You are welcome Sudeepta. I read it somewhere but couldnt zero into who said that. But it is very apt in this context :) … Have fun and happy reading.

  10. Sudeepta says:

    Liked the following statement the most:
    “If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive.
    If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.”

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