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Competition = useless?
Posted 9/11/13

Chickenmen wrote:

I recently read a book titled "The Science of Competition," would highly recommend it!

There are two types of competition mentioned--single competition, and endless competition. They're very different scenarios.

Single competition is when you prepare for one event. There is a definite outcome--you win, or you lose. Then it's over, and you go looking for the next one I suppose. Test-taking, for example--you study up (maybe pull an all-nighter), and you take the exam. After the exam, you feel pretty fatigued and just want to "not study" for a while...until the next exam rolls around.

Endless competition is when there is no definite way to determine a winner and a loser. You just keep competing day by day. For example, trying to lose weight and become more healthy. You can't just exercise for one day and call it quits. Maintaining health requires the discipline of constantly getting up off of the couch and moving around--something that doesn't come naturally to people like me.

I don't think competition necessarily can be classified as "good" or "bad." It's there, whether or not I enjoy it.


This is really the best answer for me to sort out my thoughts. I like things simple like this. Thank you Sir.
Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

kirika202 wrote:

Survival of the fittest, anyone? even animals compete, they compete for their pray, territory, leadership and even for mating.


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:

This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing. This other person I was debating with told me I called anyone who lost the competition a loser. On the contrary - I am not anti-equality. I don't challenge people to do things they can't do. I suggest that they simply be the best person they can be.


Some people don't know or are not aware yet of the things they can do if they never take challenges so I don't agree with you about not challenging people to do things YOU think "they can't do". How can you bring out the best of you if you don't challenge yourself? are you gonna be a mediocre all your life? sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to be the best person you can be (general "you") and you can realize this when you win over something, either winning over your current state of life, winning over the people who looked down on you or winning over the people you were competing with. Everything is about a competition (but no one wins over death, unfortunately) and this is why i don't think competition=useless because it brings out the best of us, in some cases.



How am I supposed to say what a person can or can't do? Don't take words out of my mouth. I've already SAID how they can challenge themselves. I do not have to BEAT YOU to know I'm GOOD at something. From now on, I'll never eat, sleep, read, write, etc. again unless I know I'm doing it better than you. It doesn't matter what I want out of myself. I have to be better than everyone else no matter what that requires of me, EVEN if it's impossible.

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Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:

Competition is motivation to improve. It's often much harder to motivate yourself than to have someone or an external force motivate you. Competition isn't really bad until it reaches the point of obsession and people get way too emotionally invested in it. Still, it does force people to get better at what they do.

If you are satisfied were you are, there is little to no motivation to improve. Dissatisfaction is needed to achieve that, and competition with others is one of the only ways to bring that about. It's comparatively rare for people to improve just for improvement's sake. The drive has to come from somewhere, depending on the activity.

If you are one of these rarities, good for you. But it sure is useful for most other people who aren't like you.


I don't see how someone could be compelled to get better at something because someone's challenging them to when everyone has a different idea of what perfection is, ergo, you can never fully live up to someone else's expectations.Take competitive women, for example - it would be anti-feministic to say that a girl has to be hotter than the girl next to her, and I'm sorry but whether you try to or not, someone will ALWAYS be better than you. This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing. This other person I was debating with told me I called anyone who lost the competition a loser. On the contrary - I am not anti-equality. I don't challenge people to do things they can't do. I suggest that they simply be the best person they can be.

If something is impossible to achieve even when you give it 100% of your all, I don't think there's a point in doing it. If I set a goal for MYSELF, however, and live up to my own standards, I know I'll have done the very best. And I don't, again, believe you have to be trying to beat other people to live up to your standards.


Not all competition is about achieving perfection. Perfection is not possible, anyway. It is about being better than at something than others so that you might gain an advantage. It's built into your bones to compete. People compete to be attractive because the root of it is mate-seeking. The best-looking, strongest, fastest, smartest, most adaptable ones are the ones that survive in the animal world. Our adaptability has changed the rules a bit, but we are still the same in our core.

Being the best person you can be needs motivation. The term 'best' can't be used if you have nothing to compare what you're describing with it to. Being the best means being better than someone else. You need to be dissatisfied with who you are in order to improve. You compete with yourself and you compete with others. It's not about simply beating other people, or there would be no point in competing. It is about reaping the benefits of beating other people or improving yourself. You gain an advantage or you gain some sort of reward. You gain the bragging rights, you get the mate, you gain the self-confidence, you prove to others that you are worthy, you make yourself stronger, you get the job and you put food in your stomach, you survive and those not as good as you don't. Being competitive comes naturally and has its roots in survival, that nature has just been dulled by the relatively sheltered lives we now lead but it is still there and just manifests in different ways.

