Like every true American, I am competitive. We learn to compete in sports and games while growing up. As a kid, most daily events are competitions: we compete over grades; we compete over the most desirable lunch items; we can even turn simple instructions like “Line up in order by height” into a competition. Most of us carry that competitive nature through to adulthood.
The colloquial phrase that describes this adult behavior is “Keeping up with the Joneses.” When your neighbor bought a new boat, you had to buy an even faster boat. When your coworker built himself a “man cave,” you needed one with a bigger TV. When your friend got the latest designer handbag, you had to get the more expensive style. Buy, Buy, Buy! Consume, Consume, Consume! This is what our society trains us to do. And while there isn’t anything inherently wrong with consumerism, when taken blindly, it has some major flaws.
Change Your Focus
The problem with this type of competition is that it is limited. There is a finite amount of ‘stuff’ available to purchase, and a limited amount of resources to trade for it. Even if you happen to be a wealthy business owner (which, if you regularly read my blog, you either are or are on your way to being one), your cash-flow is limited. One choice is to work hard enough and smart enough to grow your business, which in turn will give you more resources to consume. However, that’s not going to cut it forever: there will always be a bigger, better, smarter, faster, cleaner, cooler, louder, shinier gadget on the market to buy. The key to ‘winning’ this game is to change your focus. If you want to be ahead of the curve, you will want to change your focus NOW. The rules are changing; the pendulum is swinging the other way. The way that we are beginning to compete with each other is shifting from consumption to creation.
That’s right: Creation. In the future, the competition game will still be around. The difference is, we are moving away from competing over which neighbor on the block can buy the best accessories for his fancy car, and towards competing over whose non-profit can help the most people. Who can raise the most funds for her child’s school? Who can donate more time to the local food bank? Who can gather the biggest team of participants for the upcoming 5K charity race?
Use Your Talents
So, when you’re ready to begin your personal shift, go ahead and change your focus. Start creating. Write. Paint. Sculpt. Sing. Build. Manage. Play. Start using whatever you are passionate about as your gift to the world. Figure out how to use your talents to make this world a better place. Then, put in the work and watch your efforts take shape.
I hereby challenge you. Now take my challenge and turn it into a healthy competition.
First visit? Play this video!
While building his businesses from the ground up, Joshua Bevan sought out some of the best mentorship. He has learned that the path to success is difficult and simple at the same time. Joshua has committed his life to learning how to, “Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.” Through videos, blogs and speaking events, he will pass that knowledge forward.