Competition is Best Kept to Yourself

By: Rhoberta Shaler

Are you 'playing golf' at work? Richard Behrens, Golf Grand
Master, says, "Good golf is all in the mind....the golfer's own
lower mind, and how the person perceives the situations s/he
finds...on the course are the major reasons s/he suffers from
unsatisfactory play." It's all in the mental discipline of the
game. This mental aspect of 'the game' often eludes players. The
same principles that affect your golf shots apply to the
workplace. Have you ever talked yourself out of executing a
project that is well within your ability to make, or have
carried anger with you from another poor situation and had it
affect your entire day?

In any game played with others, there is a winner. Either an
individual or a team wins. Just about everyone who enters a
competition does so with the desire to win. This is healthy and
natural, however, if you have a 'need' to win, things change.
The need to win drives your mind into the future and away from
the matters at hand. This is a problem.

It is impossible to do something for pleasure and have a need
to win.

That 'need' will eradicate the pleasure of simply doing
the activity. How is this applied in the workplace? Hopefully,
you enjoy your work. a difficult situation that requires careful reflection.) You
want to be there. The tasks interest you. You enjoy the
environment and the people...most of the time. Great start! This
allows you to look forward to your work and your workplace.

What if you went to work each day with the attitude, "I just
have to find ways show everyone that I am better than my
peers."? Oops, trouble ahead. This is the 'need' to win. Doing
your work to the best of your ability because you enjoy it and
you care about it demonstrates your desire to win. And, just as
in golf, you are competing with yourself. Can you do better
quality work? Can you pay more attention to details? Can you
bring the project in slightly ahead of schedule? Will you take
time to be supportive to colleagues? Do you treat folks
respectfully? Do you refrain from gossip and bad-mouthing? AND,
can you do all that a little better than you did yesterday
because you WANT to? Now, that is the desire to win.

Your desire to do your best shows that you are truly on your
own team. That's where you want to be--on task and on target
with your desire to demonstrate what you value and who you are.
You do that by living in integrity with what is important,
significant and valuable to you. Your attention is not on
showing others up, but, rather, on bringing your best to the

Excellent golfers play to improve on yesterday's performance.
Even when they are playing tournaments, their focus is on doing
their best, not on beating others. They keep the fun in their
gameHealth Fitness Articles, too. The best keep their competition to themselves.
There's much to be learned from the game of golf. How are you


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