Tag Archives: competitive

Competition keeps you focused

Yea, competition is, in our politically correct little La-La Land, a bad word. But since most of the politically correct don’t really have a proper appreciation of gender differences, they want to live a quiet mediocre little life, really can’t adapt or accept differences (despite their rhetoric) we feel we have to accommodate the mediocre and unmotivated among us.

We really don’t frankly, they should be ignored, because they just don’t know what they’ve talking about and just don’t care. Their responses are usually emotional outbursts, although they condemn that in other people. They’re usually little bullies, physically, only if they can get away with it or emotionally. They will resort to petulant adolescent outbursts, instead of reason and resolution, despite what they think they’re not very smart, and they can’t understand why someone would respond emotionally. It’s their way or no way. Yea, I know, being a little harsh. The fact that there are those out there who are weak, passive or whiney is not an excuse to stomp on them either. Quietly correct them and move on. They will fuss at you as you’re leaving and will try the usual passive/aggressive undermining, but be assured no one really takes them seriously. For the rest of us who want to move on and actually do something in our lives we are the stronger and have to live that out when dealing with the, frankly, weaker and unmotivateable. Ya, I know that’s not a word, but it is descriptive.

The impetus for this rant is an article in Mens Health (May 2015 pp 130-134) The writer (couldn’t find his name) writes about personal rivals. Ya, that can get ugly sometimes, but the fact is that if you’re doing anything with your life, you will have rivals: “If you don’t think you have a rival, that could be your first problem. There is truth in one Holly wood agent’s assertion that ‘you’re no one in this town unless someone wants you dead.'” Ya, again a little harsh, but if you’re not worthy of someone else’s, let’s say dislike, you are just part of the mediocre crowd. Again, competition is not an excuse for playing dirty, lying, cheating, etc. It’s a way to motivate and strengthen.

For those of us who are Christians, we see rivals all through the Bible. God’s people simply had to stand up to their rivals in order for us to move along according to God’s will. The early Christians had the Jewish establishment and the Romans to compete against. They could have passively rolled over to them, but they knew what was right and took a strong, principled stand and so should we as Christian men in our daily life.

The author of the article points out: “Our recurring competitive bouts against known rivals ratchet up anxiety, excitement and also performance. Oddly, considering that rivals date back at least to Cain and Abel, the science of rivalry is relatively new,…” Yes, that was not a healthy rivalry and did not serve to improve anyone. Frankly it’s a better example of the nastiness of the mediocre and uninspired then it is of the positive affects of rivalry.

The writer refers to a positive example of how rivalry motivates us: “…NYU’s Gavin Kilduff, PhD studied the running community in State College, Pennsylvania he found that going up against a rival could cut 25 seconds off a competitive runners 5K time.” It may not seem like much, but I would love to be able to improve that much in a 5K, that’s a huge improvement.

“In one experiment, Uris Gneezy, PhD, an expert in behavioral economics at UC San Diego, gave people the choice to earn money at either a piece rate or a competitive basis for solving puzzles. Men (but not women) preferred to compete – going  against rivals dramatically increased their output.” There are numerous examples of the impetus of competition has created something better, and has done something difficult a lot faster. In 1961 when President John Kennedy challenged the United States to put a man on the moon before 1970, there weren’t many people around who were going to put money on that, yet because of the competition with the Soviet Union, eight years later the goal was accomplished with a few months to spare.

The writer points to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, yea, maybe not buddies, but smart enough to compete against each other and produce music that is still mainstream 40 years later.

Can women compete? Yes, of course and they do and there are many who do it in an inspiring way. God bless ’em. But again for those of the “don’t try to confuse me with the facts”, the mediocre, lazy and frankly just plain lame, competition is part of men’s makeup.

“When you’re the champ in any kind of competition, testosterone levels often quickly rise in your blood stream, says Matthew Fuxjager PhD, an assistant professor of biology at Wake Forest University.”

“Experts hypothesize that a rise in testosterone feeds your noggin’s reward system. And an influx of T may equal more receptors in brain structures that feed competitiveness and social aggression.”

