Competition is a funny thing. It can make you do crazy stuff.
Over this past weekend, in the mini competition of a friendly hackathon, I found myself focusing on others weaknesses while simultaneously focusing on my strengths. That was not a good thing as it is a really dangerous combination which often results in nothing but heartache and disappointment.
You see all the ugly reasons and faulty logic of what everyone else is doing…and you only see the great potential and opportunities that you are creating.
But reality lies somewhere in the middle…and often the downside of your own thing you are blind to is greater than the upside; while the upside of others which you are also blind to is greater than their downsides.
Whenever I’m self-aware enough to realize I’m in a competition (ie. actually trying to beat someone) I do everything I can to just focus on my own game. Play to what I believe are my strengths. Defend or at least deflect from my weaknesses.
Because these are the things I have a reasonable chance at controlling. And I have enough self confidence (ego) to expect great results if I stick to my game plan (or if nothing else, to be content with the results when I do).
It’s easy to be caught up in what others have and what others are doing, but you can’t control any of that…at best you can only react to it. (Which I guess can work if you’re a natural counter puncher – but I think most of us aren’t born natural counter punchers.)
Anyway, my point is that I’ve found the best chance you have at “winning” is if you focus on what you can control, stick to your plan and your strengths, and don’t stop…
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” - Mahatma Gandhi
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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