Monday, May 28, 2007

Overly Competitive

Being the self aware (some may see me as "self absorbed," more than "self aware," but that's a personal problem of theirs not mine) guy that I am, I can admit many faults.

The biggest one (and one that may foster other faults) is that I am way to competitive. It's not at an unhealthy level, but I do my best at everything that I do, and if I'm not winning I know that I can work harder to do better. Effort is something that I see as a rare commodity these days. To many people just appear to trudge through the things that they do, and not give a damn about the results. I'm not content with that, and as a result, I am willing to push myself harder and further to do better.

At times I think that this can be healthy. Competition at work actually leads to my company doing better as more and more people strive to be at the top. The extra effort leads to more work getting done, and the employees doing more to make the work they do better as a whole. That said at times it leads to self destructive behavior that will end in bad things. This past week, Sunday to Sunday, I put in over 80 hours at work, or working at home. Granted this was a holiday weekend here, and a big beer holiday at that, but it was probably a bit over the top and I could have gotten away with much less. But I wouldn't let myself. I don't want to get behind, and being ahead of the game is much more valuable than some time off to sit around and do nothing.

I'm not going to go into sports and such on a play by play basis, but it's enough to say that I play to win... I'm not a sore loser, and I'll never be the guy that acts like an ass during the game, but you can bet for sure that I will not sit idly by and let myself lose again and again. Practice, practice, practice. Thankfully I limit the sports that I give a damn about, and recently running has been what I've been doing the most of (6 minutes a mile for 2 miles tonight). Being overly competitive with myself may lead to an injury there, but I don't time myself during the run, so I only know after I am done if I was slower or faster. It was neat to run up to the porch and see 12 minutes upon returning tonight. The best part being that I didn't feel like I was pushing myself that much during the run.

And then there are video games, which are sadly enough, something that I can't help but love. From Windows Chess (finally kicked Level 5's ass, but it took forever), to PS3 (PLAY B3YOND has got to be the coolest logo ever), and recently ESPN Seen It Trivia (great drinking game with friends), I'm an addict through and through. And I can't lose without examining what I did wrong and where I can fix it next time.

But what inspired this little bit of self revelation? Why am I even writing this one?

Because tonight I got told that I couldn't be competitive, in a situation that I really have been looking forward to, and it just pestered me the entire time. It's not all about winning, but if I can't win, at least let me play the game to the best of my ability to see where I am going wrong... Nobody can expect to win every time, but if you can't even play the game as best you can, then what's the F'ing point?

Oh well, that may have been the point of the fast run when I got home. Nothing like going out and pushing yourself a bit (if not only subconsciously) when your frustrated. It just does a lot to burn that all away and change your focus to something productive.

Maybe I'll take it easy this week. No sense in proving that my salary is half of what it seems to be, because I spend twice as much time at work as I used to.

1 comment:

Princess Banter said...

I love this post because it reflects the current state of my life. I know I'm very competitive -- but I've come to think about those instances where it's not worth putting the extra mile in. It's sort of like picking your battles. But where do you draw the line? Is overachieving a bad thing? Because sometimes, it makes defeat and failure really hard to accept.