The other day at the park, my son Dash started playing tag with some kids. My son is super fast and very hard to catch, and he earns his name. To top that off, there is a play area with slides and ladders where he will camp out, making it impossible to tag him.
Eventually, he started telling the other boy some tips. “Hey, if you grab the sides of the slide, you can run up it.”
The other boy was shocked. “Hey, you are telling me how to beat you!”
Though it may seem counterintuitive, my son wanted a challenge.
A little something about me, I kill at the game of Connect 4. I realized I had a knack for it one year when my wife’s cousins were in town, and we broke out the set, and I beat them all night. I won the game most of the time I played it. Eventually, I had a game board of my own and would play with my wife and win every time. Finally, I started to teach her my moves. The two-one split, the multiple plays I would have going at any time, if I made a vertical row, I was trying to force a move. In time she got it down, and we would trade wins back and forth.
Even though we were in a competition, teaching her to play better made it more fun for me and gave me more of a challenge; it also made me a better player.
Though usually attributed to the economy, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Currently, I am in a weight loss competition with a few of the other guys at work. We are looking to get bikini-ready by June. There is some money on the line, but even then, I am encouraging my competitors to eat salads at lunch.
I love friendly competition because it makes me try harder. It pushes me to do better. Whenever someone says, “I want to do this for my life,” to gain health, save money, be a better writer… I love to respond, “Let’s do it!”
Helping them tends to help me.
One of my favorite quotes from the Bible says it best: