I must win, but all others must lose !!!

May 5, 2011

It is strange, but exactly that is an approach we have mastered; “Its not just enough if I win, but all others must lose”. Agreed, its competitive world and we have to work hard and fight to sustain in this world. Unfortunately, our focus have changed from winning to making others lose.

If a question is asked to young parents, What you want your child to be, when he/she grow up? The answer can be broadly categories into:

1. 50% of them will answer, whatever he/she interested in. (but kids are not mature enough to know the interest, and this usually is influenced by parents thinking)

2. 49% will answer engineer or doctor (stereotype, that is how I grow up) and

3. If you do not fall into first 2 categories, I am curious to know what is your choice ?

Well this same question was asked to a poor lady from village near Pune, she replied “Good Human Being”. This is Choice 3, which unfortunately not even 1% of parents usually will answer. This answer can come only from a pure, innocent human soul who cares for humanity. We assume being good human is default and set our goal for either choice 1 & 2. However, hunger to achieve choice 1 & 2 overshadows the default implicit goal of becoming “Good Human Being”.

But this is not our fault, as we have been raised with the attitude, “Do everything you can to be on top, it doesn’t matter if you need to step on others.”  Unknowingly this attitude is fed right from school days. It starts with interviewing a 3 year old for admission, followed by ranking system from kindergarten and influenced by parents expectation from their child to be 1st in class. One incident at school soccer game, few kids waiting on sideline to replace injured player. Parent of one kid signaling her son to rush next to coach in order to get a chance to be in the game. The kid passionately runs towards coach, takes the place of another kid standing next to coach by pushing him aside.

Later same attitude changes to, “I am tall enough to reach top, but I will make sure I kick everyone while I reach top.” My wife’s friend, is in process of Medical school entrance and she is currently attaining several interviews at different schools.My wife asked her, “how are interviews going on?”.  She replied, “I am frustrated with the interviews and just wish this gets over soon. This is making me “Bad Human Being”, which I think I am not”. She continued, “when I am in interview room with other students, I am not only praying for my good performance, but I also pray for others bad performance.”

Another incident which reflects, we are more worried about others performance (in negative sense), rather caring for own. It was graded group assignment and we decided to have online discussion over school chat application. One student questioned, is it good to use school chat app, as other groups can see log of our chat? …. So what ? What will happen even if they see the log? Will it really affect your grade?

This so called competitive attitude has overlooked the fact that in today’s economy, others really do not have to lose for your success. There are plenty of space at Top for you as well as many others of similar caliber. Obviously if depends on your definition of being on Top. If its being successful in your profession, then spend some time looking analyzing the real successful people in your field, you will reveal the fact that none of them are successful at expense of other. If you are the group leader, I am sure there is enough opportunity and space for many working under you to be a leader of some other group. If you want to become a Manager, you can be one as your colleague too, working for different team or organization.

In fact personally I feel, sometimes this attitude of “I must win, but all others must lose” would really make you lose by not focusing on what you can do but on what you cannot control.


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