The significance of ‘competition’

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By Mushtaq Bhat

Competition is a contest between two or more parties striving for a goal which cannot be shared. Students compete each other to get better results, competition among countries in international relations signifies better ties and better international image. There are constant competitions among various businesses and establishments and the concept of competition becomes pivotal to the progress and success of a given business. It not only ensures growth but also sets in a great atmosphere for everyone to work hard and earn better positions.

Competition is actually a great thing that helps us to become better persons and also being independent in achieving something that we desire and aspire. It also encourages us to be more creative in order to be ahead of our competitors. It is a great feeling to have people competing and this actually means that everyone must do his/her best to stay ahead.

There are usually two types of competition-the ‘desirable’ and the ‘undesirable’. We can simply say that a competition is either positive or a negative one. Therefore, it is important to recognize the difference between the two and learn how to foster the desirable while reducing or eliminating undesirable competition which can prove to be destructive if not controlled in time.

Actually competitiveness by itself generally is neither positive nor negative but it is the approach of people, parties or groups that makes it positive and negative. One must not forget that winning isn’t everything and a winner of today might be a looser of tomorrow- all that matters is the hard work and the amount of efforts that one puts in. If you’re not first, you’re last. Therefore, students require opportunities to develop positive attitudes, sound values, and constructive behaviours that will enable them to manage a competitive environment.

Desirable or positive competition is the epitome of team spirit. It’s about challenging ourselves, pushing those around us, and allowing our commitment and skill, and the motivation of others, to bring the best out of us and tap into our potential. Positive competition is productive which inspires creativity and elevate our performance. There are many pros and cons of competition in education and sports as well. While competition in schools develops self discipline and a zeal for achieving excellence, inappropriate and ill-designed competitions often have adverse effects. So safety in this field should be the first and foremost priority of the competition and when children face competitive activities at school, they not only gain individual skills, like resilience and motivation, but they also build on important interpersonal skills. We must focus, encourage positive spirit of competition in every field we are part of, in order to endow participants with a bounty of benefits.

The other type of Competition is negative which is similar to a zero-sum game in which the success of one party depends entirely on the failure of the other party and can become even destructive when it’s about tearing others down. It’s one thing to be motivated by self-interest, but another thing to start actively sabotaging the performance of others. This ill will and destructive activity not only hurts others but also eats at the core of the person or entity dolling it out. Therefore this type of competition seeks to benefit one party and in the same time damaging the other, which promotes fear, hostility and anger.

To sum it up, competitive environments play a vital role in improving teamwork, enhancing learning and motivation and yet it can impact development in both positive and negative ways. Therefore it’s important to think carefully about the type of competition before participation.

‘Do not compete with others! Pick a high speed for yourself that suits high ideals and try to catch and surpass that speed’-Mehmet Murat

The writer can be reached at [email protected]

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