Friday, January 7, 2011

Competition (The Good, The Bad and The Crazy)

For a back drop into my life with this I have been born and raised playing sports. Not just a few sports, I have been playing soccer for 17 years now, I played lacrosse for 7 years, Baseball for 6 years and a multitude of other sports for a long time. I have a craving for winning all the time! One of the hardest things I have ever had in my life was learning to play sports for fun or 'enjoyment'. My coaches have always told me that the fun comes in winning the game and not even how you play it but winning or losing is what defines you. As scary as that is I kept that policy for most of my life that the only thing that mattered was this being first and being the best. Now you can start to imagine what going through school, friendships, video games and anything else that could be remotely competitive was for me. To follow with the title there a few things about competition that are great, one is that it pushes you all the time to not only do well but do the best, the bad is that everything is a competition hard to always enjoy what your doing if you happen to not win, and the crazy is when I create things to be a competition that was never intend to be like getting girls. Overall competition has shaped my life either for good or bad but mostly to make it just a tad bit crazy.

The Good, well the great thing about ALWAYS be in competition is that you are always pushing yourself to be the best that there has ever been. In College Pro I was always in competition to be the BEST salesmen or the top rookie. For school I will push myself to do the best on certain assignments. For soccer I push myself to be the most aggressive and strongest player. Now I do not always achieve these goals but that is what I aim for sadly. Competition it a great thing when used wisely for example my mom is a high school principal and she told me a story that the moment you create a 'competition' for guys in classes their attention is entirely focused on winning. Well it was always for me one of the greatest ways to get me to do something is to tell me that I CANNOT do that. If you tell me I cannot run a marathon I would go run it, tell me I cannot get that A in a class I will get that A, and if you tell me I cannot help someone then sure as hell I will help that person until the day I die. There are some great positives but unfortunately I am still learning how to use this "Weakness" to my advantage. For one I can push myself like none other I will push myself till I collapse, literally.

The Bad, the bad aspect that I started to get into is that I have an incredibly hard time ever finding enjoyment in small tasks. Sports I have such a hard time enjoying them unless I am winning not just my team but me. For school I have to refrain from ALL competition or else I get 100% consumed in being the best. It is actually kind of comedic at times what I will get upset about in class or on assignments stuff normal people should get upset about. For the record yes in fact I am a teacher's pet I love being the favourite of my teachers. One of the hardest things I have learned since coming to TWU (Trinity Western University) is in intermurals sports that I do not have to win or be the best to enjoy playing the sport. This is a difficult difficult task and you can ask my teammates its does come out sometimes that I need to win. These aspects of bad competition have cause me a fair amount of stress because it is not always healthy to be fixated on be the best. Yes there is something good in trying to be the best you can be but it is negative when you get fixated upon being the best above and beyond how good you actually are.

The Ugly, I wish there was a harsher word I could use to describe this level of competition but unfortunately the ugly will have to do. This is when I create a competition out of things that should NEVER been a challenge or competition. Here are a few things I do that I am working so hard to fix and stay away from. I have in the past and continue to for some of them make a competition out of: 
  • Girls
  • Praying, Worship or being the best Christian
  • Caring
  • Helping out
  • etc....
If you are reading these things, these are things you do NOT want to make into a competition. Sadly I have and struggle with a few of them to this day and have been working on not viewing them as a competition. When you start creating competition of of things like this it is scary. You lose the enjoyment you get out of relationship, Christianity, being a friend and making a difference. When that starts happening an automatic red flag should go up. Good things can still come about through negative intention but that intrinsic feeling I should get just is not there at all. It is a scary feeling when you help someone and do not feel good about it because there is more you could have done, you could have helped more people or made a better difference. Really? Does that even remotely sound healthy to you?

Do not get my wrong COMPETITION IS GREAT, however it is how you use it like most things in life it comes down to how you use it. It has taken me a long time to recognize that I love competition way to much but now that I know it the next step is what I am going to do with this knowledge. Knowledge is only useful if you use it to help, build up or make better of something. I am using competition as my example where I struggle with but how about anyone who is reading this what is your Achilles tendon? (Reference to Troy) but what is your weak area where you can see something your doing well? something that is bad? and something that is down right ugly? Mine is competition what is yours?

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

P.S. For anyone I have hurt through those ugly ugly competitions I have I am sincerely sorry from the bottom of my heart.

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