When Being Competitive is Counterproductive

I’m not trying to sound like any post at blogs.hbr.org.

But, I like to emphasize that the competitive mind-set is a classic problem in life. However,  when I did my PhD, I learned a lot about the advantage of networking and collaboration in pursuing my final goal. I got a lot of supports during the journey from various sources since I tried to be open minded about other people’s contribution.

Life is full of passion and desire on many physical and emotional things. We also want to be recognized from our success. This causes us to work hard and try to reach any possible opportunities in pursuing our dreams. Sometimes we look around us and cannot control our negative feelings towards other people’s achievements. Then we trap into such a feeling, ‘if he/she could do it, why I couldn’t do it too?’  The notion that could boost our emotions and adrenaline to move faster than anyone. Hence, we just want to be known eventually, that we are as good as them.

It is a normal to compete with other people.
But, when it is just for a recognition and approval from other people, then you’re misleading.

Then, we are suggested to change the mind-set in order to gain more results.
A noble/high aim needs big energy and sources. 
A single success is normally short term and far from prominent output.

Take a look a professional sports player, for example. If someone is very successful as a single player in one sport tournament for a long time, he/she must have a great team behind him/her. A simple example is the Formula One driver. He has enormous supports during the race or outside the race. He needs a fast, accurate and reliable team to help him to win every race in a season.

Adopting the same approach on working in a big project, could help us to save time and energy while guarantee collective success for every person in a team. I think this is the best part.

In particular for the environment with limited resources, it is advisable for each person to start collaboration than being a purely competitive. According to Tina Seelig (2009) in ‘What I Wish I Knew When I was 20’:

“Where there are limited resources, being driven to make yourself and others successful is often a much more productive strategy than being purely competitive. Those who do this are better able to leverage the skills and tools that others bring to the table, and to celebrate other people’s successes along with their own.”

Then, to valuate our sources and admit our limitations is imperative to create something excellent in the long run. We need to reduce our ego and start to include other people in our efforts than compete with them, because it is counterproductive.