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The first time you run to win, you are hardly aware that you have stepped into a world of cut throat competition. Sometimes, I think, is it really important to participate in a race or win one because it is the road to success. Is it not a better choice that one sets their own target(s) and shall give their best and excel in whatever the do and more importantly enjoy the whole experience.
My brother and me, we never did very well in competitive exams because despite being very good students, we were always nervous with the whole idea of competition. The thought of what if we do not cross the lines before any one else was frightening. The whole experience made us nervous and those three hours would of competitive exams would become a living hell for both of us. So, it was those very few occasions that we took part in and especially in those, we thought, we would enjoy and do for the rest of our lives. We chose the paths quite early of what we wanted to do professionally and that be happy doing it in the first place. Thanks to our parents, who gave us space to debate and convenience about our choices. We seems so far happy in our shoes and space.
Now, it is the phase in the family where we have yet another generation that has stepped into this competitive world. It really brings a sense of joy when they excel or when they win a race the first very race in which they ran. Although, they are hardly aware that they were participating in a race and competing with others to outdo them. Many thanks to the school, that made every attempt to not make it a competition and rewarded all the students alike. A t tender age this builds a sense of confidence and appreciation for their sportive contribution.
Those who did not win their first race, were too ignorant about the notion of competition but to their parents, it was a matter of ego and prestige. Very often, when I see kids participating in various reality shows and sports events , kids at a very tender age feel the pressure to outdo others. Their parents put their hopes and expectation hanging on these fragile shoulders. Like the other day, a friend’s husband was lecturing his nephew, how project management is such a happening thing and how people make so much money out of it without even asking the kid, if he really wanted to be a project manager. I definitely, do not deny that this was not okay to preach a child about the good of a profession. But the boy in his eight standard hardly is sure that he wants to do exactly Project Management because rest of the world is doing so.
One should allow the kids to be exposed to variety of choices, through books and mediums so that he really get to see the what he wants to be and not participate in mad rat race of excellence, only to realise later in life that he wanted to direct films and not manage projects. Unfortunately, how much ever we may deny this fact, we have become these individuals who want to outdo the other. We never even stop to think what we want to really be in life. So we have an IIT, IIM graduate pass yet another competition to become a Civil Servant. These competition crackers do not realise that a country has lost an engineer, an able business tycoon, because all this person wanted was power. Trust me today most of us and our goals are basically to out do others rather than to be the best at what we do. We never compete with ourselves but with others and perhaps that’s the reason that we often get to see an engineer turned film maker or doctor turned bureaucrat or teacher turned into master chef or anything else.
Until and unless, we ask this question to ourselves and perhaps at the right age, we will keep on shifting like a nomad and deep down remaining an individual turned into machine, feeling incomplete and unsatisfied. I am sure none of us want this to happen to our kids. For every parent , it is important that they built confidence in their kids that they excel in whatever they like to do rather than excelling at what the other individual are doing. Only then, their child shall truly win the marathon of life. The goal should always be to be better than one own self, to win over one selves and not over others. Tortoise won because not at any stage, did it run to win over the rabbit, it ran because it wanted to cross its own limitations.