Home » Letters » How To Face Competition, Negativity & Hardship?

Question: Everything seems so competitive, in school now, and in work later.
Answer: There is no need to compete at all, which only stresses yourself out. While you ought to be inspired by others who are doing well, you should aim to ‘compete’ only with yourself – by becoming a better person than the one you were, becoming ever kinder and wiser. Just do your best in each moment. Doing your best does not need competition. It should be joyous as a personal challenge, while being competitive is strenuous.

Question: Even without competing, I feel negative easily when I do not do something well. Failing makes me feel bad.
Answer: You just have to be more mindful to prevent similar mistakes, and to do better in future. Feeling down does not help at all. Beating yourself up actually makes you focus on the failure more than the lessons to learn well.

Question: I find it very tough not to focus on my present negativity and the hardship ahead.
Answer: If you continue focusing this way, you will be miserable for the rest of your life. Since this does not make sense, why not just learn from your mistakes well, and move on with a smile for a more hopeful future? Moping around today cannot lead to a happy tomorrow.

Question: Yes, I am still trying. It is really tough though.
Answer: Again, there is no point harping on it being tough, which only makes it tougher. If you have to do something, just do it well and gladly… or you will be doing it poorly and unhappily. The wiser choice is obvious. Whatever worth doing is worth doing well, or it probably should not be done at all. Do remember that your real goal is beyond the worldly and fleeting. It is to work towards the True Happiness of Buddhahood for one and all, which is transcendental and lasting. May your days be ever happier as you strive on with diligence!

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2 Responses to “How To Face Competition, Negativity & Hardship?”

  1. Irene-1Answered November 8, 2015

    Comment: I personally feel the current system of Key Performance Indicator(KPI) at work is really stifling.

    “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom.” – Albert Einstein
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    Reply: Agree, but what other kind of key performance indicators should be used then, if not the usual kinds? What I mean is, there must still be some kind of indicators, just the less rigid and stuffy kinds?

  2. Irene-2Answered November 28, 2015

    Comment: For example, maybe we should be given the chance to ‘labour in freedom’ and list our areas of contribution at the end of the assessment period?

    Reply: But it would be vague and impractical for any employer to pay any staff to ‘labour in freedom’ without giving absolutely any performance indicators at all, as the contributions listed at the end might not meet the reasons the staff is employed in the first place? There must be criteria to meet, just that the way to meet them need not be too rigid.

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