Competition is not useless and you are alive today because of it.
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Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

-tion wrote:


Gyava wrote:

I just feel like what you both are saying is a very deep concept that I can't picture.

Basically, I am looking at things in the concrete way. When I asked OP if she was addressing all forms of competition, I immediately countered in my head "wrong, because there are forms of competition such as business and education that are not useless at all".. However, I don't think OP is trying to talk about it in that sense and that turned into a very confusing debate that ended not so well. This is just a habit that I picked up in debate, I only look at key points and main ideas and then attempt to argue them. That's my example.

However, when I tried to understand what she was trying to argue, I at least tried to emphasize that there are useful forms of competition and useless ones. That's all I was trying to get to, but I think OP had a whole different point of view than I did. I have a feeling that both of you are very right, it's just that it's too abstract for me to comprehend at the moment.


Haha are you being sarcastic? I'm on you side not against you. Of course, I probably went on a tangent somewhere and I'm sorry.


I'm not saying you are, I'm just trying to explain how I understood the situation.
Anyways, bottom line is, with all her replies to us, I've come to three conclusions:

1) She is talking about some type of competition that just can't be understood on the surface and has a much more deeper meaning to it.
2) This is a personal problem, because all her replies seem to simply revolve around a troubled and unconfident life.
Examples to reinforce this thought, posts by OP:

"It doesn't matter what I want out of myself. I have to be better than everyone else no matter what that requires of me, EVEN if it's impossible."
"This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing."
"And if I didn't want other people's input, I wouldn't have asked anyone's opinion in the first place, so clearly I am not SURE of anything. I don't think you have the right to be until you understand entirely what it is I'm talking about i.e. you take in other possibilities."
Well then OP, why don't you try explaining to us for once in detail?
"If you've done the best you could do and you still "failed" in the eyes of the judge, employer, whoever, my whole point is that it doesn't make that person a loser."
"But I think there's good in everyone who does their best regardless of whether that means they're stronger, prettier, etc. than me or not - again, as long as they are doing their best. Unfortunately, not everyone can be number one. So what does that make those who AREN'T? Are they just crass?"


3) What the hell, I don't know.
Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

Morbidhanson wrote:


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:

Competition is motivation to improve. It's often much harder to motivate yourself than to have someone or an external force motivate you. Competition isn't really bad until it reaches the point of obsession and people get way too emotionally invested in it. Still, it does force people to get better at what they do.

If you are satisfied were you are, there is little to no motivation to improve. Dissatisfaction is needed to achieve that, and competition with others is one of the only ways to bring that about. It's comparatively rare for people to improve just for improvement's sake. The drive has to come from somewhere, depending on the activity.

If you are one of these rarities, good for you. But it sure is useful for most other people who aren't like you.


I don't see how someone could be compelled to get better at something because someone's challenging them to when everyone has a different idea of what perfection is, ergo, you can never fully live up to someone else's expectations.Take competitive women, for example - it would be anti-feministic to say that a girl has to be hotter than the girl next to her, and I'm sorry but whether you try to or not, someone will ALWAYS be better than you. This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing. This other person I was debating with told me I called anyone who lost the competition a loser. On the contrary - I am not anti-equality. I don't challenge people to do things they can't do. I suggest that they simply be the best person they can be.

If something is impossible to achieve even when you give it 100% of your all, I don't think there's a point in doing it. If I set a goal for MYSELF, however, and live up to my own standards, I know I'll have done the very best. And I don't, again, believe you have to be trying to beat other people to live up to your standards.


Not all competition is about achieving perfection. Perfection is not possible, anyway. It is about being better than at something than others so that you might gain an advantage. It's built into your bones to compete. People compete to be attractive because the root of it is mate-seeking. The best-looking, strongest, fastest, most adaptable ones are the ones that survive in the animal world. Our adaptability has changed the rules a bit, but we are still the same in our core.

Being the best person you can be needs motivation. The term 'best' can't be used if you have nothing to compare what you're describing with it to. Being the best means being better than someone else. You need to be dissatisfied with who you are in order to improve. You compete with yourself and you compete with others. It's not about simply beating other people, or there would be no point in competing. It is about reaping the benefits of beating other people or improving yourself. You gain an advantage or you gain some sort of reward. You gain the bragging rights, you get the mate, you gain the self-confidence, you prove to others that you are worthy, you make yourself stronger, you get the job and you put food in your stomach. Being competitive comes naturally, that nature has just been dulled by the relatively sheltered lives we now lead but it is still there and just manifests in different ways.


