Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the power of competition

Today a strange event happened.  An eye opening event that to most people may have not meant anything, but to me I felt as if the sky had just been torn open.  I am an intern this semester with the Community Food Bank of Fresno.  My partner and I are reporters (I say this because we get paid to do our job) who must gather stories for the bank's 20th anniversary presentation.  What we do is we go to various distribution sites and each interview clients, find out their story and take photos of them that will show donors that there is a need for more donations.  We were hanging out in the office with our coordinator and discussing what stories worked best for our goal when I asked a simple question.  "Hey partner, do you want to meet some time this week to find out which people correspond to their sound files?"  She said, "Oh, I already matched up my interviews and organized them."  For the first time in my life I had been outworked. I have no problem with people being smarter, more talented or blessed with better resources than I have.  I deal with those people everyday.  What really pissed me off and lit a fire under me was that I have never been outworked before.  I like to credit my success in life to the fact that I am a hard worker and although some peers may be better than me they do not have the same drive that I do.  Later that night I used that moment as a catalyst to take my internship and use it as a competition.  I have always competed with my cousins and in sports for any little thing.  I think competition brings the best out of people and it did that night.  I caught up on all my files and will make it my goal not to get outshone by my partner, who is a year younger than me.  There is something primal about competing, and at times it feels as if your very existence depends on being victorious.  Life is a competition, from competing for a job, competing among applicants for grad school or a simple sports game.  The lesson to take away from this is to always compete.  Never settle for second place and if you do realize that you are losing the battle claw your way back to the top.  My question do you like to compete and if so please share an example.

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