What is competition?
“Competition” is a set of practices brought into existence to cope with a special set of situations – unique sets of threats, obligations and opportunities – or environments that meet two fundamental conditions.
Two or more parties – people and/or businesses – intend to produce an outcome, objective or result and only one of them can succeed, or only the one who performs and produces the most “value” can succeed.
In large competitive situations, such as today’s global marketplace with many competitors, or in a game of musical chairs, the fundamental or underlying situation that forces competition into existence can be obscured.
When many people seek to increase their incomes by raising the prices of their offers and/or increasing the volume and velocity of the transactions they complete, it is easy to miss that each one is competing to produce transactions that only one of them can win at a time.
The busyness we see in a large game of musical chairs can obscure the fact that each contestant is, in fact, competing for one chair at a time. So while there may be many winners, there will also be at least one loser who does not intend to lose. And since everyone is that potential loser, everyone is competing to “win” every round, and avoid “losing”.
Both winners and losers of a competition must experience real consequences to their concerns, situations, capabilities or strategies, or the competition isn’t “real”.
Winners enjoy having their concerns cared for, satisfactory situations, increased capabilities and execution of their strategies as they intend, which helps or results in, one way or another, the Winner’s success, survival, freedom and likelihood to live a good life.
Losers, on the other hand, suffer failures and thwarted intentions.
Their concerns are not cared for. They live in unsatisfactory situations. They experience failure, pain and suffering about the future. They lack the capabilities they require and they are unable to execute their actions plans as they intend.
In a “real” game of musical chairs – which means winners enjoy “real” positive consequences that matter to their capacity to survive, be free and live a good life, such as becoming rich, and losers suffer equally “real” but negative consequences to their survival, freedoms and living a good life, such as losing their freedoms to think and act as they choose, whenever they choose – all participants are highly motivated to win because of the positive consequences to their concerns, situations, capabilities and strategies if they win, and the negative ones if they lose.
This post is an excerpt from The Aji Space. To read more from The Aji Space, get a free two-week trial. Click here to learn more.
Toby Hecht has taught thousands of ambitious businesspeople to earn a living and compete for annual incomes, capital-at-work for retirement, and enterprise values for their businesses in the top 1% of the marketplace.