For those in public education that simply can’t understand, identify with and are incapable of properly channeling this in boys, they really need to accept the facts and get out of the way, stop stifling this in boys. So many in today’s society think that they somehow get ahead by dragging someone else down, especially when they do it from ignorance and laziness. That’s not acceptable. Those who go out and accept the challenge are to be encouraged over those who prefer their laziness and passivity. In fact the writer concludes by saying that this chemical affect on a man has the affect of growing and building and helping to make life better for all of us, versus the mediocre la-la-ness. “Additional T receptors are probably still hanging around in your head long after your victory, Fuxjager says. The effect? You’ll be more likely to aggressively repeat the steps that led to your last win.”

I know this effect. Twenty-nine years in the Coast Guard competing against Mother Nature. Despite what the La-La’s think Mother Nature is an unforgivable competitor, she won’t hesitate to kill you if you make a mistake. When we went out and pulled someone out and got them to safety and help it was definitely a rush. For those who think drugs, booze, twinkies or just plain laziness is happiness, they will never know that rush. But I can tell you from personal experience, the next time I was called out, I had more knowledge, better prepared, bolder in accepting the challenge, and more motivated to pursue success. I’ll bet the person I rescued was probably pretty happy about that. For the mediocre and unmotivated they will never know that fulfillment and sit around and whine about it.

God equipped men to stand to the challenge, to be pushed to strive harder, God gave us rivals to push us and challenge us, to do things that will improve lives for other people too. It is not an excuse for men to stomp on others, to take what’s not theirs. But we should strive to serve God, our family, our community to the best of our ability and God gave us the make-up to do that and we should. God did not put us on the earth to be mediocre, passive, lazy. Read the Bible, I don’t see anyone in their that could be described positively in those ways. If someone pushes or inspires you to be a hero use that and always remember that it’s to the glory of God, His leading, His encouraging and in His service.

God’s will is what drives us, not the timid little souls.

One of the knocks against Christians, especially those in the workplace, in any kind of “competitive” environment is that they lack a “killer” instinct, they let scruples, principles somehow interfere with attaining the goal, achieving the ends. A Christian is, to the best of their ability, guided by the Holy Spirit, will do their best to strive as a Christian, to conduct their life as Christ would. Most people would find themselves much more successful and in a lot less trouble if they followed God’s leading and not their own misguided motivations.

But this goofy idea that Jesus was some kind of cream puff, almost some kind of masochist, rolling over and giving in to defeat is just silly. Jesus confronted the powerful leaders of His country to hold them accountable to God’s will, for them to stop abusing their position and truly follow God’s leading. He went to the Cross, but have no doubt if He in His divine providence decided to call down a legion of angels to absolutely destroy His enemies, He certainly could. But what was the ultimate goal here, to defeat Satan, to take away Satan’s power, undermine him in the world by the innocent suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus did the most manly thing any of us could do, sacrifice Himself so that we would live. How could Satan overcome that? He lost the world because of Jesus’ sacrifice, all he could do at this point, with his fangs effectively pulled, is to try and individually undermine our life, if we let him. We have no excuse to lose our eternal reward to Satan, except for ourselves, because of what Jesus did. So let’s get over this goofy idea that Jesus was some sort of weak, weenie, candy. He won the ultimate victory for us in the most manly way possible. Glory to you, oh Christ.

Chris McCormack has become one of the all-time greats of triathlon. Macca has won the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon twice, two world championships and other lesser Ironman’s, over 200 triathlon victories. Now Macca’s not arguing from a Christian point of view, but he wonders why others would undermine themselves: “This word ‘ego is tossed around nowadays with such a negative spin on it. It annoys me to think that by believing in yourself and pursuing your goals and ambitions with conviction you can be ridiculed.” (Triathlete Mag Aug 2013 p 42).

There are a lot of people in the world today who because of their own mediocrity make it a point to try and drag down others. If others around them excel, work hard to achieve great dreams, they are somehow pretentious, uppity, they don’t know their place, they are presumptuous. They would never say things like that, but there are many who just feel that those around  them all have to maintain the same level of mediocrity. I think we see that way too much in the inner city, high schools are almost ruled by those mediocre students who have no intention to allow anyone to excel unscathed. The only exception to that is in athletics and even in that there seems to be an underlying current of mediocrity. But in academics even if you are gifted, you are expected to stay in your place and not let anyone know that you are academically gifted.

