what does competition do for you?

There is some aspect of competition that is good–it keeps us on our toes, it makes us strive to be better, and it keeps us honest insofar as it requires us to compare ourselves to others and not live in splendid isolation. And yet competition as we live it in our American lives goes to such extremes that at times I wonder if it does not deplete our souls and prevent us from looking inward and set our boundaries in a healthy way. I remember when I was in real estate that a wonderful mortgage broker kept asking me “how much are your going to sell?” He was measuring my life in numbers. That is not a measure that has ever worked for me and I could not quite bring myself to answer. Why did he want to know? It turns out he based his business on a model that required him to figure out how much each real estate agent would sell and thus how many loans he would generate as a result. It took me a while to figure it out and then I realized that I did not want to fit in that business model. I took him aside and explained that from now on he would have to look at my business as his “bonus”…an unknown quantity that he would welcome but could not count on though it could be substantial. Why? Because for me there was no fun in being driven by the numbers! To me success meant that I had reached out to a new client, forged a new meaningful relationship and , in the process, found the real estate answers to their needs.
So what did I learn from the experience? I learned that each one of us should focus not just on “competing” with others but on making choices that resonate with whom we are and what we want. Why depend on a competitor’s definition of success? Why not be driven by our definition? I love being in the position to choose my clients and number still don’t drive me. What drives you? How do you define success? What feeds your soul?
Life is Amazing! Live well.
Anna Grassini

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