Competitive spirit- learning to destress and make it fun

Posted By: Poonam Srivastava/Atika Singh                

We couldn't ignore the news and hype around two high profile recent films which were mired in some controversy and acrimony among the promoters about clash of release dates. It made us wonder about what was going on with the sense of competitive spirit? This is a common emotion experienced by all age groups and class of people which can cause a lot of avoidable anxiety. Be it the pressure to excel in studies, at work, score high grades professionally, in sporting events, in career entrance exams, profit targets in business, social standing among newsmakers, or like in this recent example of film, book or other creative artistic music etc releases; the pressure of competition is all encompassing. Sadly we become so engrossed with achieving high end targets that we loose out on most of the fun and enjoyment of the larger experience of engagement with the smaller niceties of real life events.

Let us take the example of watching two good parallel cinema exhibits. There is enough room for both to be appreciated by viewers over a festive period and that is the kind of verdict that has emerged so far in this case.

Similarly it is not always important to decide as to who wins or stands first, it is more important to focus on our performance and give it our best shot. The real sense of satisfaction and gratification has to be tied in with our actions and inputs; and not the results and outputs which are often beyond our control. This is the beautiful age old doctrine of the Bhagwad Gita which encourages us to focus our energy on our Karma or action and not the Phala or result as quoted in its famous couplet- Karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachna

Some competitive pressure is healthy which encourages us to prepare better and perform better. We need to demarcate between obsessive competitive stress that kills the charm of performance. And instead learn to maintain a balance with the spirit of participation like in a game of sport, independent of victory or defeat!

Have you had an experience of a situation where performance mattered more and not the end results? Look at how we chew food with all our teeth at work in team-play. Similarly most of our other body parts are good examples of action orientation rather than showing off one better than the other.

(Poonam Srivastava is a Delhi based writer who has published books and articles on subjects of social innovation and practical spirituality. She also actively volunteers her time to promote causes related to these spheres.)

(Atika Singh is a post graduate in Counseling Psychology from Amity Institute of Behavioral & Allied Sciences and graduate in History from Delhi University. She has been actively involved in the emotional counseling space; and is passionate about empowering individuals to deal with their personal and professional issues, and achieve greater success. She is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner.)
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