I got a big trophy.
He had asked me what he needed to work on to improve.
I knew. Instead I told him something else.
He worked on the wrong thing; I beat him again.
My basement flooded so I had to throw the trophy away. I wish I could throw away my lie too.
That’s the thing about the ego. It wants to win. It doesn’t just want to be better, to have things, to accomplish. The ego wants to beat someone else.
The ego says: “Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven”.
But wisdom says: “Serve everyone; that’s how you get to heaven”.
A lady called me the other day. She told me her 9 year old was getting picked on at baseball practice. Thought some martial arts classes might help him. I agreed.
I tried to schedule his first lesson. We have class available almost every day of the week.
She hesitated. She said it wouldn’t work out.
I asked why?
She said: “Because he’s got baseball every day”.
In other words it was more important for her son to be part of a group, part of a competition; EVEN IF IT WAS HURTING HIM.
This is no way to live.
Something is wrong.
We compete for the wrong reasons. We want to win at the expense of others. We’re caught in “group think”.
The only real competition is trying to win over your ego. To win over the part of you that sacrifices your happiness, your relationships, even your health so that you can beat another person.
Competition has it’s place. But listen to the greatest coaches of all time. They will tell you real competition is with something inside of you. The reaching for more, the striving to stick with your discipline, to find a way to improve even if it’s only by 1%.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke said the key was getting his players to out work the other team.
Duke would often be in situations where they played smaller less talented schools. Coach K would tell his players that at the end of the game everyone else would look at the scoreboard to tell who won. But Coach K would come up with his own scoreboard. Only he and his players would know who really won based on his own system of scoring.
How many times did we dive to the floor for a loose ball?
How many times did we get back faster on defense?
How many times did we out hustle the other team?
To Kryzyzewski winning is not decided on the scoreboard; but based on the parts of the game where everyone was equal. Winning was out playing other teams where it counts. Discipline and effort.
“If we win the effort game against a little school; that’s how we really win. It’s what prepares us to face Kentucky or Ohio state; If we lose the effort battle to a little school we didn’t earn the right to beat the big ones”.
Don’t take the lazy way out.
There is always a lazy way. The lazy way is trying to beat someone or something outside yourself.
Your lazy when you run out of ideas.
When you have no ideas you feel lost. You need an enemy. So you find an enemy (or make one up) so you have someone to compete with.
You don’t want to do the real work. The real work is finding a way to get a little bit better today than you were yesterday. You don't want to do the work of making yourself better; instead you compete.
I was at an Ikea yesterday.
Ikea is one of the most egoless companies I’ve ever seen. Ikea refuses to compete.
Ikea operates under a vision; how to we create something cool to make the world a better place and serve others. Ikea doesn’t compete with Wal-Mart or Penny’s. Ikea renders other retailers inconsequential.
Ikea focuses on it’s core, it’s values, it’s principles.
Ikea doesn’t care about competing with anyone else. Ikea is busy diving onto the floor grabbing lose balls. It looks to me like they’ve collected quite a few.
Today I have “competitors” in “business” who want to know my methods of operation.
I tell them the truth.
I tell them about my secret sauce.
It’s sitting alone in a quiet room thinking. Asking myself how we can do better. Focusing on what we believe as a dojo and trying to sharpen the way I live by that code every day.
Finding ways to improve and put others first makes competition inconsequential. What other people do has nothing to do with with our decision to get better.
We can't be lazy.
I don’t lie anymore. They don’t give me trophies.
I don’t want one.