Did you know that every four years, otherwise normal human beings leave their lives behind for two months, get on a yacht — alone — and race each other around the world?
As a normal, pain-avoiding person, my first question when I learned about this was: Why?
Why would anyone deliberately enter The Vendée Globe, a race that’s billed as “an extreme quest of individual endurance and the ultimate test in ocean racing”?
Confession: I’m not and have never been into sports. Other than basic exercise, I’ve got trouble understanding why people put themselves through so much pain and suffering to chase after the off chance of winning.
And because of that, I’ve always made the mistake of thinking I’m not really a competitive person.
Always Respect What You Don’t Understand
Despite not really understanding the sheer commitment and willpower each athlete — even a mediocre one — needs just to get out of bed at 4 a.m. to go push themselves to the point of sweat and pain, I’ve always wanted to understand. Because it’s those people with that drive and determination who most often find success, and I for one would like to be able to click into that drive and determination.
Then, last year, Wealthy Web Writer opened a contest for the Reality Blogger position, and I put my hat in the ring.
In the process, I learned something about the reason behind the competitive drive, I learned some things about myself, and I also learned about some key factors to success.
3 Invaluable Lessons I Learned from Competing
From some perspectives, trying for a job like the Reality Blogger isn’t a great gamble:
- The chance of being selected as a finalist is slim.
- The odds are a (very, very tough) 1 in 4 that you’ll win — if you make it that far.
- The articles have to be perfect — which requires a lot of effort with no guarantee.
If it’d been a football game, I’d have gone back inside and had a nap.
But this wasn’t for sports, it was for something I cared about. And maybe that’s the secret behind the competitive drive. You actually have to put a real value on what’s waiting at the end of the road. Be it money, glory, fame, stability, or a sense of achievement, you have to really, really care about what’s on the line before you can sign up — let alone put in your best effort.
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