When I hear these words, I automatically complete the saying. “Look to the left; look to the right. Only one of you is going to make it through.” In very special circumstances these words are simple statement of fact, but let’s face it, most of us are not in Navy SEAL training. Is there really a reason, in all of our other contexts, to spend thousands of dollars to find the perfect new team member, then thousands of hours to train the person, all with the expectation of ultimate failure? It’s even worse for those who are “welcomed” in such a way:
In contrast, this past weekend I attended a gathering at my alma mater, Wellesley College. During one session, an alumna reminisced about her arrival on campus, when she was told at Convocation, “Look to the left; look to the right. These women are amazing. They will change your life, and together you will change the world.” Woah!
This does not mean the end of competition; quite the contrary. After all, the root words of competition mean “to strive together.”
I want to live in a place where I can win without others losing.
I want to compete, to strive together towards something worthy of our efforts.
I want to be a competitor, not a predator.