She’s at it, again! It’s the coworker who seems to be the first one in the office, the last one to leave, and hurls stellar ideas at your supervisor during the hours in-between. Although the mantra while growing up warned us about the dangers of comparing ourselves to others, who can resist the urge to see what the competition is doing and make notes for our progress? The spirit of competition is alive and well in society. It’s good for business. And now, studies show a little competition can be good for your health.
If you feel caught up in the rat race, take a different approach. Here are four reasons why welcoming a little competition can improve our performance and health.
1. It helps us avoid complacency.
When you think about it, self-motivation relies on visions of people who have what you want. “As a race, we owe so much of our current advancements to competition between people, between companies, and between countries,” says business expert Shaun Rosenberg. “As people compete, they create, and the whole world grows as a result.” Competition motivates us to run that extra mile, swim an extra lap, and focus on losing ten more pounds.
2. It encourages innovation.
Like they always say, if you can’t beat them — find another way. Yes, we all have talents, but we don’t share equal talents. So when we face a competitor that is better than we are, it’s time to get creative and discover a new way to achieve success.
“Innovation is the very foundation of our business philosophy,” said Ryan Westwood, CEO of Simplus. “When customers experience a unique challenge that can’t be solved with existing solutions, we help them find a new, better, more personalized way to solve a problem. Whether you are a business or a person, innovation is the road to success. And competition is the vehicle that propels you down that road.”
3. It helps us become more goal-oriented.
When a company sets business goals, it begins by analyzing parts of the company or department pathways that need growth or improved efficiency; then they apply strategies to change the outcome. This helps a company become a stronger competitor in its market. This process can work in our lives, as well. By breaking down areas that we desire improvement, we become our biggest competitor as we set goals that help us be better than ourselves.
4. It gives us a sense of purpose.
There’s a lot of power in meaningful, purposeful living. When we focus on tasks, we believe that our efforts mean something. We know that what we contribute to a project matters, and we believe our abilities match those of other team members. Inviting a competitive tone to the process keeps our focus straight, efforts polished, and our attitude positive.
Wynton Marsalis once said, “Whenever you face a man who’s playing your instrument, there’s a competition.” And, that’s a good thing. By avoiding complacency, encouraging creativity, focusing on goals, and progressing with purpose, the desire to better ourselves in the spirit of competition is great for our work performance and our health.
This article was published by the Daily Herald. It has been republished with permission.