Keep Your Eyes on the Finish Line

You ever watch a sports game and find yourself constantly staring at the scoreboard when things get heightened. Things are tense, the score is close and your team is so close to making that comeback that you’ve been waiting most of the second half for them to make. You’re sitting on the sidelines so naturally you can keep a watchful eye on the score almost simultaneously as you watch the plays being navigated on the field or floor.

Well as a fan you can do that because you’re not playing the game yourself. But could you imagine what would happen if the players in the game kept their eyes on the scoreboard the entire time, trying to see just how close the score is getting. Trying to figure out just how far they are from the finish line and if they might have a chance to actually pull from behind and take the win? They can’t afford to split their focus between watching and comparing point for point how they measure up against the opposition. If they are constantly watching the scoreboard then that means that they aren’t concentrating on the forward moves that they need to be making to win the game.

Well life is much like a sports game in that way. You are always going to be in some form of competition against someone else who is trying to get to the same place that you are trying to get to. Who may very well be trying to do the exact same things that you are doing (ex. writing in the same genre, or writing the same type of short story, or writing the same kind of music, etc.). If you are a creative, chances are that you already realize that you’re not the only creative person in the world.

There are thousands, if not millions, trying to be just as successful in the same field you are trying to be successful in. If your focus is always on the person next to you, the one that you might be in direct competition with, then how can you possibly concentrate on what you’re producing and how you are representing yourself in terms of the work that you present? You might be great at multi tasking but you can not watch the scoreboard AND watch the path in front of you at the same time. If you’re so busy focused on where the other players are measuring up then you can’t possibly have solid focus on the road ahead of you.

Comparison is such a dangerous thing when you are in the creative field because you always want your work to shine and of course you want to win and while it’s true that you aren’t always going to be the winner in every scenario, you most certainly can’t win if your head isn’t in the game (and not on the scoreboard). Your only real competition is yourself so if you keep your focus on always being better than the person that you were the day before then you’ve already won. So when you get tempted to check the scoreboard of life, to see how close you are to getting the win, remember that the best way to make sure you secure the win is to keep your eyes straight ahead of you, and to keep moving forward towards the goal line. The finish line is not on the scoreboard! Until next time… #BeFocused #BeMindful #BePurposeful

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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There’s Nothing Wrong with a Little Healthy Competition

“I’m not in competition with anybody but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance.”

~Celine Dion 

I have never considered myself to be competitive.  I was never an athlete in school.  I never competed in anything academically; well not unless you count the elementary class spelling bees.  I was never one to really fight for what I wanted when I was younger.  I guess I just didn’t really have any fight in me then and I would just step aside if I thought someone could do something better than me.  To be honest I didn’t have fight in me until the last several years.  

So when someone at my gym said to me today that they knew I could do something that another person was doing (which I kept telling him I couldn’t) simply because he knew I would never let someone else outdo me, I was a little taken aback to realize that he was right.  It’s funny but I didn’t even realize that somewhere along the way I had become competitive (but not in a bad way).  When I see someone doing something (at least when it comes to physical activity in the gym) that I have convinced myself in my mind that I should be able to do I can’t seem to get rid of the urge to prove that I can actually do it.  I think that I am mostly competitive with myself because I find myself trying to beat my own records and my own accomplishments, convinced that I can do better then what I did before.  

Now if I only took that competitive spirit that I have in the gym and infused it into my writing.  I mean it wouldn’t exactly be the same sort of competition because there’s no strenuous physical activity involved.  But maybe if I can keep in my mind when I see someone in my inner circle doing something that I know I should be out there doing, that there’s no reason that I can’t do that.  In writing perhaps I just need to stay in good competition with myself, trying on a continuous basis to outdo my own efforts.  

I know that some people might think that being competitive is a bad thing, and I suppose it can be if you are not correctly directing your competitive nature to the right places in your life.  You shouldn’t be in competition with the person next to you because they aren’t the ones standing in your way.  You not trying to become better each time you achieve something is what stands in your way.  Sometimes you have to compete with your own best efforts because it can make you a better person and better at your craft or talent.  Until tomorrow…There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, as long as you don’t lose sight of what you are competing for. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

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