Up until this day, I used to feel that the competition is always ex-situ, motivation comes from wanting to be better than the rest of the world. What I used to think was that the need to be something, to become someone stems from being better than the others. But I was grossly mistaken and couldn’t have been more tangentially off target. I had barely touched the tip of the titanic iceberg and was blissfully ignorant of the amount of tortuous competition I had stored (manufactured?) within myself. Till now, I wasn’t competing with the girl who might topple me over in school or the girl who is prettier than I am. What I realized today was, my battle has always been with the image I have of the future.
I am competitive person. Comparison coming from within drives me to be better. Now, comparison by someone else to someone else will tick me off, however the same notions, if they sprout off my overactive brain, will work in just the opposite manner. Honestly, I don’t give two hoots about my current scenario- what I do, eat, think, read, listen to, wear, write- none of it has any implications on the Me of today. Look at it objectively, nothing you do now will give you anything, other than a few moments of joy and some great photographs. I agree, these things are essential. (I participate in the mass hysteria called Facebook as well, uploading photographs and letting everyone know what I am up to, in case someone wants to document my life, they could do so by glancing at my page, and this holds true for most of us.) But why do we all do what we do? Frankly, I do it for the future. I’m studying now so that I can be successful later, I eat good food because I don’t want to regret it later, I listen to good songs, ’cause well, everyone likes doing that (!), I read so that I have a good knowledge of books, I wear what I do cause I know everything is leading up to something. What “something”? I do not know. Our entire life is like a build-up to something. Something in the future. And I want to be well dressed (prepared?) for when that happens!
The plus and minus of the future is that it comes one day at a time. So when that ‘something’ actually hapens, you won’t have a clue that it came, stayed and went away and all you were doing was pose for a photograph. Your best moment might have already passed right by you and you were too busy day-dreaming about the future. How’d that be for a bummer?
Anyway, I went way off topic. Competition is what I had started off with. I’m only building a self of today for the self of tomorrow. Everything I am doing right now was initially motivated by a source from outside and I realized that everything that I am or have been doing, has actually been a competition with myself in the future.
I have an image and I am fighting everyday to make sure I reach it. I have been competing, till date, with myself at the age of 35 (or 30, or 40…you get the drift). Does it really matter now if I top my university? I will have a huge ceritifcate proclaiming my past achievement, and yet my clinic might remain empty. On the other hand, I might do well enough now, have fun and work hard and then have a life full of kids and a husband who works, and therefore live the usual (happy?) life or I do what I can right now, top or not- I learn my science- and leave everything up to the way things pan out. Let’s face it, things will pan out whether I want them to or not. What I can do now is make choices, take the decisions which need to be taken and then, as the Beatles said, Let it be, (they knew everything, didn’t they?) all of which would be with a certain image in mind. And, it is this uncertainty of whether we will reach that social standing or economic status, that we all compete against. None of us want an unstable base. No one wants to wobble around after a certain point in life, so we make do with where we have reached, which in turn depends up on what we did earlier, which effectively leads you back to the choices you make right now. See, a cycle it is, vicious or not, is how it all pans out…in future.
We all compete with ourselves from the future, trying endlessly to bridge the gap between what we will be and what we want to be, or even worse, what we could have and what we have become.
Who wins? Muhahahaha.