From a young age, we are taught that you are win when your opponent loses.

We are educated that the goal in a competition is for your opponent to leave the game defeated.

Well the truth is…we have been taught incorrectly.

I would like to give you a new way to look at the word “competition.”

True competition is cooperation!

Your opponent in a game is not a bad person – your opponent merely creates greater resistance in you, and thus forces you to strive to be better.

When you think about it, your opponent is actually your best friend!

Your opponent does their best – for you! So that you’ll be better and demand more of yourself.

In true competition, nobody loses, both players benefit from the effort they make to overcome the other’s resistance.

Basically, what am I saying here?

When you are the start of a game, your opponent is playing the role of the enemy, but the truth is, your opponent is really your truest friend. When he or she is good, it forces you to strive to reach a higher level.

Beating someone weaker is no big deal, because you don’t really progress that way.

Running with someone who’s slower than you and winning doesn’t improve you either; instead, it leaves you going at the same speed.

On the other hand, running with someone fast and coming second place turns you into a winner, because you may not have “won” but running with someone who’s faster than you gets a lot more out of you.

So here is a new approach to the game of life

This approach says:

Instead of hoping your opponent will fail, you actually want them to succeed.

In football: You’ll want to believe that your opponent may succeed, because this thought will get you to the game in a much sharper mental state, and you’ll respond more quickly to their actions. It will make the game more difficult for them, because you came prepared to succeed (and didn’t take your foot off the gas pedal because you were counting on your opponent failing).

In business: Your competition in business is not your enemy. Your competition mearely sets a new standard for you that you have not yet seen in yourself; a standard that makes you look at yourself and say: “How about that, maybe there is a greater entrepreneur in me that needs to break out? What will happen if I learn more, risk more, and stretch my own limits?"

In health and beauty: Studs with six-packs on the beach, or shapely, toned women on TV are not your opponents, they are simply a source of inspiration that shows you that you deserve to live in a healthier body – and that you can do so if you change your health habits.

In short, don’t wish your opponent to be weak; rather aspire to explore your own boundaries.

Here are three ideas for a better life:

Surround yourself with people stronger than you – you will learn from them;

Aspire to compete against stronger players than yourself – they will force you to demand more of yourself;

Concentrate on small improvements in yourself, and not on the scoreboard.

This way of thinking will make you:

Live your life free of stress and comparisons;

See life as an enjoyable game – and not as a matter of “life and death”;

Paradoxically – your achievements on the scoreboard of your private life will improve, because you can fulfill your potential only through pleasure.

Then, when the game is over, and the day is done…you shake hands with your opponent (who is actually your friend) and thank them for the effort they made because it helped you to improve.

That is the essence of victory, for me at least.

Have a great weekend, my friends,

Eitan