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Day 54: Why we must learn to compete ourselves.

Elena and I were jogging together for a good month back in May. We met outside of the dorm every morning and ran good 3,6,10 or 13 km. I didn't know I could run that much.

Later, Elena, Jeremiah, and I were playing frisbee. When you are trying to win that frisbee, you are running really fast. I didn't know I can run that fast.

Now, the set-up has changed and we do neither of those activities together. Different wake-up time, no frisbee team.

If I relied on the external motivation of having a "competitor" alongside me at all times, I would be completely out of shape right now.

The presence of a "competitor" is extremely fun and useful as it aligns your emotions perfectly with the desired course of action. When I was running with Lena, I didn't want to slow her down, so I kept going, surpassing what I thought was my limit. When I was running against Jeremiah for the frisbee, I didn't need to be thinking much because there are a clear goal and clear stakes.

So on my solitary runs these days, I can stop whenever I want and I can run as slow as I want. There is no one to run against.

In running, it would be more effective for me personally to have an athlete run with me for me to always have the motivation for that extra push.

Same with eCommerce. If you have a team of people doing the same thing around you, them doing it better motivates you to make progress.

However, it appears to be that in life as a whole, it is quite complicated to find a "competitor" who would always motivate you.

Like we talked about in 👉Inspiration Design 101, there is no one out there responsible for motivating us to do things, even if they are great and lofty.

In certain designed systems, such as competitive sports, a class, a job ranking, etc., you can clearly see your progress against other "competitors". There is someone better than you in math, having a better pay or grade and their example establishes a trajectory of your potential progress. You can choose to pursue a better position, a better running speed, etc. These designed systems are, however, exclusive to a defined set of skills.

In life, the system is way more multivariate, confused, and non-linear.

In life, there is a combination of a multitude of skills and spheres and talents and interests, and factors.

Moreover, that combination is unique to each individual.

So, although we can match to a competitor in a specific sphere, such as running, making the best pancakes, knowing a programming language well, it is nearly impossible to match all of our skills to a specific person.

The title of this blog is about pursuing the best life possible, meaning going for a max output of your skills and desires.

Not being cringy here, but I guess I have to become the best Mariyam I can be or this is what the blog title says anyway.

So we want to max out on what we have.

We need to learn to compete with ourselves.


You don't have the luxury of having a worthy competitor at all times.

I can match certain skills here and there and it is an extremely useful tool when it is healthy and directed towards progress.

But there are so many factors that the combination happens to be very unique.

Meaning you don't have a competitor good enough.

Again, this is relating a more broad view of life.

Overall, we can max out on our unique traits by training ourselves to compete with ourselves and not always looking towards the outside for that shot of competitive motivation.

When trained properly, you can become your own best, most motivating competitor.

Let me guys know what you think.

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