Life Beyond Competition

So I was on a morning walk today and this little clump of baby trees caught my eye (mainly since they were catching the sunlight so beautifully). As I stood there admiring them I looked around me at the plethora of baby trees that were sprouting all around. I wondered how many of them would actually grow up to become as big as those huge marvellous trees of the same species that formed a canopy above my head.

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My logical mind told me that obviously just a handful of these many baby trees would have space to grow into large beautiful trees. Yet all the trees – the huge ones towering above me as well as the many tiny baby trees all seemed/felt happy and vibrant. All of them were embodying life and embodying the joy and aliveness of our planet with equal intensity. I felt truly grateful for each of their presence.

Why am I telling you all this?

Just Yesterday I was talking with an old friend of mine and I mentioned that after a stint of 10 years I was moving out of my role as a full time faculty with IIM Bangalore. He asked me what I was planning to do next and I said that while I would continue to teach management as an adjunct faculty I was also moving into the space of personal wellbeing and empowerment (through conducting my own workshops). Immediately he asked me “But is’nt that a very crowded space”? His question has been lingering on my mind and indeed if I look at it logically it does appear to be a crowded space. So what then – should I not venture into it just because it is a crowded space (like the little forest above with many baby trees sprouting naturally?)

That brings me to the topic of competition. See I’m someone who has very mixed views on competition – and I’m surrounded by people who embody those mixed views as well. On the one hand my son goes to a J Krishnamurthy school (where they don’t believe in any kind of competition). There are no prizes or awards – no exams even till class 8 and the whole idea of assessing one’s abilities, achievements, creations or self worth as something that is relative to the achievements or creations of others around does not exist in his reality. On the other hand I am married to a strategy professor and the name of the core management course taught by him for many years is “Competition and Strategy”. :-). 

In my own life I have lived in an extremely competitive way for the first 30 years of my life – with a focus on acing competitive exams (JEE, CAT, GMAT – oh yeah competition used to literally turn me on :-)) and a focus on getting into the top institutions under the belief that if I was not the ‘best’ and ‘studying at the best places’ and ‘working in the best places’ I could not achieve anything worthwhile. Do note that all these labels of ‘best’ had been created in terms of relative evaluation (both in my mind as well as in society (which is basically the collective minds of many many people :-)). 

Now I am at a junction where I want to create my life and my creations (workshops included) from a space beyond competition. I am choosing this because the mindset of competition – ridden with its fears, insecurities, external focus on what others are doing and constant questioning of one’s self worth is no longer fun for me. So how will I make this transition? Is it actually possible to make such a transition? 

Join me on a free live facebook interaction on Friday (24 May) at 10 pm for exploring this further. Yes, we will have a guided meditation, some energy clearings and well as Q&A based on the questions that you come up with. This interaction will take place on a closed FB group – link below. Feel free to post your questions ahead of time on the group. Even if you cannot make it live the recording will be available on the group for you to view later. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2739745232762663/

Published by Ramya Ranganathan

My identity is crafted around four Ps - Poetess-Philosopher-Parent-Professor. You can read more about my journey here (https://craftingourlives.com/ramya/)