Is Competition Good?

Microsoft and Google were competing with each other and were constantly anticipating their rival’s next move. During this time, Apple concentrated on innovation and moved on to become one of the biggest companies in technology.

In one passage, the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu describes competition and its limitations as follows:

“When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his skill.”
If he shoots for a brass buckle, He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold, He goes blind
Or sees two targets – He is out of his mind!
His skill has not changed. But the prize Divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning than of shooting – And the need to win
Drains him of power.

The truth is that the more we become attached to the outcome and the competitors, the further we distance ourselves from the winning prospects. This is because we forget to concentrate on ourselves and our potential and the new innovative ways to win. Indeed, there should be competition, a desire to win, and a fire to succeed, and this will undoubtedly unleash our potential, but not at the expense of focusing on competitors.

Whether it is students or employees, the focus should be on the value that they’re adding to themselves to succeed and the ways to reach their target. Competition is essential and definitely increases productivity in employees and potential in students, but it is only a small part of the game, and the same competition could be detrimental if it is disproportionate in nature.

There are studies conducted by Harvard Business School that suggest employees tend to face anxiety and behavioural problems when an aberrant level of competitive culture is developed in organizations. This ultimately leads to unethical ways of solving problems and achieving targets. The same applies to students too, when they are subjected to unhealthy competition, they tend to lose their potential, their creativity gets affected, and they’ll be more concerned about their rivals’ growth, leading to anxiety, stress, and depression which may lead to suicidal tendencies.


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