I think that Macca is incorrectly describing the argument, but I understand what he’s saying: “The issue with ego is it is up to that athlete to develop this self-belief. It is up to the athlete to accept his fears and weaknesses and implement strategies to strengthen his character in accepting them and holding true to his dream. This is difficult to do and for this reason it’s often neglected. Believing in something takes courage. And it’s not easy learning how to find new courage.”

Let me give you the Christian translation: God has put you where you are, He has given you the gifts that you have. Why would you undermine what God is leading you to do? Many have gone out and done the impossible led by God. Does it make sense to fail to do what God has gifted you with, the plan He has for your life? The Bible describes many situations where people have pushed back against God, have told God they are not capable, they cannot do what God has given them to do. They are right, it’s not going to be through their strength, it’s always going to be through the gifts God has given you, and the Holy Spirit working through you, absolutely, no doubt. But does that mean we should allow ourselves to fail, to simply give up when the Holy Spirit continues to push on us, continues to cut the path for you, gives you what you need to finish.\? Paul tells us in many ways to run the race, to win the prize, there is nothing arrogant about that, just acknowledge that it’s through God’s gifts and leadings. Not because you are somehow special and that is where humility certainly comes in, you readily acknowledge you are no more special then anyone else, but it is because in God’s divine wisdom, in the mystery of God’s sovereignty He chose you to achieve what you’ve achieved. You do it to His glory in the most principled and scrupulous manner possible. Image

“Stop hiding behind your fears. Embrace your ego – mold it, change it and utilize it to take you where you want to go. I have never said or done anything within the realm of this sport that I regret. I have been labeled brash, confident, cocky. At times I wondered if my desire to achieve my personal dreams was too much for people to accept, so labeling me was the easiest way to pigeonhole this drive.” Again let me give the Christian translation. Enhance your relationship with God, trust Him, trust what He’s leading you to do in your life in order to get where He’s leading you to go. Do so with humility, even meekness, but with the utmost confidence, trust and faith that God has given you. Don’t let other people who lead cold, frightened, mediocre little lives deter you from what God is doing in your life. You want a better world? Strive for what God is doing in your life, quit your fears, your pride, your dignity, your petty/weenie little scaries and be a true man or woman of God. Jim Elliot was told that he was crazy to do mission to the Auca Indians. There is no question that God was leading him to do it, and Elliot paid for it with his life. He strived to follow God’s leading, God gave Elliot the faith and courage to do what he did. The result was that the Auca were led to Christ that in heaven, in the New Jerusalem Jim Elliot’s reward would be great, 60 years later he is remembered and held in great esteem as a hero of the faith. I am not suggesting you be cocky and obnoxious and I’ve never really known Chris McCormack to be obnoxious, but no doubt there is ego, for a Christian that means faith, trust, following God’s leading. It’s difficult I’ve even seen fellow Christians try to tear down someone who feels the leading of the Holy Spirit, it might perceived as ego, as brash, but God does great things in all our lives, they may appear humble to others but to those we affect, they are great things and we trust God to do His will in our lives. Image

“[Macca] But what I’ve come to learn is that it is not who we think we are that holds us back; it is who we think we’re not . Remember, great things happen to those who make great things happen…” Christian translation, God is going to do great things through us. It’s not up to us to keep God from working His will. “I’m not worthy. I’m not strong enough. I’m not smart enough.” St Paul tells us: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 ESV) Stop listening to those timid, weak in faith, who are trying to douse the Father’s will in your life. They don’t know, they aren’t even trusting what God is trying to do in their life, why would you even give them the time of day in your life. Be an example to them, to those God has led you to disciple, to a world that likes to make Christians out to be powder puffs. Our Savior was the most courageous and sacrificing man in history, would those He gave His life for, His children, strive to live up to the example of their Lord and Savior?