Being the best person you can be does not = being better than someone else - especially considering the fact that not all people are created the same. If everyone is different, how could they possibly attempt to one-up each other?

You do not compete with yourself. To compete means to strive against someone else or several others to attain a goal.
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Posted 9/11/13
Competition is what drives us as a species. We never would have made it this far. That computer you typed on? Probably never would exist. Nobody would be better at what they do. Heck, our species would probably have died out years ago. So, no, competition is not useless. We need it to survive.
Posted 9/11/13

Gyava wrote:
I'm not saying you are, I'm just trying to explain how I understood the situation.
Anyways, bottom line is, with all her replies to us, I've come to three conclusions:

1) She is talking about some type of competition that just can't be understood on the surface and has a much more deeper meaning to it.
2) This is a personal problem, because all her replies seem to simply revolve around a troubled and unconfident life.
Examples to reinforce this thought, posts by OP:

"It doesn't matter what I want out of myself. I have to be better than everyone else no matter what that requires of me, EVEN if it's impossible."
"This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing."
"And if I didn't want other people's input, I wouldn't have asked anyone's opinion in the first place, so clearly I am not SURE of anything. I don't think you have the right to be until you understand entirely what it is I'm talking about i.e. you take in other possibilities."
Well then OP, why don't you try explaining to us for once in detail?
"If you've done the best you could do and you still "failed" in the eyes of the judge, employer, whoever, my whole point is that it doesn't make that person a loser."

3) What the hell, I don't know.


lol, it's a new found glory
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Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:

Competition is motivation to improve. It's often much harder to motivate yourself than to have someone or an external force motivate you. Competition isn't really bad until it reaches the point of obsession and people get way too emotionally invested in it. Still, it does force people to get better at what they do.

If you are satisfied were you are, there is little to no motivation to improve. Dissatisfaction is needed to achieve that, and competition with others is one of the only ways to bring that about. It's comparatively rare for people to improve just for improvement's sake. The drive has to come from somewhere, depending on the activity.

If you are one of these rarities, good for you. But it sure is useful for most other people who aren't like you.


I don't see how someone could be compelled to get better at something because someone's challenging them to when everyone has a different idea of what perfection is, ergo, you can never fully live up to someone else's expectations.Take competitive women, for example - it would be anti-feministic to say that a girl has to be hotter than the girl next to her, and I'm sorry but whether you try to or not, someone will ALWAYS be better than you. This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing. This other person I was debating with told me I called anyone who lost the competition a loser. On the contrary - I am not anti-equality. I don't challenge people to do things they can't do. I suggest that they simply be the best person they can be.

If something is impossible to achieve even when you give it 100% of your all, I don't think there's a point in doing it. If I set a goal for MYSELF, however, and live up to my own standards, I know I'll have done the very best. And I don't, again, believe you have to be trying to beat other people to live up to your standards.


Not all competition is about achieving perfection. Perfection is not possible, anyway. It is about being better than at something than others so that you might gain an advantage. It's built into your bones to compete. People compete to be attractive because the root of it is mate-seeking. The best-looking, strongest, fastest, most adaptable ones are the ones that survive in the animal world. Our adaptability has changed the rules a bit, but we are still the same in our core.

Being the best person you can be needs motivation. The term 'best' can't be used if you have nothing to compare what you're describing with it to. Being the best means being better than someone else. You need to be dissatisfied with who you are in order to improve. You compete with yourself and you compete with others. It's not about simply beating other people, or there would be no point in competing. It is about reaping the benefits of beating other people or improving yourself. You gain an advantage or you gain some sort of reward. You gain the bragging rights, you get the mate, you gain the self-confidence, you prove to others that you are worthy, you make yourself stronger, you get the job and you put food in your stomach. Being competitive comes naturally, that nature has just been dulled by the relatively sheltered lives we now lead but it is still there and just manifests in different ways.


Being the best person you can be does not = being better than someone else - especially considering the fact that not all people are created the same. If everyone is different, how could they possibly attempt to one-up each other?

You do not compete with yourself. To compete means to strive against someone else or several others to attain a goal.


Yes, it does. The word 'best' in and of itself demands some kind of comparison. Comparing something to itself has no meaning. You compare yourself to others, and you compare yourself to the person you once were (in order to, in turn, compete with others). People are still similar enough to compete in sports, games, wooing a mate, getting jobs, etc. Those differences are there to give you the tools to survive. If someone was the fastest and all that people could do was run, then that person gets all the goods and you do not. Fortunately, you have a large variety of things you can develop and use to overcome that fast person or that strong person or that good-looking person.
Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

Morbidhanson wrote:


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:

Competition is motivation to improve. It's often much harder to motivate yourself than to have someone or an external force motivate you. Competition isn't really bad until it reaches the point of obsession and people get way too emotionally invested in it. Still, it does force people to get better at what they do.

If you are satisfied were you are, there is little to no motivation to improve. Dissatisfaction is needed to achieve that, and competition with others is one of the only ways to bring that about. It's comparatively rare for people to improve just for improvement's sake. The drive has to come from somewhere, depending on the activity.

If you are one of these rarities, good for you. But it sure is useful for most other people who aren't like you.


I don't see how someone could be compelled to get better at something because someone's challenging them to when everyone has a different idea of what perfection is, ergo, you can never fully live up to someone else's expectations.Take competitive women, for example - it would be anti-feministic to say that a girl has to be hotter than the girl next to her, and I'm sorry but whether you try to or not, someone will ALWAYS be better than you. This is why I suggest that people be the best that they can be and don't care about what others are doing. This other person I was debating with told me I called anyone who lost the competition a loser. On the contrary - I am not anti-equality. I don't challenge people to do things they can't do. I suggest that they simply be the best person they can be.

If something is impossible to achieve even when you give it 100% of your all, I don't think there's a point in doing it. If I set a goal for MYSELF, however, and live up to my own standards, I know I'll have done the very best. And I don't, again, believe you have to be trying to beat other people to live up to your standards.


Not all competition is about achieving perfection. Perfection is not possible, anyway. It is about being better than at something than others so that you might gain an advantage. It's built into your bones to compete. People compete to be attractive because the root of it is mate-seeking. The best-looking, strongest, fastest, most adaptable ones are the ones that survive in the animal world. Our adaptability has changed the rules a bit, but we are still the same in our core.

Being the best person you can be needs motivation. The term 'best' can't be used if you have nothing to compare what you're describing with it to. Being the best means being better than someone else. You need to be dissatisfied with who you are in order to improve. You compete with yourself and you compete with others. It's not about simply beating other people, or there would be no point in competing. It is about reaping the benefits of beating other people or improving yourself. You gain an advantage or you gain some sort of reward. You gain the bragging rights, you get the mate, you gain the self-confidence, you prove to others that you are worthy, you make yourself stronger, you get the job and you put food in your stomach. Being competitive comes naturally, that nature has just been dulled by the relatively sheltered lives we now lead but it is still there and just manifests in different ways.


Being the best person you can be does not = being better than someone else - especially considering the fact that not all people are created the same. If everyone is different, how could they possibly attempt to one-up each other?

You do not compete with yourself. To compete means to strive against someone else or several others to attain a goal.



Yes, it does. The word 'best' in and of itself demands some kind of comparison. You compare yourself to others and you compare yourself to the person you once were. People are still similar enough to compete in sports, games, wooing a mate, getting jobs, etc. Those differences are there to give you the tools to survive. If someone was the fastest and all that people could do was run, then that person gets all the goods and you do not. Fortunately, you have a large variety of things you can develop and use to overcome that fast person or that strong person or that good-looking person.


The fact that running isn't all people can do is in part what ought to enable them NOT to compete. In the end, what I'm saying is, I don't see any need to set my goals towards beating you or anyone else. I strive to do my personal best because, again, then I will be living up to my full potential. And if living up to your full potential means doing something better than anyone in the world (depending on your definition of better,) I think that's a shame.

It isn't the definition of competing. You can look it up yourself, and if you find something different, so be it.

You APPEAR to think that being strong, good-looking, etc. is what makes a person successful. With a what is in my opinion very limited view of what people can be, I can see why you might think everyone needs to compete. But I think there's good in everyone who does their best regardless of whether that means they're stronger, prettier, etc. than me or not - again, as long as they are doing their best. Unfortunately, not everyone can be number one. So what does that make those who AREN'T? Are they just crass? From what I've gathered, that's what you seem to think.
Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13
Chickenmen already covered all these points. I mean how hard is it to find out that the answers are all there?
Posted 9/11/13

anti-lambsacrifice wrote:

How am I supposed to say what a person can or can't do? Don't take words out of my mouth. I've already SAID how they can challenge themselves. I do not have to BEAT YOU to know I'm GOOD at something. From now on, I'll never eat, sleep, read, write, etc. again unless I know I'm doing it better than you. It doesn't matter what I want out of myself. I have to be better than everyone else no matter what that requires of me, EVEN if it's impossible.



