Sunday, February 12, 2012

Competition Yet Uncompetitive

To get many of the things I desire I have to be competitive. Unfortunately, I am a rather uncompetitive person, unless I am in some sort of fight or flight situation. I am enamored with teamwork. I have so many faults and deficiencies that I can hardly get to work in the morning dressed, fed and on time.

I recently started chasing a new goal. From step one the waters are more competitive than the safe aspects of my life. Why do I do this? Why do time and again I put myself in unfamiliar cutthroat positions? Do I put myself in these situations intentionally? Do I search out competitive situations? I don't know.

I feel I live in a dichotomy. In a race I will throw an elbow and make you pass me on the curve, at least I used to. If we are engineering I will spill patentable ideas and multimillion dollar saving plans like they are water. (Although you will have to wade through the unmanfacturable, cost prohibitive plethora of ideas that I have along the way.) If you are ever tied into a rope with me above treeline you will see greater fear and greater confidence in my eyes than you will on level ground. Mountain climbing is a great competition. Complete teamwork and complete competition at the same time. Competition against ourselves and against the mountain yet teamwork with all of the other people there.

I don't know. Do you ever reflect on your life and think, 'is this really where I am?' I would never have believed a few years ago that nearing my 26th birthday I would live in Dubuque, Iowa, and like it.

At every step of life there is teamwork and competition, which are fundamentally at odds with each other. A marriage involves intense teamwork with each other and competition against the outside forces causing trouble. The military must work together to get anything accomplished yet so often there is an opposition competing for the same people and same land.

I don't know. It just strikes me as odd that uncompetitive teamwork and competition often exist so close together. What decides that we choose to align ourselves with A and challenge B instead of align with B and challenge A?

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