Monday, April 4, 2011

The toughest competition

Bijay Pandit
Do you think your child is competitive? If yes, then how constructive is their spirit of competition? Many people may wonder about this. A few days ago, I went to watch a race competition at a nearby school. The front runner in the race was a boy that I knew. He was my friend.

I was confident that he would win the race as he was leading the next boy in line by an ample margin. The other competitors were far behind. Everybody was cheering for him. Unfortunately, just as he approached

the finish line, he made a great mistake. He turned back to watch how far the second runner and other competitors were from him. Though he was in the lead, the competition was tight until the end. In that split second of distracted impulse, the second boy bounded ahead into first place and won the race. My friend felt very bad.

In any competition, we wish to have more than others. We don’t try to give our best; instead, we focus on how to beat out our competitors. This is a poor way to compete as the entire focus is on others. We rarely try to excel and push ourselves without someone to beat—such competitions are usually the most difficult. Unfortunately, from childhood, this is only the way that we have been taught. We are all told “You have to win!” but nobody ever tells us how. When a child scores 60 percent on his exam, he shouldn’t be scolded immediately. He should be inspired to achieve more. For this, a goal of 70 percent or even more marks can be set. He can improve himself and correct his mistakes. He should be given suggestions when necessary. When he achieves, the bar can then be set even higher. This will help him to improve and compete with others.

This kind of process can be repeated in various fields like sports or other activities as well. This can help in improving performance and encourage children to excel. A player can learn to give his best and win the race rather than just trying his best to beat others. A student can learn to improve in his studies and exams rather than simply trying to beat the rest of the class and stand first.

Once this dexterity to compete with oneself becomes implanted, many benefits and opportunities will present themselves. The students will be able to recognise and unleash their own ultimate potential. In the future, they may try to beak their own record. They can be capable and excellent in their own field. Such a person can achieve more greatness in their lives than those who are always wondering what others are doing.

So, we should always try to improve ourselves rather than focus on how others are doing.

source: The Kathmandu Post, 4 April 2011