We live in a competitive world. Some of the “entrants” are more competitive than others, but either overtly or covertly, we all compete, at least a little bit. Sometimes, we are merely competing against ourselves.
Recently, while thinking about effort, accomplishment, and success I realized that in this competitive world we are conceptualizing this thing all wrong. When people think about success, they assume they have to be the best in order to win. They treat it like running a race to a definitive finish line and the fastest one to the end wins. That is not the way real life works. While I reserve the right to be contradicted with a small number of exceptions, most of our races do not have a finish line. If you are working for a promotion and do not get it now, the race is not over, keep going. When you have completed the school assignment and the grades are given, keep going; there is much more to learn. A parent whose child has made a serious error in judgement is usually not done parenting; there is much more to be done and more opportunities to be a parent. If your business has failed, keep going; more business is waiting further down the road.
It does not matter if you are better or worse than the others. You do not need to be the fastest runner or highest jumper. You do not need to be the smartest person in the room to succeed. You just need to be the last one to quit. Everyone who has ever succeeded at anything succeeded because they did not quit. So, stop worrying about being better, faster, smarter, better looking, or more talented than others. Just be the last one to quit.