Why You Should NOT Strive To Be The Best

STriving To Be THe Best
We all want to be the best, right?

‘Yeah, sure…,’ you might be thinking.

Not the lazy ‘yeah’ kind of answer,

But the ‘Yes; That is all I have ever dreamed of!’ type.

Granted, I know there are those who would tell you they do not really care if they are the best or not. In fact, they do not give a damn about how I, you, or anyone else perceives their acts.

So, with that excuse they cover up their fails, cover up their inner struggle, and cover up their perpetual disappointment in themselves.

But deep down they feel bad, sad and would really be glad to be the top dog, just like me, you and everyone else want it, dream of it and strive to be IT.

So, what if I told you right now to stop striving to be the best?

What would you do?

Smile at me, Shake my hands, and Nod in Complete Compliance?

Or Slap me, Spit on my face, and Stone me in Sheer Contempt?

Hey, before you decide, you’ve got to check this out!

Recently, I talked about why I do NOT want you to be good. Yeah, in that post I addressed why you should leave ‘good’ behind for good. Have you read it already? If you have not you should read it here – it is not the kind of post you should miss. In fact, it would serve as the perfect appetizer for this post. Read ‘Leave Good Behind’ now.

However, if you have read the post, let us move on, shall we?

Yes, I know what we have been told since time immemorial; that we must strive to be the best in every situation we find ourselves.

Where did we start?

Right, at home! You must be the most well behaved kid on the block or your ass is fired. Then we move to school and we must come first in class every time.

Keep in mind that you are not the only one in class being told that same thing. It makes one wonder what happens to all our friends when they get home…

‘Ain’t no way anyone is gonna take that prize from you, kid! Come First or no food forever! If you don’t come first, don’t even come home. In fact consider yourself disowned already!’


I am not sure any parent would really go to such extreme but, hey, what do I know?

Like in my case, things were not really that bad. I opened my sleepy eyes to find a Teacher Mother and An Engineer Father. Well, I do not have to tell you Education was truly valued, and nothing but the best was expected of me. You would not understand unless you were in my shoes (my feet fit quite OK into size 43-45, by the way).

Anyway, the example above is in some ways similar to the kind of instructions instilled in many of our minds. Then what follows is the fear of what happens if we fail to be the best. What-Woulds and What-Would-Nots start plaguing the mind from such tender ages…

In essence, while many might believe they have always loved the idea of being the best in all they do, the bitter truth is that they have only feared how their lives would turn out if they were not the best.

People grow up feeling miserable if they are not the ‘best’ student in school, the ‘best’ child at home, the ‘best’ friend in the world… and somehow, it gradually makes people lose value in their own eyes – Just another case of self esteem I have been accentuating sort of lately.

So, if you are the natural best, and make it to the top quite effortlessly you would not really understand how ‘bad’ your friends feel sometime. Hehehe, yeah; take it or leave it, they may be proud of your success – just don’t let it cross your mind that they forget their ‘failures’.

This reminds me of that Indian film, ‘Three Idiots’. When two of the ‘Idiot’ friends found themselves placed last and second last respectively in class, they felt really bad. They searched for the name of the third friend, since he was not there with them.

One of the two friends present did not find it. So he concluded their third friend had been evicted once-and-for-all due to woeful performance. He felt incredibly worse than before.

Then, asking about a clamour by another classmate, he was made to understand that their third friend, the one he thought had been evicted, actually came First, sweeping it clean out of the hand of that clamouring student!

This friend should jump up for joy, scream in ecstasy and head straight to tell his friend, right?

Wrong! Instead, he was shocked to find out he actually felt even worse than when he thought his friend had been dismissed.

This, my friends, is Life.

So, why do I want you to stop Striving to be the Best?

After all, being the best means you have been able to outrun, outsmart and, maybe, outmanoeuvre others – depending on how you become the best...

Being the best means you should be able to relax knowing you are way ahead – a sweet reward for the donkey years of hard labour. Why shouldn’t you strive to reach that peak where what is before you is nada and what is behind you is a crowd of people trying to be you?

Because I don’t want you to limit yourself.

When you have it as your main goal to beat everyone else, either of these two things happen:

1.   You could become the best
2.   You could turn out not to make it as the best

So, which is better of the two?

Number 1?

Or Number 2?

If I were you, I would not even bother picking any out of the two.

You know why?

1.   If you indeed become the best, you would stop working hard, contented you have arrived. Goal Accomplished – Work Done! In essence, you limit yourself to conquest over the rest and forget about yourself.

    You know what made great Champions what they are today?

They keep beating their own records. They work to overcome their limit, and forget about being the best.

If, in the process, they indeed become the best, Great!

But would they stop working hard? No!

2.   If you fail to become the best, you sulk, feel miserable, and maybe give up.
Why would one not give up – Since the goal looks to far away from being reached?

However, if we focus on beating the last record, on getting better, and overcoming our limits; how much more productive this would be?!

This is the kind of goal I want us to have, for our own good.

Breaking Our Own Records.

Not Being The Best.

And You Know The Most Interesting Part?

The  best way of being the best is by breaking your own records over and over again. 

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