Some thrive on it. Others try to avoid competing all together. In life, I like to think it’s a good thing. You should do your own jam, putting your unique spin on a job, task, project, or whatever you’re working on. But competitively benchmark yourself now and then. Look over your shoulder. Find a better painting. Read a superior book. Run faster. Year’s ago, I had a teacher give me this quote on the lion and the gazelle (I found the wrinkled up quote and lion picture in a drawer this week-this post is so I don’t lose the idea):

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Christopher McDougall

If you don’t have the competitive fire, dip your toe in the water. Invent an adversary. Remember, there are always those who take it to the next level. Two companies. Space X. Blue Origin. Each pushing the other in the space race. It doesn’t matter who wins. I’m just glad we’re talking about the moon again.


  • The Lion statue was taken at the Biltmore, outside of Asheville, NC. Photo by Beth Bradley, used with permission.