The One Competition You Will Never Win

We spend rather waste a lot of our precious time constantly trying to keep up with society and those around us. From our bank balance to the simplest competition for a promotion, we spend the majority of our life constantly trying to be better or look better than those around us but at what cost?

A little motivation through fair competition is good and has not hurt anyone, yet it can also be said that it has stirred people away from their true goals but rather took them down a roller coaster ride.

Same is the case with MBA aspirants.

Most of you want to impress their peers, classmates with their percentiles, by how many calls they got so that you could experience that sense of accomplishment. Some of you may be comparing your success with your friends. Some of you are even trying to impress your neighbors, co-workers or family members by your achievement.

But what’s the ultimate point of competing with others and how does it really make you happy ?

Is the importance of having 15 minutes of fame worth throwing your original goals out the window?

Maybe your goal is not going to IIMs, so what? If your friend is consistently getting higher and higher percentiles in mock tests, do you really need to worry much or compare your percentile with him or her ?

I don’t think so.

the competition you will never winYour competition is with yourself. Not with your friends, peers.

You can’t win by competing with others. It goes without saying that there is always someone in your circle whose achievements are much bigger than yours and makes you look small or sometimes makes you complacent when you have no competition. So there is no  point in comparing yourself with others every single time.

No matter how high your percentile is there is always someone who has more percentile than you, no matter how many calls you get there will be always someone who got more & better calls, no matter how many calls you convert there is always someone who converted more and better calls than you, even if you get to IIM-A, no matter how smart you are, there are more smarter people than you, so if you always compare yourself with these people, do you think you are really going to go anywhere ?

Well, there is nothing wrong in trying to reach to their level and always try to become better day by day,but this quest of becoming better version of yourself shouldn’t be compared with constant competition.

I will give my personal example to you. When I was preparing for CAT, I was getting decent percentile in Quants but very miserable percentile in Verbal, no matter how much I studied, I used to score less and less but I always compared my success with my friends. They were scoring more than 90%ile almost all the time without even studying , where I was slugging my a** out and still managed to score only 60-70%ile.

So what I used to do ?

I always used to compare myself with them.

Do you know what happened after that ?

Nothing.

Nothing changed.

Till the time, I decided to improve upon the last percentile I got and started working on my weaknesses , then things began to change.

If you are comparing yourself with a lot of people, then it’s time for some introspection. You don’t know what you want and so you want to possess everything others are holding.

Students always ask me,

How do I get more percentile in CAT Quant?

I tell them to focus on how they can consistently work on their speed, accuracy and concepts to get better and better. I don’t tell them compare yourself to your friends. I always advise them to focus on them.

When you focus on competing with yourself and you start becoming better and better, then the reward you get is more fulfilling in the long term.

I recommend when you find yourself competing with others, take a moment to slow down and simply look at the competitor as no one other than yourself in the past. In other words, I want you to spend everyday of your life ensuring it is better and more productive than the previous day. Instead of worrying about what others are doing, I urge you to consider what you are doing as a top priority and ensure that each and every day you exist. This may seem simple but believe me when I say it is extremely difficult.

Focus on your goals and ensure everyday you spend is one day closer to that goal, but no matter what happens the days that you can’t control, you certainly can control your actions and reactions and can make sure they are aligned to the idea of being one day closer to the outcome you seek.

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Sukrut is a passionate geek, internet visionary and a full time blogger, he has been teaching MBA students from the past two years, he is a chemical engineer by qualification,. Read my full story here

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