An interesting thought occurred to the Imp this morning. Actually (typically), it was more of a question, and one that you might help answer.

When we’re competitive, is it born of an insecurity about how we compare to others? And related to that, does arrogance or self-confidence diminish a person’s competitiveness (and competitive edge)?

The Imp can be a finely arrogant wee thing at times- as I hope we all are on occasion! Actually, studies regularly show that we often say that we’re above average in bed / as drivers / in terms of intelligence. As any fule kno, that can’t be accurate: we can’t all be above the average!

But although I, like many (come on, don’t leave me alone out here!), think I’m/we’re  great at some things, I know I don’t always put a massive amount of hard work into stuff. Part of me really thinks that if you’re good, you’re good, and that hard work (practice) is a bit cheaty because it’s on top of the natural ability. I know, that is a terrible tenet and I don’t actually believe  it, nor would I encourage it in anyone, but for some reason (an excuse not to work hard, perhaps), it lives in the murky imp brain’s depths.

There’s also something in me that really dislikes competition – why does it matter so much to come first? This is what sparked off that thought about insecurity being a driver in competition.

Competition is, by definition, all about one’s position amongst ones peers.; being ‘better’ than other people at something or other, and – most importantly – having that superiority recognised. Few are the competitions that keep the results secret.

This is not an anti-excellence rant. Please, excel! But could we manage to eschew rankings (hoho, sportspeople….)? Or does that make some sports just redundant? Do we need competition, in fact, to achieve  real excellence? Not just in sport, but in innovation, invention, the arts?

Hit the comment button, go on, be the first!