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23 March 2005 @ 02:26 am
I doubt it, but doesn't hurt to ask...  
Anyone have suggestions on how to make oneself less competative? How to focus on enjoying things more for the sake of doing, rather than to accomplish a goal in a set amout of time?
Antarctica, Winter 1982ivorjawa on March 23rd, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
I'm ten times less competitive than you!

Er. Um.
I don't really see competitivism as a bad thing, but ...

Have you considered studying Buddhism? Not necessarily as a religion, but as a philosophy, an outlook on life?
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 23rd, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
There problem with competitivism is it gets very depressing when you compete with people who are better than you all the time. Also when you take something you enjoy emensly and then get upset about it because you fear you are not doing it as well as the other people, when it doesn't really matter at all and that thing gets soured because instead of thinging "my, that was fun" you think "man, I suck, because they were doing better than me."
chenoamegchenoameg on March 23rd, 2005 01:55 pm (UTC)
ather than to accomplish a goal in a set amout of time

Hmm, that's not what I think of when I think of competitive -- I think of competitive as trying to do things better than other people -- but I'll answer both questions.

To become less goal-oriented, focus more on process. Contemplate the moment you're in, and savor it. (This is where the Buddhism stuff comes in.) Take time to sit and imagine 5 things you enjoy doing. Picture how you feel when you're doing them. When you set goals for yourself, set them based on your actions, not on the outcomes. So the goal would be "I'll play DDR twice a week for the next four weeks" not "I'll master 5 star songs by May 1st".

It's related to cutting yourself more slack, so working on positive self-talk and self-confidence might also help. Think of ways you're proud of yourself that are based on how you do things, not the impressive things you've done. (I can provide examples if you'd like.)

This might also help you be less competitive in the sense of needing to do better than others. If you get frustrated that you're not meeting some exterior standard, spend time thinking about how much fun it is that people are different, or what you love about your husband.

(hmm, I wonder if I'm making sense. Posting before breakfast is always sketchy.)
Richardrjpb on March 23rd, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
I would agree with all this.

One way of thinking about reducing competitiveness is to focus on internal improvement rather than external comparison. So, do not compare yourself to how well anyone else is doing; instead, compare yourself to how well you performed a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago. Try also to think on a longer-term scale: evaluate change over one year, not every day. It does not matter whether someone else had a good or bad day, but how much you have grown with time.

I would also recommend reading a bit on Buddhism. I think you might appreciate some of the cultural contributions it has made, and you might even try reading some things in Japanese.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 23rd, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)
random musings
A long time ago, Wes told me about an exercise he went through once. I don't remember the details of the seminar, but people paired off to work together on this particular exercise under the direction of a facilitator.

The two people were instructed to sit in chairs facing each other; I believe they were close enough that they could tap the other person's knees with their toes. They sat down and were told to close their eyes -- and only open them when they were comfortable with the fact that there was a person directly facing them.

This kind of exercise creeps me out. There's no way I could do this. :)

"Gosh, dave, that's great. But what the heck is your point?"

It's a sense of slowing down, of stopping to smell the roses. I'm not saying that you have to move to the country, because, duh, you (and I) are city people. But that doesn't mean we have to be swept up by our lives; we can (and I think we should) create space of calmness. It doesn't have to be some Weekend Mountain Retreat; it can be as simple as looking at a houseplant, or a photo, or the sky, and just grinning about how it's neat in its own way.

There are two consequences from slowing down: 1, it gives you time to realize what's going on in your life that you may not like (e.g., you're being unnecessarily competitive about something), and 2, it gives you time to do something about it.

One last point: I have this pet theory that says, "if it took you N years to get to your current state, then it'll probably take on the order of N years to move away from it". ("order" being the key part.) So if you've been competitive for the last, say, 10 years, then it's going to be a long road to not being competitive.

This is meant to set perspective, not be depressing. Because after a year, I think you'll notice that you're a lot happier, but just still have a long way to go. :)