Your own words:


I don't challenge people to do things they can't do


And competition is not, most of the time, about being better but about improving yourself. How do you know you had improved at something if you don't compete? let's take for example, my case: when i was a kid i liked to draw a lot, and my mom signed me up in a painting competition when I was 10 years old. I knew I was GOOD at drawing because my family said I was BETTER than my brothers. I lost the first competition so next year, I didn't want to participate but my mom told me if I practice I could do better and it didn't matter if I didn't win (in my mind, it did matter) so I practiced a lot and I won!! I never felt so happy in my childhood because I proved myself that I improved and I was better because I challenged myself, that's my point and that's why I don't consider ALL competition useless because sometimes, it will be the only way to know you're good at something.

But I think that you have closed your mind with your opinion on the matter so i don't know why you want other people's opinions because no matter what we say, for you: competition is useless. Things like eating and sleeping are not a good example because it is in our nature to do such things but in terms of writing, you will never know if you're a good writer if your teacher doesn't tell you and if everyone gets the same grade you will not think yourself as a good writer, there has to be someone on the bottom for you to know you're on the top.

Unless, you don't care if you are good or bad, then it doesn't matter. However, that doesn't mean that competition is useless, it just means that you're fine where you are right now and that's all.
Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

kirika202 wrote:


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:

How am I supposed to say what a person can or can't do? Don't take words out of my mouth. I've already SAID how they can challenge themselves. I do not have to BEAT YOU to know I'm GOOD at something. From now on, I'll never eat, sleep, read, write, etc. again unless I know I'm doing it better than you. It doesn't matter what I want out of myself. I have to be better than everyone else no matter what that requires of me, EVEN if it's impossible.



Your own words:


I don't challenge people to do things they can't do


And competition is not, most of the time, about being better but about improving yourself. How do you know you had improved at something if you don't compete? let's take for example, my case: when i was a kid i liked to draw a lot, and my mom signed me up in a painting competition when I was 10 years old. I knew I was GOOD at drawing because my family said I was BETTER than my brothers. I lost the first competition so next year, I didn't want to participate but my mom told me if I practice I could do better and it didn't matter if I didn't win (in my mind, it did matter) so I practiced a lot and I won!! I never felt so happy in my childhood because I proved myself that I improved and I was better because I challenged myself, that's my point and that's why I don't consider ALL competition useless because sometimes, it will be the only way to know you're good at something.

But I think that you have closed your mind with your opinion on the matter so i don't know why you want other people's opinions because no matter what we say, for you: competition is useless. Things like eating and sleeping are not a good example because it is in our nature to do such things but in terms of writing, you will never know if you're a good writer if your teacher doesn't tell you and if everyone gets the same grade you will not think yourself as a good writer, there has to be someone on the bottom for you to know you're on the top.

Unless, you don't care if you are good or bad, then it doesn't matter. However, that doesn't mean that competition is useless, it just means that you're fine where you are right now and that's all.


As you can see, all I said was that I don't challenge people to do things they can't do. I never said what they could or couldn't be capable of. I just don't believe everyone is capable of doing everything, nor should they have to be.

You know you've improved because you've lived up to your expectations whether you beat someone else or not. I believe you don't have to compare yourself to others.

I'm glad for you. But I don't think you needed their approval to have done something that made you proud. When I'm writing, I honestly believe I know what I want out of it, and I read it to see if I've achieved that. If I've lived up to my expectations, I have something to be proud of. I WILL think I've done well because I've achieved MY goals - not ones that have been set up for me.

And, again - living up to someone else's standards does not mean you've lived up to yours.

Just because I DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU does not mean I am not LISTENING.



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Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13

kirika202 wrote:
But I think that you have closed your mind with your opinion on the matter so i don't know why you want other people's opinions because no matter what we say, for you: competition is useless.


Posted 9/11/13
kirika202: There is a past and future
Anti-lambsacrifice: There is only the present


Both right
Posted 9/11/13
^ -tion you're right The past is the result of the present and the present is the form of your future.

Kind of off topic, But your future could be the form of your present too...according to this article: http://www.leadingwithlift.com/blog/2013/05/14/when-the-future-determines-the-present-how-to-see-what-others-cannot-see/
If I have some kind of goal for my future, that ambition (or lack thereof) will form my present.
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