I read a response by Serena Willams recently, when she was asked what was most important to her;
"Being the best at what you do. That's all i really care about. My whole goal in life was just to be the best at what I do."
I do not have the same relentless drive
It got me thinking about what's important to me (over and above everything else), and actually, being the absolute best at what I do isn't it. Sure, I want to be masterful at my craft and leave my legacy behind, but being 'THE BEST' is not the big driver for me. This feels a bit like a 'coming out' blog for me, and with it comes a bit of relief. I don't want to come across as someone who doesn't want to achieve amazing results in my life, because of course I do. But to me, being 'the best' means being better than everyone else, and quite frankly, I don't really care. I care about enjoying any race and competition, and if I come first, then that's a great bonus.
I have never been massively competitive. During our childhood, Josie and I weren't encouraged to play sport, either formally or even socially, and watching sport isn't a big part of my life now. While other friends really like to win even a spontaneous running race at a birthday party, I am not interested (and wouldn't want to be in a race in the first place).
Likewise, my dear son Lucas has no interest whatsoever in playing team sports. He loves individual sports like golf and swimming, and simply enjoys the time he spends doing them. His best buddy on the other hand just loves all sports, and at 7 years old watches reruns of All Blacks games!
Watching New Zealand win the semi final of the Cricket world cup this week was inspiring. What really got me was that the global audience is estimated at over one billion people! How do you think the extraordinary Grant Elliot felt under that pressure? How do you think he feels now? Surely, his competitive streak is a big reason for his success.
There is something admirable about a relentless focus on winning. I sometimes wonder where I would be if I had a stronger focus on it myself. I also wonder how much is to do with comparison, which I will go into next week. It may simply be a trait that people are born with.
Let's face it, someone with a healthy competitive streak may do better in sales than someone who doesn't. At the risk of sounding defeatist I just don't think that I can make myself more competitive than I am. How about you?