Recently, I had a conversation with my father regarding this very topic: Is life really a race? My father said that, even though books and movies claim that life is way more than just a race, in reality it is. You present yourself in front of society as a product and the best product wins. So I asked myself: Am I really a product competing with others?
People might tell you that competition is actually healthy and convince you that the race will get you where you want. That lagging behind isn’t an option. On the other hand, some claim that life isn’t a race, it is a journey. A journey which should be enjoyed and completed at your own pace. The latter concept sounds more comforting and motivating. Sure, but is it true?
In terms of employment, companies look for the best candidate set out for the job or position. They sort out the applicants who have the skill sets required for that particular job and if you’re not good enough, then well, the job isn’t yours. They hunt for a person with the skills, qualities and degrees apt for that job. When you look at it, it’s almost like they’re shopping for an employee!
And even after you get that job, there is always the ambition that pushes you to acquire a higher position. You compete, you conquer.
Say, you were the employer and not the employee. What’s different then? Well, you’re still competing with other companies, making your products better than theirs so that when people have to choose, they choose your company.
What if you were self-employed? There is no competition then, right? Say you were the owner of a start-up or any business then you, obviously, need to compete with other emerging businesses of your type. What if you’re an artist or a freelancer? Then there are considerably less chances but maybe, you’re hyper-competitive and want your painting, writing, music or any performance to be better than others.
And being a freelancer, you need to deal with clients. Clients who choose the best there is to complete the task. Again, competition. Competition which you just can’t escape.
But there are also many chances that you’re a person who tries to improve when he or she meets someone better in a skill than him or her and gets motivated by them instead of trying to compete them. You, too, are a part of the race of life. How? Read more to find out.
Life is a journey. And a race.
I think life is a journey. A journey which is also the race. Yes, the finishing point or the destination doesn’t matter as much as the journey or the race itself but it pushes you to complete the journey or race.
Life as a journey encourages me.
- To reflect on my thoughts
Learn lessons and utilize them in future dilemmas and situations, thus helping me grow as a person.
- Enjoy the moments that make the journey
Meet people, make friends and form memories. Even in loneliness, enjoy the peace within.
- Have goals
Make end goals and small goals that support the end goal. There may be several end goals and well, your end goals might even change but they will always keep you and your plans organized.
Life as a race pushes me.
It might not be a race against others. Life might just be a race with myself. A competition between the past and present versions of myself, making me want to be a better version of myself every day. Or it might be a race against others. A race to prove myself capable. If being better than others gives me the confidence needed to help me grow then be it.
There is no right or wrong way to look at it. As long as you get the thrust you need to improve and to set your goals in motion then it doesn’t matter who the participants are in the race. Who I’m competing against doesn’t matter as long as it gets me to perform my best.
Companies and clients look for the best candidate. Like shopping for the best product. And in the process of becoming that product, you go through various processes. What do you do on the way? You take form. You’re made from scratch, chiseled ’til you have the shape, polished ’til you have the demeanor and presented to be the best.
So yeah, you are a product.
A product shaped by circumstances and made by decisions.
The race is your journey to self-improvement and self-satisfaction and that race is what I’d like to call life.