Good Morning Everybody! Welcome Back! Hopefully, with things kind of crazy right now, we wanted to continue on business as usual. So, Enjoy our newest piece, The Art of the Struggle & The Importance of Competition . Biologically, competitiveness is built into our DNA. We are programmed to hunt, gather, fight, and defend our territory and well-being. Survival is the ultimate form of competition, it is the ultimate game in which you adapt, overcome, survive, or die. The brutality of nature is evident for all species, as Darwin said, only the strong survive. This biological feature we have within us has allowed humanity to survive for over thousands of years.
Inherently, we adapt, overcome, and continuously evolve to meet the demands of our environment. It is the reason me and you exist today thanks to the perseverance of our ancestors! So, lets remember this too shall pass.
Today, we simply don’t just survive, we thrive. Through our technological advancements, farming and agricultural practices, this has allowed our species to live a more comfortable life. In absence of our primordial enemies, we have evolved past the point where we can no longer race alongside our advancements. On the contrary, we are now fighting a losing battle of our personal development. As a matter of fact, millions of people around the world have become complacent, reactive, passive, creating a barrage of mental and physical health issues that millions suffer globally. If unchecked, comfort can lead to a series of issues ranging from depression, affluenza, obesity, diabetes and anxiety, just to name a few. Clearly, with everyone being quarantined, you can start seeing the difference.
In the United States, it is estimated that 61 million Americans are suffering from some type of disability.
One way to combat this is to challenge yourself, struggle, to face a productive adversity. This can be done by enrolling in school and challenging your intellect or facing your fears in the gym. Regardless of the challenge, personal growth requires stress, and it is up to us to find that positive stressor. To give you an example, at one point in my life, swimming was one of my hardships. I saw it as a negative stressor, and it took some time for me to overcome that limiting perspective.
Let me be clear, we are not making light of this COVID-19 dilemma, we are merely saying lets make the best of this situation. We have been granted time to remove ourselves from the normal 9 to 5 hustle. Lets not let it go to waste.
Long story short, when I was a kid, I almost drowned attempting to swim from the deep end to the shallow side. I remember swallowing gallons of water (That’s what it felt like) only to be saved by a good friend. To be honest, that experience left a scar.
However, many years down the road, I would have to challenge my fear. As fate would have it, I wanted to become a Marine. I knew in order to compete with other recruits this was something I couldn’t hide from. When I met with my local recruiter, I mentioned this to him. Thankfully, for any experienced Marine this was not a problem. They provided me access to a local pool and slowly taught me how to swim. Although it took some work, I improved and was able to pass the swim qualification in recruit training.
My point here is you have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and compete with yourself first before you can compete with others. I didn’t get better overnight, or in a week, it took me several months of consistency to become a descent swimmer. But finally, I knew I was able to enter the competition of becoming a Marine more prepared then before.
Without this trial and error, we stay stationary and burden our growth. We all will fall, we all will lose, but character is built on how we respond. This translates to any challenge we face in life.
The Art of the Struggle & The Importance of Competition was written to help us understand the importance of not only surviving, but thriving.
This is why some of the best firms, best people, best innovators, best winners, are also some of the best losers. They aren’t afraid to lose, and they understand that losing is part of the process. More importantly, competition allows us to gauge our current skill set and improve upon strengths and weaknesses. This is why losing is so valuable to true winners and why true winners embrace their rivals and adversaries because without them, there is no growth, there is no competition, and more importantly, no winning. Greatness requires willpower but it also requires others to challenge you.
I leave you with a final thought, embrace your competition, accept and adapt to the situation. Do not allow current events to completely stop your life. Work around the variables given and make something of it.
Once you are done competing from within (learning how to swim, working out at home, learning something new, creating good habits, studying for your exam), you must compete with others to grow. This is how recruits become Marines, how athletes improve in sports, how students become professors, how startups become great firms, how competitors become champions. Embrace your instincts, your inner animal, and together, we will all succeed in our endeavors. Remember, not all growth needs to be done alone. I wouldn’t have learned to swim as fast if I didn’t mention it to the recruiter. They helped me gain a skill set quicker then anticipated.
As Black Sheep, we support each other, carry the same burdens, and reinforce our personal growth. Feel free to hit us up with any questions you may have and we can help guide you in the right direction. Check out our Social for a sneak peak on all our newest design coming out April 1st.